How to Use Your Home Recording Software

Updated On
06-Mar-2020
By
Ken Theriot

I know so many musicians that own home recording software, but don’t know how to use it.  Most of these folks got the software with every intention of recording and selling their own CD, but became intimidated by the software’s seeming complexity and either gave up or put the project “on hold” until they get the time or inclination to learn the program.  Shyaa.

The Problem

So why in the world is home recording software so hard to learn?  I don’t think it’s a plot or anything. The fact is that many of the folks I refer to are really smart folks. 

But when they think about trying to learn complex software to do something they’ve never done before…well, that would intimidate anybody.  How can you learn the software if you don’t know much about WHAT you want the software to do?

Imagine if someone told you that you had to design a sky-scraper using some specific CAD software, if you had never done any design of any kind.  It wouldn’t just be a matter of learning how to use the software.  You don’t even know how to do what the software is designed to help you do! 

I think THAT is what would-be home recording enthusiasts are up against.  It isn’t the software so much as it is the knowledge of how to record in the first place.

So what is the solution? 

I think the answer is to somehow teach the basics of audio recording without bothering with complicated (and sometimes quite expensive) software. 

This knowledge would have to be such that it didn’t matter what tool (program, tape machine, etc.) you were using. The concepts would be the same. 

For example, if you knew you needed to get some nails through two pieces of wood, it wouldn’t take long before someone could easily teach you that you needed to pound on the nail to make it happen.  It doesn’t HAVE to be a hammer, really, does it?  Any heavy hand-held object could do the trick.  It just so happens that a hammer is usually the best tool for the job; but that’s actually secondary.

What do you mean?

OK, so I lost some folks with that metaphor didn’t I?  Sorry about that.  I am just trying to highlight the critical concept that if you basically know what needs to happen and how, it doesn’t matter that much what tool you use to make it happen. 

If you can find some lessons or tutorials out there to teach you the concepts of home recording, irrespective of the software you can use to do it, THAT would be worth something.

Where you can find tutorials like that

With that in mind, I created Home Brew Audio to teach the basic concepts and skills of audio recording from home in such a way that the focus is on the skills and concepts, NOT on the software. 

The early lessons of my course the Newbies Guide to Audio Recording Awesomeness are taught using the free open-source software called Audacity, not because it is fabulous software, but because it is available to just about everyone. 

Then later lessons are taught with other home recording software programs as well, so the task of learning any given program later will be much easier.

So if you really want to learn to use your home recording software, find some lessons that teach you home recording concepts first.  Home Brew Audio is one such website.  But however you do it, your learning curve for any recording software will be greatly flattened (that's a good thing :-)) afterward.

Free videos from "The Newbies Guide to Audio Recording Awesomeness"

These video tutorials show you step-by-step, in plain language how to record multi-track audio in Audacity AND Reaper software.
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