'Total Guitar' Summer 2003

How to get the most out of minidisc

MiniDiscs are relatively cheap, give you CD quality sound (unless you have a really fussy ear) and they can re-record just like old cassettes. Oh and they look cool! But you can do a lot more than just listen to your fave tunes on the bus.

Get yourself one that records. For the guitarist beyond the bedroom, a portable model is going to be best. Invest in a good little stereo microphone.

The edit functions are where the fun starts. Discs can be divided into tracks during or after the recording. They can then be named, moved around, joined to others and deleted.
  • Keep it with your guitar at all times - you never know when a great riff is going to leap out so you'll want to record it for later.

  • If your microphone is powered, remember to switch it on!

  • Take it to your band rehearsals and leave it recording - catch those spontaneous jams. Run through the disc at a later date, track marking the good bits and deleting the unwanted stuff. You'll build up a library of your best ideas and takes to look back and work upon.

  • Learning a song? Record it to disc and track mark it into small sections. You could name them too - 'verse1', 'chorus1', 'solo' etc. Now set the section you're working on to 'Repeat' and you'll have it nailed in no time.

  • Try recording a section of drums. With a bit of practise you'll be able to accurately mark the start and end of the section as a track. Set it to 'Repeat' and you've an instant drum machine! Do the same to an instrumental part of a song and practise your solos.

  • Get a mini-jack to jack lead. One end in your guitar, the other in the Minidisc 'Mic' socket and there's a headphone amp that can record too. Wire it up direct to a multi-effects headphone socket for a good quality recording.

  • Record your guitar lessons. Savour the good advice and collect played examples to work on in your own time.

Andy Ellis
June 2003

Last updated 9/8/2020