Tag Archive for: studio recording

8 steps to explain what “sound” is.

What is a sound?

  • A sound is a physical phenomenon

    An acoustic one, to be exact.

    In fact, if you place yourself in front of a powerful audio system, your body will start to vibrate, struck by the acoustic vibration.

    It becomes music when it is used for artistic purposes.

  • A sound is a vibration.

    And it gets detected by our ears.

    It is measured using two methods:

    • Vibrational frequency, in Hertz units (Hz)
      It will tell us the tune of said sound.
    • Vibrational intensity, in deciBel units (dB)
      It will tell us its volume.
  • Sounds are composed of frequencies. Frequencies have a “phase”.

    • Sounds, except for a specific one called “sinusoid” (also known as “pure sound”), are never made up of one single vibration.
    • Each vibration that makes up a sound is called “frequency”, and it has its own phase.
    • The sum of all these frequencies is called “spectrum”.

    In fact, spectrometry gets its name from the fact that it measures the spectrum of a sound, giving information about which frequencies compose it.

  • A vibration can be produced in many ways.

    For example, by the strings of a guitar. O by a drum struck with a drumstick. Or by a pipe of an organ-pipe, which vibrates thanks to a strong air stream, created by a compressor, blowing through it.

    Or even by a loudspeaker crossed by an electrical signal, like a synth one, for example, which vibrates according to the signal it receives.

  • Next, vibrations are transmitted through a medium.

    Through air, for starters: the body that generated the vibration hits the air molecules around it, which in turn hit other close-by particles, therefore producing a domino effect that brings the vibration to our ears.

  • Each transmission medium has its own characteristics

    Water, for example, transmits sounds much better than air does. In fact, when we’re underwater, everything seems much closer than it really is.

    However, we are unable to hear as well as when we’re outside the water mostly because water alters the functioning of our eardrums (and, if we dive too deep, it actually damages them).

    Walls are another example: they’re terrible acoustic conductors, as they greatly lower a vibration intensity (thereby softening sounds) and they suppress higher frequencies (making them more grave: the typical muffled sound that we may hear when standing outside a club.)

  • Sounds have no misteries, and can be reproduced.

    From our analysis, it is possible to understand that no sound has any mystery: every sound is measurable. If it’s measurable, we can analyze it.

    And if we can analyze it we can understand what it is made of, and therefore recreate it to our own liking.

    After all, a sound is nothing but a sum of frequencies. To reproduce it, it is sufficient to add all the frequencies it was made of. (Yes, this is the principle upon which the well-known additive synthesis lays its basis. We’ll write about it in another article.)

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to hear if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you found this post useful, please: share your experience with us on our social pages!
Maybe together with a link to what you’ve created, and using our official hashtag #lmkmprod to let us find you all.

We’re looking forward to hear about you!

Guide: 7 rules to choose the right computer for audio recording purposes

Clever tips to choose your next computer for recording purposes.

Computers are the cornerstone of every modern recording studio.

From the smallest home studio up to buildings able to record whole orchestras.

In this tutorial we’ll explain how to choose the right computer for your recordings.

This tutorial is aimed at non-extreme situations (no more than 30-40 channels all together).

  • Don’t worry about CPU.

    Recording is a duty that modern CPUs are perfectly able to handle, even when processing multiple tracks at one time.

    With modern CPUs we mean anything above 2.5 GHz dual core.

  • RAM

    You’re not going to need a lot of RAM. With just 2 GB you’ll be able to easily operate in the most typical modern situations (recordings up to 20 channels).

    If you want to be sure, especially regarding the chance of using your computer for multichannel recordings, 4 GB are a very good choice.

  • Don’t worry about Hard Disk.

    Modern SATA HDDs (Hard Drive Disks) are able to handle multi-track recordings up to an enormous amount of tracks.

    There’s no need to buy specific gear such as 10.000 RPM HDDs or even SSDs.

    Also, in terms of HDD capacity, it’s almost impossible to fill an 80 GB one in one session only.

  • Don’t worry about operative system.

    To record, any OS that supports your audio card will do.

    Even the legendary Windows XP.

  • Do worry about it being noisy (if it’s in the same room in which you record).

    PC fans are noisy: make sure that your computer doesn’t produce enough noise to alter recordings, or that you have the possibility of placing it in a room different from the recording one.

    A closed door is enough to isolate the sound.

    If by chance it’s going to be in the same room, make sure to place it at an adeguate distance from the microphones (you’re going to need some long cables for that).

  • Mac, Linux or Windows?

    It’s irrelevant.

    Operative systems do not affect recording quality.

    Actually, no software affects that. It only depends on the audio equipment.

  • It must be extremely reliable.

    Recordings do not admit errors: your computer should be rock solid.

    Every error is going to be irreparable.

    Only use a computer that you’re 101% sure about its software and hardware stability.

    Choose it as if you were choosing medical equipment.

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to hear if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you found this post useful, please: share your experience with us on our social pages!

Maybe together with a link to what you’ve created, and using our official hashtag #lmkmprod to let us find you all.

We’re looking forward to hear about you!

11 rules to buy the right audio gear

Smart advice to buy the right tools for your passion.

With the right gear, half of the job is already done.

So, we’ve collected some good advice to give you a good mindset for choosing the right tools to realize your ideas.

  • Hou much do you love music?

    Are you going to try to make it for a living? Or it’s just a free time passion?

    • In the first case, you must choose your tools very wisely, and don’t be concerned to spend a lot. Preferably after consulting a reliable audio professional or building yourself a flawless knowledge about this job (which means both practical aspect and market analysis): if you make the right choices, you’ll have your money back from your happy customers.
    • In the second one: don’t bother too much. You don’t have any market to being fit within: just enjoy the trip.
  • Are you going to have customers?

    Because, if you’re going to, you must create something that will sound good even on other rooms, on other sound systems and that will satisfy even other people. Many times, other people who have listened to a lot of good music in very nice sound systems, and that they won’t care if you’re just a beginner.

    In other terms: you must respect professional production standards, both artistic and technical.

  • Have you the right place for what you’re going to buy?

    Drums and guitar amplifiers are loud, audio monitors needs acoustically treated rooms, real pianos are bulky…

    Keep always extreme attention to where are you going to use your gear: the wrong place can nullify the right gear.
    If you have an awesome pair of 8″ audio monitors in a 2x3mt room, they will be completely useless because of acoustic reasons.
    Same thing for a cheap microphone who can sound good in studio, but it will crack like hell in a live environment with a lot of humidity.

    Don’t be egocentric or short sighted, or you won’t enjoy your new gear.

  • Don’t think first about how to do it: think first about what you want to do.

    You’re buying an instrument: you’re buying something that will only be a way to obtain a goal.
    It’s within its meaning: “instrument”. Not “purpose”.

    Don’t focus too much on the instrument.
    In fact, it’s better to don’t even think about your instrument: focus only on what you must realize.

    Think about your instrument only if you’re absolutely sure that your skills are completely covering any field that you’re dealing with, and you still don’t have success.

  • They‘re only instruments: they won’t play for you.

    Don’t buy anything with the mindset “it will do the job”: -you- are going to do the job, with the aid of an instrument.

    If you don’t have a clear idea of how to get done something, you don’t need a new instrument: you need to be more skilled.

  • And, even if they somehow can, it won’t have any sense.

    Art is expression.
    What makes it so special and beautiful is the variety in it. The fact that we put our soul in our art.

    What’s the point in just clicking a button? You’re not making art: you’re playing a button, and listening to something done by others. You’re not being yourself: you’re being a surrogate of someone else.

    Are you sure that you want to spend your time being a surrogate of someone else?

  • Don’t use only your ears: use even your brain. (A little introduction to psychoacoustics)

    We don’t have spectrometers and hard disks: we have ears and a soul.
    We’re not machines that memorizes data: we are humans that remember emotions.

    We don’t memorize data: we memorize feelings. Not “110db, 80Hz”: “a loud low tone”.
    Which is the reason because we can make art: we have feelings.

    And even because we can say that we’re alive.

    …and even because we are not incline to memorize precise data, like acoustic characteristics or frequency responses.

    For example, in your early years of mixing, it will be quite common to being extremely happy for your last mix only to find out, on the next day, that it sucked really hard.
    It’s absolutely normal.
    You will get rid of this with years of good practice and study.
    It’s the difference between being a pro or not.

  • DON‘T LISTEN TO TESTIMONIALS (...unless you’re long term friends)

    They have plenty of production money: they can afford to buy something only for its aesthetic purpose (what do you think the purpose of a Marshall amplifiers wall is?), and they have plenty of audio professionals ready to correct any sort of trouble due to this “choreographic” modus operandi.

    And, more important: they don’t care about you. They’re paid to advertise. They won’t go broke if you can’t make the music that you wanted to.
    And you won’t know what tools they are effectively using until the day that you will work together with them.

  • DON‘T LISTEN TO FRIENDS/PARENTS (...unless they’re well established audio professionals)

    The fact that you spent a lot of nice days together doesn’t mean that they’re trained audio professionals.

    There’s nothing wrong about it: music isn’t a joke. It’s serious business.
    Your passion is a serious business. And it must be dealt only by skilled professionals.

  • Don‘t listen to anyone that doesn’t give you strong theoretical facts.

    The faster way to understand if it’s a good advice it’s pretty simple: ask why.
    If you’re doing this because you want it to be your job, don’t accept anything pre cooked: always ask “why”. And don’t accept “because it’s good”: ask for a plausible scientific explanation.

    Because, with tools, we aren’t talking about magic: there is always a strong scientific background for any audio tool.
    A frequency response plot and a polar pattern for a microphone, for example: is this microphone as good as they said? Well: let’s see the charts. Show me.

  • But never forget that you‘re not doing math: you’re doing art.

    Scientific knowledge about your instruments is only a way to find a clearer path to know how to realize your ideas. It’s not a “bigger number competition”.

    A perfect instrument for situation A could be the worst choice for the situation B: it’s art. It’s all about the context.
    It’s all about what do you want to create.
    Never forget it.

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to hear if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you have found this post to be useful, share with us your experiences on our socials!

Maybe you could also add a link of what you’ve created, and by using the hashtag #lmkmprod we’ll be able to find all of you.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!