Updated: Feb 21, 2020
In this series of articles, I will be looking at music production, explaining what it is and how it works for newcomers and beginners to the art form.
In the previous article in this series I looked at how Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) can be used to record and produce music on a computer. In this article I will look at how audio is recorded into a DAW.
To record audio such as singing into a DAW you need four things: a microphone, an audio interface, a computer/laptop and a DAW program. An audio interface is essentially an external sound card, they are usually boxed shaped and look like this:
All audio interfaces usually have at least one input to plug a microphone and/or an electric instrument into such as an electric guitar. The interface then connects to the computer with a USB cable.
Using this device, you can get your recorded signal i.e. singer’s voice, into the computer using a DAW program. Once you have recorded your singer, you can then use the DAW to listen, edit, delete or replace the recording. You can then use the combination of these pieces of equipment to record another layer of complementary audio (this is called overdubbing), whether it be another singing layer or a different instrument.
Using this equipment, it is possible for one person to record an entire song layer by layer, by themselves if they have the appropriate multi-instrumentalist skills and variety of instruments, or you could record one person at a time to simulate an ensemble/band.
Do not miss the fourth part of this series to know more about it.
Thomas Rickerby (Music production teacher)