Okay, so you've decided that you want to record a song from your home. You've also decided, like the rest of us cheapos, that you are going to use freeware. If you haven't yet decided, I recommend you use Ubuntu Studio (for why see here). Ubuntu Studio is armed with these great programs: the Best Programs in Ubuntu Studio.
When recording a project you never want to go in Swinging Blindly (especially if this is your first time). So here are a few steps to ensure that your project doesn't run out of steam half way through.
Firstly, you need to understand that there are four parts to any recording project:
- Preparation (setting up tempo, ensuring the song arrangement is finalised, etc.)
- Recording (getting your instruments' sounds into your computer)
- Mixing (Getting your levels right, panning each instrument, etc.)
- Mastering (Getting your track to sound professional)
You can see from the figure that every instrument has its place in the recording process. It is important to put the drum track down first, even if you are using real drums. This is because it sets up the tempo for the song and provides a nice backbone for the other instruments to play along to. It is imperative that you play to a metronome, it'll be hard at first but it will always make the project easier and the song tighter. Yeah, I know...you're too cool for a metronome... you think it will destroy the emotion of the song... for the people who think that (like I did) - shut up, and listen 'cause I know, first hand, that you need a metronome.
I plan to create a blog post for every step in the process over the next few weeks. So stay tuned for the basics as well as the not-so-basics of hydrogen, recording guitar, bass, vocals, mixing, mastering, etc...etc...etc... Exciting times await!
Check out the next part of this project: Audio Recording in Ubuntu Studio - Part 2: Record a Hydrogen Drumbeat
Other posts you might find interesting:
Audio Recording in Ubuntu Studio - Part 2: Record a Hydrogen Drumbeat
Audio Recording in Ubuntu Studio - Part 3: Adding Effects to the Ardour Drumtrack
Beginner's Guide to Ubuntu Recording
What Exactly is Mastering For?