In the video tutorial below, I show you how to create your first audio recording in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Reaper. This can seem complicated at first! So you learn how to record in Audacity, which is very easy, then upscale the knowledge to make your first audio recording in Reaper.
To follow this tutorial, you can use your computer’s built in microphone. However you will get better quality results if you use a USB microphone or an audio interface to record. You will see how this is done in the video. However, if you are just starting out, you may want to begin with what you have to hand before committing to purchasing any equipment.
You can download Audacity for FREE, and you can also download Reaper and use it for 60 days before deciding whether to purchase it, so either pieces of software are fantastic to trial making your first recordings at home.
So, once you have the equipment and recording software then you are ready to make your first audio recording.
Reaper is an example of a DAW or Digital Audio Workstation Software. It is a complete digital audio production application with a full multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing and mastering toolset. So that is fantastic, but for a beginner it can be very daunting even to make your first recording!
This is because you open the software up and you are faced with a blank screen and it is very difficult to know how to begin.
What I suggest you do is start with software that is much easier, and then apply the principles you have learned to Reaper.
Video Tutorial: Make Your First Recording Step-By-Step
Your First Audio Recording in basic software: Audacity
So you are going to record in Audacity – which is completely free – then upscale your knowledge to record in Reaper.
When you open up Audacity it is possible to get recording right away without thinking too hard about what you are doing. You don’t need to open up any preferences boxes because everything is in front of you on the screen, it is all very obvious.
You can choose which microphone or device you want to use to record from a simple drop down box, and same for where you want to playback the sound. You set the levels moving the sliders. Then you simply hit the record button like you would do on a phone, or an old fashioned tape recorder. Then you press stop and there you have it your first recording. Easy.
If you wish, you can then open up the preferences by choosing Audacity -Preferences from the menu, and you find you have a range of options that you can adjust. Audacity is very well featured for free recording software. But it is only an audio editor, it doesn’t have MIDI or virtual instruments and lots of other features. It is nowhere near as complicated as a DAW like Reaper.
So now to upscale what you did in Audacity to Reaper.
Your First Recording in more advanced software: Reaper
Open the DAW and you start with that really daunting blank canvas.
The first thing to do is have a look at the preferences, then look under ‘Audio’ and select ‘Device’. Here you can choose your preferred recording device or microphone.
Now you need to insert a track before you can make you first recording. Once the track is created, you simply arm it for recording.
Now press the record button on the main recording controls, and start recording.
When you stop recording the track, Reaper will confirm that you wish to save the wav file. You can accept the default name or you can change it at this point. Once you have named and saved it, then you can easily play it back.
Once you have made your first recording, you are ready to add more tracks … and you now can start building up your recording skills!
Hopefully this has helped you get past that first daunting hurdle and you successfully make your first recording.
Your First Recording … Get The Software … And More Tutorials
You can download Audacity from here http://www.audacityteam.org/
… and you can get a 60-day trial of Reaper from here http://www.reaper.fm/
If you have enjoyed this tutorial, then do go and look at the other videos on our YouTube Channel. Don’t forget to subscribe as we are gradually adding new videos you won’t want to miss!