What Should I Consider When Buying an Audio Recording Program?

Mitch Morgan
Mitch Morgan

With an array of software and equipment to suit the needs of most amateur, novice, and professional musicians, there are many factors one should consider when buying an audio recording program. The program should be compatible with the operating system on which the user intends to install it. Depending on the experience of the user, the program should fit his or her recording needs and still be easy to use and understand. If you wish to perform various editing and mixing alterations to your music, a more professional audio recording program might be considered.

Audio recording programs can be used on a person's home computer.
Audio recording programs can be used on a person's home computer.

Developments in technology currently allow you to record audio in the comfort of your own confines using a variety editing and mixing software on a home computer. In addition, multitrack recording no longer requires the use of a professional studio; these devices, too, have been incorporated into home recording software. Knowing this, you must consider what expectations the audio recording program should fulfill.

Some audio recording programs allow people to record sound on different formats.
Some audio recording programs allow people to record sound on different formats.

Ease of Use: Most audio recording programs accomplish a few similar but basic functions: recording, playback, pause, and skip. These programs may be mastered by almost anyone with little or no musical or software experience. Other recording software is much more complex and may provide functions like multitrack recording, sound effects, track editing and dubbing, and much more. Some software may even mimic the rhythms and sounds of various instruments like drums and keyboards. This type of recording software is usually geared towards professional individuals seeking a more technical approach to audio recording.

Function and Capability: Some musicians may wish to promote music that has been captured using home recording software. Choosing an audio recording program that allows you to save in different formats or copy audio to a CD, cassette, or other medium is important if you want to carry your music with you, and distribute your music by hand. Saving in various formats may allow you to upload music and other audio onto the Internet, and make it available on websites like Myspace®.

Sound Quality: Whether a beginner or professional, you'll typically want to achieve the clearest, most pure sound when home recording. An audio recording program that allows for the manipulation of sound waves, frequencies, and other levels may help users to achieve a desired sound. Finding a quality microphone with which to record can also be essential in producing quality playback. You'll probably need to buy this separately if no built-in or acceptable quality microphone exists on the computer that contains the recording software.

Mitch Morgan
Mitch Morgan

Mitch is a journalist, photographer, and test administrator who has contributed to a diverse array of publications, including the Oxford, Mississippi arts and entertainment guide Oxford Town and the trade publication Nightclub & Bar Magazine. In addition to his freelance work for wiseGEEK and several other websites, Mitch has written dozens of album reviews, allowing him to showcase his love of music and media.

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