How to Record Your Own Music

Passion Burns Deep

This is especially true with Your Music! You’ve done the hard part and written music and now you must learn how to record your own music. Well you’ve come to the right place, LRT!

It’s Time to Dig In!

Remember the Four Food Groups I spoke of? Are you paying attention or not?

OK, if you happen to be new to LRT or just forgot where it was you can check it out here – Yes you need to click on the word that’s the link to the food group page. In this case it is the word “here”.

I try to keep LRT clean and easy to read with minimal links or ads for your benefit so you will see this type of text link often and only ads that I feel are worthy of your viewing and pertinent to our goal of recording music.

I cannot stand sites that potentially have some interesting information but are cluttered and buried in banners, ads, pop-ups and every other word being a link. I bounce when I experience that kind of site.

I’m doing my best to make LRT the most engaging and enjoyable experience for YOU!

If you want a bunch of banners and ads and pop-ups well hell, you can go to many other sites to get that.

Back to Business

So the Four Food Groups (now I know that You know where that will take you) of recording is where we’ll start.

The Source is the best place to start since this is where everything starts, including the Signal Chain.

So the Source is you, your instrument(s) and so on. For recording purposes the Source could be best exampled as an instrument or microphone. There may be other sources such as files samples and so on but let’s keep it simple for now.

Working on the Chain Gang

The Signal Chain may be a new term for some of you as well. This is nothing to be afraid of and the signal chain works just as it states.

Let’s take a guitar for instance as the Source, this instrument when played connects to a cable which connects to an amplifier – usually. Instead this cable will connect to our next food group which is . . . anyone . . . OK I know this is not a live chat so no one will answer . . . so I will . . .

Next in the Signal Chain comes the Input Device and I call it this because it can take many forms but no matter the form it is the device(s) that take the Source and deliver it to the next food group.

I think that today’s most common term for an input device is otherwise known as an Audio Interface. This may hold true in some cases though not in every case.

An Input Device could also be considered a Mixing Board, Console, Desk or just Board for short. I’m certain there are other terms as well – feel free to comment on them below, I’ve even heard Rack and boy did I have quite a different thought in my mind. No – rack on a deer OK 🙂

The Input Device . . .

connects us to the thigh bone and the thigh bone connects to the . . . Nope that’s not right! The input device connects us to the Recording Device.

As with the input device, the recording device can take many forms and has for over a century now. Actually so have input devices.

The first Recording Device was created by Thomas Edison in the late 1800’s and was no comparison to the recording devices we have available today.

Whether you plan to record to a wax ring, a reel to reel, an ADAT, a handheld or a high speed super computer the process and the Four Food Groups will always remain the same – even back in Edison’s day.

So What’s Next in the Chain

The Output of course. Bet you seen that one coming even if you didn’t check out the food groups.

Without an output (device) you have now way to hear your brilliant first recording, or any others for the matter.

Yes even Edison had an output device – more on that later.

What you need to know about Output here is simple – amplification and speakers.

The main types of output devices are headphones, passive monitors with an external amplifier and active monitors which have a built in amplifier.

Again – many variations to be had with output devices as well.

So What Are We Having For Dinner?

To recap the Four Food Groups (I won’t bore you with the link again) ~

Source – Input Device – Recording Device – Output and this makes up this make up the Signal Chain that we use to record music – or any audio for arguments sake.

Keep this in the back of your mind for now as I will be talking in much greater detail about in later . . . there is a signal chain inside each of the devices you utilize in your four food groups – No Foolin’ it’s TRUE!


Your recording will only be as good as your skills (which you will learn here at LRT) and the weakest link in your Signal Chain.

This is a good thing to keep in mind when you are planning to purchase any equipment because everything affects your finished product. Yes even cables – which are most often overlooked.

Recall M&M’s? If not these are two very crucial devices and many times overlooked also. Check out the link if you haven’t already.

Today’s Challenge

How many names have you heard an Input Device referred to differently than the ones I mentioned?

Post in the comments section below – I’ll think about a prize of some kind.

It’s All Good – Take a Breathe

Now that you’ve got the ground work set and understand the basics of how to record your own music it is time for a well needed and much deserved break so strap on your plank, grab your hickory sticks or whatever the case may be and ROCK OUT!



8 thoughts on “How to Record Your Own Music

    1. You got that straight Brittany! Making the music and recording are two different things for sure!

      The no “ads” thing is important to me and I know many other musicians that feel the same way. Don’t get me wrong I have ads but I keep them to a minimum and try not to let them interfere with the purpose of LRT – to teach others how to record from years of experience. And of course in my reviews it only makes sense to show you where to purchase or where I did.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you around a gain soon!

      ROCK ON!

  1. This article is a really good tutorial on how to record our own music. The signal chain is a new concept for me but you explained it very well. Output is from my point of view , one of the most important elements in this process. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Hilda, I appreciate your comments.

      You could say that the Output is no most important element but what if you have the best highest end amplifiers and monitors at the output and a horrible microphone as the source – your voice will still sound bad on those amazing speakers. Remember – weakest link in the chain.

      Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you back again – more coming soon!

      ROCK ON!

  2. Hello Eric,

    Now I knew you would be getting to this and I am glad you have. Its really fun to think of recording my grandson’s music. But maybe he would take to this for himself. He has musical finesse, being mostly self taught on the piano and guitar and fiddling around (lol) with a recorder. Great points here, especially the one about the “weakest point in your ‘signal chain’.

    Will you be recommending specific equipment that one should be purchasing in order to address the criteria you have spelled out?

    What ever the case may be I’m looking forward to more on this subject. I will post mark your site so I can get back to it more easily.

    1. Thank you Linda! Your grandson must love you!

      Yes the weakest link in the chain is an important concept (and reality) to keep in mind.

      I’m glad you asked about specific equipment Linda. I am currently writing a follow up to the article on how to record your own music today. This will include a generalized equipment list broken down by category. In reference to specific equipment I have a review page where you can find specific equipment.

      Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you here again Linda!

      ROCK ON!

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