How to Record Your Voice to Music Beats

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Music beats may consist of nothing more than recorded audio, which you can expand upon at any time by placing additional layers on the recording. For example, if you want to add a vocal track or voice over to a pre-recorded beat, you can do so from the comfort of your bedroom. You just need the right equipment, which you can obtain on a modest or even non-existent budget.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital recording software
  • Microphone
  • USB microphone cable
  • Headphones
  • Audio interface
  • Download the music beat or save it as an audio file. For instance, if you have the beat on a CD, use a burning program like iTunes, MediaMonkey or Windows Media Player to import it onto your PC. If the beat you want to use is on a website, download it to your hard drive or purchase it.

  • Download a digital recording program. If you already own a program like GarageBand, Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Audition or Reason, you can skip this step. Otherwise go online and download a recording program with multi-tracking capabilities. Free examples include Ardour, Audacity, Linux Multimedia Studio and QTractor.

  • Open your digital audio program and create a new music project. If your program contains a traditional menu bar, select (File > New). Otherwise, look for a "New" or "New Project" button.

  • Drag your recorded beat file onto the project window. You should then see a horizontal bar spanning across the window, with a shaded region containing wavy lines (your recorded beat). The horizontal space is your track, while the shaded region contains your audio file. In a multi-tracking program, tracks are used to separate parts of a recording, such as guitar, bass and vocals.

  • Create a second track. On your menu bar or project window, you should see an option that reads "New Track," "Create Track" or "Create Audio Track." Select the option, and then choose the "Audio Track" option if asked to select between "MIDI" and "Audio."

  • Connect a pair of headphones to your computer. This will allow you to hear the beat while recording your vocals without picking up unwanted sound from your computer speakers.

  • Connect a microphone, if applicable. If you have only your computer's internal or external microphone, you can use it to record, but your quality will be limited. If you have an XLR microphone, connect it directly to your computer using an XLR-to-USB cable, or using an XLR cable and a USB audio interface (external sound card).

  • Click the track title (usually reading "Track 1" or "Audio 1") in the left column of your new audio track, and click the "Record" button. If you cannot find a title in the left column, try clicking the horizontal track space itself. The point is to highlight the track for recording. As the beat plays through your headphone, sing along (or speak) through the microphone. When you finish, click the "Stop" button.

  • Save your completed beat by clicking (File > Save) on the menu bar, or selecting a "Save" button, once you're satisfied with it. To export it as an audio file, like an MP3, locate your "Bounce" or "Export" option. Enter a name for your finished product and click "Save."

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  • Photo Credit Microphone image by denionline.de from Fotolia.com
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