Things You'll Need
For years, recording good-sounding music was just too expensive for musicians on a budget. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars had to be spent to make a competent record. With free recording programs like Audacity, this is no longer the case. With a decent computer, a quality microphone, a quiet recording space and a bit of know-how, any musician can record music at a reasonable price. Adding vocals to an instrumental mix requires only a basic understanding of the Audacity program.
Attach your microphone and headphones to your computer. Most computers have two quarter-inch jack inputs, one for a microphone and one for headphones. You may need to purchase a converter piece to plug your equipment into your computer.
Open Audacity. Click the "File" tab at the top of the screen and choose "Open" from the drop-down menu. Locate the instrumental track that you wish to record vocals over and open that file.
Click the "Tracks" tab at the top of the screen. Float your mouse over the "Add New" button and choose "Audio Track" from the menu that appears.
Put the headphones on and click the record button (the red circle button at the top of the screen). Sing or talk into the microphone to record your voice. Click the stop button (the square yellow button at the top of the screen).
Repeat steps 2 through 4 if you want to add multiple vocal tracks.
Pay attention to the wave diagram on the track you are recording while singing into the microphone. Don't let the waves hit the top and the bottom of the diagram. If you do, your voice will distort. Move away from the microphone if you are having problems with clipping.
Michael Black has been a freelance writer based in South Central Pennsylvania since 2010. He graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional writing. He has written music- and writing-related articles for various websites.