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Music Technology - Processes - N3 to Higher
Terms in this set (43)
Audio/Stereo Master (N3)
The final mixed recording of any project. As most replay systems are stereo, the multitrack recording has to be mixed down to a two-track master in order for it to be replayed
Backup Copy (N3)
A safety copy of software or other digital data.
The type of data used for storing digital audio on a computer / storage device. Common formats include: MP3, aiff, m4a, wma & wav
The act and art of creating a balance of all the recorded tracks, processing where appropriate and necessary, and creating a multi-track, stereo-mixed version of the music. Getting the correct balance and adding appropriate and effective processes in a mix is one of the most basic and important techniques a sound engineer has to perform but is also one of the most difficult. Once the mix-down has been performed, the tracks cannot be changed anymore, so it is important that the final balance is correct before the mix-down.
The process of making audio files the same volume.
A digital snapshot of an acoustic sound. An A/D converter takes a constant stream of samples in order to convert acoustic sounds into digital information. A sampler can take a short series of these snapshots, alter their pitch and duration and play them back as tuned notes.
To store data on computer or storage device
(Universal Serial Bus) is a "plug-and-play" interface between a computer and add-on devices such as audio devices, joysticks, keyboards, scanners, and printers. With USB, a new device can be added to your computer without having to add an adapter card or even having to reboot your computer.
Click Track (N4)
An audio metronome 'click' that is recorded onto one track of a multi-track recorder. It is used as a guide tempo and to keep the musicians in time when overdubbing.
To copy a section of a file/music/MIDI/effects/automation etc.
Cut and Paste (N4)
To remove a section of file/music/MIDI/effects/automation etc. and paste to another place on your project.
Effects Pedals (N4)
Used by performers to control effects like distortion and reverb - electric guitarists make great use of these to manipulate the sound.
To save data in a format usable by another application program, such as exporting a GarageBand project into MP3 format.
Final Mix (N4)
When a multitrack recording is mixed down into a two channel stereo recording (master). The final mix features a balance of instruments, additional effects that enhance the overall production, and perhaps the application of some dynamic processors, usually equalisers and compressors, to the overall mix.
General MIDI (GM) (N4)
A standard set of rules within MIDI that allows for cross-instrument compatibility. General MIDI instruments such as many Roland products all use the same memory areas for sound storage and always use MIDI channel 10 for drum parts. General MIDI files provide access to 128 instruments, are capable of playing at least 16 sounds simultaneously and have at least 24-note polyphony.
Guide Vocal (N4)
A vocal track that is recorded in the early stages of the project to give the performers an indication of the progression of the song. This will generally be replaced later in the project by a more carefully performed and recorded lead vocal track.
To bring data into one application program from another, for example, inserting an MP3 file into Audacity to create a sample/loop.
To silence a channel of music no matter where the level faders are.
The ability to record one sound on top of another. Multi-track Recording. This process can be repeated until the song or soundtrack has been built up.
The maximum level of any signal is known as peak.
The computer package/hardware device used to facilitate the input and editing of MIDI data.
Signal Path (N4)
The route that a signal takes through an audio system from input to outputs. The route may be simple, such as a microphone plugged into an amplifier and loudspeakers plugged into the amplifier to create a basic PA system. But in the case of a professional recording studio, it can be very complex, involving large numbers of processors and monitoring systems.
Synchronisation (Sync) (N4)
When two or more tracks or devices play at the same time, in time.
WAV(PC) /AIFF (MAC) File (N4)
This is an uncompressed file format used by most recording companies.
Originally a DJ technique of pitch shifting or time-stretching an upcoming track to match the tempo of a track currently playing. This can now be done with software plugins - where the audio is processed and the BPM is worked out - or manually by listening to the audio and looking for peaks in the wave-file.
Digital Processor (N5)
A specialised microprocessor optimized for the operational needs of digital signal processing.
Drop In/Out (N5)
The ability to start and stop a recording at some point other than the beginning.
Fade In (N5)
When a track or piece of music increases in volume gradually from silence.
Fade out (N5)
When a track or piece of music decreases in volume gradually to silence. This has become a widespread practice in mixdown technique as a tidy way of ending a song.
The delay between a signal going into a processor and coming back out again.
Left/Right-locators are used to set the boundaries for recording (or a playback loop) in a DAW.
In sequencing and audio software, a marker is used to record a position for easy editing navigation.
Multi Effects Processor (N5)
A single electronics effects pedal or standalone device that contains many different electronic effects including: reverb, delay, chorus, phaser, etc...
Rounding a value to the nearest reference value. It is used to adjust recorded material so it will be performed precisely on a selected division of the beat. A useful tool in the correction of timing errors, however overuse may result in the performance having a somewhat "robotic" feel.
Vocal Enhancer (N5)
A software plugin used to process raw vocal takes that is designed to make vocals clear, crisp and more defined by boosting the desired characteristics of the recording.
ADSR Envelope (Attack/Delay/Sustain/Release) (Higher)
The "shape" of sound relates to:
How long it takes for the sound to reach its maximum volume or its attack?
How long it stays at that volume or its sustain? How long it takes to disappear to nothing or its release?
These elements together make up what is known as the envelope(s) of the sound.
To gradually fade out one sound while fading in another so that a seamless transition is made between the two sounds.
An electronic circuit that permits certain frequencies to pass easily while inhibiting or preventing others. Typical filters include low pass, high pass, band pass, and band reject.
Insert Point (Higher)
A connection which permits the insertion of an external signal processing device (reverb, compressor, gate, eq etc) into the signal path.
A "client program" that is used to expand the functionality of a "host program", such as a sequencer or digital audio editor. The host provides the plug-in with some type of input data such as digital audio samples, which is then processed to generate new output, such as effected digital audio.
Sample Editor (Higher)
Once recorded, samples can be edited, played back, or looped.
Sample Frequency (Higher)
When audio is digitally recorded (digitized), it must be converted into a series of samples which can be stored in memory or on disk. The sample rate/frequency defines how many samples are recorded per second of audio input and is measured in Hz (Hertz, cycles per second) and kHz (Kilohertz, thousand cycles per second).
The point/level that must be exceeded to begin producing a given effect or result .
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