Audio recording-Introduction to basics
Audio recording is the way to get all your sounds from your instruments in your DAW through your audio interface. The audio is printed in your DAW with the shape of a waveform and it represents the performance of each instrument. There are several things you have to configure before starting recording audio.
#1.First of all you have to set some parameters for each project you’re going to work in the future. All these you can adjust them from your DAW preferences or options menu. You have to be specific about the bit depth and sample rate of your recordings. We’ll have more detailed information to another blog post about advanced audio recording. You have to choose the file types that are going to be created, once you start recording. These files are going to be either wave file or aiff file. Let’s have a look at these file types. Wave file is the common file format for the pc version and has the .wav extension Aiff(Audio Interchange File Format) are used on most computer platforms and have the extension.aiff .Both file types are uncompressed and are in highest quality. You can choose Broadcast Wave file , you will have larger files but you have more data files ,and you can add author , description and reference text strings.
Once you finish with these configurations you have to set up your recording project. The most common and useful tool that every DAW has, is audio track. Yes, this will help you to record your instrument into your DAW. You have to be very careful in what kind of track you will create. You can create a mono or stereo track and that designation is for the input because the output is pretty much always stereo and you have the pan knobs to move the instruments right or left. The input makes a big difference. If you record to a single microphone you have to record to a mono track if you record to a stereo track the sound will go to your left speaker and it’s very hard to be centered. If you have a keyboard or a synthesizer that has a stereo out put then you have to create a stereo track but most of the times , when you record audio you have to create mono audio tracks.
#2.The second but very crucial thing you have to remember is to rename each track you create because every time you record, a file with the name of the track is created and stored in your hard drive.If you don’t rename the track you will have countless audio files with the name Audio 01_1 or Audio 02_12 etc and it’s not useful at all and you can’t manage your files at all.It’s much easier if you rename every track,for example Audio 01 , you can rename it to Guitar 1.You can have a better picture of your audio recordings in your audio project file.
#3.Another issue that many of you may skip is the input level or even better the gain level for your recordings.You have to adjust a medium gain level before starting recording.If you plug an electric guitar , for example, right into your audio interface you must be careful for not clipping. You have to play some parts or power chords using a virtual amplifier through your DAW and you have to set the input level for not clipping during your recording. Clipping is a digital distortion , and maybe the part that is clipping, sounds very good , but it’s recommended to avoid that kind of distortions because you don’t want any sounding problems later on the mixing.You can do the same for the vocals.You can rehearse some parts with high notes of the song , so you can adjust the microphone’s input level.
#4. You must set the right tempo for your song and turn the metronome or the click track on. If you want to record guitars to a song you must have a guide that helps you being on time and that is click track or a metronome. You’re going to have steady,rhythmic recordings and one option you shouldn’t forget is to enable precount. This option gives you time from pressing rec button to put them on your fretboard and start recording.
#5. Turn off or down your speakers. you are going to record with a large diaphragm microphone and as you know these types of microphones don’t work unless you turn the phantom power on. After that you have to enable the track you are going to record. Now be careful,if you press that enable rec button and your speakers are active,it’s more likely you’’ll have a feedback of the room and this is something that you definitely don’t want to happen. It’s recommended to record with a pair of headphones but if this isn’t possible you can always turn your speakers’ level down to avoid loud feedback sounds.
So,in closing I suggest that you always make a checklist,at least for now until you get used to that workflow, with the things you have to configure in every project before start recording.
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