Does anyone know how to get going to setup a Personal Recording studio of your own using Audacity, a Vocal Mic and a Windows 7 PC with a sound Card? Please help…i am a singer who needs to record my rendition of certain songs on Karaoke tracks… and i wonder if audacity is the right software for it…don’t need to be super flash…juts as long as its ok with decent recordings done! Need help urgently…
There is some information in this topic: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/trying-to-record-voice-and-audio-at-the-same-time/41838/1
Be sure to follow the link given there to http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_recording_multi_track_overdubs.html.
Audacity can do that, and is probably a lot easier to use than most “DAW” programs.
The standard sound cards in PCs are usually rubbish for microphone recording.
Very cheap microphones (below about $50 US) usually sound like you have recorded with a cheap microphone.
Recording in the kitchen usually sounds like you have recorded in the kitchen.
Recording with the TV playing in the next room will probably sound like you are recording with the TV on in the next room.
Processing your vocal recording and “mixing” it with the backing track is almost impossible on cheap computer speakers or cheap earbud headphones.
So the things to consider are:
- Where are you going to record? It needs to be quiet, with nice acoustics. It’s easy to add “reverberation” to a sound, but nearly impossible to remove it, so recording in a room that sounds “dead” (little or no echo or reverberation) is much better than recording in a room that sounds “zingy” (like a bathroom) or echoey.
- What sort of microphone will you use? For professional recording, a studio will use a high quality microphone with a “pop shield” between the singer and the microphone. On the other hand, if the recording is “for fun”, you may find this too restrictive and prefer to go for a hand held microphone.
- What sort of sound card? The cheapest option is to use a USB microphone - these don’t need a sound card because everything is built into the mic. The downside of a budget USB mic is that if your voice is too quiet, the recording will have too much hiss, and if your voice is too loud the recording will be distorted. Some of the more expensive USB mics can overcome these limitations, but there is still a limitation that the only way to “upgrade” from a “one USB mic” setup, is to buy a new setup. You can’t easily use Audacity with more than one USB mic at a time. If my budget allowed more than a budget USB mic, I’d go for a conventional (non-USB) mic with a 3 pin “XLR” connector and separate microphone lead.
Every “Karaoke mic” that I have seen is rubbish. Probaly OK if you’re under 10 and just want a toy, but for reasonable quality recording, avoid “karaoke mics”.
A microphone that is “reasonable” or “good” quality, will almost always have a large 3-pin XLR connector. This requires a separate XLR microphone lead which should be plugged into a sound card that has one or more XLR microphone inputs. There are many “USB microphone pre-amps” available that allow conventional microphones to be connected to the computer via USB.
- For listening to your recording during editing, processing and mixing, you need to be able to hear properly the audio that you are listening to. Ideally you would use “studio monitor speakers”, but these tend to be very expensive and are probably over the top when first starting out. A good cost effective alternative is to use good quality headphones. You don’t want headphones that have “masses of thumping bass” or anything else that is designed to “enhance you listening pleasure”. Ideally you want headphones that give an accurate reproduction of the sound. If you are on a very tight budget, have a look at the Superlux range of “studio headphones” (starting price about $40, which many recording enthusiasts would consider “too cheap”, but for the price they’re not bad)
This is a fairly typical set-up for vocal recording. The black disk is the “pop shield”. In the background you can see boards which are sound absorbent to cut down on unwanted echoes. The headphones are “closed back” design to avoid sound from the headphones leaking into the microphone. The Mic is a “large diaphragm condenser microphone” which cannot be used “hand-held”.
It is not written you have to use the computer, either. There’s some very nice stand-alone recorders out there, such as Tascam, Zoom, and Olympus. Combine one of those with a quiet room and there’s no beating you.
You got really close to the standing joke:
I don’t need professional audio. I just need clear sound at good volume and no distortion or noise.
This is a rock band (XLR) microphone and a $100 mixer. You don’t have to go nuts.
I’ll find that recommended equipment list any second now.
Please note the very next sentence in that posting is when used with a quiet room.
Although it’s generally only the more expensive recorders that allow you to make “overdub” recordings.
For the more basic models, you would need to either be also recording the backing track with the mic (not good), or use a mixer (additional expense and complication) to mix in the backing track while singing live at the same time. Both of these methods impose severe restrictions on what you can do to the recording “in post” (after the recording has been made) because the backing track and the vocal have been “baked” into the one file.
Worth noting that topic is about recording voice only. The requirements go up a step when you want the voice recording to be synchronised with a backing track. “Some” of the pocket recorders in that list can do overdub recording, some can’t.
That rock band configuration is certified for overdubbing/sound-on-sound because of that little USB adapter in the middle.
You listen to the adapter for your music mix.