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Home recording for beginners

Published 21 April 2020

First of all, you don’t need lots of expensive equipment to get going. Here's what you need:

  • Computer device: Laptop/desktop/phone/tablet
  • Music software program
  • Audio interface
  • Headphones
  • Apple user: GarageBand, Audacity, LMMS
  • Windows users: DarkWave, Audacity, LMMS

It can be daunting to wrap your head around how to use some of the software if you are a complete beginner. However, thankfully there are many step-by-step guides and online tutorials that can really help. It may take a day or so to get the hang of it, but it is worth it to be able to start
recording on your own. Luckily, most of us have a little more time on our hands at the moment.

There are more advanced programmes such as ProTools, Logic and
Reason which are widely used by producers, but these programmes can be
expensive and much more difficult to use without training.

This is the key piece of equipment you need that connects your instrument to the device you wish to record on to.  Once your interface is plugged into your device, you simply plug your instrument into the interface and hit record on the software.

There is no need to spend a lot of money on an audio interface. Brands such as TC Helicon and Behringer offer a range of interfaces compatible for computers, tablets and phones for as little as £20. Although it is always good to shop around online and read reviews to see what is best suited for you. Once you become more confident and capable with home recording you can always look to invest in something more expensive such as a Focusrite product in the future.  

  • You can use any type of headphones, the quality is not important. The headphones will simply be plugged into the audio interface so that you can hear what you are playing. The good thing about using headphones is only you can hear what is being played, so it should keep your family, flatmates and neighbours happy with minimal disruptive noise. This being said, if you are singing or playing an electro-acoustic guitar then there will be external noise, therefore do be mindful about what time of day that you choose to record.
Protect your instrument/equipment by getting a quote online.