Record, Your Own CD at Home

  Today it is becoming more increasingly easier to produce and publish and distribute your own music CD project and or Video DVD. With the popularity of such shows as American Idol and the like, many individuals who find themselves eager to record a music song or entire CD are now able to do just that with little monetary investment. Because of the advent of the Digital audio workstation and the Sequencer software packages, anyone willing to take the time and read the manual while doing will be able to give it a go. The most basic of systems revolve around a small DAW (digital audio workstation), microphone, chords, and another input device like a keyboard or guitar, while there are those who also include a console mixer, microphone pre-amps, effects, drum machine or drummer or both, CPU with software for mixing, mastering. At any level the most important thing, the recording, can be achieved. As I reflect on my own personal experiences, I started off with a small Yamaha keyboard I picked up from Best Buy. Being a keyboardist and organist I actually had no keys at home to play prior to this, so I needed something. At the time that was what my pockets could deliver. Anyway, I picked this up for under $100 bucks. I started reading about midi and how it worked in the whole recording scheme and performance as well. In the material I was reading, it emphasized the using sequencing software on my cpu. Actually the real case was because I was short on cash, but I did have a computer already, I could download a limited version of cakewalk (Cakewalk express) that would allow me to record using midi to my cpu and manipulate the tracks to arrange a song, but when I purchased the midi cables I needed, I got a version of it free. My Yamaha  keyboard could also handle a few tracks of recorded audio from within, so I would utilize the limited (real-time) recording features of the to serve as a starting point to my songs. After looking online at a few options for working with midi and a CPU, I found the midiman midi module very inexpensive and effective to deliver the needed functions for my recording. The other pieces to my recording equipment puzzle were, full duplex audio sound card, headphones, microphone chord adapter, my Yamaha keyboard of course, cardoid microphone, my computer and the free Cakewalk express software that came with my midi cable purchase.My process was simple and I repeated this process for each song on my CD. First, I would decide on the song or type of music to record. I liked to practice on the keyboard until I found a hook or flow that I liked. After this I used the Yamaha keyboard’s recording function to record the rhythm. The cool thing was on the Yamaha and most of these types of keyboards there are built in drum patterns programmed that you can playback. The keyboard allows you to record them with your song. I would either record the drums while I played the chords and other parts along with it or just hit start rhythm and hit the software record button on screen while it played. This got my rhythm track in the computer and laid my foundation for the song. With midi, I could change the sound of the instrument playing the rhythm if I wanted, like snare to Tom-Tom or Bass to Cymbal. I basically would repeat this step over and over while changing the instrument accordingly for each part I needed to record. After the parts were recorded into the Cakewalk program I was able to make adjustments to things like tempo and pitch for any part that was not right.From here there was another program I had just purchased that I was actually unfamiliar with its full potential. Magix studio deluxe 7 was the name of the software, and it was able to record both audio and midi data. The other good thing about it was that I could convert the files to .wav and after that send the files to a CD. This program cost me about $40, and basically was and still is the software I used to arrange mix, and master my projects to final CD.

            I’ve always enjoyed playing music and hearing other people play and I wondered what it would sound like to hear myself on a CD. This started as the reason for me even attempting to try and record. Today my equipment list has grown, as well as the process I used to record matured. I still enjoy having very little at my disposal and trying to utilize every bit in creative ways to come up with great music. This keeps me coming back for more. While there are many tools out there to basically turn anyone into an overnight one man orchestra at a button’s push, I believe t he real joy is in creating what I can with minimal help from outside tools. Don’t get me wrong though, I love the tools out there, and want to purchase as many as I can. I only want to let them enhance what creations come from my soul and raw emotions. If you would like to hear or purchase either one or both of the projects I’ve completed just click here to do so.

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.

Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives,practical words,

to practical people, from a practical guy!

1 Response to “Record, Your Own CD at Home”

  1. 1 arlena hill December 2, 2007 at 3:58 am


    I Love music, and i’ve actually been writing a pretty long time. I have so many songs written, but all I needed was to get myself some pointers on how to get my music heard on a cd. This is my dream, but like you said, it’s really hard when you are broke,lol. I’ve been trying to save up for equipment to get started, but something always comes up. All the studios want to charge a great amount of money to record in their studios. At least I finally found out some great software and tools to start with thanks to you. Thanks for sharing!

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