You are on page 1of 2

---------------------------------------------A Guide to Recording music on the computer ---------------------------------------------by fledge Compiled: October 04, 2005 How do I make music

with the computer? This question has been asked many times, so i decided to write a guide so people can see it all at once. There are some ways of making music on the computer. One is by recording on the computer. The other by midi sequencing /sample based sequencing. I will try to b e comprehensive in all the methods. I will also try and make it as simple as pos sible for all the people who are new to all of this. I was there once too. Cheer s. Option 1 : Live Recordings-This is the option where you simply record onto the computer, the music that you play. This is a good option for those who have fine instruments and want to use them. To record, one must obviously have a microphone, soundcard and a recievin g program on the computer to accept the signals. The microphone part of this is easy, just find a suitable microphone at a store near you. When picking out the microphone, be sure to mention to the store peopl e the purpose and method, and when i say that i mean tell them you are going to use it for recording music onto the computer. You have to get a microphone that is compatible Usually microphones with your havesoundcard the microand plug to(think get one headphone of good plugs). quality.Make sure the m icrophone is of good quality, nothing takes the fun out of it like discovering t he perfectly played piece is useless because the micro phone is grainy. As for soundcards, you dont need the best, but if you have the money why not go for a decent one? Soundblaster cards are sort of a defacto industry standard. Th e soundcard is an important part of recording, since it gives you many options o n recording. Some soundcards have midi cables, this helps if you want to make mu sic want you through to spend. sequencing. This part depends on how much As for a program to record the sound from the soundcard, there are plenty of programs that are free, so dont spend your money on it. As f or people who want to use the Microsoft operating system's Sound Recorder, dont bother, it sucks. There is a free and open source program called Audacity that w ill meet most of your needs in sound recording. Audacity can be found at http:// This program works with Windows, Apple and Linux/Unix operating systems. It is completely free to use. It can record the songs into Wave format (lossless), mp3 (you have to download a codec to make it work), ogg, and other formats. I have used this program and i must say it does its job well. Option 2 : Midi / Sample based sequencing-This is a good option if you want to make music but do not have a piano, or othe r instruments around. For Midi or sample based sequencing all you need are the e ssential computer programs and effort. Some programs cost money and some dont. Y ou must realize that. There are sample based programs like Cubase, Apple's Garag eBand, Cakewalk Sonar, Sony Soundforge, FL studio and others. These programs cos t money and lots of it. The prices can range from $ 50 to about $ 900 or more. O f course this is just for the sequencer and maybe a few basic samples. More samp les will cost more and will sound good but you pay a lot. If you get these seque

ncer all you have to do is use the software and make music! For those of us who dont have hundreds of dollars to spend, fortunately there ar e freeware or open source porgrams that kind generous sould were kind enough to work on. I am just going to go ahead and list a few for some operating systems. Windows-Anvil Studio - This is by far the best free sequencer for windows operating syst ems i have seen. You can download it for free from their site at http://www.anvi . They also have a paid version which is cheap and lets you to do mo re cool stuff with the sequencer. JazzWare - This is also a midi sequencer. It is also cross platform and works wi th Windows and Linux. Find it at There is also another one being built onto this in a more modern interface at http://jazzplusplus.sour Linux-Rosegarden - This is a great sequencer for Linux. / It is very comprehensive and usefull. Recommended a lot by me! Muse - An audio sequencer for Linux Check it out at / There are way too many more for me to mention. For more Linux sequencers check o ut : -For sequencers, it is useful to some to have a piano/keyboard that has midi outp u and then use the program to recieve midi input. You of course need a keyboard and midi cables for this. Many sequencers output midi files and people complain that it doesnt sound real. Well that is the nature of midi files. All they do is tell which instrument it is, what notes are played, volume and such. They dont contain music. To make it sound real, you must use a sample based sequencer or soundfonts or sigasampler f ormats. There is one program that I know and use for converting midi files into wave or mp3 files. Synthfont - This is a software renderer. It renders the midi into actual music. It is a great program. It is a free beta. Check it out here http://www.synthfont .com/ Well, that's about all the knowledge I can pass on. If anyone has comments, sugg estions or programs i have not heard of, dont hesitate to email me at themanwith Good Luck and God be with you in all your musical endevors!