Here are some tips on how you can achieve digital audio nirvana.

Q: Is a fast hard drive as important as a fast CPU?

A: If you don't have a fast drive it does not matter how fast your computer is. An ideal hard drive rotation speed for home recording is 7,200 rpm. Disk access time should measure no more than 10 milliseconds.

Q: How important is the sound card?

A: The one that comes installed in your PC may introduce noise into the analog-to-digital conversion process. Consider investing in a higher-quality sound card. The quality of the analog-to-digital (ADC) converter is an important specification to look for.

Q: What is 24/96 recording?

A: 24 is the bitrate, 96 kHz is the sample rate. 24/96 is purported to be the new DVD burner standard. 24/96 is a must-have. Current CD quality is 16/44.



Q: Does all virtual recording software do the same thing?

A: Pretty much. Go to the websites, download the demo, and see which one you prefer. Pro Tools, Cubase, Digital Performer, and Cakewalk are all good choices.


Q: Can I use an external mixer within a virtual environment?

A: Yes, if that is your preference, but it is not necessary.


Q: Digital audio can sound cold. How can I create a warmer tone?

A: Record your guitar through a signal processor like the Pod or Roland GP-100. These units model the sound of classic amp and mic setups from Marshall, Fender, and Mesa Boogie -- and they take up a lot less room.


Q: What are audio plug-ins?

A: They're real-time effect add-ons that complement your sequencing software. Some can be found at Waves and Arboretum. There are many plug-ins specifically for Cubase VST as well.

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