|Recording voice, music, or sound effects can be fun and easy. However, if you want to get the best transfer of a tape or LP to your computer, or record your garage band, you'll find that recording can be more difficult than it first appears, unless you arm yourself with a little basic knowledge. The pages listed here are currently a work in progress, providing many useful tips.
Recording Hardware and Software Tips
- Hardware influence on recording quality - Appropriate hardware for the quality you want to record at, including sound devices, connecting cables, microphones...etc
- Updating Sound Device Drivers - Appropriate and up-to-date drivers for your hardware, especially your sound device
- Properly managed computer resources - What you need to record waveforms without dropouts or skips
- Connecting your Equipment - Making physical connections from microphones, mixers, Hi-Fi, radios and other sources
- Mixer Toolbar Issues - Using system and sound device control panels to fix configuration problems
- Recommended sound devices - A partial selective list of sound devices known to work well with Audacity
- Multichannel Recording - What is required to record more than two separate channels at once, and some suggested devices for doing so on Windows
Recording a guitar. This requires a usually-USB analog-to-digital converter box. These typically accept a variety of different inputs including 1/4" and XLR. Some offer phantom power for mics and have various controllable parameters. Another option is direct 1/4"-USB adapter cables. These just plug into a USB port and you plug your guitar into the other end. However, you get nowhere near the capability of using a general USB converter box.
- These devices usually have USB connections to the computer, and are often known generally as "USB boxes". There are similar devices that connect to the Firewire ports commonly found on Macintosh computers.
- These devices are available from many merchants such as GuitarCenter (also guitarcenter.com). Other sources on the web include Amazon and Musiciansfriend.com.
Fundamentals of Recording
- Recording levels - Checking your input levels before you go into Record
- (Audio) Fundamentals: Setup and Acoustics
- (Audio) Fundamentals: Microphone Techniques for Voice
- (Audio) Fundamentals: Gain Structure and Optimizing Levels
- Basic Configurations - Sample Rates and Bit Depths
Applied Techniques and Tips
- Transferring tapes and records to computer or CD - An illustrated Tutorial
- Low latency ASIO recording, requires compiling Audacity (not available with legacy 1.2.x series)
- Some basic hints on how to set up a Ad Hoc Recording Studio