Record Music Live w/your Computer for a Video Soundtrack

This week Brandon gives a live demonstration on recording an instrument directly into a computer's music creation software, and then create your own soundtrack.

Video Transcript


Hello, and welcome to another episode of Tips & Tricks. I’m your host, Brandon Pinard, for Videomaker Presents, and this week we’re gonna be talking about recording an instrument live directly into your computer and making a soundtrack from that for one of your videos.

So, what I’ve got hooked up here is a single omni-directional mic on a mic stand, and this is good for recording my voice at this level, but for the guitar I’m gonna lower it. I’m gonna place the mic six to eight inches in front of my guitar, and where I have it mic’e d here is between the 12-fret and the sound hole.

This is gonna give me a nice, soft sound that’s not gonna be too obtrusive in the sense that it’s not gonna have too much low tone and too much high tone and hopefully not any feedback. And this is gonna go directly into my computer into Garage Band, and then I’m going to be able to record my own music track and compile that with other sounds and create my own soundtrack and put it in my video.

So you want to test out your levels before you record and make sure that they’re good. You don’t want to get distortion, having too much audio, having it too hot, or not having it high enough. You want to test your extremes of how soft you’re gonna get and how loud you’re gonna get.

So once you have your setup ready to go, you’re gonna go into your computer, and for this demonstration you’ll be using Garage Band 3. So I want to go to Garage Band, New Music Project. Go ahead and create that as My Song, I guess.

Okay. So then I’m going to go to Track, New Track. Real Instrument is gonna come up, and I’m gonna choose Real Instrument and then hit Create. Okay, so it’s gonna give me a new track, and now I get to the choose the type of effect I want to put on the recording. I’m not gonna put any effect on this one just to give a straight demonstration.

So I have my recording setup ready to go. I’m plugged into my camera, my mixing board, and my computer, and all I have to do now is record. [Playing guitar]

So now we’re gonna build ourselves a track to record over. We’re gonna record our live instrument over a basic background track that we’re gonna create here in Garage Band real quick.

So I’m gonna start with a piano background, and I’m gonna choose Blues Bar Piano #7 and just click on that down in the browser and drag that up to the sequence. All right, and then I’m gonna drag it out. We’ll go to ten.

So it’s gonna be ten measures, and then hit your Repeat, and that’s gonna repeat it. I guess, you know, it’s the same thing, so we don’t necessarily have to repeat ourselves too much here, besides myself, which I do all the time.

Okay, so let’s listen to our basic piano song. [Piano playing] Okay, it’s blues in E. All right. Now, that’s our basic background track. To make things simple, we’re just gonna go to New Track, Real Instrument, Create, and then I’m just gonna choose guitar, and let’s do some Texas blue, put a Texas blues filter on it, which is basically gonna act like an amplifier in the sense where you don’t have to really carry it around with you.

So now I’m ready to record my guitar over the piano music for a few measures, and it’s actually on repeat, so I can pretty much play as long as I want. So now that I’ve got my basic piano track laid out here for me, it’s gonna just be blues piano. I got that set up on my grand piano track, and now I have my Texas blues filter over my live track that I’m about to record here.

So I’m just gonna hit Record, and it’s gonna play my background for me, and then I get to record my second track, which is just gonna be a little lead over it. And put those together, and you’ve got yourself a nice soundtrack recording. So, here we go.


So that’s kind of how it works.


So now that you’ve seen how to record your own music into your videos, I encourage you to get out there and set yourself up for recording on your computer and make your own soundtracks. It’s really a lot of fun, and it’ll really improve the level of professionalism that you can put into your videos. Until next time, I’m Brandon Pinard for Videomaker Presents, and that’s this week’s Tips & Tricks.


For more information about recording sound live, visit and reference Article #9423, “Sound Advice: Making Music.”

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