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How to Record a Music CD

by MatthewW
  • Overview

    Recording a music CD is a lengthy and technical process. Before a music CD can be recorded, the musical score must be written, along with lyrics and harmony, and musicians selected to perform the music that will be recorded. Once the music itself is perfected and completed, then the CD recording process can begin.
 
  • Step 1

    Select a recording studio that can record to tape and a recording engineer. There are many different studios and engineers. Various factors need to be considered before a studio and engineer are chosen. Focus on studios and engineers that specialize in the genre of music you are recording to CD. For example, a gospel engineer may not be able to record country music. Recording studios and recording engineers can be found through online directories, other local musicians and through local musician unions. If you have a computer with hard drive recording capability, you can set up a home recording studio.
  • Step 2

    Record rhythm instruments or musical beats to tape or to a computer hard drive. The recording process transfers sound, through microphones, to the recording medium selected by the recording engineer. Microphones should be set up near the rhythm instruments and then the music is performed.
  • Step 3

    Record string and melody instruments to tape or a computer hard drive. These instruments will also be performed by musicians and recorded through a microphone. The musicians will listen to the previously recorded rhythm instruments so all music is in time and tempo.
  • Step 4

    Record vocals and ancillary instruments to tape or a computer hard drive. The musicians performing the music will listen to all previously recorded music to stay on tempo. Various takes should be recorded as certain takes may sound different once played back.
  • Step 5

    Mix all tracks to obtain the optimal volume level for each instrument and vocal track that was recorded. Mixing can be done by the recording engineer or sent to an outside mixing company. Mixing is completed through a complex mixing board where close attention is paid to individual track levels and the overall volume of the recorded musical piece.
  • Step 6

    Send the final mix of the recorded music to a CD pressing plant. The pressing plant will transfer the recorded music to a glass master which will then be pressed on to a manufactured CD.
  • 4
  • Composed Music Lyrics Recording Studio with Tape or Hard Drive Recording Capability Instruments Microphones Mixing Board CD Pressing Plant
  • Composed Music
  • Lyrics
  • Recording Studio with Tape or Hard Drive Recording Capability
  • Instruments
  • Microphones
  • Mixing Board
  • CD Pressing Plant
  • All musicians should have practiced well in advance of the recorded performances.
  • All musicians should have practiced well in advance of the recorded performances.
  • Recording music to a CD can be an expensive undertaking and recording funds should be set aside ahead of time.
  • Recording music to a CD can be an expensive undertaking and recording funds should be set aside ahead of time.

References & Resources