New to Audacity & Recording (Noob alert!) Set Up ???s

Hey guys, my first post and looking forward to learning from you guys.

Some friends and I jam a couple of times a week and have decided to try to record some of our jams for practise and depending on the quality we can get, maybe share with some friends.

I am hoping someone can give me a quick ‘how-to’ on set up and ideas on recording a live band.

Electric Guitar & bass and drum kit → Blue Yeti Mic → Audacity via HP laptop (brand new, late model - sorry I’m not very tech minded)

I had a play with acoustic guitar the other day and I can get it to record and play back.

Now wondering about best set up for the band for the lap top (mic input levels - trial and error i hear you say?) and audacity.

Look forward to and appreciate any ideas or advice.


I use a Zoom H2 digital recorder for this exact purpose (and then edit the recording in Audacity).
The Zoom H2 has good built-in microphones and is quick and easy to set up. Just put it on a mic stand, not too close to the drums, set the microphone sensitivity and press record. Then at the end of the rehearsal. stop the recording.

The recording quality is surprising good, though of course it does not make a “studio recording”. The great thing is that it only takes 20 seconds to set up rather than spending hours setting microphones on everything, adjusting individual gain levels …

If you want to record with the equipment that you currently have, I would recommend concentrating on microphone placement and getting the levels right. If it’s an acoustic drum kit, the first problem is likely to be to avoid recording too loud a signal. Set your record level low enough to avoid clipping (aim for a maximum peak level of around -12 dB, and allow for people to get MUCH louder in rehearsals as they “get into it”).

Set up the equipment so that you can easily listen back to it on some reasonable speakers, then after recording a track, listen to the levels of the instruments and adjust your amps and microphone position as required.

The acoustics of the room will make a huge difference - ideally you want a heavily damped room that soaks up sound reflections as much as possible.

Thanks Steve!

Where do I adjust “maximum peak level of around -12 dB”

And should I be doing anything in the ‘Control Panel’ on the computer in regards to recording input level?

Use the (recording) volume control on the microphone.