A Trouble Free Home Recording Studio
It's well worth your while to spend some time setting up the PC and music sequencer so that all is running well. Check these settings in the manual that came with the software. Things like soundcard settings, mp3 playback, which card to use, and so on.
If your playbacks are sounding bad or jumping like an old vinyl record you need to double check these settings, or perhaps your PC is not powerful enough to run this type of software - this issue is dealt with in the first of this Home Recording series and is of vital importance.
The music should not only playback glitch-free (technical term that ;), but also sound well. If it sounds a bit "tinny" or low quality it might be worth looking into upgrading your soundcard - basically, this will play back the sounds and samples more authentically. This is the hardware in your PC which is responsible for what you hear - it's the same oul story here, there's gud 'uns and bad 'uns.
This is just one of the reasons that a quality PC is at the heart of your Home Studio - there are many more.
The amount of music software that you can get nowadays for your PC is staggering. I've recommended a few down below that I and many other musicians think are exceptional and do a great job. These packages can be added to most Windows/Mac set-ups.
Many "bundled" software packages such as Cubase are a combination of not just recording software, but also come with a multitude of now standard sound changing options and possibilities. These include effects, samples, bass modules, vst/plug-ins (virtual vintage keyboards and the like. This is without even touching on "real" instruments and how you can record and change their sound. I meant to look at a system in this article which can add some amazing capabilities to any Home Studio sound pallette - it's called MIDI. But we'll have a look at that fella' in our next installment if that's ok.
If you are recording real instruments such as vocals or guitar, you might need an interface. This allows you to plug in conventional instruments into your PC and record them - this interface might be built into your PC already. Some of these plug-in/software suggestions are listed below. Remember these Home Studio recording basics apply to all types of recorded music.
UniGTR+ Recommends (for UK + European Suppliers see left column)
Propellorhead Reason is almost an Industry standard at this stage - excellent piece of software. The Firepod 10-Channel Firewire Interface also comes with Steinberg's excellent Cubase LE.
Next up in Part 4 we have Home Studio Recording - Midi