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Home Recording: A Basic Track With Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 3

I got positive feedback when asking members of our forum if I should write articles related to home recording and production and I thought I would start writing different articles on some of the techniques I use.  I am by no means a professional with any of this what so ever.  I am just a musician and geek who loves to play with tech.  I have covered some home recording in previous posts and today I thought I would show you how to record a guitar track with Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 3.  I rarely recommend commercial software, but this utility shouldn’t break the bank and it’s my favorite.  In this article I am going to assume you already have or are familiar with Cakewalk.  For a great overview of Guitar Tracks 3 you can check out the Cakewalk Site.

I am running Guitar Tracks on Vista Home Premium 32bit edition.  First what I do is change my view right away anytime I make a recording.  You don’t have to use the Edit View but for some reason I love to see what I am recording as it happens.  So in the upper left hand corner just hit the Edit View button.

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The next thing I do is turn off the metronome which is located beneath the Tempo window.  I do this because right now I am not worried about my timing and to be blunt it actually annoys me than help.

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Now assuming your gear is already set up we can go to the next step.  If it isn’t set up … what are you waiting for man!  Ok, everything is plugged in and I hit the ‘R’ button on Track one which is the first step in recording this track.  After it is selected I should see my volume indicating a signal is coming through.  This is handy because now I can sit and make adjustments to my volumes, EQ, and microphones.  When everything is set I hit the main record button at the top of my display.

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Here we go.  As your playing you can watch the recording levels and time.  When finished just hit the main record button again to playback the track and do some editing if you wish.

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Now we can go on and continue to record other tracks.  For this example I am going to do a basic solo over my chord progression.  The process is exactly the same as what we did with Track 1.  This way you can listen to what is playing on track 1 and solo over it in real time.

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After a bit of editing (which I will cover later) I went ahead and exported the completed track.  I always export my tracks as WAV files then compress them to other formats later.  For this one I used dBpowerAmp which I also covered previously.  You can listen to the finished version below.  I decided to go all out and make a goofy video for it too.  Creating your own music, video, online promotion … etc.  IT IS SO MUCH FUN!

I plan to write a lot more on home recording as the months progress.  I really look forward to your feedback!  In fact if there is enough demand for these types of articles, then we can create an entire section devoted to music production, home recording …etc!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/20/08

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