Digital Music; Home Studio Music Recording

Brian Beshore

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Home recording has come a long way in the last few decades. Many people do not realize that much of what they hear on T. V. and in commercials is electric.

Many people still have a negative connotation about how electric music sounds. They think that it must always have a cheesy sound.

Part of this stigma is the confusion over midi. and wav. sound files. Simply put, midi is a signal that is sent to a sound card and triggers a note on a preset instrument sound. Therefore, the sound you get from a midi. sound file will only be as good as the sound card you are using.

Even if you record a midi file with a good sound card, if someone else plays it back using an inferior sound card, the result will be inferior sounds.

Now there are very excellent sound cards available and also software synthesizers. The thing to do is to convert your midi. file to wav. The way to do this is to play your midi file through the desired sound card and record it at the same time, using the recording application that comes with your sound card.

For windows PC, I like the SoundBlaster cards, such as the Sound Blaster 16 PCI 4.1

There are many excellent software programs for recording on windows PCs. One I like in particular is Cakewalks Plasma recording program. You can record multiple tracks, just like a professional studio. Plasma has software synthesizers and will also mix down your midi tracks to wav.

Once you have converted your midi to wav. , it is a simple matter to burn it to CD. You will want to use the 44100hz setting in the audio tools for this.

To create midi tracks, you can put the musical notes on a staff with the mouse, if you know music theory, or you can connect an electric keyboard to your PC and play the tracks, setting each track with the sound of the desired instrument.

Of course, these programs also allow you to record a wav. track(s) directly, singing or playing an instrument into a microphone. Recording wav. Requires a lot of memory and a fast PC, but most new PCs are more than up to the task.

If you’ve ever had a song you wished you could record, you might want to check-out these reasonably priced software programs. It’s a whole lot of fun!

If you have any questions about this topic, drop me an Email at

Brian is a graduate of the Peabody conservatory of music in Baltimore Md. He spent many years playing in groups, including his own; The Jabberwocky. They played at many venues including the CoachHouse in San Juan Capistrano. Drop by his website at


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