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Recording Yourself and Making Perfect Track

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Recording Yourself and Making Perfect Track

Post  Admin on Wed 5 Sep - 1:48

TIPS AND TRICKS

ALWAYS TEST...

Always test that your software is running correctly. Check to make sure that the record levels are satisfactory before beginning an actual recording.

KNOW YOUR SOFTWARE...

Learn the features of your audio recording software. You should know what your software is able to do and what its limitations are. Experiment with the editing features of your audio software. You will find some very interesting results when applying different effects to your voice.

USE ONLY NECESSARY INPUT SIGNALS...

To avoid any noise that could be leaked into the recording, be sure that only the necessary devices are selected in the " Record Control" window. For example, if you are recording only the music, there is no need to have the Microphone input turned on.

HOLDING THE MICROPHONE...
There is an optimum position for a hand held microphone Do not sing directly into the microphone but rather across it.

WHERE YOU SHOULD RECORD YOUR VOICE...

Be sure that when you are ready to record your voice that you will not be bothered by sounds or distractions around you. For example, disconnect your telephone and turn off the TV. If you must, place a sign outside your door saying "Quiet! Recording In Process!".
Ideally, the room that you record your voice in should have the least amount of echo possible. For example, a room with carpeted floors, a lot of furniture and paintings on the walls is better for recordings than an empty room.

USE HEADPHONES WHILE RECORDING...

Using headphones while recording your voice will help eliminate the sound from your speakers entering the microphone and help you to hear the music better. If you find that you cannot sing well with headphones on, cover just one ear with the headphones.

MONITOR LEVELS...

While recording your voice over the music, be sure that you are comfortable with the level of the music in your headphones and the level of your voice.

USE EFFECTS...

• There are many effects available to modify wave files. Try as many as you can to see what each effect does.
• Adding reverb and in some instances chorus can produce pleasing effects that will enhance the sound of your voice.
• Next to reverb, echo is the most popular effect for vocals.
• Equalization is another effect that can brighten or darken the color of your voice.
• A compressor can be added to bring down sudden vocal peaks or lows.
• Normalize is another function featured in some software programs that can adjust the overall intensity of a wave file to an optimum level.

TRIM YOUR RECORDINGS...

Before saving your final version to wave, trim the beginning and ending so that the music begins immediately. The end should only be cut when sound completely stops. For example, if you have added reverb, the reverberation might continue to sound and slowly die out after the music stops.
THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH A MULTI-TRACK RECORDER...
• Instead of recording an entire vocal track all at once, you can do it in sections or small parts. Either record each section on an individual track or continue recording on the same track.
• Most software has a "Punch In" function whereby you can define an entry point and exit point in a recording to overwrite the existing data with a new recording. This is great if you have just recorded an excellent performance, except for one unsatisfactory note. Find that note and re-record it! Be careful using this feature, as one small mistake could ruin an entire track.
• You can easily double or triple your voice to achieve a special effect. For example, record yourself singing the entire song. Then re-record it on a new track. You can do this as many times as your software allows. Each track could then be panned to a different position. Each track could also be equalized a little different (brighter or darker). Each individual track could also be treated with different effects. Chorus may also be added to certain tracks panned to the extremities, but lower in volume than the first vocal track.
• You can also add your own background vocal group, adding harmonies or inserting ohh. s and ahh. s!

LISTEN AND LEARN...

Listen to your favorite recordings to find out what makes them unique.
It could be that in some recordings, the voice is doubled or a chorus effect has been added. It could be that a large amount of reverb has been added or almost none at all. The more you listen with an analytical ear, the more you will learn. The next step is to try and simulate the same effects in your own recordings.

CONNECTING YOUR COMPUTER TO YOUR ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

To experience a richer, fuller sound from your PC Karaoke performance, connect your PC's sound card to your home stereo.
CONNECT TO YOUR STEREO
From the "Line Out" jack of your PC's sound card, connect an audio cable (normally a 3.5mm Stereo Phone to Dual RCA, fig 2) to the back of your home stereo (fig 3). You can choose from a variety of inputs: TV, tape, CD, VCR, but do not use "Phono" if you have one. The "Phono" input is boosted by your amplifier and would be inappropriate for this application.

Before turning on your stereo be sure that the volume is turned down. Check in the Windows "Play Control" window to ensure that the play volume is about half way. Start a song in your Karaoke program, select the appropriate sound source on your amplifier and slowly raise the volume to a comfortable level.

CONNECT TO YOUR TELEVISION

Another great thing you can do is connect your PC's video output directly to your television. If your computer's video card doesn't support this feature, you can easily change your card. Most major video card manufacturers produce at least one model that allows you to do this at a very affordable price.
There are three ways you can connect a video card to your television, depending on what kind of inputs your television accepts. The most recent connection is "S-Video", the second most recent being "Video-In" and lastly, "Cable". Check which inputs your television supports and verify that the video card you. re interested in has the appropriate connections.
If your television has only a "Cable" connection, one way to get the video signal to your television is by passing the signal through your VCR. Connect the "Video Out" from your video card to the "Video In" connection of your VCR. On your VCR select "Auxiliary Input". Set your TV as if you were going to watch a recording from your VCR. You should now see the images generated by your computer on your television screen.

GET BETTER SOUND

...the quality of sound that you hear depends entirely upon your sound card or sound device.
...Bring out the highs and lows by adjusting the bass and treble controls on your speakers.
...Amplified speaker systems with a sub woofer provide better sound quality and range in price from about $80 to $150.
...If your vocals are sounding a little empty, you should definitely add some reverb to your microphone.
...To completely enjoy MIDI Karaoke music from eatsleepmusic.com, add a vocal harmony processor and bring your vocals to life!

The following list of suggestions will help to ensure the sound quality you hear on your system provides you with the richest, truest Karaoke sound experience. In fact, by following these suggestions, you will find that the music sounds just like the original!
1) TONE CONTROLS
You can fine-tune the sound of your voice and the music by using the tone controls. Bring out the highs and lows by adjusting the bass and treble controls on your speakers.
2) SOUND CARD
Many multimedia PCs come with a basic sound card that may or may not be adequate for MIDI Karaoke playback. Since a MIDI file does not contain any sounds but rather a digital description of a musical performance, the quality of sound that you hear depends entirely upon your sound card or sound device. If you don't know what kind of card you have, refer to your sound card user's manual to find out. Cards that use a "Wave Table" will produce the best results. A "Wave Table" card uses actual instrument sounds, whereas an "FM Synthesis" card will try to create sounds as best it can. "Wave Table" sound cards can be picked up at most PC stores and cost anywhere from $80 to $350.
3) PC SPEAKERS
Your speakers have an enormous impact on sound quality. Speakers that are small, run on batteries, or are low wattage (eg. 10 watts or less – you can find out by looking on the back of the speaker case), will not provide the best sound. Amplified speaker systems with a sub woofer provide better sound quality and range in price from about $80 to $150.
4) MICROPHONE REVERB
If your vocals are sounding a little empty, you should definitely add some reverb to your microphone. "Reverb" can be described as a bunch of small echos that occur close together. The effect is like singing in a big auditorium or stadium. The most economical way to add microphone reverb is to buy a Sound Blaster Live Value Card (approximately $90 , and choose a Karaoke vocal preset). Note: This card contains "Wave Table" sounds.
5) MICROPHONE
The microphone is an important ingredient for good Karaoke. It captures your voice before it is amplified and played through the speakers. A higher quality microphone will make your voice sound more natural. Look for a microphone that has a cardioid dynamic cartridge and wide frequency response with the appropriate plug for your system. These generally range in price from $70 to $200. There are also wireless microphone systems that are available starting at $250.
6) MIXER
To get complete control over all your audio signals, use an audio mixer. It mixes all your sound input devices (microphones and sound cards or modules) and sends the output to powered speakers, a home stereo system or professional sound system. Mixers usually have tone controls for each individual audio channel, allowing you to individualize the sound from each microphone. Prices start at about $250.
7) REVERB
If you have a mixer, the next step is to add an external, dedicated reverb unit. This plugs right into your mixer and allows you to apply reverb (see #4 for a description of reverb) to any or all of the microphone inputs. Now you can fine-tune each voice by giving just the right amount of effect. Prices start at about $150.
Cool VOCAL HARMONY PROCESSOR
To completely enjoy MIDI Karaoke music from eatsleepmusic.com, add a vocal harmony processor and bring your vocals to life! A vocal harmony processor interacts with your voice and pre-programmed information stored in the MIDI file. The end result is the creation of virtual voices that will either double the melody or add two, three or four more voices. See our "Harmony Box" for more information.
9) SOUND MODULES
If you're looking for the absolute best reproduction of instrument sounds, go for the gold and upgrade to a professional exterior sound module or internal sound card. These dedicated MIDI sound devices provide the best in sound quality. Prices can start from $300.
10) POWER AMPLIFIER AND SPEAKERS
Bigger sound is better sound. Professional quality speakers designed to deliver a big sound need a power amplifier to match. With a professional sound system you could entertain hundreds of people at once! Reasonable power amplifiers start at a rating of 200 watts RMS. All speakers should be able to support the power delivered by the amplifier or more. Systems range in price starting at $1000.
Make sure your next performance is the best one yet!

METHOD 1 - RECORDING TO CASSETTE
Table of contents:
Overview
Before you start
Preparing to record
Test recording
OVERVIEW
The simplest way to record your voice with music is by using a cassette recorder. You will be able to capture the sound that you hear coming from your speakers and record it on your cassette recorder.
BEFORE YOU START
Once your eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player and a microphone have been installed and are working, then,
a. If your cassette player has a built in microphone, you can record directly to a cassette by placing the recorder in front of your computer’s speakers.
OR
b. If your cassette player has connections for recording from a "Line In" (fig 1) source, you can connect the audio output from your sound card’s "Line Out" directly to the "Line In" of your cassette recorder.

PREPARING TO RECORD
Prepare the Record Settings
a) If you are using your sound card with an eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player
Windows Volume Control
We must start by preparing the audio signals to record. Open the Windows "Play Control" window and verify that "Microphone" and "MIDI" or "Synthesizer" are checked. Set all the levels to approximately 70% of full value. We will use these levels as starting points.
b) If you are using an external MIDI device
If you want to record using an external MIDI device (Tone Module), be sure to connect a cable from the "audio out" jacks on your MIDI device into the "Line In" jack of your sound card.
Windows Volume Control
Start by preparing the audio signals to record. Open the Windows "Play Control" window and verify that "Microphone" and "Line In" are checked. Set all levels to about 70% of full value. We will use these levels as starting points.
TEST RECORDING
Now that the audio settings have been set, we will make a test recording.
Prepare Your Cassette Recorder
• Prepare your cassette recorder using either the built in microphones or connect it directly to your computer's sound card.

Open your Karaoke player
• In your player, prepare a song to be recorded.
• Choose a song and begin playing.
• Stop the song and rewind to the beginning.
• The song is now cued up and ready to go when you press play.
• When you are ready to sing, begin recording on the cassette, then start the song cued up in your Karaoke player and begin to sing.
• Stop the player after having sung a few bars.
• Stop recording.
• Listen to what you have just recorded.
• If the balance between the music and your voice is not acceptable, make the necessary changes in the "Play Control" window. This could be mean any of the following has occurred:
Problem:
Your voice is too loud compared to the music.
Solution:
Raise the volume of the music ("MIDI" or "Synthesizer" or "Line In") and/or lower the volume of the "Microphone".
Problem:
The music is too loud.
Solution:
Raise the volume of the "Microphone" and/or lower the volume of the music ("MIDI" or "Synthesizer" or "Line In").
• Repeat the test recording procedure until satisfactory results are heard.
Once a satisfactory test has been recorded, you are now ready to record all your performances!
This method will give you fast results. If you would like more control over the recorded information, see multi-track recording which will provide instruction on how to record your performances to your PC.

RECORD YOURSELF

...The simplest way to record your voice with music is by using a cassette recorder.
...Recording wave files on your PC requires a large amount of hard disk space.
...Four minutes of CD quality music in stereo would therefore take 40 Mega Bytes (MB) of your computer’s hard disk space. If you record in mono, the file size will take half the space.
...Multi-track audio recording software is the best way to record your voice with music on your computer.
...Adding reverb to your vocal performance is a must. This effect will make it sound like you are singing in a hall or stadium, depending on the settings you use.
Learn how to record your performances NOW!

BUILD A MUSIC CAREER

...This is perhaps your biggest responsibility...to build an audience.
...You will never get signed with an empty house. Producers won't even come to see you until you have been favorably reviewed.
...Build your audience from everyday people. Most want to contribute to your success.
...Remember that labels want an artist who is generating a large audience of fans.
Read our online articles that are deisgned to help you build your music career!

METHOD 2 - SIMULTANEOUS VOICE AND MIDI HARD DISK RECORDING WITH A SOUND BLASTER OR SOUND BLASTER COMPATIBLE SOUND CARD
Table of contents:
Overview
Before you start
Preparing to record
Test recording
OVERVIEW
This method will allow you to simultaneously record your voice and music. The outcome of the recording will depend heavily upon the record settings used.
BEFORE YOU START
1. Does your sound card support multiple audio inputs for recording?
You must first verify whether or not multiple audio inputs can be selected for recording with your present sound card. In the "Record Control" window, check if you can select more than one audio signal, or "What U Hear" (as with a SB Live card). If so, you will be able to record music and your voice at the same time. If not, you can record using multi-track audio recording software.
2. Do you have all the necessary software and hardware installed?
• A Microphone
The microphone should be connected to your sound card’s "Microphone Input" jack.
• eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player
Any one of our Karaoke programs should be installed on your system and working properly.
• An Audio Recording Program
If you don’t have any audio recording software installed in your system, verify if audio recording software came bundled with your sound card that you can install. For example, "Wave Studio" comes bundled with some Sound Blaster cards. A very modest audio recording program comes with Windows called the "Sound Recorder" but in most cases will produce unsatisfactory results. Whatever program you use, make sure it is working properly. Refer to the operating instructions that are included with your software for more information.
• Enough hard disk space
Recording wave files on your PC requires a large amount of hard disk space. One minute of CD quality recording in stereo takes about 10 Mega Bytes (MB) of disk space. Four minutes of CD quality music in stereo would therefore take 40 Mega Bytes (MB) of your computer’s hard disk space. If you record in mono, the file size will take half the space.
If you are planning on doing a lot of recording , expect to have at least 1 Giga Byte (GB) of free space to record the audio data. If you find that you don't have adequate disk space, you will have to add a larger hard drive to your system.
PREPARING TO RECORD (CONFIGURE THE RECORD SETTINGS)
a. If you are using just a sound card with an eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player...
Windows Volume Control
We must now tell our sound card which audio signals to record. Open the Windows "Record Control" utility and verify that the "Microphone" and "MIDI" or "Synthesizer" devices are checked. Set all the levels to approximately 70% of full value. We will use these levels as starting points.
If you have a Sound Blaster Live card, check "What U Hear" and set the volume to 70%. Now set the levels of the Microphone and MIDI at 70% of full volume in the "Play Control" window (not the "Record Control"). The "What U Hear" option will record the audio signals that are heard and controlled by the "Play Control" tool.
b. If you are using an external MIDI device...
If you want to record using an external MIDI device (Tone Module), be sure to connect the "Audio Out" from your MIDI device into the "Line In" of your sound card.
Windows Volume Control
We must now tell our sound card which audio signals to record. Open the Windows "Record Control" window and verify that "Microphone" and "Line In" are checked. Set all the levels to about 70% of full value. We will use these levels as starting points.
If you have a Sound Blaster Live card, check "What U Hear" and set the volume to 70%. Now set the levels of the "Microphone" and "Line In" at 70% of full volume in the "Play Control" window (not the "Record Control"). The "What U Hear" option will record the audio signals that are heard and controlled by the "Play Control" tool.
NEXT, BEGIN WITH A TEST RECORDING
Now that the recording settings are set, we will make a test recording.
• In your Karaoke player, choose a song and begin playing.
• Stop the song and rewind to the beginning.
• The song is now cued up and ready to go when you press play.
• Switch to your audio recording program using <Alt + Tab>
• Press "Record".
• Switch back to your eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player <Alt + Tab>.
• Press the "Play" button and sing.
• Stop the song after having sung a few bars.
• Switch back to your audio recording program using <Alt + Tab>
• Stop recording.
• Listen to what you have just recorded.
• If the balance between the music and your voice is not acceptable, make the necessary changes in the "Record Control" window. If you are unsatisfied with your recording, this could mean :
Problem: Your voice is too loud.
Solution: Raise the volume of the music ("MIDI" or "Synthesizer" or "Line In") and/or lower the volume of the "Microphone".
Problem: The music is too loud.
Solution: Raise the volume of the "Microphone" and/or lower the volume of the music ("MIDI" or "Synthesizer" or "Line In").
• Repeat the test recording procedure until satisfactory results are obtained.
• When finished, save your recording. (See: Things You Can Do With A Wave File)
Congratulations, you are now ready to record your performances!
Note: Refer to the help files of the software and sound card you are using if you need more informat

METHOD 3 - HARD DISK RECORDING WITH MULTI-TRACK AUDIO RECORDING SOFTWARE
Table of contents:
Overview
Making the background music track
Adding a vocal track
Adding reverb
The mix
Saving the final version as a wave file
OVERVIEW
Multi-track audio recording software is the best way to record your voice with music on your computer. With this type of software, you can pre-record the music on one stereo track and later record your vocal performances on another track while listening to the music track. Additionally, you can edit and apply effects to any or all of the tracks you record. (See: Tips and Tricks)
One of the best multi track audio recording software is "Vegas Pro" by Sonic Foundry. A great advantage to using a program like "Vegas Pro", is that you can record many different versions of a vocal performance within the same session. If you are not completely satisfied with one of your vocal recordings, you can keep it and record another, comparing the two to determine which one you like best.
A full functioning time-limited trial version of Vegas Pro, manual and tutorials can be found at: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] While you are there you should also download and install the XFX 1 Classic Effects Direct X Plug-Ins, you will need this later to add reverb to your recording.
MAKING THE BACKGROUND MUSIC TRACK
To begin, we will record the music track. Be sure the proper audio input device is selected in the "Record Control" window.
• Open your eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player and your multi-track audio recording program.
• Prepare a song to be recorded from your eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player and begin playing.
• Stop the song and rewind it to the beginning.
• The song is now cued up and ready to record when you press play.
• Switch to your multi-track audio recording program using <Alt + Tab>.
• Choose and prepare a track to record the music.
• Switch back to your eatsleepmusic.com Karaoke player <Alt + Tab>.
• Press the "Play" button.
• Switch back to your audio recording program using <Alt + Tab>.
• Verify that the input signal is at an appropriate level. Depending on which program you are using, you should be able to monitor the input level on a graphical sound level display without actually recording. Make sure that the input level is not too high or low. If the input level is too high, the meter will stay at the extreme end, which will produce distorted and unclear results. If the meter reading is too low, noise may become apparent in the recording when you mix the vocal and music tracks together.
• If the signal is too loud or too soft, make the necessary changes in the "Record Control" window. Lower or raise your music (MIDI, Synthesizer, etc& ) signal input to adjust the recording level.
• Once the levels have been tweaked, record the entire song, stopping the recording at the end of the song.
• Listen to what you have just recorded.
• If you like what you hear, save the file.

ADDING A VOCAL TRACK

Now that the music has been recorded and saved, we can proceed and record your voice.
• Prepare a new track to record your voice in your multi-track audio software. Refer to the help files of your software to see how this is done.
• Monitor the input signal level by singing into the Microphone without recording.
• Adjust the level in the "Record Control" window, if necessary, so that the meter readings are in a comfortable range.
• If the vocal input level is satisfactory, you can now begin recording.
• Start at the beginning of the song, press record and start singing.
• Once the recording is complete, listen and judge the performance.
• If you are content with what you have just recorded and that you don't need to record another version, it's time to add some reverb to the vocal track.
• If you choose to record another time, it is not necessary to erase your first recording. Mute the first vocal track and record again on a new track.
• You can repeat this procedure as many times as your software allows you to.
• Once you are finally satisfied with a vocal track, you will want to add reverb.

ADDING REVERB
Adding reverb to your vocal performance is a must. This effect will make it sound like you are singing in a hall or stadium, depending on the settings you use. Using reverb will also add warmth and depth to your voice.
All multi-track audio software offers some type of effects processing. The types of effects that are included with the software will vary from one product to another. Once a vocal track has been recorded, you can apply reverb to it. Check your software for the exact procedure.

THE MIX

Now that you have separately recorded your music and your vocal track with reverb, you are ready to mix the two elements together. In this case, the mix requires balancing the volume of your voice with the music.
Adjust the overall volume of the music track to a comfortable level (check your software for exact procedure), being careful not to go to the extremes. Once the music volume is adjusted, slowly bring up the vocal track volume until it is clearly heard but not overshadowing the music.

SAVING THE FINAL VERSION AS A WAVE FILE
Now we can take the two tracks and blend them into a single track. Refer to your recording software instructions for the proper procedure. Once the two tracks are combined, you can save the final mixed track as a single wave file. (See: Things You Can Do With A Wave File)




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