Who says you can’t have a home audio recording studio for free? I definitely don’t, primarily because it isn’t correct! In bygone days, when tape recorders were the only way to record audio, yeah-it was undoable to have anything like a home recording studio for less than hundreds of dollars, if not thousands. But in this digital age, all that has changed.
When I say you can have a home recording studio free of charge, I am not exaggerating. It’s called PC audio recording. Since most of you very likely have a computer with a sound card, an internet connection, an mp3 player (for the headphones) and some kind of microphone (yeah, even those crappy plastic pc mics will do!), all you need to do is download the open-source program called “Audacity” (with whom I am not affiliated in any way…just a happy customer here!). If you didn’t already know, “open-source” means that you are allowed to utilize the software without paying any money at all, ever. It isn’t shareware and it isn’t a free trial. It’s just….well….free.
If you want to do multi-track recording (that means being able to mix multiple audio sources together to make one finished audio file…which is THE COOL kind of recording!) on a computer, you typically need two programs, one that lets you record the audio on several tracks (sometimes called a digital audio workstation or DAW), and an audio editor program. The editor is what you use to treat, fix, sweeten, master, or otherwise manipulate a single audio file. Well guess which Audacity is. It’s BOTH! Oh yeah!!!
Audacity comes with a complete range of editing tools, enabling you to apply EQ, cut/copy/paste, treat noise, and tons of other stuff. But then you can also just keep adding tracks and recording onto them while listening (in headphones of course) to the earlier track(s) playing back. Audacity is an all-in-one deal. So what’s the catch? There isn’t one! I’m serious. This may be the one exception to the “no free lunch” rule I’ve ever seen.
Why should it matter to you? Well, if you need to improve the sound quality on your podcasts, videos and websites; or you want to record interviews, your own radio program, audio book, write and record your own songs, put out a CD, sing harmony with yourself, or anything involving audio in your personal or business life, you should care. If you’re already an audio expert with high-end gear and software, it may not be as big a deal. But if you are strapped for cash, or otherwise on a tight budget, and you always wished to get into home recording but didn’t have the tools, this should be great news. All you have to do is find some of the many tutorials on-line showing you how to utilize Audacity, and you’re on your way. Home Brew Audio is one such font of tutorials that will also show you how to record and produce excellent audio with Audacity and no new gear (as long as you have the things I recommended previously).