To record effectively, you need to hear what you’re doing. This requires you to set up your monitoring source so that you can hear what you want to hear. You want to monitor the sound that’s going through the recorder. This way, you can hear any distortion that may be present. Here’s how monitoring works on the following systems:

  • Computer-based systems: Set the output for your track(s) to the output that you have your monitor speakers plugged into. If you use the main outputs in your interface, these are usually assigned to outputs 1 and 2 in your system. (You can assign them however you want — check your manual for the specifics on doing this.) Set your outputs to channels 1 and 2 and turn on your monitors.

  • Studio-in-a-box (SIAB) systems: Because SIAB systems have fader banks, make sure that you designate the track channel to monitor rather than the input channel. After you’ve chosen the track channel that you want to listen to, bring up the fader to a level that allows you to hear what’s going to disk.

  • Stand-alone systems with an analog mixer: You need to have the track output from the recorder connected to an input channel of your mixer. Check out your owner’s manual to find out how to do this.