A recording device can be analogue or digital. In this day and age though if you record in analogue and you want to share it you are going to need to make that analogue recording digital somehow.
The easiest way to get started recording is using your phone or tablet. There are tons of apps out there for making an audio recording on your phone. If you have an iphone the best one to start with is Garageband. You can check out a series of tutorials I have made on how to use Garageband here.
You can do a lot with just Garageband and your phone. You can pretty much fully produce a track from recording, mixing, and arranging. If you have a very limited budget, it’s a fantastic place to start.
The best way to record at home will be on a computer. Most computers nowadays have enough processing power to handle basic recording jobs. If you plan on having many tracks on your song you will likely run into slowdowns after your first few tracks are recorded if you don’t have enough processing power.
The biggest things that will affect how well your computer will be able to handle recording is the processor in the computer and the amount of ram it has.
Another thing that will greatly improve the performance of your computer is investing in an SSD hard drive. Having an SSD will allow your computer to save files and access files on computer at a much faster speed than a traditional HDD will. This means faster saving and loading of projects and plugins as well as the improved performance during recording and mixing.
If you already have a computer I would try it and see how it handles recording. If you run into slowdowns during recording that will be a sign that it needs more processing power to handle the types of recording tasks you are going to throw at it.
You may be able to solve your problems by simply upgrading the amount of Ram your computer has. These are usually not too difficult of an upgrade to do yourself if you own a PC. Macs can be more complicated to upgrade.
An SSD may help some but it will mainly just improve the speed of loading projects and plugins. If you are using the internal sound card for recording and playback investing in an external sound card will also help take some of the processing power off your system.
Do you need a Mac to do recordings? NO, you do not. If you are looking to purchase a new computer and are debating between an Mac or PC for your purchase there are several things to consider.
A Mac is going to be more costly and much more difficult and expensive to upgrade if you discover its under powered for what you are wanting to do after you purchase it. In my experience though Macs seem to run smoother with recording than PCs do.
I have done a lot of Recordings with both Macs and PCs and I do prefer recording on Macs but for the price of a Mac you can get a much more powerful PC that will be able to outperform the Mac if setup properly.
If you decide to go the Mac route I would recommend a Mac mini. They will be cheaper than a Macbook Pro and can be customized with Fantastic specs. I have used a Mac mini as my main production computer for years and the only issues I’ve had are related to failing hard drives.
After you have a good computer and are ready to start doing some recordings the next piece of equipment you should invest in is a good Audio interface.