Setting Up the Software for Your Home Recording Studio

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,865
    Recording engineer Franklin Taggart demonstrates how to create a home recording studio, including how to set up the software.

    Franklin Taggart

    Franklin Taggart is a guitarist, singer/songwriter, recording engineer and record producer based in Silver Spring, MD. He's played guitar since 1975 and has been involved in some aspect of performing, recording and composing ever since then. He also is a well known guitar teacher in the Washington, DC area. He has been nominated for many WAMMIE awards from the Washington Area Music Association, winning the Traditional Folk Instrumentalist category in 2001. His first CD Falling All the Way has received excellent reviews from a variety of sources and was also nominated for seven WAMMIE's.

    Franklin Taggart: Hi! I am Franklin Taggart. We re talking about home recording and how to set up your own computer based home recording system. We ve gotten to the point now where everything is connected to the computer. Our speakers have fired up. Our control surfaces are all plugged-in and ready to go.

    Now, we re getting to the point where we ve got to go in and going to Windows and make sure that our sound interfaces selected as the sound source. The way that you do that, is you go to control panel in Windows and there is an icon for sounds and audio and you double click on that and open up this sound and audio device properties.

    Now, it already has selected our interface as the main sound interface for Windows, but if it hasn t selected your interface, you can go over to the audio tab and select as your default device, the interface that you have connected to your computer. From there, you ll be able to use your interface as the Windows main interface as well. So, you can use it to hear things like your Windows Media Player, videos, CDs and things like that. When you re done sending that your interface as the Windows interface, go ahead and click OK and you re ready to go.

    Our next step is to open our sequencing software. Now, when you open your sequencing software for the first time, there will be some screens that ask you make your interface choices, it ll ask you to choose your MIDI inputs and outputs and this application is starting to open up and scanning all of the different files that I have on my computer.

    Okay. Now, that our sequencing software is open and running and ready to go. What you need to do is go to preferences in your software and there should be a tab for audio and for audio, you go in and you re going to select your drivers and your audio device. The audio device is your sound interface.

    So, select that interface and select the different kinds of drivers that you can use. There re two particular ones that most people use. There re ASIO drivers and WDM drivers and both of these sets of drivers are meant for these sequencing programs, either one is a good driver, what you want to do is to choose the one that works best for your system.

    So, you may need to do some experimenting with both the WDM drivers and the ASIO drivers and see which one is work best for you. I ve chosen ASIO. They tend to work a little bit more smoothly on my system. They give me the lowest latency. Latency is something that you re going to have to adjust for. The latency is the time that it takes for your computer to process its sound and then give it back to you.

    So, with the sound interfaces that are available today and the high-speed computers and processors that are available, you can get latency sometimes as low as one-and-a-half milliseconds. My latency setting here is for about seven milliseconds and that s usually undetectable to the human hear. So, latency is something that you need to adjust your computer for. In this case it s just basically allows you to set how much you want your latency to be. I ve selected seven milliseconds because that allows my software to work. It allows my sound interface to work without any kind of artifacts to be heard or any kinds of dropouts that happen.

    Once you ve selected your audio drivers. If you have any MIDI instruments like control surfaces to select, you can go to the MIDI tab and I ve already done all of my selecting of my inputs and outputs here. The top ones in this list are inputs and the bottom ones are outputs and I ve just gone in and turned on the ones that I am using.

    So, all of my MIDI inputs and outputs have been selected and I am ready to make music. So, let s record, thanks.