Is it possible to record a professional sounding song with acoustic guitar and 3-part harmony on a home studio costing only $36? It is if you know how!
I recorded the chorus section of my song "Everything That Matters" (from the album "Everything That Matters") using free recording software - Audacity, and a single USB mic that currently sells at B&H Photo-Video-Audio for only $36 (the Samson Q1U). [note: the updated Samson Q2U is now $59]
I double-tracked the acoustic guitar part (actually recording it twice onto separate tracks) and panned them left and right for a nice stereo sound. Then I sang the melody and two harmony parts, double-tracking each of those as well. That made for a total of 8 tracks.
I used noise reduction on all tracks to remove the low-level hiss associated with most USB mics. And the only other editing required was to use some EQ to remove p-pops in the vocals.
Then I just adjusted the relative volume os each track (mixing) and panned the harmony vocals left and right, leaving the melody vocals un-panned (so the lead singer can sound like he's right in front of you), and saved the project. Then I exported the mix as a stereo wav file.
How does it sound?
I think it sounds pretty awesome. But you go ahead and decide for yourself whether you would have believed (before I told you:)) that this came from a $36 home studio? Below is an excerpt from our new course, Harmony Recording Awesomeness.
You can learn to do this and a LOT more cool vocal harmony recording techniques in our new course Harmony Recording Awesomeness.