Notes on recording
I've always recorded my own music. I don't really know what I'm doing but it seems to come out ok. Here's how I've done it.
You don't need to spend a load of money to record on a computer. In fact I've never spent any money on it.
There's loads of free multitrack software on the internet and you don't need to use illegal channels to get hold of it (though you can if you're that way inclined.) I've used two different programmes to record on my computer, both of which I downloaded for free from Download.com. The first I used was Adobe Audition which you can download as a month long free trial (when the trial runs out, just download it again.) which is easy to use and has a bunch of effects as well, although sometimes tracks slip out of time Eventually I got sick of having to download things over and over again so I downloaded a copy of a programme called Audacity. Audacity is a dead basic audio editor (though there are loads of functions that I've no idea how to use) and has never given me any problems.
So for a start you need a computer (you don't really need internet access as it's not a massive chore to use a public library or internet cafe for your download needs.) Then you need some sort of microphone. Some laptops have inbuilt microphones or you can use some kind of computer mic. What I use is a normal live mic which needs to go through some kind of amp (i've used a 10watt guitar amp and a pre-amp mixer on different occasions) before being attatched via the line-in socket. Some people fork out a bit more money and buy pro mics and you can buy specialist pre-amps for computer recording which I believe are attatched via a USB port.
And that's just about it. Everything else is optional.
I've never bought a 4-track. I've wanted to but then I've always found other things to spend my money on. If someone has one they want to give me then I'll gladly accept it. However the first ever recordings I did were on a Yamaha 4-track which I borrowed (for quite a long time) from my friend Ray K. I had absolutely no idea what all the knobs meant but I just about managed to make it record so that was good.
Don't worry if any of this sounds complicated. Ignore it all. Some of the best music I've ever heard was recorded on cheap tape recorders.
Go to a carboot sale and buy a tape recorder and record some songs. Now.