Where do I begin?

echostar42

New member
I have a few songs written on guitar. I have a guitar. I have an old imac, i have an old mixer... where do i begin? I dont know how to layer tracks, what to start with first? It seems overwhelming to just begin recording even 1 simple song...
HELP
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Software first. If you have GarageBand on the Mac, that would work - or audacity, which is a free download.

Easiest and perhaps simplest route - download Audacity. Connect your iMac's inputs to the old mixer you have. job done.

Of course, the snags really just start then. You need at the very least headphones. If you have separate inputs and outputs on the Mac, then whatever plugged into the mixer will work - it will take a bit of fiddling to get the levels right.

Easiest better quality route would be a cheap interface - look up focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It can have mics or line level inputs. It has headphones and other outputs for a speaker system/amp. Maybe Reaper or Cubase elements as a DAW - more useful with effects and instruments too.

This will either make sense to be gibberish. If it's confusing then you need to read around - including posts on this forum and maybe look at Sound on Sound Magazine - things like that to get the basics into your head.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
I really recommend Garageband. It’s more capable than people give it credit for. I’ve mixed some great songs on Garageband before, even though I’m using something more professional now.

Does your mixer have a USB port? If not, you should invest in an audio interface so you can do the actual recording.
 
Besides the obvious answer to get the minimum gear you need (daw software, mic, headphones, interface) I would suggest learning to use the clicktrack of whatever software you use so at least you have the starting point of tempo for your song, if the song changes tempo learn to change the tempo of your clicktrack mid song etc. Now at least when you layer new tracks on top of your guitar you won't have to memorize the places where you might get off tempo, and any kind of midi drums or keyboards can be dragged and dropped to your song and be correct or any played parts can be corrected/quantized to your defined tempo.
 

Papanate

Active member
I have a few songs written on guitar. I have a guitar. I have an old imac, i have an old mixer... where do i begin? I dont know how to layer tracks, what to start with first? It seems overwhelming to just begin recording even 1 simple song...
HELP

Just start simple - buy something like the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 (inexpensive interface) - use Garageband (it comes free on the Mac) and some headphones like the Sennheiser HD 206 - and just start recording - GarageBand is very intuitive and you'll figure it out soon enough.
 

echostar42

New member
I really recommend Garageband. It’s more capable than people give it credit for. I’ve mixed some great songs on Garageband before, even though I’m using something more professional now.

Does your mixer have a USB port? If not, you should invest in an audio interface so you can do the actual recording.
the mixer has firewire
 

echostar42

New member
Software first. If you have GarageBand on the Mac, that would work - or audacity, which is a free download.

Easiest and perhaps simplest route - download Audacity. Connect your iMac's inputs to the old mixer you have. job done.

Of course, the snags really just start then. You need at the very least headphones. If you have separate inputs and outputs on the Mac, then whatever plugged into the mixer will work - it will take a bit of fiddling to get the levels right.

Easiest better quality route would be a cheap interface - look up focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It can have mics or line level inputs. It has headphones and other outputs for a speaker system/amp. Maybe Reaper or Cubase elements as a DAW - more useful with effects and instruments too.

This will either make sense to be gibberish. If it's confusing then you need to read around - including posts on this forum and maybe look at Sound on Sound Magazine - things like that to get the basics into your head.
thanks. mostly not gibberish...
 
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