You can learn digital audio recording! Beware, it's not easy, but it's doable. Perseverance is the key. Once you start getting it, you're accelerating faster.
But there are huge obstacles to climb while trying to learn audio recording. Like what kinds of recording gear do I need? Or how do I use them? If recording equipment is anything, it is confusing.
So where do you go? Many places on the net try to help in some way, but mostly they are incomplete. Forums are nice, but they do not give the beginner a fair introduction to recording. They are more suited to solving specific problems.
That's were I came in - to help people who need a place to start. I've traveled this path before, and I want to make it easier for others after me. I'm not an expert recording engineer, but I can help you along your path to success.
So, for digital audio recording, what should we know? Let me break it up into two categories - equipment and smarts. In other words, we need to know what we need and we need to know how to use it.
Well, that's simple enough, isn't it? 🙂 But we need to learn recording better, so let's examine these closer.
We need to break down all gear into distinct classes. We have microphones, cables, preamps, mixers, and computer software among others. There is a definite recording chain traceable in any kind of recording, even using a cheesy laptop microphone. Your sound gets picked up my some sort of mic, transmitted to an amplifier, taken to a digitizer (unless you go analog), then recorded on a digital medium. Obviously this is a really simple chain, but it helps illustrate a point: any piece of recording equipment works in some part of the chain.
We need to understand the components of a recording chain before we can know how all this works together. To help with this, I've created a page on recording equipment. There I discuss the different types of gear you might need to make a recording.
All the equipment in the world won't help you if you have no idea how to use it. Bummer! So to learn recording, we need to acquire some of these smarts. Well, here's where I try to help out too. Below I'll list where the pages on my site are that help out the learning. Make sure to browse the entire site too!
Mic technique and placement: how to use a mic
Mobile recording: taking the studio to the artist
Mixing: how to use a computer to mix a track
Recording Process: a look at a recording from start to finish
Voice Recording:recording voices
Stereo recording: using two or more mics to make a stereo effect
Learning is a lifelong process, both in digital audio recording and in the rest of life. Most of what we learn is by trial and error. We do things and they don't work, so we learn how to do them right. But by finding the right guides to coach us, this learning can be speeded up tremendously. Here are a few ways to do that.
First, you're doing it right now - reading this website. You are taking initiative to learn and further your knowledge.
Second, books are very helpful in learning about recording. I have three recommendations up at Recording Audio Books.
Third, I'm a big propenent of hands on study. Do some recording, and see what works and what doesn't. Play with the EQ. I think it is the best way to learn, next to doing it with someone else that knows how.
Lastly, you could investigate an audio production school. They offer intensive programs of study on the college level, so if you are serious about recording, these places may be able to help you out.
These are great places to start your research. If I left out anything important here, by all means tell me about it, and help others learn recording even better!
Lee started his career in recording with an auspicious goal - record tracks of his own voice singing in harmony. As a hobby project, it didn't have the funding to go to a studio and pay for someone to do it for him. Like many of you, he pulled himself up by the bootstraps to learn the art of recording.