During this era of a global pandemic, many of us musicians find ourselves stuck at home with more time to practice and more time to record ourselves playing. I’ve personally noticed that musicians are posting way more clips of themselves on social media practicing and playing new things they’ve learned. Most beginning musicians wouldn’t know where to start as far as recording themselves playing to song so I thought it would be great to take the time and give you beginners a couple super easy and affordable products that will allow you to simply and easily record yourself playing a song and making it sound professional without any fancy/complicated studio recording equipment. Let’s take it on an instrument-by-instrument basis:
- Drums – For drums, the easiest and simplest way to record yourself playing a song is by using the Yamaha EAD10. We’ve mentioned it before on social media posts but I wanted to truly explain how easy it is to use. It’s simply a module you attach to the high-hat stand and a microphone that you hook up to the kick drum. This microphone is designed by Yamaha to pick up the sound waves of the entire drum kit including cymbals, toms, etc… Then you simply download the “Yamaha Rec ‘N Share” app to any iphone, ipad, or android device. Now you are ready to take any song that you have downloaded on your phone and play along to it on video with the drum kit’s sound mixed into the video. The amazing thing is that the app’s technology automatically picks up the tempo of the song and allows you to hear the click of the song via the headphones that you have connected to the EAD10 module so that you stay on tempo the entire time you are playing and recording. Once you are done recording, simply save the video and post on social media or send to a friend! Yamaha EAD10’s currently sell for $499.99 brand new. If you are a current student of ours and want to try out a Yamaha EAD10, please ask your instructor to show it to you at your next lesson as EACH of our drums rooms are fully equipped with a Yamaha EAD10 that is hooked up and ready to go.
- Guitar and Vocals – For guitarists and vocalists that are looking for a quick way to record themselves playing or singing to a song, I would highly recommend the “Roland GO:Mixer PRO”. This is a conveniently very small sized product that has multiple inputs and outputs for microphone cables, quarter-inch cables, headphone jack cables, etc… It literally has everything you can possibly need and volume controls for each of the outputs. The other beautiful thing about this product is that it is battery powered so you can literally go anywhere you want, plug in your guitar/vocal mic and headphones, and record yourself playing to a song on your phone instantly. Your phone connects via a cable that comes with the purchase of the Mixer Pro and you record yourself simply by using your iphone’s camera app just like you would with any normal video you’d take in your daily life. This product also has a slot on it to put your phone into so that the phone stands upright and points straight at you to conveniently record you on video without needing anyone else to hold the phone. The Roland mixer runs $149.99 brand new for purchase.
- Piano/Keyboard – For keyboard players, The Roland GO:Mixer PRO would work just like we mentioned above. However, as a piano player myself, I’ve always held the opinion that if you are going to be a lifelong piano player, you should learn how to use an audio midi interface along with your keyboard and computer. The reason for this is that all music is produced primarily using a midi keyboard along with an audio midi interface. Once you take a bit of time to learn how an audio interface works with software such as Apple’s Logic Pro or Microsoft’s Reason, you will be able to quickly record anything you play with ease. While you are at it, you will be learning legitimate ways to actually record music in general and have a lot of fun with it. You would connect your keyboard to the interface via a midi cable as well as quarter inch cable. The interface connects to your computer via USB cable. To hear what is coming out of the interface, you can either plug headphones into it or connect it to a couple of speakers. A great quality audio interface such as the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 model will run approximately $229.99 brand new.
There you have it! Any one of those options will work amazingly for you beginners out there that want to quickly figure out how to record yourselves playing to a song and then posting it on social media or simply sending to a friend or family member. At the Music Lab, we have ways of showing you examples of any of the pieces of equipment mentioned above. If you would like to try any of it and learn it, ask your instructor and we will make it happen for you! For links to the actual products mentioned above, please see the linked text above that will take you to the actual products. Happy learning, happy practicing, and happy social media posting!