Manual Overdubbing in Your Home Recording
Punching in and out refers to being able to overdub a section of a performance (that guitar lick you keep missing, for example) while keeping the part of the performance that you like. Punching in and out can be pretty simple: Play the track and press the Record button when you want to start. Then press the Stop button when you’re done. At least that’s how it used to be done.
Manual punching in and out is exactly what it sounds like: You manually press the Record button when it’s time to start the punch, and you manually press the Stop button when you’re done.
This is the type of punch you do if you have enough time between when you press the Record button and when you need to start playing, as well as when you stop playing the part and when you can get to the Stop button. You may also do manual punching if you’re acting as the engineer and someone else plays the instrument.
Punching with a foot switch
On most recorders, you can use a foot switch to punch in and out. This frees your hands so that you can play your instrument while you do the actual punching in and out.