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How to make a cheap demo / work tape


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I have written a bunch of songs that I need to get feedback on from various friends and I need to make a demo tape or CD. Nothing fancy, just an adequate work tape good enough for them to evaluate what I'm doing.


For playing songs on my acoustic guitar, I've borrowed a friend's Sony mini-disk and just positioned the mic through trial and error good enough to capture the guitar and the vocal and it turned out "fair."


For those songs where I play keys, I have a Yamaha PSR740 keyboard workstation. I'm new to piano but I can play chords and some fills and it'll play auto-accompaniment and the rhythm track such that it's okay for a work demo. How can I record this inexpensively?


I don't understand much about gear, so this might be a stupid question but this Yamaha has a headphone jack. Can I plug my trusty Sony cassette recorder into this and get a decent recording? With this keyboard, I think I found out I cannot record vocals to disk. I can record anything generated "by the keyboard" but not the vocal. If I can hear all of the output through the headphone jack, including vocals (I assume I could... I don't have a headphone to try), then seems I should be able to record that.


I have this cassette recorder and the friend I mentioned has the Sony mini-disk recorder with a good mic that I could borrow... whereby I would record the live performance just by positioning the mic in the proper place in the room, wherever that is.


As far as what type of room to record in in my house, would a small "office" type room be better or a larger bedroom? Remember, I'm talking CHEAP here.


How much can you rent studio time for? Say, couple of hours. There are a few small studios nearby.

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There are at least two courses of action here, neither of which will cost you more than $150.00.


Fostex & Tascam both make 4-track cassette recorders which now sell for a hundred bucks. One of those plus a mic & cable and a few cassettes and you're in business! This will allow you to do overdubs, and get good working quality.


OR, you could download one of the many multitrack recording programs available on the Internet. Registration fees are often under fifty dollars. Get a mic & cable, and away you go! These have the advantage of more than 4 tracks, but they chew up hard drive space quickly.


In either event, you can easily distribute tapes - or of your PC has a CD burner, you can distribute CDs.

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