Ask the Musician: Recording with limited tracks

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to a new series here on the Laptop Sessions that I like to call “Ask the Musician”.  On a daily basis, I get questions from young (and old) YouTube viewers that saw my tutorial and informational videos about recording and writing songs.  They ask me questions about my process and the equipment I’ve chosen.  Well, I decided I should share my advice with the world in this new series here on the best music blog on the planet!  The questions are first, followed by my responses in italics.

Our first question comes from TheBeatlesFan1991 on YouTube:

The way i record my songs is through an mp3 because I still am in high school so I’m kinda limited to an extent, and so the way I record is I take a track with just the guitars the rhythm and the lead and then I go and record another track with the guitar parts in the background playing while we record.

I haven’t done this yet its more of an experiment and since I’m guessing you’ve probably have gone through something similar to this and I was wandering if you could tell me if it’ll work or not.

You know, it’s not a bad way to record.  When I was recording with my band, though, we had four of us playing music parts.  So, we recorded the instruments live, then went back and over-dubbed the vocals.  We’re very vocal-based, as I’m sure you can tell.

I’d say the best way to go is to keep the recordings of the music and vocals separate whenever you can, because you want to make sure the vocals don’t get buried or stand out too much.  But, you know, I’ve been through a lot of ways of recording and I think I’ve changed my definition of the “best” way to record about five times.  So, hopefully you try this for a bit and make some changes accordingly.  I hope you’ll keep me posted!

If you have a question, please feel free to write to me on YouTube or leave a comment here on the blog- I’ll be happy to answer it and continue the conversation.

This is one in a series of acoustic cover songs, original music, and free mp3 downloads here on the Laptop Sessions Music Video Blog.

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