uw05

UW Course Outline
Analog and Digital Recorders

View the on-line video of the class here (as long as it is on the cloud)

Free Multitracks to Hone Your Mixing Skills … Here is a site to get you started with finding free multitrack projects on the web for practice.

Download sessions from the Cambridge multitrack tracks here

A. AUDIO/VIDEO MAGNETIC RECORDING

1. Why do we still need/want analog tape machines?
– personal experiences with Chamberland Berlin Mixes album
– give out records

2. problems associated with analog
– alignment
– noise

3. the ATR as a memory device
– read 1st paragraph, p.180
– basis of tape recording (keep this simple)

4. Magnetic Tape
– makeup of magnetic audio tape
* base material, generally PVC
* magnetic domains
** smallest known permanent magnets
** domain orientation for producing an overall recorded flux, fig. 5.2

5. characteristics of magnetic tape
– dynamic range – noise vs. saturation
* random pickup of individual domains
* saturation, total orientation
– print-through (magnetic leakage to adjacent outer layer)

Questions: Are analog recorders a thing of the past? Why/why not?

B. THE BASICS OF DIGITAL AUDIO

1. The “word”
– letters, alpha “bits”, words
– bits, digital words, analog equivalent (cat)
– digital device can process data (words) very quickly
– binary counting
* 8 bit = 256 steps
* 16 bit = 65,536 steps
* 24 bit = 16,777,216 steps

2. Digital Basics (two components)
– Sampling (frequency)
* sample rate
* Nyquist Theoem

– Quantization (amplitude)
* signal-to-error
* Dither

3. Need for Quality Conversion Techniques
– discussion
– interface vs. external DAC
– need for a stable clock (external clock?)
– Jitter (p. 201 MRT)

4. Workstation choices and types
– Music
– Recording
– Looping software
– Mixing in the box vs. not (your choice)

5. File formats and rates
– AIFF
– WAV (most common)
– FLAC
– 44.1/48/96?
– 16bit/24bit

6. Backup schemes
– At least 3 places (one off site)

7. Hard drives

8. Naming schemes
– i.e. “N7_dmh_haida_raven_20_2496_01_scotchbroom17”
– Documentation (Doc directories)

9. Interface choices and types
– Portable
– Multichannel

10. Interface/controller
– hardware
– software app

C: MIXING

1. The art of listening & mixing (p. 449)

– don’t eq or do something just for the sake of it (beginner’s syndrome).
– In the record phase try not to rely upon the mix for solving problems (fix it in the mix)

2. The Mixer Surface

a. Analog Console
– Signal flow (p. 461)
* Duality δelta sales brochure
* SSL Duality Overview and Block Diagrams
– The vertical vs. the horizontal path
* pre amp
* insert
– Aux send (horizontal)
* why have an aux send (effects)
– EQ
*
– Dynamics section (mostly on an analog console, used as a plugin on a DAW
– monitor section
* levels
* switching between speaker types/configurations
– output section
* track select
* main bus (horizontal)
* group bussing
– the patch bay
– metering
* American approach
* Euro approach (Morten)

3. Gain structure

* Gain Staging Like a Pro

– Gain structure in the DAW

4. Monitoring
– levels
– balance matching

5. Technology of mixing

6. Automation
– rubber band
– external controller

7. Finer points of mixing (p. 488)
– listen first
– gain structure

8. Things that help
– grouping
– use of color coding
– notes

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