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Anybody know of any good, free downloadable recording software for use with a USB mic?

I'm looking for something that will allow me to record a few tracks on top of each other so I can mix them and play all the different parts myself...melody, harmony, etc., but I don't want to spend any money if I can swing it.

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Try Audacity!
I'll second Audacity. It's the only freebie DAW out there that I know of.
DAW = Digital Audio Workstation
KRISTAL AUDIO ENGINE is another free option. Works good.
Another vote for Audacity here, assuming you are on a PC or Linux. If you use a Mac, try Garageband.

While you can get away without spending money on Audacity or Kristal Audio Engine software, there will always be the issue of an audio interface - the hardware side of things. You can use the "Mic" input that might be built into your motherboard. The issue with doing that is they are not designed to handle the various kinds of signals you will be sending it. Plus they are all 1/8" mini plugs. Not the standard 1/4" or XLR your going to run into with musical instruments and microphones. If you ever get a mic that requires phantom power the built-in will not work at all.

Because I've never used a computer's built-in mic input I might be wrong with the following. Can someone please correct me if I'm wrong. A computer's built-in mic input is going to have issues with guitars because guitars are Hi-Z inputs. If you plug a guitar in you're going to get a very low signal. Not very conducive to a quality recording.

I follow you.

All I'm looking to do now is record off of a standalone mic. My acoustic is not electric/acoustic.
I was planning on running the USB mic into the USB input and through to my OS. Maybe Mythbuntu Linux if I desire, but will test on Windows first.

Eventually (when I'm better) I will get some hardware for serious recording, but I just started playing and just need a way to see what I sound like.

My parents anniversary is in December (40th) so I'd like to think about cutting an album of 2 or 3 of their favorite songs in acoustic format...multi tracks needed for the rhythm/melody and other parts, too. Thought it might be fun to do.

If this would not be a good route, please let me know.

What kind of HW would you recommend for something like this? I don't have a lot to spend right now unfortunately. Remodelling a house will do that to you.
There are many types of audio interfaces. You'll probably do better working with what you have until you settle on the platform, especially for the project you're planning on doing. What is out there now will change when you come back to this question later.

Using the USB mic you'll want to isolate yourself while recording to cut off any outside noises. That'll probably be the biggest problem. You'll have fun recording the various parts on the computer and a learning learning experience.

When you are done the project you'll have a much better idea what direction you want to go with hardware, software and other gear. You'll have questions along the way to help. Ask them here. Don't forget to experiment too!


I use a USB mic and Audacity. I like Audacity except some of the effects are not great and difficult to use. I would suggest the following websites for VST effects that are pretty good, free and have better interfaces: and I would suggest a nice reverb: Also look at these packages: modern plugins and Kjaerhus Audio Classic.

I would also recommend using the 1.3 beta version of Audacity if you are using Windows 7 or Vista. I have had no problems with this beta version.
Sweet...I am really going to look into this.
Thanks guys!
Just downloaded Audacity...and I got hte Beta.

As such, there's no users' manual or guide or anything.

I'm wondering if there's a way to make the drum beat actually sound like a snare and make it overlay with a bass drum sound and have it repeat (on one track) for a certain length of time.

Anybody ever done this?


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