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Studio Monitors: Who Needs Accurate Sound?

During the mixing and recording phases of a recording project your studio monitors will be the tool to give you accurate representation of sound so you can make the right choices as far as effects, sound positioning and sound levels are concerned. A good monitoring set up in your recording environment will have a flat frequency response from your monitors so that there is no coloration of frequencies. There are several factors that play a role in your monitoring performance such as monitor design, speaker placement, room considerations etc. as well as tools that help tweak your monitors to your specific recording environment.

One of the first decisions you will make about your monitors will be whether you choose passive or powered monitors. The current trend is leaning towards powered speakers, which incorporate powered amplifiers already inside their design. Powered monitors are widely accepted by professional and project studio community because of there compact design, good sound, expandability and of course no external amplifier. The "quality" sound is derived by crossovers, which is a electrical system designed to split the high frequencies to the tweeter and low to mid frequencies to the bigger speaker. This allows the tweeter and the main cone do what they are best designed to do.

Your mixing space needs to be treated like an instrument, the same way an acoustic guitar has different sounds due to material, shape and strings so does every individual room. There are certain things you can do to help create a good sounding room. The first and easiest thing to do is make sure there is even symmetry in your room, make sure your equipment layout, front/back and right/left imaging is consistent. Monitor placement in relation to the engineer can be explained by drawing a triangle with three even sides and putting the engineer at one point and the two speakers at the other two points. Don't be shy find your tape measure and measure it out if you have too. As far as height goes the tweeters need to be at ear level.

If you do all your mixes on the biggest set of speakers you can get your hands on how will that transfer over to Joe Blows modest stereo in his apartment? Remember you are mixing and mastering for Joe Blow to hear, that is why near field monitors are being used so commonly to match the systems found in most households. Remember what medium your fans, clients and customers will be listening with and monitor accordingly. For example see how your mixes transfer over to mono to get an idea of how your mix will sound on a clock radio or take your mix and play it in your car because that's where lots of people listen to music. It is important that your mixes translate on all types of mediums and think where do your listeners listen to your recordings.

There is a wide selection of studio monitors but you have to consider your budget first, then your room and then finally make and model. I don't care if you spend $2000 dollars on a set of monitors if your room isn't taken into consideration your monitors will sound like garbage. Once you pick your monitors in time you will get used to how they behave and you will be able to judge how they are performing in your recording space so don't sweat what brand you buy. I recommend purchasing a dB meter to check how your room is behaving and for serious tweaking, the Equator Room Analyzer, which will analyze individual frequencies and let you choose the perfect spot for your monitors.

 


Home Recording Equipment And Signal Flow

Signal flow is key for anyone who wants to start a home music studio. When inspiration hits and you get your ideas through all the phases of your recording understanding signal flow is important. Understanding signal flow and how all your equipment are tied together will put you in great control over your home music studio. This also applies to troubleshooting in your home music studio making it easy to improve your studios efficiency and making it easier to record when inspiration hits.

Using a simple set up with a computer, audio interface, speakers and microphone I can show you how to understand a home music studio signal flow. the truth is it is about inputs an outputs, that simple. Knowing how inputs and outputs work together in your recording chain will give you the freedom to add and multiply equipment in your home music studio and keep you in control of the creative process

Music starts with an idea, that idea comes OUT in the form of analogue sound waves and IN a microphone, tiny electrons then move along the microphone cable OUT the end of the cable and IN the audio interface. So in this case you will take a microphone and connect the cable to the input of an audio interface or even microphone preamp. Now that the signal has made it IN the audio interface they need to come OUT your speakers, now your speakers will be connected to the output of the audio interface. Remember that most home recording equipment have both inputs and outputs and an audio interface is a good example because an audio interface has inputs for recording and outputs for playback.

The first thing an audio interface does is convert analogue sound waves into a digital format so computers can understand. The second function of an audio interface is to again flip the digital audio into analogue so that speakers can playback audio from your computer. The reason why I say to go the audio interface route is because of the sample rates they use to convert analogue to digital and digital to analogue. This sample rate makes a big difference for quality recordings.

So in this case there is an output on an audio interface for the speakers to connect too as well as either USB or firewire that serves as an input connection to the computer, so signal can reach your home recording software.

I realize this is a very simplistic example but if you learn to move around your studio thinking about the IN and OUT concept you can add to your home music studio, set up and experiment connecting the inputs and outputs of all types of gear together and putting you in control

 


How exotic wood interiors (from bamboo to sepili) affects your music recording.

Exotic wood interiors such as carbonized bamboo and sepili may provide an exciting new look for your home or business, but they can also affect sound quality. Before you decide to redo your sound recording studio in wood paneling or trim, stop and think about the acoustic characteristics of the material you're considering. Every wood acts a little bit different. The change in sound quality could be detrimental to your music.

Many spaces with wood panels, floors or other elements suffer from poor acoustics. That's because the wooden surfaces can produce a "hard" feeling, creating sound reflections where there shouldn't be any. In other spaces, adding wood dampens sound. Each wood has its own properties, but you can generally expect dense woods like mahogany and Brazilian teak to reflect sound more than they absorb it. Woods that are lighter in weight, such as Caribbean walnut, are more likely to absorb sound.

However, you'll have to pay attention if you want to keep your recording quality up. Take some time to think about how the room performs at the moment. Try playing music close to a few samples of your favorite wood to see how it changes the sound.

If you're in love with the beautiful look of tropical woods, but feel like they could damage your room's sound quality, one way to keep good interior acoustics is to use fabric or tile acoustic panels. They allow you to refinish your home or business studio in any wood you choose without worrying about significant sound changes. Other options include using drapes or ceiling tiles to absorb extra sound.

The right wood interiors can even improve the acoustics of a room that previously had too many reflective surfaces, including tile floors or plaster ceilings. To get this kind of effect, you'll need to choose wooden acoustic tiles and doors. When placed correctly, these special wood accents absorb sound and help prevent unpleasant echoes.

Anyone who's hoping for a lucrative recording contract can't afford to deal with poor recording quality. If you're interested in redoing your home sound recording studio with exotic woods, consider the potential acoustic problems before you remodel. You don't have to give up the beauty of high grade wood materials, but you might have to place them strategically.

The last thing you need is substandard sound quality on your next recording. Make sure that your remodel and your acoustic needs are in perfect harmony. Do a little research on the specific effects of your favorite wood. Then, choose the products and placement that'll do the most for your room's sound quality, without causing recording problems or sacrificing the look of the room. You might be surprised by how easy it can be.

 


Setting up an inexpensive home recording studio

We reside in a modern society as a result of technology moving forward at such a fast rate. With this progression comes many rewards and this is very true for musicians simply because they can purchase top notch musical instruments, recording studio equipment together with recording software that comes doesn't come with an expensive price tag. If the idea of recording your private music or service others impresses you then you don't need not take on a professional recording studio but rather you can build up a home recording studio that matches a professional one.

Creating your individual home recording studio requires an attentive work plan to ensure that you acquire all your recording equipment that fits the finances you have set aside for this task. Bear in mind that you don't need to buy all new studio equipment because you can get good deals via second hand stores. Not all people discard their equipment because it fails to function; instead they prefer to get later models. You can buy excellent recording equipment that is in working order if you put aside adequate time to search for it. The online world provides the ideal opportunity to get musical instruments and studio equipment due to a number of people using it as an advertising tool.

A lot of people don't handle their cables properly and they have to because getting new ones comes with substantial costs. Keep the cables tidy and hidden away so that they remain in good condition to ensure their rubber seals are intact.

When you acquire recording studio software be sure that the interface is not difficult to use. As an end-user you need to be able to get around the system without any hiccups. You need to work towards putting together a Pro Tools system that is capable of interacting with numerous audio platforms. You don't want the system to prevent you from adding on new tools that keeps it current and up to date.

Should you possess no former knowledge relating to sound engineering then you can find step by step guides over the net to equip you with this knowledge. Numerous websites will lead you by the hand to a number of subjects that include: background noise minimization, sound compression, gating, how to use mixers and proper use of audio cables.

Should you experience financial difficulties and are unable to buy a particular items that you need for your home recording studio then be creative by reading through articles that offer suggestions to get pass such issues. For example you need to find a way in which to confine the sound to the studio room alone so that you don't anger the neighbors with noise. Find cheap padding at a local hardware store or you can utilize egg cartons because they work just as well as padding.

 


Factors To Consider When Buying A Digital Multitrack Recorder

A digital multitrack recorder is an appliance that is used to record audio content coming from different musical instruments into music. These devices are commonly used in the music industry. Unlike in the past when such gadgets were not easily available, today the buyer is has a variety from which to choose. There are a number of factors that buyers should consider in order to arrive at the best option for them.

A buyer needs to find out the number of channels that he needs to record. A multi track recorder (MTR) should have enough inputs. A MTR device with two inputs could be suitable for personal use. When it comes to a band, however, the device should have enough inputs to support every instrument and microphone being used.

It is necessary to consider the required features when purchasing a MTR. These devices vary widely on the number and types of features that they offer. Basic recording devices will only allow recording audio and sequencing in real time. On the other hand, devices designed for professional use support onboard effects such as equalizers.

The buyer must consider the desired sampling rate. Some MTRs allow a person to choose the sampling rate at which to record, others do not. For professional recording, the sampling rate of the device should be higher than the CD quality of 44.1 kHz, 88.2 kHz if possible. A sampling rate of 48 kHz is acceptable for armature radio purposes, while it can be used when making a combination of lo-fi and hi-fi recordings too.

Another factor to consider is where the device will be used. Digital multi track recorders come in varying sizes. For field recording, one should consider buying a gadget that easily portable, possibly by hand or hanging around the neck. When there is no need to keep moving the recorder, the size will be determined by other factors such as the available space.

It is necessary to consider the desired audio formats. Different recorders allow users to record at varying audio formats including WAV, AIFF and MP3. Some of the recording devices allow choice of desired formats while others do not. It is essential to check the product specifications for the supported formats before buying.

The basic rule when buying a digital multitrack recorder is, 'Try before you buy'. Products that provide a lot of features at a low cost often produce poor quality audio. The product specification guides also provide a lot of relevant information regarding recordable formats and channels as well as sampling rates. This information may be available online or at the physical stores selling the products.

 


It's Never Too Late to Learn to Sing

Whether you sing in the shower or love to belt out tunes at church, singing is a part of your life, and it is never too late to refine your skills. Even if you think you couldn't hold a tune in a bucket, you can learn to sing and improve on your current singing ability. First, you need to dispel some common myths about the human singing voice.

Myths About Singing

Many people fail to learn to sing because they think that they can't. Some think that they were born "tone-deaf," and others think that only a select few have singing "ability." While some individuals do have an inborn ability to control pitch or volume better than others, most people can learn these skills. It is very rare for someone to have absolutely no ability to detect tones, which would be true tone-deafness. Statistics show that only around two percent of all people in the world have this problem. Most people who have trouble singing to a particular pitch simply need to have their ears trained to hear these pitches.

Learn Your Range

Are you a soprano or alto, bass or tenor? Learning your range will help you select songs to sing that fit your voice. Just as a trombone cannot play the same notes that a piccolo does, an alto cannot try to sing the same high notes that a soprano can easily hit. If you choose to take voice lessons, have your teacher help you explore your full range, and then choose songs that fall within the boundaries created by your natural voice.

Breathing Correctly

Correct breathing is the key to good singing. Learn to take deep breaths using your diaphragm muscle, not your lungs. To find your diaphragm, take a long, slow breath, and try to push out your abdomen, keeping your shoulders still. If you can do this, you have learned how to breathe with your diaphragm. Then, project your voice out through your head, not your mouth. Visualize yourself sending your breath and voice out through your forehead. This will train you to use your "head voice," which is far more pleasing to the ear than the standard voice used by most amateur singers.

Sing with Emotion

Once you have learned some basic skill and know what your range is, choose some songs and start singing. When you sing, enjoy yourself. Allow your emotional side to show through your song. If you sing with emotion, people will respond and appreciate what you are singing, even if your voice is not on par with the professionals.

Are You Too Old?

Many adults wonder if it is too late to learn to sing. It is never too late to learn. In fact, many singing teachers will not training children to sing, because their voices are not yet developed. However, as an adult, you will benefit from professional training. You have spent a lifetime learning poor singing habits, so learning to sing as an adult will require the help of a qualified singing teacher. However, with the right training and plenty of practice, you can develop a singing voice that you will be proud of!

 




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