Recording a guitar or your voice with Mixcraft is really simple. In this post I will touch on the steps to record digitally any audio input, I will tell you what you need in terms of hardware, and I’ll give you a few tips to set things up properly in Mixcraft, and ensure that you don’t run into problems and get the best possible recording.
You could record directly using the audio input jack of your computer sound card, but if you want to make a good recording, you need to use a dedicated audio interface. How to choose an audio interface is the subject of another post, but for now if you don’t already own an interface, you can find several good models in the $150-$200 price range. I personally like Presonus and Focusrite.
If you have a guitar, bass, synth, etc … I will assume you already have a 1/4 cable to connect your instrument to the audio interface. If you want to record your voice or a guitar amp, you will obviously need a microphone and an XLR cable. I will also write a separate post on microphones. Basically, If you want to record your voice, you need a condenser mic. Very decent models are available in the $100-$200 price range.
Setup The Preferences In Mixcraft
Once you have plugged your USB audio interface (or FireWire) into your computer, and installed the required driver, go to the Preferences window to set your audio input and outputs.
There are 3 modes to choose from: Wave, ASIO, or WaveRT. Depending on your choice the settings available will be different.
Wave should always be available, but you should only use it if the other 2 are unavailable to you. WaveRT is a newer version of Wave (Microsoft) that is only available with Vista and newer operating systems.
So if you have a dedicated Audio Interface, make sure you select the ASIO driver type, and select the asio driver that comes with your audio interface instead of the asio4all driver.
Clicking on the Open Mixer… button will open your audio interface control panel. there you can set your buffer length to get your optimal latency. A latency of 0-5ms is unnecessary, and it will most likely affect your audio with crackle and pops. Go for a latency around 10-15ms. It is not audible and the audio recording/playback should not be affected.
Audio Recording With Mixcraft In 5 steps
Now that you have what you need to record your singing or playing, let’s look at what you need to do in Mixcraft to record audio:
- choose/open an Audio track (you can not record with another type of track like virtual instrument, send track, etc…)
- click on the Arm button (the track will turn red when it is armed) and select the proper input from the dropdown list (arrow on Arm button) that corresponds to your audio interface input where your mic/guitar is plugged
- adjust the gain on your interface and the track volume so it is loud enough without going in the red (and tune your instrument if you need to with the Mixcraft built-in track tuner)
- click on the record button and play your part. The audio part being recorded will ‘grow’ on the track as you play
- click on stop to end the recording.
That’s it. Really simple.
I will do another post about the various recording modes in Mixcraft and also Punch and Loop Recording.
Check out this tutorial video from Acoustica on recording audio tracks with Mixcraft. It will show you what I have talked about, with other things like tempo and metronome setting.