BUNDLE AND SAVE! Recording Fundamentals - The Complete Series
All 24 chapters can be purchased at once for one low price!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 1: Learning The Rules (And Expectations)
Welcome to Recording Fundamentals! In this series of articles, we will introduce and review the fundamentals of audio, recording, and music production.
Will this column be targeted only at beginners? Absolutely not! Even professionals need to regularly review audio’s trickier aspects, and this series will present the content in a manner accessible for all. So come join us and get educated!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 2: Introduction To Audio — What is Sound?
Whether you’re just starting out or accomplished at recording, under-standing and reviewing the essentials of how sound works leads to all kinds of benefits. In this installment of Recording Fundamentals, we break down the science of sound into terms anyone can understand... and we teach you why it matters.
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 3: Introduction To Audio—Where Do The Mics Go?
It’s the most basic question in audio engineering: “So where do I put the mic?” In this installment of Recording Fundamentals, we answer that question in detail, explaining the how and why of close and distant miking. Read on...
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 4: Microphones—History And Design
Microphones are the lifeblood of the recording process. Everybody has them, everybody wants more of them... but how well do you understand how they work and why one mic is better than another for a given session? In this installment of Recording Fundamentals, we start to lay out what you need to know to choose the best mic for the job!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 5: Microphones—Polar Patterns And Directionality
Although a variety of microphone technologies exist, it is the big three—the dynamic, the condenser, and the ribbon—that see the most use in the modern recording studio. In the last Recording Fundamentals, we discussed these three mechanisms in detail, including their function, sonics, and usage. This time, we’re getting into directionality: where a mic picks up sound, and how you can use that to best advantage.
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 6: Microphones—From Proximity To Plosives
For the past two installments, Recording Fundamentals has covered mic design, history, usage, and directionality... but the story’s not over yet! This time, we’re finishing up our tour of microphones with a look at several other important mic attributes that can help or hinder your recordings, depending on how well you understand them...
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 7: The Music Production Process—From A To Z
In the era of the Internet, creating and releasing successful music no longer revolves around huge studios, record labels, radio, or MTV. The Internet makes anyone at least a potential star... but what’s involved in the production process that gets you there? Read on!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 8: The Music Production Process—Who Does What?
In our last Recording Fundamentals, we walked through the pro-cess of creating an album, from preproduction to distribution. Now that we have an understanding of what goes into the process and its many stages, it’s time to learn about the people involved, why they’re important... and when you can (and should) bypass them and do things yourself.
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 9: Signal Flow—When We Record
Knowing where signals come from and where they go, and what happens to them along the way, is truly fundamental to the engineer’s craft. You can’t fix problems in your audio if you don’t understand where they’re coming from! So read along as Recording Fundamentals tackles the all-important topic of signal flow, starting with the journey from microphone to recorded music.
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 10: Signal Flow—When We Listen
In the last installment of Fundamentals, we discussed the path of an au-dio signal as it travels from a sound source through a preamp and to an audio recorder, through the various stages of a professional audio console. But that’s not the only path audio has to follow in our studio!
This time around, we’ll learn about the signal’s route back from the recorder and through the console’s monitor path toward the control room loudspeakers. After all... what’s the use of recording music if you can’t listen to what you’ve recorded?
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 11: Signal Flow—When The Artist Has To Hear The Music
It’s not enough to record what we play and hear what we record. In this installment of Fundamentals, we route audio on interesting side paths so that our clients can follow along as well!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 12: Monitors—What Makes A Speaker A Monitor?
Monitors are the most important part of your studio. Nothing else you have does you any good if you can’t hear what you’re recording, and hear it accurately. In this Fundamentals, we consider the often-overlooked but totally vital boxes that actually let us experience our music!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 13: Monitors—Which Ones Are Best For You?
Monitors are the most important part of your studio, but how do you choose the right pair? To do that, it pays to know a little history and a little technology, combined with good listening practices... and we teach you all of that in this edition of Fundamentals, so dive on in!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 14: Welcome To The Sweet Spot!
The Sweet Spot, that magical place where your music and your studio sound their best, doesn’t just happen. A lot of work and knowledge and preparation goes into making your musical space the sweetest it can be. Read along and let’s learn about what goes into your very own Sweet Spot.
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 15: What Does The Sweet Spot Sound Like?
In this installment of Recording Fundamentals, we delve deeper into the tricks and secrets of building the perfect Sweet Spot for your re-cording space. We’ve talked about accessibility and ergonomics... now we have to tackle the pesky problem of making sure your Sweet Spot sounds good, too!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 16: The Lowdown On Low Frequencies!
The hardest part of building a great recording and mixing environment is getting the acoustics right, and the hardest part of acoustics is controlling the big bad bass. Low frequencies are hard to control and smooth out, and if we get them wrong... or even if we get them right in one spot but they’re wrong a short distance away... our music will suffer.
Recording Fundamentals to the rescue! Dive into the deep end with us and learn how to lock down your lows.
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 17: Nine Tips For Great Sound In Sketchy Rooms
We’ve been discussing the acoustics of control and tracking rooms and sketching out solutions to problems, from simple absorption for highs to more complicated diffusion and bass trapping for lows. In theory, those tools should be able to fix any room, but in practice getting a room’s sound perfect can be nearly impossible.
Professional studios have decoupled walls and ceilings, floating floors, specialized bass traps, and lots of other expensive tricks, most of which can’t be retrofitted into a house you own and are impossible in a space you’re renting. So what do you do if your room is fighting your music? Read on!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 18: Headphones—What’s Wrong (And Right) With Them?
Headphones are necessary in nearly every studio, and they have a lot of practical uses. If you use them wrong, however, they can steer you wrong in a big way. In this Fundamentals, we learn the benefits and downchecks, perils and pitfalls of monitoring on headphones!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 19: Stop Worrying And Love Your Headphones
In our last chapter, Recording Fundamentals outlined both the pitfalls and advantages of using headphones during the mix process. This time around, with those important considerations firmly in mind, we’ll visit common headphone features, and look at what to consider when shop-ping for cans. Read on!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 20: What The Heck Is An Equalizer Equalizing?
EQ is everywhere in pro audio, from simple tone controls to com-plicated rack processors, all dedicated to sculpting your tone and shaping your sounds. Their power makes them dangerous, though, so it’s important to understand what they do and how they do it. In this Recording Fundamentals, we dive into EQ and learn about what’s involved in this type of processing.
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 21: Make EQ Work For You—Not Against You!
Equalization is the most common form of audio signal processing. Used to adjust tone, EQ can manipulate the relative loudness between various frequency components in an audio signal. Troublesome frequencies can be reduced or eliminated, while desired frequencies can be boosted and highlighted.
In our last chapter, we introduced and investigated various equalizer types. This time, we will look at workflows, myths, tips, and tricks... all to make sure that when you put an EQ to work on your music, it’s doing what you want it to and not making a mess of things!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 22: Compression—Ride Those Levels!
Dynamics control is a vital part of music production. Smoothing out uneven performances, preventing sources from overloading, deliberately playing with dynamics for musical effect... they’re all important practices that engineers face every day, and the tool to handle them all is the compressor. Let’s learn about what goes into these powerful and often confusing devices!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 23: Compression—Control Your Dynamics Control!
In the last chapter of Recording Fundamentals, we learned what compression is and what it’s for. Now that we understand the what and why, it’s time to learn how—come along and learn what all the controls on a compressor mean, and how to adjust them to get the corrective or creative effects you want!
Recording Fundamentals Chapter 24: Compression—The Loudness Wars (And Peace?)
The loudness wars, the constant battle to make music louder and more in-your-face for broadcast media, have done a lot of damage to the music we listen to over the last two decades. Worse yet, some of this damage can’t be undone, with the music itself actually recorded, mixed, and mastered way too loud even before it gets broadcast. But the situation is not hopeless. In this chapter of Recording Fundamentals, we’ll talk about the loudness wars and how peace may finally be on the horizon