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Tracking is the part of the recording process when you are actually recording (or tracking) your sounds. When you are laying down your guitar tracks, you are tracking guitar. You are tracking vocals when that singer is in there belting it out and you are capturing his voice to tape (or hard driver, or flash card, or whatever you are using). Get the idea?

The tracking process is important for obvious reasons (without it you have nothing to mix, duplicate, sell, etc.) but don’t discount the importance of spending a bit of time on the process. Tracking is really the first step in mixing. If you have read my mastering tutorials you have heard me talk about how easy the mastering process can be if your mix is already top notch. Take one step back and you can say the same thing about mixing. The mixing process is much easier if you have taken time to get the best sound you can during tracking. A good goal during tracking is to record your parts in such a way that just pushing all the faders up to unity will give you a great basic mix to start from. It may not sound polished, but you can certainly get results from tracking alone that rival the output of local studios about ten years ago. Maybe even better.

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