Roland | CD-Rack | An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD, Version 3

An Introduction to
Recording Your Own CD
Learn the basics
of CD production
Third Edition
©2002, 2004, 2005 Roland Corporation U.S.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in
any form without the written permission of Roland Corporation U.S.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Your Own CD
Music makes our lives so much richer. We love to listen to music on CDs,
on TV, on the radio and in movie theaters. We listen to it when we work
and when we play, on headphones and in our cars.
When we discover something we want to hear again and again, we add it
to our collections by purchasing it on a CD. It’s fun to share our favorite
music with friends and family.
Many of us do more than just listen to music. We make our own music as
we sing and play, and write our own songs. Thanks to recent advances in
digital technology, we can even record audio CDs of our own music all by
ourselves. Computers and all-in-one studio workstations make it possible.
In the past, great-sounding recordings could only be made in expensive,
professional recording studios. Not anymore. Anyone can record a CD at
home—it’s easy, inexpensive and lots of fun.
You might want to record a CD for any number of reasons:
• You can listen to your own music through your favorite sound
system—or anywhere, for that matter. It’s an amazing experience.
• You can give your music to friends and family.
• You can give personalized mix CDs as gifts.
• You can sell CDs of your music at performances or over the Internet.
• You can create CDs for singing or playing along with for fun.
• You can make reference CDs of music you want to practice or rehearse
with other musicians.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
The CD Recording Process
The process of bringing your music from performance to a final, completed
CD takes place in four stages. These operations are always performed in
the same order—this only makes sense, as you’ll see.
You start by recording your music.
You sing, play...
...and record your performance.
Second, you “mix” your music.
You combine all of your recorded elements—and any
desired enhancements—into a single stereo concoction
called a “mix.”
Third, you “master” your music.
Mastering prepares the mix for transfer to an audio CD, smoothing out any
rough edges so that it sounds great.
Finally, you transfer, or “burn,” your music onto a CD.
When you transfer your
music to a CD, a tiny laser
beam uses heat to write your
music onto the CD—don’t
worry, you won’t actually see
any flames!
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Studio Gear: Recorder
Every complete CD-recording studio has to have the same four basic pieces
of equipment. Whether it’s a big commercial studio, a computer-based
system or a one-piece studio workstation, it should have a:
• recorder
• mixer
• set of mastering tools
• CD burner
Each of these elements allows you to perform one of the operations
described on the previous page.
Every studio should also have effect processing—we’ll explain this later.
Multitrack Recorder
When you sing or play an instrument, a digital
recorder captures the sound you produce. It can then
play it back at your command. A recorder may store your performance on a
hard disk drive—like the kind you’d find in a computer—on a memory card,
on digital tape or on a CD, depending on the recorder the studio has.
A multitrack recorder can make multiple recordings and play them back
together. Each of these recordings is stored on a “track”—hence the word
“multitrack.” What this means is that you could, for example...
...record a vocal on Track 1...
...and then record another on Track 2.
When the multitrack recorder plays them back, they
sound like a duet performed at the same time.
You could also record a group of musicians at the same time on different
tracks. This would let you individually control each player’s recorded
performance during playback, changing its volume or sound if you wish.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Studio Gear: Mixer and Mastering Tools
A mixer gives you control over the
volume and sound of each microphone,
instrument, track or any other type of
audio you want on your CD.
• When you’re recording—you use the
mixer to set your microphone or instrument volume levels to get the
best sound.
• When you’re mixing—you use the mixer to set the volume of each track
so it’s as loud as you want it to be in relation to your other tracks. You
also use it to change a track’s sound using tools we’ll discuss later on.
A mixer is a device that contains a group of identical “channels.” A
channel is just a collection of knobs, buttons or settings that you can use to
shape the sound of a mic, instrument or track, and so on.
Did You Know...
...that since a mixer is mostly made up of channels, if you learn how to use
only one channel, you’ll already know how to use most of the mixer?
Mastering Tools
A good recording studio has tools with which you can prepare
your finished mix for transfer to a CD. During mastering, a great
mix gets that last bit of polish to help ensure that it becomes an
amazing CD. In a studio workstation or on a computer, mastering tools may be
special software programs. Some Roland and BOSS studios, for example,
contain a professional-quality Mastering Tool Kit (“MTK”) for this purpose.
In some studios, each mastering tool may be a hardware device that performs a
specific mastering task.
Did You Know...
...that there’s a “CD track marker” at the start of each song on a CD? This
special bookmark tells a CD player where the song starts when you press
the Next or Previous Song button on the player or when you select a song
by number. You can place CD track markers where you want them during
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Studio Gear: CD Burner and Effects
CD Burner
A CD burner is a device that can write your mix onto a
CD. Once the CD holds your music, it can be played on
most audio CD players. A CD burner may be a stand-alone device or it may
be built right into a studio workstation for maximum portability.
Most modern CD burners are referred to as “CD-R/RW” burners because
they can create audio CDs using two types of discs:
• CD-R discs—are discs that can’t be erased once you’ve burned your
music onto them. Commercial audio CDs are all made on CD-R discs,
and any CD player can play them.
• CD-RW disks—can be erased, and you can burn new material onto
them over and over again. As a result, they’re also more expensive.
Since some audio CD players can’t play them, they’re best for archiving
your music or for creating temporary reference CDs that let you listen
to your work on other systems as you refine your final mix.
Effects Processor
In every studio, you’ll find one or more devices that generate
“effects.” Effects are often what make a recording sound like a
professional CD.
What Is an Effect?
An effect is a type of processing that takes an original sound and
changes it in some way. If this definition sounds pretty general, it
is, and that’s because there are so many ways you can change a
sound using effects.
Some effects replace the original sound altogether—these effects
are called “insert” effects. “Loop” effects are added to the original
sound so that the effect and the sound are both heard at the same
On the next page, we’ll discuss some of the most frequently used
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Studio Gear: Types of Effects
Frequently Used Effects
Here are just a few of the most important effects.
Reverb—short for “reverberation”—is the most
commonly used effect. Reverb simulates the sound of a
real-world physical space such as a concert hall, a small
room, a bathroom or most any other type of space. When
reverb is added to a sound, it creates the illusion that the
sound is taking place in that space.
Reverb can make a sound seem more natural. When it’s
added to a singer’s voice, it can also reinforce the meaning
of the lyrics: longer reverbs sound great on vocals in
ballads while shorter reverbs can toughen-up a voice.
A delay is a copy of a sound, delayed slightly and then
added to the original sound. This simple effect has a
surprising number of uses. For example, some people use
a delay to create a second copy of a lead vocal so it sounds
like the vocal was performed twice.
A chorus creates multiple delays and gently detunes them
for a sort of shimmering effect. It can also turn a single
sound into a wide, animated stereo sound. Chorus is often
used on guitars and electric pianos.
Modeling—such as Roland/BOSS COSM® modeling—
applies the sonic characteristics of one sound to another.
Mic modeling—makes an inexpensive microphone
sound like an expensive, world-class studio mic. Mic
modeling is found, for example, in Roland and BOSS
studio workstations.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Studio Gear: Types of Effects
Amp modeling—makes a plain, un-amplified guitar
sound like it’s being played through the guitar amp of
your choice. Roland and BOSS studio workstations
contain spectacular amp modeling effects.
Speaker modeling—allows your speakers to simulate
the sound of various professional and consumer
speaker systems. By auditioning your mix through
different speaker models, you can be sure that your
CD will sound great wherever it’s played. Speaker
modeling is a great innovation, available in Roland
and BOSS studio workstations when you use
compatible Roland speakers.
The Benefit of Internal Effects
In some studios, effects are produced by external effect processing
equipment. This can be quite a complex job, and unwanted buzzes and
hums are often introduced through the wires that connect everything.
Studio workstations such as those made by Roland and BOSS—and many
computer recording/mixing programs—have effects built in. Therfore:
• The effects are much easier to use since there’s no wiring to set up.
• The lack of external wires means that there are no unexpected hums,
buzzes or other noises, so the effects sound better.
Plug-In Effects
Among the most exciting innovations to hit the professional recording
world in recent years are effect “plug-ins.” A plug-in is a software program
that produces a specific effect or suite of effects, adding new capabilities to
a studio, keeping it right on the cutting edge of technology. Plug-ins can be
quite powerful, too. You’d be surprised, for example, at the number of
successful singers who owe their careers to auto-tuning plug-ins.
Most Roland V-Studios can use a range of third-party plug-ins with the
installation of the optional VS8F-3 Plug-In Effect Expansion Board.
Now that we understand the elements of a digital recording studio, let’s see
how the pieces fit together to make recording a CD so much fun.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Creative Freedom
Recording music in some digital studios—such as those from Roland and
BOSS—is fun and easy thanks to “non-destructive” recording and editing.
You can record anything or try out any creative idea without worrying that
you’re going to do something that’ll ruin your work so far, or that you’ll
throw away something you wish you’d kept. Try things over and over or
explore any possibility. You can always go back and try again.
If you do something you wish you hadn’t done, relax—
you can undo it by simply pressing an Undo button. Some
digital studios offer you the chance to undo your most recent
actions, one-by-one. And if you undo something and change
your mind, you can often redo it by pressing REDO.
Everything you record can be bent, twisted and
shaped in lots of ways. You can easily fix mistakes,
use a great background vocal or guitar riff in a few
places by copying it, move things around, and more.
If you’re a songwriter, you’ll also love the fact that you can move entire
sections of a song around, trying out different structures for the song even
after you’ve recorded everything that goes in it!
Virtual Tracks
On some digital recorders, every track contains a set of “Virtual Tracks.”
For each track, you can pick one Virtual Track for recording and playback
at a time.
Virtual Tracks give you way more recording room than you might realize.
An 8-track BOSS BR-900, for example, provides 64 Virtual Tracks in each
You can record multiple versions of any performance, recording each on its
own Virtual Track. For example, on a single track, you can record a guitar
solo on Virtual Track 1, then another guitar solo on Virtual Track 2, and
then another, and keep them all—simply select the one you want to hear.
Try out a different vocal approach or a different guitar solo. You can
combine the best parts of several Virtual Tracks into one perfect Virtual
Track. You’ve got plenty of room in each song to try out all of your ideas.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Built for Speed
Nothing kills the creative process like having to wait. In most digital
studios, you get an idea and go.
Run, Don’t Walk
Digital recorders can jump to any spot in a song in a
heartbeat. As soon as you tell the recorder where you
want to go, you’re there. You don’t have to fast-forward or
rewind as you would on a VCR or cassette deck.
You can bookmark important places in a song using “locators.” You can
place a locator in position by pressing a single button, and get back there
just as quickly. You don’t have to go hunting around, trying to remember
where certain song sections are when inspiration strikes.
Locators remember them for you.
Making a Scene
A significant amount of time in a studio can be spent setting things up
or tweaking things so that they sound just right. Some digital mixers
and studio workstations can remember all of these settings for you as a
“scene.” It’s hard to overstate the wonder of scenes: Press a button and
your entire studio setup snaps into place instantly. Using scenes, you can
experiment with different mix ideas, comparing them with the push of a
Safe and Sound
When you save your song
after each session, a studio
workstation can keep
track of all of the song’s
recordings and remember
all of your settings.
At the next session, you can
simply load your song and
pick up right where you left
off. Everything will be just
where you left it, including
Virtual Tracks, mixer settings,
and your Undos.
This means that when you want to resume work on a song you can do so,
quickly, without having to manually recreate your setup. It also means that
you can easily work on any song at any time, even if you’re in the middle
of work on another song. Just save your current work and load the song
you want to work on.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Recording Your Music
Here’s a brief description of the things you’ll do to record your CD.
Recording with Mics
When you want to record a voice, an acoustic
instrument or an electric instrument playing through
your amplifier, you’ll capture that sound using a
microphone. Connect the mic’s cable to an input jack
on your mixer or studio workstation. An input jack is
how the sound gets into your recording equipment.
Did You Know...
...that there’s a very simple way to figure out where to place a microphone
to get the best sound? Use your ears. Listen to the instrument from
different angles to find where it sounds best—that’s where you should
place your mic, aiming it at the instrument. If you’re recording a singer,
aim the mic at the singer’s mouth, and experiment with different angles to
see which sounds best for the singer’s voice and performance style.
Some mics require electrical power to operate—it’s called “phantom
power.” Your mixer or studio workstation may provide built-in phantom
If your studio has mic modeling and a compatible mic, you can use it to
make your recordings sound as if they were made using some of the best
mics in the world even if you use an inexpensive mic.
Recording Electric Instruments
You’ll use essentially the same process for
recording electric instruments such as an
electric guitar, electric bass, drum machine or
synthesizer. The only difference is that you
can plug the instrument directly into your
mixer or studio workstation instead of using
a mic cable.
You can make an electric instrument sound even better by adding amp
modeling—for example, Roland/BOSS COSM Amp Modeling—as you
record. Your guitar can sound like it’s playing through some of the world’s
most sought-after guitar amps. And even if you’re using headphones, you
can enjoy the experience of playing the selected amp at full volume.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Recording Your Music, continued
Recording from a CD or a Cassette
You can also record from CD or tape players just as if
they’re instruments. (If you’re planning on publishing or
selling your CD, make sure that you have the legal right to
use anything you get from a CD or tape.)
Recording with Rhythms
You may find that playing or singing along with some sort of
rhythmic reference as you record makes the process more fun. A
reference rhythm also helps ensure that all of the song’s recorded
performances stay accurately in time with each other.
Use a Metronome
The simplest type of reference rhythm is a metronome.
Computer recording software and studio workstations often
have a metronome built in.
Did You Know...
...that playing along with a metronome is a lot more fun if the metronome
plays a rhythm that complements what you’re playing instead of just a
simple quarter-note click?
Use a Rhythm Track
Some studio workstations offer a special rhythm
track or rhythm guide that can play realistic
drum or percussion patterns in a range of styles.
You can even incorporate these patterns into
your arrangements, including them on your CD
with no charge to you for their use.
Import a Loop
Another way to add a great-sounding drum part or rhythm to
your song is to import a rhythm loop—a pre-recorded drum
or percussion phrase. There are lots of these loops available
as .WAV files on commercial loop CDs. (If you want to use a loop in a CD
you plan to sell, do make sure you have the legal right to do so.)
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Recording Your Music, continued
There are lots of different loops available, including loops in all sorts of
music styles. Within a style, there may be a loop for each section of your
song—the introduction, verse, chorus and so on. You can string the loops
together like building blocks to construct your song. On Roland’s
VS-2480DVD and the BOSS BR-1200CD and BR-1600CD, you can play the
loops in the desired order on pads, making the whole process fast and fun.
Loop 1
Loop 2
In the BOSS BR-900, BR-1200CD and BR-1600CD, you can import a .WAV
loop—or a Standard MIDI File—directly into the Rhythm Track so it
doesn’t use up any of your recording tracks.
Recording Tracks
The process of recording tracks is sometimes called “tracking.” Here’s how
it goes:
• Record your first track.
• You can re-record any portions of the track you’d like to improve without losing the parts you like. This process is called “punching.” When
you begin to re-record a section of a track, you “punch in.” When you
stop, you “punch out.”
• Record additional tracks to complete your arrangement.
• You can combine already-recorded tracks to make them easier to
manage, lock in effects you really like or free up space for new tracks.
The process of combining tracks is called “bouncing” or “ping-ponging.” Since Virtual Tracks provide so much elbow room, you can hold
onto the original, un-bounced tracks in case you need to change any of
them or re-do the bounce later on.
You can also perfect any track using the non-destructive editing techniques
we mentioned earlier. You can move pieces around, clean up unwanted
noises and much more.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Mixing Your CD
Once all of your tracks are recorded, you’ll mix them together into a final
stereo mix. Mixing can be a lot of fun, since it’s often a very creative process during which you hear your song assume its final form.
Balancing Track Levels
Set the volume level of your
tracks. Make each track just
as loud or soft as you want it
to be in relation to the other
tracks. Do this with care
since it will determine what
your listeners hear.
When all of your tracks
are playing, make sure the
overall level isn’t too quiet
or loud. Your studio’s documentation will provide you
with guidelines for setting
the best level.
When you listen to a stereo mix, the sound covers the space between your
two speakers—if you’re listening on headphones, it goes from ear to ear.
Each track seems like it’s coming from a particular place between the left
and right edges of the sound. This is called “panning.” You can pan a track
to any position you like.
In this mix, the lead vocal and acoustic guitar are panned to the center, with background harmonies
to either side. There’s an electric guitar panned far left and another one panned far right.
Panning is something of an art form in which there are really no hard
and fast rules—feel free to experiment. Typically, the most important
sounds—lead vocal, bass, snare, bass drum, solo instruments—are placed
in the center for emphasis, though they don’t have to be.
Equalization, or “EQ” for short, lets you shape
the tone, or “timbre,” of each track. Without
getting too technical here, EQ works much like
the treble and bass controls on any home or car stereo, but it’s much more
precise. You can select any of the elements that make up a sound and make
them louder or softer, altering the tonal characteristics of the sound. EQ a
bass to make it punchier, or use EQ to warm up a vocal.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Mixing Your CD
Dynamics Processing
Dynamics processors can control the volume changes—or
“dynamics”—in your tracks.
• Compressors and limiters—subtly control the loudest parts of a track
to smooth out volume changes, making the track sound more polished
and professional. They’re often used on vocals, basses and bass drums.
Compressors and limiters are also helpful for taming tracks that have a
lot of wild volume fluctuations.
• Expanders and gates—can silence a track when its volume falls below
a specified level. You may, for example, use an expander or gate on a
noisy electric guitar so you don’t hear it humming in places where it’s
not playing. Expanders can also increase the excitement in a lackluster
performance by making its volume changes more dynamic.
Adding Effects
As we mentioned earlier, effects play an important part in the overall
sound of most CDs. During mixing, you’ll add any effects you need to
complete the sound of your tracks and enhance the way they work
together. Reverb, for example, is usually added during mixing.
Automating Your Mix
Some recording studios and studio workstations
offer mix automation that memorizes all of your
mix settings at a particular moment in a “snapshot.”
Automation may also be able to record any changes
you make as the song plays during mixdown, and
then play them back for you. Roland’s Automix
feature, for example, can perform both of these jobs
for you.
Automation makes mixing much easier, since you
can slowly perfect your mix, automating your work
a track at a time. When you’re finished, all you
have to do is press PLAY, and your entire mix is
automatically performed by your studio. In Roland’s
VS-2480DVD, you’ll even see the motorized faders
move up and down all by themselves.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Mastering Your CD
Get Your Mastering Tools Together
Now that your mix is complete, it’s time to prepare
it for burning on a CD. Gather the tools you need,
such as mastering software and/or hardware. Most
Roland and BOSS studio workstations already
contain a Mastering Tool Kit that includes
everything you might need.
The onscreen icon for
the Roland/BOSS
Mastering Tool Kit
Time to Identify and Fix Problems
During mastering you’ll listen carefully to your final mix and make sure
it sounds exactly the way you want. If you discover anything you need to
fix, you’ll use the appropriate mastering tool to correct the problem. (If you
find too many problems, you can always go back and do another mix.)
• Check the overall level—Make sure that your mix is at a good, strong
level without being too loud. If parts of your mix are too loud or
soft, use a mastering-quality compressor—such as the one found in
the Roland/BOSS Mastering Tool Kit—to smooth out the volume level
of the mix.
• Check the overall EQ—Take a moment to verify that your mix isn’t
too bright or too dull. If you need to, add some mastering EQ to fix
the problem. If certain sounds in your mix are too soft or loud, it’s
sometimes possible to make corrections using EQ.
Record Mastering Tracks
A CD can only play back a single stereo pair of tracks at a time. This means
that you’ll have to bounce your mix—containing all of your individual
tracks—down to a single stereo pair of “mastering tracks.” Once your mix
sounds exactly the way you want it to sound, record your mastering tracks.
Place CD Track Markers
If your CD contains more than one song, you’ll create CD track markers
so any CD player will be able to locate the start of each selection. This
is especially easy to do on a studio workstation such as those made by
Roland and BOSS.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Burning a CD
Once you’ve mastered your mix, you’ll burn it onto a CD. It’s as easy as
turning on your CD burner and selecting the mastering tracks you want to
Burning a Standard CD
A professional-quality CD burner—such as those
found in various Roland/BOSS studio workstations—
lets you make a CD that can be played on any audio
CD player. This CD will also contain everything a
mass duplicator would need to produce as many copies
of the CD as you want.
Burning a CD a Song at a Time
Many CD burners also allow you to burn one song at a time. This is handy
for a couple of reasons.
If you’re working on an album of songs, you can build up the album song-bysong. Mix one song, and burn a CD. When you mix the next song, you can
add it the same CD, and so on.
You can also create a CD with different versions of the
same song, allowing you to compare them and pick the
best version.
A CD you compile a song at a time may be playable only on your CD burner
until you finish adding songs and “finalize” the CD. Finalizing makes the
CD playable anywhere.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Moving On
Packaging Your CD
With your final CD in hand, you can design a
cover package for the CD or hire someone to do it
for you. You can print the cover elements on your
printer. If you prefer, you can have it printed
professionally. Insert the cover elements into
each CD case and you’re ready to go.
Some CD manufacturers can even handle the packaging and assembly for
you when they duplicate your CD. On the other hand, many independent
musicians have gotten great results, and have gone on to successful careers,
doing everything themselves.
Your CD is Done
Congratulations! You now hold in your hand a CD of your own music.
Share it with the world if you like, send it to friends and family, sell it at
live performances or fire it off to music industry professionals. Or maybe
just enjoy hearing your own music on a professional-sounding CD. It’s a
great time to be making music.
Getting Ready for Your Next CD
It’s time to prepare for recording your next song:
• If you’re using a hard disk recorder or memory card—make a copy of
your song data, called a “backup,” on a CD. This is especially easy on
a Roland or BOSS studio workstation with a built-in CD burner. Once
you’ve made a backup, check to see if you have enough disk or card
space for the new song. If not, you can now erase your hard disk or
card to make room. You can “restore” the backup to your hard drive or
card at any time and everything will be right where you left it. A data
backup retains all of the song’s materials—even the stuff you need if
you want to undo something—and all of its settings.
• If you’re recording on digital tape—insert and format a new tape if
you’re out of recording space.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
What Kind of Studio Do I Want?
There are three kinds of recording systems—here are their pros and cons.
Component-Based Hardware System
This type of studio contains separate pieces of recording, mixing, effect
processing and CD-burning hardware. It might, for example, incorporate a
tape-based digital recorder, an analog or digital mixer, some effect
processing boxes and a CD burner.
You can select each element
Traditional-style operation
reminiscent of gear found in
older analog studios that
incorporated separate
Can combine new and vintage
Can be expensive
Steep learning curve
Wiring can be complicated and
result in unwanted hums, etc.
No system-wide memory for
scenes and so on
Tape-based recorders lack
non-destructive editing
Requires advanced
configuration skills
Not portable
Computer-Based Recording System
A computer can host recording and CD-burning software programs that
may include mixing capabilities and effects. You may also be able to
purchase additional effect “plug-in” software programs.
Powerful recording and
mixing tools
May offer automation
May offer non-destructive
Large display
Effect plug-in software
Can be expensive
Requires powerful computer
Requires advanced
configuration skills
Steep learning curve
Stability difficult to maintain
Mixing with mouse not as
enjoyable as using faders
Not portable
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
What Kind of Studio Do I Want?
Studio Workstation
A studio workstation can provide everything you need in a single, portable
Powerful integrated recording,
mixing, effects, mastering and
CD-burning tools
System-wide scene memory
Non-destructive editing
Minimal configuration
Fast and easy to use
May offer automation
Real physical faders and knobs
are great for mixing
No wiring worries or noises
Portable, may be batterypowered
Optional display with mousebased editing in some products
May have effect plug-in
May require optional, external
CD burner
May not offer large display
May not offer plug-in capability
A studio workstation’s power and ease of use makes
it far and away the best option for beginners
and a great choice for professionals!
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
BOSS Studio Workstations
Roland and BOSS offer digital studio workstations designed to meet the
needs of everyone from the beginner to the most demanding professional.
BR-900CD Digital Recording Studio
The BOSS BR-900 is the musician’s portable dream studio. No matter
where you are, all you need is this all-in-one digital recording studio.
Built-in CD-burner and Mastering Tool Kit
8 simultaneous playback tracks, 2 simultaneous recording tracks with
8 V-tracks (64 V-Tracks total)
2 XLR inputs with phantom power, plus 1/4” and RCA inputs, and
digital out
Pitch correction, chorus, delay, reverb, EQ, and other great BOSSquality effects
Programmable drum generator with 294 patterns, plus Tone Load
function for custom beats
Record direct to Compact Flash (128MB card included; record up to
624 minutes with optional 1GB card)
Record direct to CD-R/RW
USB port for data backup to computer, plus importing/exporting WAV
Runs on batteries or AC power
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
BOSS Studio Workstations
BR-1180CD Digital Recording Studio
The BOSS BR-1180CD is a compact, all-in-one, easy-to-use recording
powerhouse. It’s ideal for newcomers to digital recording.
Self-contained 10-track digital recording studio with stereo Master
Track and 80 Virtual Tracks
20GB hard drive for hours of recording time
Built-in CD-R/RW drive
Easy icon-based interface simplifies recording, bouncing and mixing
2 XLR mic inputs with phantom power, plus Hi-Z guitar input and
line inputs
Separate Rhythm Track with realistic drum sounds and patterns
Import/export .WAV files directly for loading drum loops, etc.
Onboard COSM effects including 2 loop processors, insert processor
and Mastering Tool Kit. All of the effects you need to make a greatsounding CD
Digital mixer with EQ, scenes and great 24-bit sound quality
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
BOSS Studio Workstations
BR-1200CD Digital Recording Studio
and Featurepacked!
COSM® effects and amp models from BOSS’s GT-6/6B, plus a great-sounding bass and drum programmer for instant backing tracks, the BR-1200CD
is the friendliest and most complete hard disk recorder on the market.
Built-in CD-burner and mastering effects for CD-quality mixes
12 simultaneous playback tracks (192 V-Tracks) with individual
2 individual XLR inputs with phantom power, digital output
GT inside! Famous BOSS GT-6 Guitar and Bass effects engine built-in
for unsurpassed signal processing
Vocal Toolbox provides pitch correction and harmony generator for
true pro vocal processing
COSM Mic and Amp models offer incredible hardware simulation
Backing band built in — programmable drum/bass pattern generator
with 600 patterns and EZ Compose feature for super fast drum and
bass pattern creation
Easy importing of stereo drum loops with Automatic Tempo Matching
Internal hard drive can store up to 120 hours of uncompressed music
USB port for data backup to computer, plus importing/exporting WAV
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
BOSS Studio Workstations
BR-1600CD Digital Recording Studio
The BR-1600CD Digital Recording Studio combines BOSS’ famous,
easy-to-use interface with eight XLR inputs for recording eight tracks
16-track (256 V-Track) digital studio with 40GB hard drive and
CD-R/RW drive
Record all 8 XLR inputs simultaneously—ideal for tracking live
Powerful onboard effects including COSM modeling for guitar, bass
and vocals
New Vocal Tool Box with auto pitch correction and Harmony
Sequence function
16 individual track EQs, plus 8 dedicated compressors
Mastering Tool Kit with multi-band compression for loud and punchy
Create backing tracks quickly via independent Drum/Bass and Loop
Phrase tracks
USB port for easy data exchange, plus V-LINK video control*
*V-LINK requires Edirol DV7-PR with software version 1.50 or higher.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Roland Studio Workstations
VS-2000CD 24-bit Digital Studio Workstation
VGA monitor not included.
The VS-2000CD Digital Studio Workstation sets a new standard for
affordable digital recording.
20-track digital studio with 40GB hard drive, CD-RW drive
18 playback tracks, 320 V-Tracks and stereo mastering track
Support for 24-bit and 16-bit recording at 44.1kHz
8 balanced XLR/TRS inputs with phantom power
40-channel digital mixer with channel dynamics and 4-band EQ,
onboard effects and mastering tools
New Harmony Sequence function adds realistic harmonies to vocals
3rd party plug-in support with optional VS8F-3 Effect Expansion
Tracks 17-18 double as stereo Rhythm Track with onboard drum
Mouse-based editing with optional VS20-VGA and monitor
USB 2.0 for high-speed data transfer, .WAV/AIFF import and .WAV
V-LINK video control support*
*V-LINK requires Edirol DV-7PR with software version 1.50 or higher
(sold separately).
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Roland Studio Workstations
VS-2400CD 24-bit Digital Studio Workstation
and compact!
VGA monitor not included.
The VS-2400CD Digital Studio Workstation brings professional 24-track
recording and CD burning to a new low price, with plug-in support.
Self-contained 24-track/24-bit/96kHz recording workstation with
onboard effects, CD-RW drive and 40GB hard disk
24-track playback; 16-track recording* with 384 V-Tracks
48-channel, fully automated digital mixer with 13 motorized faders
VGA Monitor output for fast, software-style editing with mouse
Edit using included mouse and optional ASCII keyboard
New RSS 3-D panning creates a 3-Dimensional sound field for mixing
V-LINK function for synchronizing or controlling video equipment*
8 XLR/balanced TRS inputs and Hi-Z input
Import .WAV/AIFF files direct from CD-ROM; export in .WAV format
2 stereo effects (expandable to 4 stereo, 8 mono) including COSM Mic,
Speaker and Guitar Amp Modeling, plus Mastering Tool Kit
Use 3rd party plug-ins with optional VS8F-3 Effect Expansion Boards
*V-LINK requires Edirol DV-7PR Digital Video Workstation
(sold separately) with software version 1.5 or later.
*16 track simultaneous recording requires optional 8 channel R-BUS device
such as the ADA-7000 or Edirol DA-2496 A/D to D/A converter
or the RPC-1 computer interface.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Roland Studio Workstations
VS-2480DVD 24-bit Digital Studio Workstation
VGA monitor not included.
The Roland VS-2480DVD is the ultimate studio workstation. Its jawdropping features make it simply the best all-in-one studio in the world.
Self-contained, 24-track/24-bit/96kHz digital recording workstation
with built-in DVD multi-drive
80GB hard drive for unprecedented recording time
24-track playback; 16-track simultaneous recording, 384 V-Tracks
“Drag-and-drop” control using included mouse; also accepts ASCII
keyboard (optional)
64-channel, fully automated digital mixer with 17 motorized faders
Pro-quality connections including 8 XLR/16 balanced TRS inputs
2 stereo effects processors—expandable to 8 stereo, 16 mono—with
COSM Mic, Speaker and Guitar Amp Modeling, Mastering Tool Kit
Use 3rd party plug-ins with optional VS8F-3 Effect Expansion Boards
24-voice Phrase Pads for triggering and arranging samples, plus
onboard phrase sequencer
.WAV file import/export, CD Capture function for importing from CD
Dual R-BUS ports for expandable I/O in a variety of analog and digital
formats; SMPTE and Word Clock input
VGA video output for intuitive, software-style editing with mouse
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
for Roland V-Studios
VS8F-3 Plug-In Effect Expansion Board
The VS8F-3 Plug-In Effect Expansion Board is
an easy and affordable way to add third-party
plug-in effect processing to your V-Studio. Plugins are available from the following companies.
Auto-Tune VS corrects intonation problems in
vocals or instruments in realtime.
Soundstage allows you to design different
acoustic environments, resulting in unique,
realistic reverbs.
T-RackS offers professional mastering,
including EQs and dynamics-based vintage
hardware mastering equipment.
Hi-Resolution parametric EQ is a high-precision
4-band EQ with the smoothness of analog.
Chrome Tone Amp brings custom guitar amps
and boutique pedal effects too your V-Studio.
SoundBlender provides pitch-shifting, dual
resonant filters, echo and reverse echo,
arpeggiation and more.
TCR 3000 provides 16 award-winning reverbs
including Classic Hall, Vocal Studio, Room,
Drum Box and more.
The VS-LA2A and VS-1176LN are exacting
emulations of the original legendary
compressor and limiting amp.
Included with each VS8F-3 are 5 new high-quality effects from Roland:
• Roland Stereo Reverb
• Roland Tempo Mapping Effect
• Roland Pre-Amp Modeling • Roland Mastering Toolkit
• Roland Vocal Channel strip
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
1GB CF max
L-2, I-2, MTK
L-2, I-2, MTK
Digital Studio Comparison Chart
Playback Tracks/Virtual Tracks
Simultaneous recording tracks
Medium (HD=hard drive, CF=Compact Flash)
Onboard digital mixer channels
Phantom power
Effects (S=stereo, M=mono, L=loop, I=insert)
Max FX (S=stereo, M=mono, L=loop, I=insert)
Support for third-party plug-in effects
Burner (C=CD-R/RW, D=DVD multi-drive)
Mastering Tool Kit
Non-destructive editing and recording
Number of Undos
Automated mixing (R=realtime, S=snapshot)
Import/export .WAV files
Mic modeling
Amp modeling
Speaker modeling
Time compression/tempo matching
Rhythm Part/Bass Part (Rhythm=R, Bass=B)
Vocal harmony generator
Mouse operation and VGA monitor output
Waveform editing
Motorized faders
USB connectivity for data transfer
Digital input and output (I=input, O=output)
L-2, I-2, MTK
L-2, I-2, MTK
L-2, I-2, MTK
L-2, I-2, MTK
R, B
L-2, I-2, MTK
L-2, I-2, MTK
R, B
I-2, 0-2
S-2, M-4
S-6, M-12
R, S
I-2, O-2
S-2, M-4
S-4, M-8
R, S
I-10, O-10
S-2, M-4
S-8, M-16
R, S
I-18, O-18
Comparison Chart
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
The data format for professional-quality digital recording and playback. 24-bit
recordings faithfully capture and reproduce even the most subtle nuances in audio.
Another word for “sound.”
Automix, or “Auto-Mix,” is the name of Roland’s automated mixing system. It
records and plays back changes in your mix, such as fader movements. Automix
makes it easy to create the perfect mix since it remembers everything for you.
Back up
To “back up” is to make an external copy of your data, called a “backup.” A backup
contains all of a song’s recordings, its settings and any materials you need if you
want to Undo something later on.
Bouncing is the recording of tracks onto another track or pair of tracks. Most often,
this is done to combine a greater number of tracks into fewer tracks.
“Burn” is music industry slang for writing data onto a CD.
CD-R, CD-RW discs
CD-Recordable (“CD-R”) and CD-ReWritable (“CD-RW”) discs. You can write
unerasable data one time onto a CD-R. A CD-RW can be reused—you can erase it
and write new data onto it. Both types can be played as many times as you wish.
CD-R/RW drive
A CD-R/RW drive is a device that can burn audio onto CD-R or CD-RW discs.
CD Track Marker
A bookmark that pinpoints the beginning of each selection—for example, each
song—on an audio CD.
A channel is a set of tools for controlling and shaping an audio signal.
A device that reduces the loudness of audio exceeding a specified volume. A compressor can smooth out a recording by controlling excessive volume changes.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Audio to which no effect processing has been applied is called “dry.” A vocal without reverb, for example, is “dry.” When you add reverb, it becomes “wet.”
Digital audio
Computer-based data representing sound as strings of binary numbers—that is,
digits. Audio captured by a digital recorder is converted into numbers. Digital audio
sounds great and can be manipulated without any degradation in its quality.
EQ, Equalization
The process of adjusting the volumes of individual sonic elements within a sound.
EQ lets you change a sound’s overall personality by making it crisper or warmer,
and also lets you bring out or hide other aspects of the sound.
A bar that you slide forward or back to raise or lower volume on a mixer.
Hard drive
A device that stores data—such as digital audio—magnetically on a rigid platter
mounted inside a case.
An effect setup in which dry audio is completely replaced by a processed (wet)
Line level
The high-level signal produced by the outputs of synths, samplers, beat boxes, turntable preamps, CD players, multitrack recorders, cassette decks and so on.
A bookmark that lets you quickly jump to any location within a song or project
with the press of a button or the click of a mouse.
The act of playing the same audio phrase over and over. A loop may also be a prerecorded audio phrase used in a composition. In the context of effects, a loop effect
is an effect in which both dry and wet versions of a sound are combined.
The final step in the process of preparing a mix for burning onto an audio CD.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
Mastering tracks
A pair of tracks onto which a final mix is recorded so it can be burned to an audio
Mic level
The audio level produced by mics and instruments such as electric guitar or bass.
For “Musical Instrument Digital Interface,” the wiring and message protocol that
allows devices to communicate by exchanging instructions called “MIDI messages.”
A button you can strike with your fingers to play or trigger a recorded phrase. Pads
make the recording and song-construction process even more fun and musical.
Positioning a sound between the left and right speakers of a stereo system.
A third-party effect program, sold separately, that adds new effect processing
capabilities to a digital recording studio.
A process that occurs while you’re recording or playing back without requiring you
to stop since it takes place in “real time.”
When you’ve undone a recording or editing action—and then change your mind—
you can often Redo it by simply pressing a button.
To reload data you’ve backed up, you “recover” it. When you recover a song or
project, all of its recorded material and its settings are restored, including anything
you need if you want to Undo something.
A scene stores a mixer’s current settings—recall the scene to instantly restore the
settings. Scenes make it easy to try out different ideas since they let you quickly
switch between different mix setups at the press of a button or the click of a mouse.
A MIDI recorder that captures and plays back MIDI messages.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
A compact memory card that can hold recorded audio, settings and other data.
A snapshot stores mixer settings at a particular moment in time within a song or
project. During playback, the settings are restored when that moment is reached.
In a traditional recorder, a track is where audio is recorded. In a digital recorder,
a track may be a collection of Virtual Tracks, any one of which can be active at a
time. In a sequencer, a track is a stream of MIDI data. An automation track contains mix settings that are recorded and reproduced as a song or project plays.
For “Tip/Ring/Sleeve,” a 1/4” plug on balanced electric instrument cables.
Undo is a feature that allows you to reverse recording and editing actions so you
can freely experiment with recording and editing ideas, safe in the knowledge that
you can always Undo what you’ve just done.
“USB” stands for “Universal Serial Bus,” and is a type of connector that allows the
for the transfer of audio and other data between connected devices.
V-Track, Virtual Track
A Virtual Track—or “V-Track”—is where audio data is recorded in some digital
recorders. Virtual Tracks provide elbow room for multiple versions of a
performance, different approaches for a musical idea or solo, or alternate edits of
something you’ve recorded.
A common file format used for digital audio. There are many high-quality,
professionally recorded drum and instrumental loops available as .wav files for use
in song construction.
An audio signal to which an effect has been applied is called “wet.” A vocal without reverb, for example, is “dry.” When you add reverb, it becomes “wet.”
A professional-quality, three-pin analog or digital audio connector.
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
An Introduction to Recording Your Own CD
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Roland Corporation U.S.
5100 S. Eastern Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90040-2938
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