Re: [Harp-L] home recording

Joel Fritz wrote:
<Unfortunately home recording hasn't reached the appliance level.  
<There's a relatively long learning curve for any recording software.  
<Expect to spend some time playing around with it and reading 
<documentation.  Audacity is, as recording software goes, not very 
<complicated.  Prosumer and pro level software are much more 

I agree 100% with 100% of the above.  A few qualifications might be useful.  It's a long learning curve indeed if you want to make recordings for commercial release (or something with a similar quality of production).  It's not a very steep learning curve if you just want to record harmonica over a backing track so you can hear what you sound like in the context of a band performance.

Prosumer and pro recording software are indeed complicated; they do a lot more than a toaster does, and anything that's designed to take a song from concept to record/mix/master/etc. necessarily has to incorporate plenty of functions.  Further, recording in the real world means dealing with real-world stuff like a room that's acoustically unbalanced (and so hostile both for recording and mixing), different mic characteristics, untuned instruments, etc., etc.  That's where the learning curve comes from, and like the harmonica, the curve potentially goes on forever.

Did I mention that the learning curve isn't very steep if you just want to record harmonica over a backing track?  Garageband or Audacity is all the software you need for that, and all you need in terms of hardware is a mic for the harmonica and an audio interface. The original poster has advised that he has a Digitech RP350, so the audio interface is covered.

As I apparently never tire of doing, I strongly recommend that anyone reading this who wants a great beginner's course in audio recording, profusely illustrated with audio and visual examples, make a point of picking up a copy or two of Computer Music magazine (, reading it thoroughly, and working through some of the examples (considering the audience, probably the ones not directly involving synthesizers).  It's cheaper and less time-consuming than a course at a community college, and it's very high-quality instruction.

Regards, Richard Hunter


author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
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