How can I record our band with the instruments being on a separate channel? We have 5 different instrumenst and I’d like to be able to mix them.
Books have been written for that.
If the whole band is playing at the same time you’ll need a multichannel interface, and of course multiple microphones. You’ll probably want at least 2 mics on the drums and maybe more. [u]Here[/u] is some information about multi-track recording.
You’ll need to separate the instruments as much as possible and maybe use some dividers (“gobos”) between the instruments. Electric guitar and other instruments can be recorded directly (without a mic). There will be some “bleed” between the channels but usually you can get enough separation to make a good mix. It’s pretty common to record the vocals separately at a different time. The biggest problem with bleed is that if there’s a mistake, you can re-record that one instrument or vocal but the mistake will remain in the bleed to the other tracks.
Mixing is done by summation so you’ll generally have to reduce the levels of the individual tracks to prevent clipping (distortion).
The alternative to DVDdoug’s answer is to build the recording up one instrument track at a time.
It is common to start with a click track for the entire song, which will be muted or deleted later. The purpose of the click track is to allow everyone to play in time. It is also useful to have a couple of bars of clicks only and then a count-in to indicate when to start playing.
See “Overdubbing”: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorial_recording_multi_track_overdubs.html
Overdubbing is the most common way that commercial studio recordings of bands are done.