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Music Technology - Technological Terms - N3 to Higher
Terms in this set (43)
The basic pulse you hear in music.
To enter (audio or visual) data into a computer for processing or storage.
A path for passing data or digital audio. Each instrument must be set to a different channel in order for you to hear individual instruments. Only the instruments set to a channel will be able to receive the messages assigned to that channel.
This can occur as a problem when recording levels or input and output levels have been incorrectly set. The rasping, grating sound is generated by a change in the sound wave - when the setting has too much signal (or gain). While generally it is an undesirable effect, on some instruments, the electric guitar and the organ, for example, it has become a standard creative effect.
A signal that has not had an effect added to it.
An acronym for the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, a standardized digital "language" that allows electronic musical instruments and computers to communicate with one another.
Sequenced Data (N3)
The organisation of data, such as pre-recorded loops and/or automation cues, to create an audio product.
Session Log (N3)
A note of the activities carried out and completed within a session. Keeping a note of settings, microphone placements, even problems you have encountered in a session means you can always come back to the log in the future to reproduce the settings or overcome a similar problem
Track Names/List (N3)
Information of what is found on each track.
Virtual Instrument Tracks (N3)
These tracks contain virtual instrument clips. Virtual instrument clips can be recorded or loaded.
The amplitude or loudness of a sound. It is also a control on instruments/recording devices/music systems for adjusting the amplitude or loudness.
A signal that has had an effect added to it.
An application, typically a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices
Arrange Window (N4)
A window on a software application that shows the entire project (instruments - wave and MIDI)
A version of a piece of music. The instruments used, the parts they play and the structure of a song or piece of music. A skilful arranger can take any piece of music and totally change its feel or tone by adjusting the instruments used, who plays what part, the structure and the piece's tonality.
Severe and potentially damaging form of distortion that happens when a signal is too high for the piece of equipment it is being fed into. This can be particularly damaging to loudspeakers. It is very important to monitor meters and input lights.
A high-pitched whine that can damage the speakers as well as your hearing. It is caused by the microphones being too close to the speakers which causes a loop - the microphone picks up the sound from the speakers, then puts it back into the speakers, then picks up the sound again and so on. The fastest way to get rid of feedback is to pull the master fader on the mixing desk down as quickly as possible, then make the necessary adjustments to solve the problem - Move the mics further away from the speakers, lower the volume level of the speakers and reduce the high EQ slightly.
File Management (N4)
The system that an operating system or program uses to organize and keep track of files.
A small section of music at the start, introducing a piece of music.
Lead Vocal (N4)
The main vocal part or track in a song.
A small section of music at the end to finish the music off.
Popping and Blasting (N4)
The explosive unwanted sounds in singing and speech that cause audible pops and thumps in a recorded vocal - particularly words beginning with P or B. These can be effectively reduced using a pop-shield or by adjusting the microphone slightly so that the singer is not singing directly into the microphone but across it.
High frequency whistling or lisping sound, particularly on 's' or 'sh' sounds that affects vocal recordings, due either to poor microphone technique or excessive equalization. To avoid this, a pop shield could be used, or the microphone could be adjusted. The only real way to solve this is for the singer to modify the way they sing so that the 'S's are less prominent.
The recorded performance of a part or track of a song. Standard studio practice has the performer do a series of takes (attempts) and the best take, or a combination to make up the best take, will be used in the final mix.
The speed of a song measured in beats per minute (BPM).
To repeat a sequencer pattern or portion of an audio sample repeatedly. The point to which the program returns, whether the beginning or some other point, is usually definable by the user. A loop is a short repeating section of sound material, commonly used in hip-hip and soundtracks.
A short and nasty 'click' in digital audio. This may be caused by a corruption of the digital information or a poor edit of the sound file.
Electronically generated low-frequency noise. Hum is usually the result of interference from mains cables or poorly earthed or grounded equipment. It is worth noting that only faulty or incorrectly wired equipment will generate hum.
Play List (N5)
A list of previously edited files upon which the engineer can draw to create a final version of a piece of music.
A hardware device or software application that uses samples as it's main method of generating it's audio output. Samplers often use a number of samples together to create realistic sounding reproductions of real sounds and musical instruments.
The overspill from one instrument into another instrument's microphone. This will only occur where more than one instrument is being simultaneously miked up in the same room. There may also be leakage from a pair of headphones if the monitoring or fold back volume is turned up particularly high. It is therefore important to get the best sound separation as possible. Some ways to avoid spillage are: Use acoustic screens between performers, use separate rooms where possible, use headphones to monitor other tracks, not speakers, if speakers must be used, place the performer behind them and do not have unnecessary people in the studio.
Sound Card (N5)
An internal computer expansion card that facilitates the input and output of audio signals to and from a computer under control of computer programs.
The collection of effects, processes and functions available within the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software you are using.
This allows a musical composition to be played in a different key. Both synthesizers and sequencers can carry out this function.
Room acoustics or natural reverberation.
File Compression (Higher)
This is used to reduce the file size of one or more files.
This is the amount of resistance that a signal will encounter in a circuit - a measure of the AC (alternating current) resistance to the flow of electrical or acoustic energy. In electronics it is measured in Ohms. Most professional microphones are low impedance and are connected using XLR connectors. High impedance mics usually use jack connectors.
Refers to an instrument sound, program or voice on a synthesizer or sampler. This term comes from the roots of hardware synthesis, where physical cables where used to connect and route signals in a matrix to create a unique sound.
A variable value that affects some aspect of a device's performance. Common parameters include pitch bend, sustain, volume, and reverb.
Proximity Effect (Higher)
This is the result of singing very close to a microphone. Advantages include - It boosts the bass range and makes the voice sound big and warm, it helps prevent spillage as this extra bass-end on the voice masks the extra sounds from further away and the signal is stronger so you need less of a boost from the trim levels. Disadvantages include that the increase in signal combined with the increase in bass may make the words unclear and popping and blasting may be more of a problem. Moving a little further away from the mic or reducing the low EQ at the desk can solve this.
A program enabling a computer to execute programs written for a different operating system
Track Object (Higher)
Thus is to track an object (or multiple objects) over a sequence of images.
The rate at which a key is depressed. This may be used to control loudness (to simulate the response of instruments such as pianos) or other parameters on later synthesizers.
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