Section 1.3 Recording Tips (back to index)

If you can, set the the sampling software to record on to the computers hard drive at 16 bit, 44.1 kHz, stereo. Note that this format requires at least 200 meg of disk space to work in. This format uses 10 Meg a minute.

Use a lower format if you have restricted disk space. 16 bit, 11 kHz, stereo is good.

Most computer mikes are mono, and if you record stereo, with a mono mike YOU DO NOT GET STEREO. What you get is two mono tracks. If you can afford the space, the stereo format is better in the long run, but if you are short of disk space then record in mono.

Make sure that your mike is plugged in and recording by making a sample recording. For the guitar, if you can, place the microphone below the guitar, in line with the bridge of the guitar, and pointing toward the sound hole. Monitor the input levels. Most software will allow you to do this. You may have to enable the option though. Reduce levels until there is NO POSSIBILITY of over-recording. The best signal level is achieved when the peak audio signal [the loudest bit] of the recording hits 0dB on your inputs.

[The input signal flashes RED]. So that's the target,

Try to hit zero dB (the input JUST flashes red)

on the loudest part of your whole recording.

When you have everything ready for a 'first take' you will find another reason for doing this. You may be slightly nervous at this point, and recording is the nearest thing to an audience you can get - so get to it.

Rehearse the little that you know - possibly only three chords - but practise different rhythms 3/4, 4/4, and anything else you can think of. Then decide what to play for the first recording. Now if you count yourself in use a count of 2 bars, but only sound the beats on 1+1/2 bars. For 4/4 count 1 2 3 4 1 2 then try to hit the downbeat of the third bar with your first note or chord.

Did you make a recording ? It is recommended that you save this recording for future reference. If it hurts to listen to it, that's OK. It's only going to get better from here.

Recording does several things to help you with developing musicianship; neglect it at your peril. Principally it stops you fooling yourself about basic rhythmic errors. Most beginners will play and STOP COUNTING whilst they change chords - that ain't happening. In music time flows and you have to flow with it in time.

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