Audio Basics (Part 1)

October 9, 2018

Introduction

 

In next few blogs i'll be going over all of the main types of equipment that musicians use on a daily basis, from hardware to software, effects and even microphones.  

 

Reverb

 

Reverberation is the natural sound that we hear everyday, it is simply the effect that is produced when sound waves reflect off of surfaces in an enclosed environment. Reverb also happens to be an incredibly popular effect when recording. This is for good reason; tracks that have very little or no reverb may sound unnatural to a listener and so adding reverb would definitely help to improve the listening experience for any listener if used well.

 

Natural Reverb can often mean a more high budget approach, such as the use of reverb chambers and plate reverb. However this can also quite obviously be attained by the room that the instruments are recorded in, the room and its acoustics should always be taken into consideration when recording an instrument. One reason for a lack of natural reverb on tracks also has a lot to do with the way the instrument is miked, for instance close miking can often result in a far more enclosed sound, a good technique that would be good to get used to would be to always have a room mic set up just incase the sound of just the close microphones alone sound too dead for your liking, close miking offers a great sense of ambience as well as making the most of the room around you, overall setting up a room mic (or two) can dramatically improve the overall sound of a track.

 

 

Equalisation

 

“Equalisation may be described as frequency (band) specific level control and it is commonly used to either alter the timbre of audio signals or the response of sound reproduction systems” Carlos Lellis Ferreira -2013. EQ has a huge part to play in modern recording and is commonly used to sweeten up sounds by either removing/lowering unwanted frequencies or by increasing the right sounding frequencies.

 

Equalisers can be split into a variety of different sections based on their function as well as the frequency band that they are associated with. However, here are two examples. The first are filter EQ’s, according to Carlos Lellis Ferreira - 2013. “Filters are primarily used for the removal or unwanted signal content, e.g. rubble, hiss, etc., providing an increasing level of attenuation above or below a given frequency”.

 

The second type of equalisers are shelving equalisers allow a recordist to attenuate frequencies above or below a set shelf, whether its a high-shelving EQ or low-shelving EQ. According to Francis Rumsey and Tim McCormick - 2009. Some EQ sections provide an additional control whereby the Q of the filter can be adjusted. This type of EQ section is termed a parametric EQ since all parameters, cut/boost, frequency, and Q can be adjusted”.

 

 

George Capon

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