Before reading instructions:-
1)It’s a pretty long-ass cut-to-cut and the simplest and non-technical jargon used here to make you understand.Think of it like a story and then proceed.
2)Tweaking is the ultimate key(I have learnt that the hard way).The more you indulge in messing with the softwares and the samplers,the more you progress.Now start readin fella’s. ;)
Ok!Thank you everyone for supporting me for my scribblings so far :) .Take it as a return on my behalf ;) .
Many people have been asking me after listening to my solo project Essence that how do I record,program drums,process,mix,master etc etc in short,the same things which I used to ask to my fellow awesome musicians and producers some time before and it took me many hours to learn and have a proper understanding of how production works and still I myself am not a pro in all this.
So to avoid answering all those friends of mine multiple times which is absolutely one hell of a job to do(you know that :P ),I decided to make up an article on how to start recording.And I will cover the basics of mixing further in the continuation to this article.This is a very long-ass read but I assure you it’s almost very non-technical and reader-friendly and y’all n00bz will get most of your basics cleared ;)
So I’ll start off with what is required first of all to start your recording with.(for a guitarist)
1)How to connect your guitar to your pc?What all you need?
-You need your guitar,processor,nice cables(minimum 2),a sound card/usb recording interface.
Basically you can record using a soundcard,that is plugging your guitar into the processor and then connecting your processor to your “line-in” jack which is usually present on the back-side of your PC :) .OR if you have a usb interface > Line-6 Toneport UX2 ,you connect your guitar to your processor and then connect it to your USB interface like the one which I linked above and you have a USB connection from the interface to the USB hub in your pc.Nowadays processors also have USB connections for recording.So you can also invest on that.Here I covered what all connections you make just before recording.USB Interfaces cost around from 5k INR/- + AFAIK!.
2)Why is a good soundcard or an USB Interface necessary to record??
-Generally you must have heard this word named “Latency”(i know it’s a bitchy word :P ).Latency in simple language means the delay of output from your speakers. i.e. When you record using your on-board sound card,when you strike a note on your guitar,the sound will come after some micro-seconds which makes it pretty uncomfortable for an artist to record.So using a good sound card or an USB interface eliminates the latency to almost zero which is ub3r comfy for you to record. :)
3)What all do I need to get my recordings started?
-You need your guitar,interface/sound-card,processor,a DAW for starters,a drum sampler
After you are done with the connections(refer to Q1),you just fire up your DAW and start recording.
Ok so what is a DAW??
DAW is the short form for Digital Audio Workstation or audio recording software in layman terms ;) for e.g Adobe Audition(the best DAW for starters),Nuendo,Cubase,Logic,Ableton Live,Fruity Loops etc.
-Well for an amateur/semi-pro musician in India and as well as an amateur producer,it’s a pretty tough job financially to go record live drums in a studio.Instead of that we have a very very good alternative that is sampled/programmed drums.They give out pretty good quality if processed well.Some of the e.g are EZDrummer,Drumkit from Hell a.k.a DFH, S2.0 ,Steven Slate Drums,Metal Foundry Drums etc.
Well as this guide considers to helping up beginners,EZDrummer with Drumkit from Hell is the best alternative for y’all.
-PRE-PROGRAMMING ,TO-DO LIST
To program drums,you need both of these softwares.First install EZDrummer and then install DfH.After you are done with this,open up a DAW for programming the drums.According to me Fruity Loops 9 is the best deal for us over here.Even I use FL9.
Just load up FL9(after installing both the softwares),click on Channel>Add One>More.A long list of plugins will appear,just click on “Refresh” which is at the bottom of the list so that it will show “EZDrummer”.Just tick it and close the list.Then afterwards whenever you open up your list,EZDrummer will always appear.
So,when to open up any plugin(including EZD) in FL,you click on Channel>Add One>(the list,find EZD from the list) and click on it.The EZDrummer interface will open which will consist of a drumkit.Click on each drum-part to know the sound,and keep exploring.I’ll go ahead on how to actually program.All this was “Pre-programming” instructions and how-to-start stuff.Haha already bored,are’nt you??But the drive to learn new stuff should overcome this boredom :D .
-PROGRAMMING THE DRUMS
So after doing all that stuff which I mentioned above^.When you come to the main interface page with the drumkit,press “Alt+P”.It will bring up the Piano Roll.A Piano Roll consists of keys(that of a keyboard) and small boxes beside them.Each key denotes one drum part i.e snare,kick.Your job=EXPLORE and tweak.Click on one box,it will be filled with a green box.Set tempo and start tweaking with the software.Similarly you can mess with DFH(which is mainly for programming metal drums) by clicking on a dropdown option which is right above the drumkit on the main interface and selecting “Drumkit from Hell”.Now start tweaking.
Sigh!I have completed the basics of Drum Programming and Recording over here.The conclusion to this guide will have the n00b tips on mixing and mastering(which I myself don’t know properly :P ).
All the Best!
Cheers.Feel free to pop up any questions on comments below and spread word!!