RECORDING BASICS

The following info is a collection of resources for anyone interested in being introduced to recording sound on any level.

The first step is to approach recording is to understand what a DAW is. The acronym stands for Digital Audio Workstation. DAW’s basically allows you to record, manipulate, add effects and chop your track in any order, to make it a final product.

There are plenty of DAWs on the market at the moment but the three dominant one are represented by ProTools, Logic Pro, and Ableton Live.


ProTools is mainly used in analog studios as it’s great for audio editing and mixing with outboard hardware (available both for PC and MAC).

Logic Pro (from Apple) is the most common, thanks to its intuitive features. Unfortunately, it’s only available for MAC users.



Ableton Live is very intuitive and great for live loop performances and sound design (available for MAC and PC).

Once you chose your favorite DAW you need an audio interface to convert the audio signal into digital samples in order to perform all the above-cited actions. The most common audio interface, because of its price: quality ratio, is the Scarlett 2i2 from Focusrite. It has two XLR (balanced connection) / Jack (unbalanced) inputs, 2 Jack Outputs and one headphone output. It also has a 48V button to arm phantom power, needed for certain types of microphones which we are going to talk about below.

MICROPHONES

The world of microphones, as most of the things related to music, is wide. It is mainly divided though in three categories, ‘Dynamic’, ‘Condenser’ and ‘Ribbon’. �


Dynamic microphones are the most common ones, like the super-famous Shure SM58 used for vocals for live gigs (and sometimes something else as well, but we forgive them). It is called dynamic because it creates its own electric current when the coil with a magnetic field vibrates due to the hit of a sound wave. For that reason, it doesn’t require phantom power.