How to Use Your Computer as a Recording Studio
A few years ago there was a revolution in recording technology. As computers
became more powerful, they started to replace traditional tape recorders that
were the heart of most recording studios. Today, computers designed for home use
are powerful enough to emulate an entire recording studio, and can be used for
everything from multitrack recording to audio editing and scoring music for
This “democratizing” of recording techniques has opened up the entire recording
industry to anyone with the proper software and hardware. With software packages
costing a few hundred dollars and professional-quality audio interfaces costing
less than $100, anybody can have a virtual recording studio in their home.
Some of the big names in the audio recording field are Cubase, ProTools, Sonar
and Sound Forge. Each of these Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) can be used for
multi-track recording and editing and have the ability to combine recordings
with “virtual instruments”.
Virtual instruments are computer-generated sounds that can be played via MIDI.
Traditionally, MIDI was used to send music data to hardware devices like
keyboards and sound modules, but computers are now powerful enough to emulate
sound modules. Instead of hooking up cables to an external device to play MIDI
tracks, virtual instruments can be loaded into the computer’s memory to play any
type of sound.
MIDI tracks can be combined with audio tracks and all of it played back in
perfect synchronization. All tracks can be processed with effects like reverb
and chorus, and the entire mix can be compressed for a professional sounding
Although professional sound recording packages can be fairly expensive, you can
get your feet wet by trying out one of the shareware programs that are
available. They will allow you to see the capabilities of digital recording, and
if you want to develop your interests further you can later buy one of the
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