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Modern Recording Techniques, Seventh Edition

Book Description

We have entered an exciting age in audio production. Conventional limitations in recording have subsided or vanished entirely, making it possible to create and record your own music in ways that few ever dreamed possible. This expanded, up-to-date edition of Modern Recording Techniques can help guide you through the process of creating, understanding and mastering the professional and project studio. The tips, tricks, and tools in this best-selling book will enable you to record music in new and innovative ways that'll help you express your talents to their fullest potential. This definitive guide to audio covers the latest audio technologies, and includes expanded and enhanced sections on the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), plug-ins, looping, groove tools, studio techniques, surround sound, mastering and more. Accompanied by an interactive companion website (www.modrec.com) featuring a searchable audio glossary, this dynamite book/website combination leaves no recording question unanswered, while offering you the chance to share ideas, get tips, and seek out advice when and where you need it. With Modern Recording Techniques, 7th ed., you can:* Explore the tools for getting better results in both the professional and project recording studio* Gain in-depth insights into digital audio technology, the digital audio workstation (DAW), surround sound production, electronic music and MIDI, synchronization, analog and digital console technology, mixing, console automation and more* Master the basics of dynamics, noise reduction, and other forms of signal processing in both the analog and the digital domains* Learn practical microphone placement techniques, monitoring fundamentals, CD mastering and important tips on getting your music to market* Check out new developments in new media, desktop audio and music technologies for the Web

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. The Authors
  4. 1. Introduction
    1. The Recording Studio
    2. The Control Room
    3. The Changing Faces of the Music Studio Business
    4. The Project Studio
    5. The Portable Studio
      1. Studio in the palm of your hand
    6. Knowledge is Power!
    7. Whatever Works for You
    8. Making the Project Studio Pay for Itself
    9. Live/on-Location Recording: a Different Animal
    10. Audio for Video and Film
    11. Multimedia
    12. The People Who Make it All Happen
      1. The artist
      2. Studio musicians and arrangers
      3. The producer
      4. The engineer
      5. Assistant engineer
      6. Maintenance engineer
      7. Mastering engineer
      8. The DJ
      9. The VJ
    13. Studio Management
    14. Music Law
    15. Women and Minorities in the Industry
    16. Behind the Scenes
    17. Career Development
    18. The Recording Process
      1. Preparation
      2. Recording
      3. Overdubbing
      4. Mixdown
      5. Mastering
      6. Song Sequence Editing
        1. Analog Sequence Editing
      7. Product manufacturing
      8. Marketing and Sales
    19. The Transducer
  5. 2. Sound and Hearing
    1. The Basics of Sound
    2. Waveform Characteristics
      1. Amplitude
      2. Frequency
      3. Velocity
      4. Wavelength
        1. Reflection of Sound
        2. Diffraction of Sound
        3. Frequency Response
      5. Phase
        1. Phase Shift
      6. Harmonic content
      7. Envelope
    3. Loudness Levels: the Decibel
      1. Logarithmic basics
      2. The decibel
        1. Sound-Pressure Level
        2. Voltage
        3. Power
      3. The simple heart of the matter
    4. The Ear
      1. Threshold of hearing
      2. Threshold of feeling
      3. Threshold of pain
      4. Taking care of your hearing
    5. Psychoacoustics
    6. Auditory Perception
      1. Beats
      2. Combination tones
      3. Masking
    7. Perception of Direction
    8. Perception of Space
      1. Direct sound
      2. Early reflections
      3. Reverberation
    9. Doubling
  6. 3. Studio Acoustics and Design
    1. Studio Types
      1. The professional recording studio
      2. The audio-for-visual production environment
      3. The project studio
      4. The portable studio
    2. Primary Factors Governing Studio and Control Room Acoustics
      1. Acoustic isolation
        1. Walls
        2. Floors
        3. Risers
        4. Ceilings
        5. Windows and Doors
        6. ISO-Rooms and ISO-Booths
        7. Noise Isolation Within the Control Room
        8. Acoustic Partitions
      2. Symmetry in control room design
      3. Frequency balance
        1. Reflections
        2. Absorption
          1. High-frequency absorption
          2. Low-frequency absorption
    3. Room Reflections and Acoustic Reverberation
      1. Acoustic Echo Chambers
  7. 4. Microphones: Design and Application
    1. The Microphone: an Introduction
    2. Microphone Design
      1. The dynamic microphone
      2. The ribbon microphone
        1. Recent developments in Ribbon Technology
      3. The condenser microphone
        1. Phantom Power
        2. The Electret-Condenser Microphone
    3. Microphone Characteristics
      1. Directional response
      2. Frequency response
      3. Transient response
      4. Output characteristics
        1. Sensitivity Rating
        2. Equivalent Noise Rating
        3. Overload Characteristics
        4. Microphone Impedance
        5. Balanced/Unbalanced Lines
    4. Microphone Preamps
    5. Microphone Techniques
      1. Pickup characteristics as a function of working distance
        1. Distant Microphone Placement
        2. Close Microphone Placement
        3. Accent Microphone Placement
        4. Ambient Microphone Placement
      2. Stereo miking techniques
        1. Spaced Pair
        2. X/Y
        3. M/S
        4. Decca Tree
      3. Surround Miking Techniques
        1. Ambient Surround Mics
        2. Surround Decca Tree
        3. Recording Direct
        4. Reamping it in the Mix
    6. Microphone Placement Techniques
      1. Brass instruments
        1. Trumpet
        2. Trombone
        3. Tuba
        4. French horn
      2. Guitar
        1. Acoustic Guitar
          1. Miking near the sound hole
          2. Surround guitar miking
        2. The Electric Guitar
          1. Miking the guitar amp
          2. Recording direct
        3. The Electric Bass Guitar
      3. Keyboard instruments
        1. Grand Piano
          1. Separation
        2. Upright Piano
        3. Electronic Keyboard Instruments
      4. Percussion
        1. Drum Set
          1. Miking the drum set
          2. Kick drum
          3. Snare drum
          4. Overheads
          5. Rack-toms
          6. Floor-tom
          7. Hi-hat
        2. Tuned Percussion Instruments
          1. Congas and Hand Drums
          2. Xylophone, vibraphone and marimba
      5. Stringed instruments
      6. Violin and Viola
        1. Cello
        2. Double Bass
      7. Voice
        1. Mic Tools for the Voice
      8. Woodwind instruments
        1. Clarinet
        2. Flute
        3. Saxophone
        4. Harmonica
    7. Microphone Selection
      1. Shure SM57
      2. AKG D112
      3. Beyerdynamic M160
      4. Royer Labs R-121
      5. Neumann KM 180 Series
      6. AKG C3000B
      7. MXL V67i
      8. Telefunken M216 stereo mic
  8. 5. The Analog Tape Recorder
    1. To 2-inch or not to 2-inch?
    2. Magnetic Recording and its Media
    3. The Professional Analog ATR
    4. The Tape Transport
    5. The Magnetic Tape Head
    6. Equalization
    7. Bias Current
    8. Monitoring Modes
    9. To Punch or not to Punch
    10. Tape, Tape Speed and Head Configurations
    11. Print-Through
    12. Cleanliness
    13. Degaussing
    14. Backup and Archive Strategies
      1. Backing up your project
      2. Archive strategies
  9. 6. Digital Audio Technology
    1. The Language of Digital
    2. Digital Basics
      1. Sampling
      2. Quantization
      3. The devil’s in the details
        1. The Nyquist Theorem
        2. Oversampling
        3. Signal-to-Error Ratio
        4. Dither
      4. Fixed- vs. floating-point processing
    3. The Digital Recording/Reproduction Process
      1. The recording process
      2. The playback process
      3. Sound file sample rates
      4. Sound file bit rates
      5. Regarding digital audio levels
      6. Digital audio transmission
        1. AES/EBU
        2. S/PDIF
        3. SCMS
        4. MADI
        5. ADAT Lightpipe
        6. TDIF
      7. Signal distribution
      8. What is jitter?
      9. Wordclock
    4. Digital Audio Recording Systems
      1. Samplers
      2. Hard-disk recording
      3. Hard-disk multitrack recorders
      4. Portable studios
      5. Flash memory handhelds
      6. Older technologies
        1. MiniDisc
        2. The Rotating-Head Digital Audio Recorder
        3. The Rotary Head
        4. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) System
        5. DAT Tape/Transport Format
        6. The Modular Digital Multitrack
        7. ADAT MDM format
        8. DTRS MDM format
  10. 7. The Digital Audio Workstation
    1. Integration now … Integration Forever!
    2. Daw Hardware
      1. The desktop computer
      2. The laptop computer
      3. Accessories and accessorize
    3. System Interconnectivity
      1. USB
      2. FireWire
      3. Networking
    4. The Audio Interface
      1. Audio driver protocols
      2. Latency
    5. Daw Controllers
    6. Sound File Formats
      1. Format interchange and compatibility
      2. Sound file sample and bit rates
    7. Daw Software
      1. Sound file recording, editing, region definition and placement
        1. Fixing the Sound with a Sonic Scalpel
        2. Comping
      2. MIDI sequencing and scoring
        1. Support for Video and Picture Sync
      3. Real-time, on-screen mixing
        1. DSP Effects
        2. DSP plug-ins
        3. ReWire
        4. Accelerator Cards
      4. Mixdown and effects automation
        1. Exporting a Mixdown to File
    8. Power to the Processor … uhhh, People!
      1. Get a computer that’s powerful enough
      2. Make sure you have enough memory
      3. Keep your production media separate
      4. Update your drivers!
      5. Going dual monitor
      6. Keeping your computer quiet
      7. Backup and archive strategies
      8. Session documentation
        1. Documenting Within the DAW
        2. Make a Documentation Directory
        3. DAW Guidelines
    9. In Closing
  11. 8. Groove Tools and Techniques
    1. The Basics
      1. Time and pitch change techniques
      2. Warping
      3. Beat slicing
    2. Looping your DAW
      1. Loop-based audio software
      2. Reason
      3. ReWire
    3. Groove and Loop Hardware
      1. Groove and loop plug-ins
      2. Drum and drum loop plug-ins
      3. Pulling loops into a DAW session
    4. DJ software
    5. Obtaining Loop Files from the Great Digital Wellspring
  12. 9. MIDI and Electronic Music Technology
    1. MIDI Production Environments
    2. What is MIDI?
      1. What MIDI isn’t
    3. System Interconnections
      1. The MIDI cable
    4. MIDI Phantom Power
    5. Wireless MIDI
    6. MIDI Jacks
    7. MIDI Echo
    8. Typical Configurations
      1. The daisy chain
      2. The multiport network
    9. Exploring the Spec
      1. The MIDI message
      2. MIDI channels
      3. MIDI modes
      4. Channel voice messages
      5. Explanation of controller ID parameters
      6. System messages
      7. System-exclusive messages
    10. MIDI and the Personal Computer
      1. Connecting to the peripheral world
      2. The MIDI interface
    11. Electronic Instruments
      1. Inside the toys
      2. Instrument plug-ins
      3. Keyboards
        1. The Synth
        2. Samplers
      4. Sample CDs, DVDs and the Web
      5. The MIDI keyboard controller
      6. Percussion
        1. The Drum Machine
        2. MIDI Drum Controllers
        3. Other MIDI Instrument and Controller Types
    12. Sequencing
      1. Integrated workstation sequencers
      2. Software sequencers
      3. Basic introduction to sequencing
    13. Recording
      1. Setting the session tempo
      2. Changing tempo
      3. Click track
      4. Multiple track recording
      5. Punching in and out
      6. Step time entry
    14. Saving your MIDI Files
    15. Editing
      1. Practical editing techniques
        1. Transposition
        2. Quantization
        3. Humanizing
        4. Slipping in Time
      2. Editing controller values
    16. Playback
    17. Transferring MIDI to Audio Tracks
    18. Mixing a Sequence
    19. Music Printing Programs
  13. 10. Multimedia and the Web
    1. The Multimedia Environment
    2. Delivery Media
      1. The CD
      2. The DVD
      3. The Web
    3. Delivery Formats
      1. Digital audio
      2. Uncompressed soundfile formats
      3. Compressed codec soundfile formats
    4. Perceptual Coding
      1. MP3
      2. MP4
      3. WMA
      4. AAC
      5. RealAudio
      6. FLAC
      7. Tagged metadata
    5. MIDI
      1. Standard MIDI files
      2. General MIDI
    6. Graphics
    7. Desktop Video
    8. Multimedia and the Web in the “Need for Speed” Era
      1. Thoughts on being (and getting heard) in cyberspace
      2. Uploading to stardom!
      3. Copyright protection: wanna get paid?
      4. Secure digital music initiative
      5. Internet radio
      6. The virtual E-dub
    9. On a Final Note
  14. 11. Synchronization
    1. Synchronization Between Media Transports
      1. Timecode
        1. Timecode Word
        2. Sync Information Data
        3. Timecode Frame Standards
        4. LTC and VITC timecode
        5. Timecode Refreshment/Jam Sync
      2. Synchronization using SMPTE timecode
        1. SMPTE Offset Times
        2. Distribution of Smpte Signals
        3. Timecode Levels
      3. MIDI-based synchronization
        1. MIDI Real-Time Messages
        2. MIDI Timecode
        3. MIDI Timecode Control Structure
        4. SMPTE/MTC Conversion
      4. Video’s need for a stable timing reference
      5. Digital audio’s need for a stable timing reference
    2. Real-World Sync Applications for Using Timecode and MIDI Timecode
      1. Master/slave relationship
      2. Audio recorders
      3. VCRs
      4. Software applications
      5. Digital audio workstations
      6. DAW support for video and picture sync
      7. Routing timecode to and from your computer
    3. Keeping Out of Trouble
  15. 12. Amplifiers
    1. Amplification
    2. The Operational Amplifier
      1. Preamplifiers
        1. Equalizers
    3. Summing Amplifiers
    4. Distribution Amplifiers
    5. Power Amplifiers
    6. Voltage- and Digitally Controlled Amplifiers
  16. 13. The Art and Technology of Mixing
    1. The Recording Process
      1. Recording
        1. Monitoring
      2. Overdubbing
      3. Mixdown
    2. Understanding the Underlying Concept of “the Mixing Surface”
      1. Channel input
        1. Insert Point
      2. Auxiliary send section
      3. Equalization
      4. Dynamics section
      5. Monitor section
        1. In-Line Monitoring
        2. Separate Monitor Section
        3. Direct Insertion Monitoring
      6. Channel fader
      7. Output section
      8. Channel assignment
      9. Grouping
      10. Monitor level section
      11. Patch bay
      12. Metering
        1. Gain Level Optimization
    3. Power- and Ground-Related Issues
      1. Balanced power
      2. Power conditioning
    4. Digital Console and DAW Virtual Mixer Technology
      1. Mixdown level and effects automation
      2. Write mode
      3. Read mode
      4. Drawn (rubberband) automation
    5. Mixing and Balancing Basics
      1. Need more inputs?
    6. A Final Footnote on the Art of Mixing
  17. 14. Signal Processing
    1. The Wonderful World of Analog, Digital or Whatever
    2. Plug-Ins
      1. Plug-in control and automation
    3. Signal Paths in Effects Processing
      1. Inline routing
        1. External Control Over an Inline Effects Signal Path
      2. Parallel routing
    4. Effect Processing
      1. Hardware and virtual effects in action
      2. Peaking filters
      3. Shelving filters
      4. High-pass and low-pass filters
      5. Equalizer types
      6. Applying equalization
      7. EQ in action!
    5. Dynamic Range
      1. Metering
        1. The VU meter
        2. The Averaging/Peak Meter
      2. Dynamic range processors
      3. Compression
      4. Multiband compression
      5. Limiting
      6. Expansion
      7. The noise gate
    6. Time-Based Effects
      1. Delay
        1. Delay in Action!
          1. Less than 15 ms
        2. 15. to 35 ms
        3. More than 35 ms
      2. Reverb
        1. Reverb Types
      3. Psychoacoustic enhancement
      4. Pitch shifting
      5. Time and pitch changes
    7. Multiple-Effects Devices
    8. Dynamic Effects Automation and Editing
  18. 15. Noise Reduction
    1. Analog Noise Reduction
      1. The compansion process
    2. Single-Ended Noise-Reduction Process
      1. The noise gate
    3. Digital Noise Reduction
      1. Fast Fourier transform
    4. Restoration
  19. 16. Monitoring
    1. Speaker and Room Considerations
    2. Speaker Design
      1. Crossover networks
      2. Actively powered vs. passive speaker design
    3. Speaker Polarity
    4. Monitoring
      1. Monitor volume
      2. The big bad bottom end
        1. The LFE
        2. The SUB
        3. Bass Management
      3. Monitoring configurations
      4. Mono
      5. Stereo
      6. Stereo + sub
      7. Quad
      8. Surround minus an LFE
      9. Surround with an LFE
      10. Theater plus an LFE
      11. Monitor level control
      12. Spectral reference
    5. Monitor Speaker Types
      1. Farfield monitoring
      2. Nearfield monitoring
      3. Small speakers
      4. Headphones
      5. Your car
    6. Monitoring in the Studio
      1. Headphones in the studio
      2. Speakers in the studio
  20. 17. Surround Sound
    1. Surround Sound: Past to the Present
      1. Stereo comes to television
      2. Theaters hit home
    2. Surround in the Not-Too-Distant Future
    3. Monitoring in 5.1 Surround
      1. 5.1. Speaker placement
      2. Practical placement
    4. Active/Passive Monitors in Surround
    5. Surround Interfacing
    6. Surround Final Mastering and Delivery Formats
      1. Dolby Digital (AC3)
      2. Dolby Pro Logic
      3. SRS
      4. WMA
      5. MP4
      6. Up-mix to 5.1
    7. Mixing in Surround
      1. Surround mixers
    8. Reissuing Back Catalog Material
  21. 18. Mastering
    1. The Mastering Process
      1. To master or not to master—was that the question?
      2. “Pre”paration
      3. Mastering the details of a project
      4. Sequencing: the natural order of things
      5. Relative volumes
      6. EQ
      7. Dynamics
      8. Multiband dynamic processing
      9. File resolution
      10. Dither
    2. The Digital Audio Editor in the Mastering Process
    3. On a Final Note
  22. 19. Product Manufacture
    1. Choosing the Right Facility and Manufacturer
    2. CD Manufacturing
      1. The process
      2. CD burning software
    3. CD-R/RW Media
      1. Burning speeds
    4. Rolling your Own
    5. CD Labeling
    6. CD and DVD Handling and Care
    7. DVD and Blu-Ray Burning
    8. Vinyl Disc Manufacture
      1. Disc cutting
        1. Disc-Cutting Lathe
        2. Cutting Head
        3. Pitch Control
      2. Recording discs
      3. The mastering process
      4. Vinyl disc plating and pressing
    9. Producing for the Web
  23. 20. Studio Tips and Tricks
    1. Preparation and the Details
      1. What’s a producer and when do you need one?
      2. Do you need a music lawyer?
    2. Long Before Going Into the Studio
    3. Before going into the studio
    4. Setting up
    5. Session documentation
    6. Recording
    7. Mixdown
    8. Backup and archive strategies
    9. Household tips
    10. Musicians’ tools
    11. Record your own concerts and practices
    12. Protect your investment
    13. Protect your hardware
    14. Update your software
    15. A Word on professionalism
    16. In conclusion
  24. 21. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
    1. Yesterday
    2. Today
      1. 1’s and 0’s
      2. The WWW
    3. Tomorrow
    4. Happy Trails
  25. A. Continuing Education
    1. The Web
    2. Getting Organized!
  26. B. Tax Tips for Musicians
    1. A Business of Your Own
    2. “But, Dude, I Gotta Eat”
    3. Write-Offs
    4. Gear Lust = Tax Savings
    5. Home Sweet Home
    6. Self-Employment Tax
    7. Health Insurance
    8. Eat, Drink, and be Merry
    9. Vehicular Deductions
    10. Feed the Nest Egg and Save, Too
    11. EOY Tax Tips
    12. Get Help from the IRS
    13. Final Word
    14. Author Bio