“Hey there.. was hoping you could give me some info on recording/producing on a home computer with a limited budget… I’m using Audacity and a Logitech Mic right now and it sucks pretty bad.. I’d like to get a decent program and audio interface so I can record vocals and guitar directly into my computer.. Not sure which ones are good.. Any help you could give me would be great… Take Care”
Thanks for the question! Software IS an important part of the DIY process, but our head engineer points out that it’s only one aspect of getting a good solid, clear sound. He says:
Software is a personal choice. Anyone who says one brand sucks and another is awesome is simply not paying attention. Just start with something inexpensive and only buy something better when you realize WHY you need something better. When I was growing up I used a $79 piece of software for years. Extra money is better spent on instruments and mics.
If you want nice, “clean” tracks there are a couple of things that you simply cannot skimp on. A quality interface (your analog-to-digital conversion) and at least a single good microphone. (don’t use any mics that are cheaper than a Shure SM57) Even if you’re starting out, spend at least $100 on each. It needs to be a microphone that uses XLR terminals. So get a good $20 XLR cable.Another thing to be considered, which is not exactly something you can go out and buy, is the room where the performance/recording is taking place. There are many tutorials online of how to treat a room. Inexpensive tools such as packing blankets can be a nice temporary fix in case your wife is not cool with turning the living room into a permanent recording studio. ”It’s just for the weekend, hunnie”Yet another thing to be considered is mic placement. Again there are many tutorials for that online as well. Different methods and ideas exist depending on what instruments or voices you’re mic’ing.The last thing I’ll mention is the tuning of the instrument and the skill of the performer. As a rule, you can’t take a poorly tuned guitar that has awful timbre and fix it by mic’ing it with a $2000 mic. So my point is all of these things work in harmony together (acoustics, mics, cables, the performance, good electronics) to yield a good-sounding recording at the end of the day.There’s a saying, “to get a good drum sound, you need good drums, good mics, a good room, and a good drummer.”- John Taylor
I think he pretty much sums it up! Not much I’ll try to add to that.