Should you throw away that cassette recorder? What is a hand held digital recorder? How does a portable recorder differ from a computer’s music digital interface? These are some of the questions you may have when you start exploring recording your own music.
Thanks to technology, a student of the banjo, guitar or mandolin has options for recording sound files. To start, a student can record themselves using a digital mp3 recorder. The files can be then transferred to the computer and then burned to CD. Surprisingly, the quality of the recording is quite good. I once recorded my entire band using a simple digital recorder and one condensor microphone. The condensor microphone (which is powered by batteries connected to the recorder) allows for a better recording option than using a computer’s built in microphone. While some of the band members were skeptical that the recording would be useful for a demo, they were later surprised at the results. We at least had a draft demo of some songs recorded at home from one of our many practice sessions..
When I started preparing instructional materials, I recorded sound files using a single hand held digitial recorder. The quality of the recordings were surprisingly good. Yet there are limitations. You can only recording a single track. However, for someone starting out, recording a single track, such as your rhythm or your lead, is a start in the right direction. A student who records and listens to themselves play, will benefit from hearing what others hear.
Stay tuned for more in a series of blogs about technology in recording and the various equipment involved. Next time, I will address the usb musical interface which takes home recording closer to studio recording sound.