With today's technology there are several methods of recording at your disposal. Which works best? Well that's entirely up to you to decide. Before you rush out and buy the latest and greatest products, you need to carefully think about what type of instruments or music you want to record.
For instance, if you want to record an electric guitar you may opt for the simpler and direct method of plugging into your computer. However if you want to record an acoustic guitar or vocals, it's worth investing in some high quality microphones and a preamp. The two methods we will be focusing on are direct recording using an interface / software and the indirect / amped method. Each method has its benefits, and you'll no doubt find that one method is most suited to your own needs and budget.
Which Method Is Right For You? Direct or indirect, which method best is right for you? Well, of course that's completely up to you to decide however there are a few factors you should take into consideration. ? Budget The indirect/amped method is by far the most expensive option here. Minimally you will and a converter, which can become very expensive. Direct recording eliminates the need for expensive microphones and amplifiers, as you will be plugging into a relatively cheap interface unit, such as the M-Audio Black Box ? Environment Consider where you will actually be recording. Are you in a detached house where you can make more noise, or are you in an apartment block where you have neighbours on all walls? Direct recording enables you to plug your clean, un-amped guitar straight into a unit that connects to your computer producing minimal noise.
Whilst recording indirectly requires you to plug into a loud amplifier - whilst there are ways to help silence the amplifier such as placing it in an isolation box (more on isolation boxes later) the environment you are in should be something you really take into consideration. ? Sound Can you achieve the sound you are looking for using the less expensive software method? If so, then definitely go for it, there's no need to spend hundreds and thousands on expensive equipment if you aren't 100% sure you absolutely need to have it. However, be sure to bear in mind that there really is something unique about the "old school" amped method that just can't be achieved using computer software packages, or modeled and emulated hardware.
What I'm referring to here is the warmth, or pushed air. An amp pushes the speakers and that pushed air really adds a lot to the overall sound that you're hearing. While digitally modelled amp simulators can go a long way to creating the beloved sound, they aren't quite there just yet.
Ian Marples has been playing guitar for over 10 years, and now runs the website http://www.uncleslinky.co.uk to help other guitarists learn how to succesfully record music at home. For similar information to this article subscribe to his FREE Newsletter by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org