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Set Up and Ready to Go Recording

Updated on August 29, 2017
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Bob Craypoe (also known as R. L. Crepeau) is a musician, writer, webmaster, 3D artist, and creator of the "Punksters" comic strip series.

Have You Been Putting Off Recording?

Have you been thinking about recording your music but have not yet gotten around to it? If so, is it because you dread having to set up your equipment all of the time just to get a few hours recording time in? It's kind of a nuisance isn't it? Well, I'm here to tell you how you can simplify matters so that you will be able to devote more time to recording your music.

You see, I recently noticed that I had been telling myself for a while that I wanted to record but wasn't getting around to it. One reason was the fact that I had been dreading all of the setting up of equipment for the purpose of recording. So I asked myself what I needed to do in order to make it so easy to the point where all I really had to do is just plug in my instrument and start recording. I just wanted it to be a simple process because I believed that if it was a simple process, I would be more likely to record more often.

Compare Your Setup to a Studio

One thing you should do first is compare your setup to a regular recording studio. Okay, we realize that most people generally don't have the kind of money to spend on recording equipment as a major studio does, so I am not about to pretend otherwise. I am going to present my suggestions with that fact being taken well under consideration.

However, let's get back to comparing your situation with a regular studio. You see, one of the things that a regular studio has going for it is the fact that almost everything is set up and ready to go for recording. Is that the case with you? I have done a good deal of recording throughout the years. Some recordings were done with some pretty low quality equipment and some were done with some much better quality equipment. But regardless as to whether or not I was using good quality equipment, recordings were always easier to do if almost everything was already set up.

I have had the experience of recording in a regular recording studio and the guy that ran it would take just a couple of minutes just to set me up to record a track. that’s really how it should be for anyone to record. Sure there would be some occasions where it may take a little longer to set things up, depending upon various factors but, overall, the setup time should be fairly quick.

Inventory Your Equipment and Figure Out How to Hook it Up

So the first thing I did was think about what what equipment I already had. I had a digital recorder, a mixer, a computer with an interface that allowed me to plug an instrument into it, MIDI cables, instrument cables, a drum machine, MIDI keyboard, effects units, amplifiers and so forth. Yet not much of it was connected. So in order for me to do some recording, I would have to hook the equipment up before I could even get started. This was very time consuming and quite annoying. In fact, annoying to the point where I would dread having to do it.

So, I had to do something to simplify matters. I had two mixers. One I used for live performance and another one that was just laying around not being used. I took the one I wasn't using and plugged my drum machine into it, as well as my computer, my guitar and bass guitar effects pedals and other items.

I had a spare guitar amplifier that I ran a microphone to and plugged that into the mixer as well. So if I wanted to record an electric guitar track, I was ready to go. The mixer was run into the digital recorder and was always ready to go. Basically, what I had done was set things up to the point where all I had to do was plug an instrument in and just start playing.

Map out How to set Up Your Equipment

Make a List of What Else You May Need

Now, before I could do all this, I had to calculate what all I needed in order to be able to set things up. I needed a lot of new cables. This is because I have instrument cables that I already use for live performance and I did not want to have to unplug all of the cables from my recording setup in order to use them for a gig. So I had separate equipment that I used for recording as well as live performance.

Some of you may be thinking that it would be quite expensive to have some equipment solely dedicated to live performance and some other equipment dedicated solely to recording. Well, you are right but you don't have to purchase everything all at once. You could do it over a period of time, with your eventual goal being to simplify the recording process.

The first thing you should do is put together a list of the equipment you would need in order to reach that goal. Then set out to get the equipment one piece at a time. First concentrate on the items you don't have. For example, if you already have a mixer that you use for live performance, use that for recording in the meantime while you get the things you need that you don't have. Then eventually, after you have all of the other things you would need for recording, you get another mixer. You do that with all of the equipment until you get to the point where you have everything you need in order to record, already set up and ready to go.

Is It Something You Want or Something You Need?

It could be a lengthy process but things will be much easier once you have everything you need. Just remember when you are considering the purchase of a certain piece of equipment, ask yourself if it is something you want or something you need. Many musicians have a tendency to purchase things they want. Maybe it's that new toy they saw in the music store. Think more about the equipment that you actually need in order to reach your various goals. You will find that you will save a lot of money in the long run.

So make that list of equipment you need to simplify the recording process and go for it!

© 2017 Bob Craypoe


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