Recording Your Own Music: A Step-By-Step Guide for Musicians

Learn to record, edit, mix and export your songs in this comprehensive beginner's guide to recording music at home

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Musician playing guitarYou have songs to share with the world. No matter what your genre, you're passionate about your music, and you care about the quality of your sound.

But when it comes to recording music, many music creators struggle with technological hurdles and steep learning curves. And hiring a professional recording studio is too expensive for most independent musicians, songwriters and composers.

Recording Your Own Music: A Step-by-Step Guide For Musicians is an online, self-paced video course suitable for musicians and songwriters with little or no previous computer recording experience.

We help music creators like you get the skills and confidence you need to record and produce your own music at home.

  • Discover the equipment you need and how to set it up to get the best results
  • Learn how to record acoustic and electric instruments (guitars, bass, vocals, etc.)
  • Extend your music production options with tools like MIDI and sample loops
  • Polish your recordings with simple yet effective editing techniques
  • Understand the basics of compression, EQ, and reverb and when to use them
  • Create a release-ready final mix with powerful and versatile mixing and mastering tools

"I really thought I would never be able to figure any of this stuff out. Even after completing the first few sessions of this course I felt so much more confident. I was able to go into my local music store and know exactly what I was looking for. This course holds your hand through what can be an intimidating task, gives you the know-how and confidence!!"

Avery Florence, singer-songwriter

"This course definitely opened my eyes and ears to different aspects of the process that I had no confidence in at all, especially mixing and mastering. Now there's no need to read through boring and exhausting PDF manuals online on how to mix/master!"

Emilio Bonito, solo fingerstyle guitarist + member of indie-pop band Cosmic Horror Story


We believe that there's never been a better time to make music.

Technology has changed the music industry landscape. Music creators can now produce their own music for commercial release at a fraction of the cost. Unsigned artists, bands and DIY indie labels now have unprecedented power to record their own music, distribute their music worldwide, and connect directly to their audience.

Make great-sounding music recordings at a fraction of the cost.

Piggy bankYou don't need a big budget, and you don't need a lot of expensive equipment. All you need is a little bit of know-how, and a willingness to put your skills into practice.

We created this course for songwriters and musicians who are on a budget, and who want to record their own music economically at home.

Whether you want be able to record high-quality demos, or you want to record music for commercial release — knowing how to record and mix your own music will help you get your music heard.


Learn at your own pace while recording your own songs.

We designed this course especially for beginners — so you don't need to know anything special about recording gear, signal flow, or mic placement before starting this course.

We simply expect that you're a musician, and that you'll be recording yourself throughout this course. And we strongly recommend you take this course with a specific song in mind to record! Songs that feature guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards and vocals are best suited for this course, but you can adapt any instrumentation. (And if you don't have a song ready to record, you can record the sample project song we'll provide to you.)

Gain practical skills with hands-on, project-based learning.

Throughout this course, we'll walk you through every step of recording your song:

  • You'll learn how to set up your audio interface to work seamlessly with your computer and REAPER, the digital audio workstation (DAW) software we'll be using throughout this course. You'll also learn how to optimize REAPER for music recording, so you can improve your workflow and get the results you want faster and with less effort.
  • Using either your own song or the sample song we'll provide to you, you'll learn how to use XLR microphones, audio interfaces and other tools to record acoustic and electric musical instruments. Once you understand the basics, you'll feel confident combining these tools to capture and preserve the quality of your sound.
  • We'll demonstrate some helpful audio editing techniques so you can fix timing and tuning issues, compile your best performances, and edit out unwanted sections from your song. You'll also learn how to create a release-ready final mix by using compression and EQ, adding reverb, and automating level changes.
  • Finally, we'll cover everything you need to know to export your final mix into your preferred digital format. Whether you need to send demos to your bandmates, upload your songs for digital distribution, or create stems for others to remix, you'll learn how to export your mix to a digital format that suits your needs.

"This is a great course for somebody just starting out in recording — especially if they haven't yet purchased a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). It's full of practical advice from recording right through to mastering your project."

David S. Fawcett, composer and conductor

"The video lessons provided a stress-free way to get comfortable recording tracks and navigating around in a digital workstation. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in recording music and wondering where to start."

— Joshua Dawson, bassist/songwriter + member of pop/rock band Of Gentlemen and Cowards

Learn how to record your own music at

With over 4 hours of HD video content, this comprehensive course also includes complete project files and other downloadable resources, such as:

  • A checklist of recommended equipment
  • A customized configuration file to optimize REAPER for music recording
  • An audio troubleshooting checklist
  • Free kick and snare drum samples and percussion loops
  • Helpful PDF reference documents and cheat sheets

At the end of each section, we'll also give you a project checklist so you can practice the skills you've just learned.

By the end of this course, you'll have recorded, edited and mixed a complete song you'll be proud to share with the world!

"If you've struggled with the process of recording your music, then this is the course for you. It is truly a step by step 'how to' get started and create a finished project. Professional and clear to understand. First class."

Frank L.

"The course is well thought out, systematic, and comes with everything you need via the resources section. All downloads work as advertised and the troubleshooting checklists they provide are fantastic. I am just pumped about having received such a tremendous deal for my money. Thank you Kathleen and Michael."

Stephen F.

"The clear explanations of all the technical terms but with the practical application through the videos were excellent! By following the instructor's guidelines, I managed to get my own recording rendered in 2 WAVE formats and a MP3 format within 3 days, all by myself! Thank you so much for this course."

Philip B.

Course Curriculum

  SECTION 8: Conclusion
Available in days
days after you enroll

Meet your instructors.

Kathleen Farley & Michael Chambers
Kathleen Farley & Michael Chambers

Kathleen Farley is a computer geek, teacher, learner, vinyl junkie, hockey fan, and recovering non-profit executive. Occasionally she breaks (and fixes) computers. Not necessarily in that order.

The Montreal-born technologist trained as an audio engineer before moving to Hamilton, Canada in 2007. She now runs Maisonneuve Music, a Hamilton-based independent record label.

Kathleen is a best-selling online instructor with more than 13,000 students from 130+ countries around the world. She also teaches technology and management skills at a private music industry school in Toronto.

Michael Chambers is an award-winning Canadian music producer, engineer, and (re)mixer. He launched his professional career in the 1990s, assisting on sessions for the Philosopher Kings and the Juno Award-winning Willie P. Bennett tribute album, Heartstrings. As a founding member of Canadian pop/rock band The Golden Dogs, Michael recorded and produced the band’s debut album Everything In 3 Parts (True North/Universal, 2004).

Working under the name moon:and:6, Michael recorded and mixed Whitehorse’s self-titled debut in 2011, followed by their 2013 Polaris Prize shortlisted album The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss (Six Shooter Records/Warner Music). Recent credits include Sarah McLachlan, Nick Urb, Royal Wood, and Shaky Knees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take this course? Who should not?

This course is for musicians and songwriters who want to feel confident recording their own songs at home, either as high-quality demos OR for commercial release. We designed this course specifically for beginners with little or no previous experience with computer or multitrack recording.

This course is not intended for those who already have a solid understanding of computer and multitrack recording!

What will I need to know or do before starting the course?

You'll need:

  • a computer (Mac or PC)
  • any entry-level audio interface*
  • an XLR microphone*
  • any musical instruments you wish to record

*If you don't have an audio interface or an XLR microphone yet, we'll explain how to choose and purchase these items to suit your needs.

You'll also need to have the REAPER digital audio workstation (DAW) software installed on your computer. You can download a free, fully functional 60-day evaluation version of REAPER from their website at:

We also recommend you have your own original song to record throughout course. (If you don't have a song ready to record, we'll provide you with the sheet music, chords and lyrics for our example song so you can follow along.)

When does the course start and finish?
This course is completely self-paced. You decide when you start and when you finish. We offer both monthly and annual subscriptions, so you can take as little or as much time as you need.
How long do I have access to this course?
Once you enroll, you have unlimited access to the course for as long as you choose to keep your subscription active.
Once I finish the course, can I cancel my subscription?
Yes! You're free to cancel your subscription at the end of your subscription period. Or, you can keep your subscription active and pass it along to a friend. It's up to you!

Get started now!