How to Be a Modern One-Man Band

With the help of technology, you can play every instrument and record complex songs all by yourself. Follow these steps to be a modern one-man band.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Once each track is recorded, use audio plug-ins to adjust effects like distortion and reverb. Then, use your audio software to combine the tracks together to create a single track.
  • Step 2: Mix the levels of each instrument against one another to create the right texture for your song, and use audio processing to maximize your song’s quality for specific media like mp3, CD, or vinyl. Then, release your music and let the public enjoy the sounds of your modern, one-man band.
  • FACT: The indie rock band Final Fantasy has just one member, Owen Pallett, who records and mixes his own vocals, violin, piano, bass, and harpsichord.
  • TIP: Use the audio program's metronome to ensure a steady beat as you play.
  • Step 3: Press record on the software and play the first instrument. Press stop when you've finished, and add new instruments on separate tracks.
  • Step 4: Connect the audio interface -- a piece of hardware that allows for audio input from your instruments to your computer -- with a FireWire or USB cable. Then, open the audio recording software; follow the instructions to make a new song file.
  • Step 5: Plug electronic instruments into the audio interface with ¼-inch cables, and connect microphones using XLR cables to record acoustic instruments. For amplifiers, connect a ¼-inch cable to the output jack or use a microphone placed near the amp's speaker. Record vocals with a microphone.
  • TIP: Replicate instruments with a synthesizer or a MIDI device with instrument patches.
  • Step 6: Choose a song -- or write your own -- with melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that fit into a structure of verses and choruses. Then, decide which instruments to include in your song.

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