Audacity for live recordings…

Tony from the UK asked me a question about making recordings live at a gig and then putting it all together afterwards at home using Audacity…

Dear Kenny,
You seem like a pretty helpful fellow and I would like to ask your advice. Here is the scenario: When I record a CD which I sell at my gigs I simply use my mixer amp to play the CD track and add the vocals via a microphone all in one pass. Having done a lot of BBC Radio gigs in the past I have a very good sense of microphone technique and usually end up with a reasonable recording. (I can send you one if you would like to hear it). The problem is that I can’t edit the vocals because everything is on one track. Is it a good idea to record the vocals only while listening to the track and then paste themin or somehow add the track via Audacity or some other Studio software? (I don’t particularly want to invest in compressors or multi-track hardware etc.) I just want to be able to mess around with vocal and then add it to the backing track.
Tony (UK)

Hi Tony

Yes, it is possible to record the vocals entirely on their own at your gig and then paste them in to Audacity afterwards.
Obviously when you put it all together at home afterwards, you need to dub your recorded vocal over the exact same backing track you sang along to when you recorded it originally so that there won’t be any sync problems.
It should then be quite a simple case of lining up both the vocal and the music in Audacity.

Once you’ve done that, you can start to experiment with and add vocal effects and balance everything out etc before making your final master.

As far as making the final CD is concerned, I’ve written an article about making CD’s which you should find useful.