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Terms in this set (93)
Purpose of Audio Recording
to get the best possible representation of one's musical ideas or abilities. Also designed to isolate and capture desired sound from the inside and reject outside noise.
3 Main Rooms in Recording Studios
Tracking Room: where recording takes place; designed to capture sound as accurately as possible.
Control Room: contains recording console and other equipment; where sound engineer controls and monitors recordings.
Isolation/Vocal Booth: a smaller sound absorbent room that is designed to capture vocals with little to no reverb.
3 Main Components of A Computer
Hard Drive: stores and provides quick access to large amounts of data on an electromagnetically charged surface(s); measured in gigabytes
RAM (Random Memory Access): temporary storage of data and programs; determines how fast/slow your computer will work
Processor: the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instruction that drive a computer
Beats Per Minute: an easy way to calculate the tempo by counting how many beats there were per minute
Compact Disk Recorder: a form of digital recording that can only be written on once.
an electronic system which represents data and signals in the form on/off states represented by one's and zero's
Decibels: method of measuring sound pressure
basic software that will enable a computer to load and run other programs (windows, Mac OS)
to move notes in a MIDI sequencer to the nearest subdivisions of a bar; corrects timing issues
Other names: Mixer - gives sound engineer control over levels and effects ect.
VST: software of computers that give musicians access to unlimited sounds and instruments; Developed in the 90's
Two Different Kinds of VST
Samplers: any instrument that uses small recordings of actual instruments or sounds
Synthesizers: any instruments that uses a completely computer generated sound; generated by Virtual oscillators
Velocity Layers: multiple samples layered on each note that get triggered according to how hard the note was played.
Round Robin: Notes played at the same velocity level that the sampler randomly chooses the different samples of the same note to make the performance sound even more authentic.
piano type key board that is used to control/play VST.
Digital Sound Processor: designed to take some the burden off of the CPU of a computer.
Musical Instrumental Digital Interface: connection between electronic piano keyboards and computer via an electrical signal passed down a cable and then read and converted in programs such as Cubase
a numbering system that uses only one's and zero's; MIDI information is transmitted electronicallly
a device that receives MIDI information from a keyboard and sends it to a computer
How hard was the note pressed? Velocity
When was the note played? Note on
When was the note released? Note off
MIDI device or VST that can produce several different sounds at the same time and can be controlled on different MIDI channels
the ability to play more than one note at a time on a synthesizer
the name for individual sound settings on the synthesizer/VST
Audio Interleave File Format - file storage method used by macs
Wave: predominant PC method of storing audio
Cables: 1/8 inch
small stereo connector - headphones (two rings)
Cables: 1/4 inch TRS
Tip Ring Sleeve: use for speaker connections high quality headphones or high quality gear hook-up (two rings)
Cables: 1/4 inch TS
Tip Sleeve: mono, used for electric guitar and keyboards (one ring)
Radio Corporation of America: used for connecting TV/video cameras
used for Microphones (3 rings)
used for MIDI (5 rings)
track that plays a loud click that gives the musician the timing for the project; helps with timing, overdubbing, consistency, etc.
locking notes into a pre-determined grid
Changing the "key" of a song
Found in built into the AD; amplifies the small voltage created by the mic (mic level) and brings it up to a stronger level called "line level"
Audio Interface: converts the signal into a digital representation through a complex procedure
stores data as wither a WAV or AIFF file, sequencer calls on that file when in use
Audio Interface: Audio is converted back to analogue through the output of the interface
(usually built into the speakers) Analogue signal is amplified by an amplifier, and the signal is taken from "line level," straight out of the interface and is boosted to the "speaker level"
speaker cone vibrates in the same fashion as the mic's diaphragm did initially to reproduce the original signal
Basic Signal Flow
sound in air
mic diaphragm - signal at mic level; .1 volts
preamp - boosted to line level; 1 volt
AD/DA converter - stored as digital data on a computer
Data converted back to analog at the AD/DA - analog at line level; 1 volts
amp - boosted to speaker level - 10 volts
speakers - air-ears.
Problems with Analog Tape
hiss and noise
wow and flutter (bends and stretches)
Requires regular cleaning
linear access: must rewind or fast forward
Analoge to Digital Conversion
takes samples (measurements) of the voltage levels of an analog signal, converting into a digital number and storing it.
2 Main Aspects of Conversion
Sample Rate: digital audio conversion, it is the number of measurements taken in one second; the samples take the more accurate the digital representation of the sound will be.
Ex. CD-quality is 44,100 sps (44.1 kHz)
Digital Video 48 kHz
Bit Depth: the number of bits used to represent a digital sample
Higher bit depth: 16 (CD), 24 (digital video), 32
binary unit: smallest amount of digital information; can only represent two states 0, and 1
something that causes the sound to be reproduced in several milliseconds after it is injected into the AD converter
Uses electromagnetic induction to create a signal: as the diaphragm vibrates, it moves the wire coil through the magnetic field generating low=power alternating current.
used in live situations
used on louder sources
A mic that operates on the electrostatic principle to make a signal. As sound strikes the diaphragm it vibrates, moving closer and farther away from the fixed plate.
typically used when a more natural sound in required or when you need to record something at the distance
picks up sounds from far away
responds to higher frequencies
studio vocals, drum overheads, pianos, acoustic stringed instruments
Condensers require phantom power source to function properly, generally 48 volts.
Omnidirectional: picks up sound evenly all around it (perfect circle)
Cardioid: rejects sound from behind the mic (hear shaped)
Hyper Cardioid: more direct sound absorption, slight pickup from the back (paerson shaped)
Bidirectional: pick up sound evenly from the front and the back and rejects stuff from the sides
ShotGun: extremely directional at the front and does pick up sound from the back as well. (flower shaped)
blasts of air made by p or b vocalizations
A screen that stops the air flow but allows sound to pass through
position the mic in the numerous places to see which sound the best
Close Mic Placement
12 inches of sound source
small amount of room ambience
lots of the proximity effect
Distant Mic Placement
1- 6 ft. from sound source
sound will have a the character of the room
Ambient Mic Placement
6 - 30 ft. from the sound source
cim could face away from the source
very "roomy" sound
Stereo Techniques: X/Y
mic placed at 90
pros: no phase problems
Cons: narrow stereo image
Stereo Techniques: Spaced Pair
2 mic 3-10 ft apart angled straight forwards
pros: wide stereo separation
cons: phase problems
decibBels are used to measure SPL (sound pressure level)
0.0 is the max loudness
the amount of space in dB that your have before you hit 0.0
Fatigue and Eardamage
over 90dB can do damage
Near Field Monitors
3 ft from ears, bookshelf speakers, ensures that more of the direct sound will be heard before it has a chance to meet the rooms acoustics
Far Field Monitors
bigger, more powerful speakers, further from listener
Changes the amplitude of frequencies in an audio signal
Auxiliary Send FX
allows you to send a portion of a track to an effect of some sort, the aux send will then be able available for every track in a project
Pros: allows you to control how much of the signal goes to the effect
allows you to use on effect for every track taking significant strain off the CPU
Allows you to put an effect on one specific track
pans the sound to the left speaker or to the right or in the middle
a device that selectively cuts or boosts specific areas of the audio frequency spectrum
cut or boost frequencies
only cut frequencies
Quality Factor: adjusting EQ also affects frequencies around the specified frequency. the range of the other frequencies that are affected is determined by the "Q" or bandwidth.
boost or cut at specific and changeable frequencies
used for quick changes
same as badd and treble EQ on car stereo)
boost or cut at any frequency
Gain - boost, cut would be negative) (up and down
Frequency - right to left
Q - band width - how big the wave is is it fat or thin
Entire Audible Frequency range in broken up into small bands that can be boosted or cut with multiple little sliders
High or Low pass filters - certain frequencies are passed at full level, while other are cut completely
an effect that is designed to simulate or reproduce the natural reverberation of a room, and mix it back with the original recorded sound.
repeating of signal right after it is heard
An effect that is used to reduce the dynamic range of the signal passing through it.
3 Components of a Compressor
Threshold - volume level that activates the compressor
Ratio - the amount that the compressor reduces once audio has exceeded the threshold
Gain - the final control that determines how much the entire signal is boosted once it goes through the compression
Uses for Compression
A compressor with a fixed ratio of 10:1
A limiter that has a ceiling that can't be surpassed by the audio running through it
rhythm and timing are easier to coordinate
musicians can hear one another
faster recording time
not to much editing time
one mistake every must start over
requires a large space
long set up time
a graphic representation of a signal's sound pressure level or voltage level over time
the distance above or below the centerline of a waveform
refers to the speed of physical oscillation that causes the sound; how fast the vibration occurs is the sound's frequency
the speed that sound travels through the air (1,130ft/sec) at room temperature
when pitch/frequency rises and falls, the actual size of the wave changes.
pitch drops - wavelengths get larger
pitch rises - wavelengths get smaller
Bassy sounds have long wavelengths
overtones that contribute to the timbre of a sound
Aka Timbre: a general term for the distinguishable characteristics of a tone; determined by harmonic content of sound and characteristics such as vibrato
how sound changes over time (eg. when a choir slides out of tune)
assembling the songs and making them ready fro public consumption
applying overall EQ or FX to the final mixes
Compressing or limiting the entire mix to bring up quieter passages bring out louder passages, and then raising the end result.
Hz: refers to cycles per second
kHz: thousands of cycles per seconds
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