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Recording Your Own Album

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The Complete Process of Recording

Even though it seems like we only learn about the actual recording of
instruments, then see the result through the CD, there is an entire process
that is hidden behind the curtains in order to get the sound of the CD exactly
right. This includes a variety of steps that are linked to engineering a CD and
producing the right sounds after the instrumentation is complete.

The first step of the process after the recording is the pre-mixing. This is
the point in which the instruments will become neutral and even. The main part
of this particular step is to determine the sound waves and what their peak
points of loud and soft is. This can be automatically set up through a
normalization tool, which will average out the sound frequencies for the
individual instruments. You can also find mathematical formulas if you want to
customize the normalization tool to build the top and bottom peaks of the
recording.

Within this part is also the ability to make the instrumentation sound just a
little bit better. You can add in the extra sounds as well as the effects that
you want with additional instruments. This will take the deadened sound that
was created from the recording and move it into a live sounding performance as
well as a space which is more effective in defining what is being played.

After this point, you will move into the mixing stage. This will focus on the
individual instruments and what they need in order to be completely enhanced.
The first part of this is to move through each of the individual instruments
and create envelopes for them. These are areas in which they will have lows or
highs as an individual instrument. You can add in dynamic effects during this
point in time as well as things such as compression, which will help to
normalize the peak points of the piece even more. During this time, you want to
make sure that everything is even and sounds right when picked out individually.

This will then move you into the pre-mastering stage. During this point, you
will move from working with individual instruments and into the arrangement of
all of the instruments. You will want to make sure that the low and high
frequencies of all of the instruments are balanced at the same level. This
should move not only into the peak points of the sound waves, but also into the
volume control.

The pre-mastering stage will include industry standards as well as individual
preferences for balancing out. Many software packages will come with analysis
components so that you can look at the amount of low frequencies to high
frequencies and adjust it to balance out. This will depend on the software that
you use, as well as the preferences that you have for the blending of the
instruments. As long as you keep in mind that the most important part of this
is blending together all of the instruments with high and low sounds, you will
easily be able to maneuver with the pre-mastering stage.

The last step in putting together the mix for recording is the mastering. This
will take the songs that have been made over all of the tracks and make sure
that they balance out evenly. Like pre-mastering, this can be done by checking
all of the levels and making sure that all of the songs balance out and are
even in their volume levels as well as high and low frequencies. You can check
your volume levels not only by the mathematical formulas, but also by comparing
your volume levels on CD players. The sounds should reach the industry standard
volumes, unless you have an alternative preference for your blend of songs and
instruments.

Once you know the major concepts for each step of placing a CD together, you
can find the best way to blend and change everything that is needed within the
CD and songs that you are producing. If you are looking beyond recording, you
want to look into the engineering of a CD and how you can effectively put
together the instruments, every step of the way.

Getting Your Recording Right

You finally have finished recording your piece, front to back and think that
you are ready to mix everything together. But, before you start, you notice
that there is one little glitch right in the middle. Before you start over
again, or start to give up with your song, find the tools that will work so
that you can get the recording right.

Software that is designed in recording is always designed with the human
element in mind. This means that you can play the instrument the way that you
best know how, then create a way to get the exact sound that you want later.
While you want to be exact while you record, you can be somewhat merciful in
knowing that this sometimes doesn't happen, then find the right tools to put it
back together again.

One of the greatest software tools that can be used are punch ins. This allows
you to flag a certain area that you want to re-do. You will be able to go back
a certain number of seconds and replay. You will then move into the area that
needs re-done and record over what was already recorded. You will be able to
continue to play afterwards in order to fade back out and put everything
together right.

With this option, you want to make sure that you can put all of the sound waves
next to each other. With some programs, the punch ins will slightly divide once
starting. Giving yourself enough room to prepare for the punch in as well as
creating a seamless tie together of the two will help you to put everything
together.

Once you have all of the instrumentation exactly right, you can start putting
in the right sounds. This is often times called the pre-mixing stage and is
used in order to make your instrumentation have the right effects and resonance
within your instrument. You always want to do this before you reach the mixing
stage as it will often times make a difference in the volume as well as the way
in which the instrument mixes with other instruments.

The pre-mixing stage will always begin with the normalization process. This is
simply taking the setting of the waves and making it so that it peaks out in
both ends. When you normalize something, the frequencies will go up or down.
You should see the waves change in order to reach maximum and minimum peaks at
both ends. If you have your volume set correctly, everything will normalize to
be around the same peaks, allowing you to mix together the sounds easier.

After this, you can set the sound that you want in the end for your
instrumentation. This moves into reverb options, flange, effects, fades and
other instrumentation effects that adds in extra color to your instrumentation.
When you do this, you should make sure that you work with what will sound the
best with your instrument and how it will change the sounds within your song.
Once you start to hear the right sounds for your instrumentation, you can
preset this part and allow for time saving options when getting ready to mix.

After this stage, you will be ready to start your mixing of instruments. Your
check list for the pre-mixing stage is to simply make sure that your individual
instruments has the right sound that you want for the entire mix. This starts
with the smoothness you will want from the song and moves into the options for
getting the sounds that add a little bit extra into the mix of your individual
instrument.

Tips and Tricks for Recording Your Voice

It's finally time to put the voice into sound wave format. Before you start
singing your favorite notes, you will want to make sure that everything is set
up correctly. The voice is the trickiest part of recording as well as the very
last step to getting everything in correctly. Before you begin, know exactly
how to approach your notes.

Your first step to recording your voice is to not record your voice. This means
that you will want to have everything else exactly like it should be. The rest
of your instrumentation should be completed, including everything from the
layering of instruments to the mixing. Putting the voice in before you have
anything else done will cause slight confusion in the end from all musicians
and may cause some parts of the track to be off.

After you have everything set, prepare your recording studio in the correct way
for voice. This means that you should have an enclosed space to record, which
doesn't cause the voice to bounce off the walls from the resonance. The
microphone should be set in place to pick up all sides of the voice, but should
be able to muffle the rest of the sounds in the room. The more enclosed and
deadened the sound, the easier it will be to capture the voice.

One of the important parts of recording the voice is linked to the peaks in the
voice. It is easy for a vocal sound to peak, meaning that the sound wave goes
past the maximum and into a 'red zone' of volume. You will want to prevent this
from happening and keep the voice condensed in a specific area. Remember, it is
always easier to get louder, but it is harder to get softer. For this purpose,
compressors have been created. This is set into the microphone and compresses
the sound wave before it is recorded into the software. Always check the
compression of the voice and the peaks that it has so that you have room to
work with the volume.

From this point, it is a matter of putting the right mixes in for the voice.
Equalizers, or EQs will help to get the right sounds of the high and low
frequencies in and should always be set on the mixer as well as within the
software. You will also want to consider things such as noise gates, which
stops the sound from resonating before it is recorded. If the voice naturally
resonates, the noise gate will have a cut off point where the resonance will
stop, making everything clear instead of sounding like it echoes.

After the voice is recorded, you can use it like you would any other
instrument. This means that you can normalize the sound waves so that it
matches with the other instruments in volume and gain. This also means that you
can allow the volume to mix properly.

One of the greatest sets of tools for the voice is being able to manipulate the
sound, which can be done after the normalization is complete. Reverb, flanges
and other vocal tools can add back into the voice what is taken out for
compression. This will depend on the type of voice and the effect that you want
to have. For example, if the voice has a slight accent or already has a strong
resonance, reverb will make it sound like an echo. A clearer voice; however,
will add in a little sparkle to the mix. You will want to analyze the type of
voice you are working with before you add in the mix and will want to take some
time to experiment with your options.

If you follow this simple sets of rules, recording the voice can move from
being the hardest and most complex part of recording to being the simplest step
in putting together all of the sounds. Giving yourself room to experiment with
the voice and understanding what it needs in order to work right will allow you
to get the exact results every time.

Tips and Tricks for Laying Down Tracks

Arranging and putting together a recording sometimes takes something a little
bit different than getting a band together and mixing in all of the music.
There are now more options available for piecing together your songs, making
sure that everything is in the right place and keeping the sounds together
correctly.

Tip #1: Take advantage of repeats and patterns. Everything musical is built off
of a pattern. If you have patterns in your song, don't take the time to keep
re-writing them into the music, especially if you are not playing it live.
Creating a loop with that specific musical phrasing will be much more effective
and will save you time.

Tip #2: Know where to find loops. Most recording packages come with pre-made
loops that you can use for general patterns. This is especially effective if
you need a rhythm pattern or a general beat. While loops shouldn't be the basis
of your song, for the general back ground songs, this is a great thing to use.

Tip #3: Always think in layers. Whether you are using patterns, loops or
recording live, the best way to get through the recording process is to think
in layers. This should be happening from the arrangement of the song, but
should continue to the actual production and mixing.

Tip #4: Know what to put in first. There are logical and effective ways to put
down tracks to the different instrumentation. You will always want to start
with the rhythm track because of the ability to have a repetitive loop and to
keep everything on the right track. You will then stack from lows to highs,
starting with the bass sounds, moving to mid range, and then high range.

Tip #5: Vocals are the icing on the cake. Even though the singers are the front
of the stage, in recording they keep to the back. Before you bring a vocal
person in to record, you will want to have the layers of your instrumentation
completed, including the mixing. The voice can then be compressed in and will
blend in nicely with the rest of the instrumentation.

Tip #6: Familiarize yourself with more than one program. Most recording studios
will have a preference of their favorite programs to use for everything.
However, the more versatile you are in your recording software, the more
capabilities you will have to find the right sounds, arrangements and
capabilities within the software. You will want to ask around to see what
software is best at what.

Tip #7: Know the background from the front. One of the largest mistakes made in
recording is having the balance and the back arrangements as the foreground.
This all comes back to the volume control in your pieces. You will want to
research what the standards are for each volume setting before you start
recording.

Tip #8: It's easier to get louder in volume than softer. If you are just
starting the mix, start low. Typically, you will want to test each instrument
or pattern. They should be set around -6.0. From this, you can move up. You
never want your volume to get to 0 when recording, especially before the vocals
as it will cause the sound to be too loud, to peak with the waves and to be
imbalanced.

Tip #9: Testing. When you test each of the sounds you want to look for volume
control. Each of the instruments should not max out into a yellow or red zone.
The volume should show a nice half way point with all of the instruments. Some
can be higher than others for the mix, but if you keep this general rule in
mind, it will be easier to keep the instrumentation fitting together with
volume.

Tip #10: Know when to pre-set. If you have a certain sound you are going for,
know what needs compressed or put together in a certain way, don't hesitate to
do it before you begin playing. This is especially effective with the mixing.
However, you don't want to experiment unless you are ready to lay the track
down several times with different settings.

With these tips, you can build your pieces more effectively and with less time.
Knowing what to use when with your computer, as well as what to set in the right
place will help you to get the exact sound that you need.

To Play Live or To Use the Computer

The digital age has not only led to revolutions in new software and
capabilities, but also an entirely new set of sounds for instrumentation. For
those who are familiar with music at all, they also know that it is no longer
necessary to have live instruments to play everything or to have a person
present. The computers have the capacity of substituting for any type of
instrumentation you need. However, before deciding to digitalize everything,
you should consider the differences between playing live or using a computer.

There are several sounds that are now becoming capable of taking the place for
real instruments. MIDI was the first set of sounds that were produced which
were the same as real instruments. The packages in MIDI were taken by recording
live instruments on every note and turning them into a digital sound wave. As
this particular type of package has evolved, so have the sounds and the ability
to make the sounds seem more real and less electronic. Most MIDI packages are
used only with Mac computers or as added on plug ins to what already exists.

The second type of digital effect is known as VST's, or Virtual Sound
Technology. This is a generalized term that includes a wide variety of
instrumentations, loops sounds and electronic effects that can be used in
almost any software program.

Like MIDI, VSTs take live instruments, copy the sounds and reproduce them using
digital effects. The result is a wide variety of instruments, sounds and certain
measures of general arrangements that can be used almost anywhere.

When you are recording, the question becomes whether to use the electronic
capacities that are there or to move into recording live instruments. While the
electronics progress, the sounds become better and somewhat capture what is
being done. However, there are things to listen for and to familiarize yourself
with before moving into using electronics.

The first part of the electronics that is missing from the picture is the idea
of resonance. With live instruments, each note carries harmonics over it that
can not be heard, as well as resonance from the strings and vibrations. The
vibrations come from the strings or air hitting other air and hitting the
sound. Because the MIDI and VST packages are digitalized, it will be missing
this capacity and won't be able to carry this same vibration. This is one of
the largest cons of VSTs. Even with the progressions in copying the sounds, it
is impossible to find ones that add in the resonance of a real instrument.

If you have no choice but to use a VST or MIDI package, you will want to
consider finding ones that can play as closely to the real instruments as
possible. Many of the older versions of electronic sounds carry the electronic
sound to them and sound like synthesizers or man made instruments. You won't
want to use a package that doesn't have a resemblance to the real thing. Most
musicians and listeners can still tell the difference. If you want your sounds
to be electronic, than this will work fine. However, if you are trying to
portray a real instrument, you want to make sure that it carries a sound that
closely resembles the live instrument.

The major way in which you can tell whether the packages are resembling live
instruments is in how you hear the instrument. You may want to compare how the
packages sound to the real things. For instance, an electronic sound will sound
muffled and will be closer sounding to a synthesizer than to an instrument.
Unless this is the exact sound you are looking for, you will probably want to
check into newer versions or updates that use better technology options.

No matter what you decide with the instrumentation to use for your recording,
the most important thing to keep in mind is what you want the end sound to be
like. This means that you should keep things in mind such as resonance,
resemblance to the real instrument and the electronic equivalent of that
instrument. While both can remain just as effective in your arrangement, it is
the small differences in sound that make a difference in what is being played.

Setting Up A Recording Studio

Having the right equipment for a recording studio isn't enough in order to get
the right sounds for your CD. If you want to make sure that everything is in
the right place, you will also want to think about the way in which things are
spaced out and how you can work with that in your recording studio.

The first thing you will want to consider with setting up a recording studio is
how much room you will need in order for everyone to be comfortable. This means
that you will need to have plenty of room to fit an average of five to ten
people. If you want more people to come in, space out how much room each one
will need in order to feel comfortable within your space. The size of the room
as far as feet will not change the way that anything sounds, so if you think
bigger space, it is probably better.

The second part to this is dividing the space between the engineering and the
playing. While this is not as important as it used to be, it helps for
monitoring as well as mixing the sounds while others are playing. Typically,
you will see one room that is divided in two. One space is for the musicians
while the other is for the sound board, mixing and mastering while those who
are working are playing. This creates a better sound proof area for your
recording.

With the engineering area, it is expected that everything will be in a range
where you can quickly get to it and change the sounds as it is going. Having
everything within your arms reach, such as the mix board and the software, will
help you to be more consistent and effective while recording other
instrumentation.

The area in which the musicians are will then need to be built in a specific
way. It is best to have very thin carpeting or wood floors, as this causes the
sound to not be absorbed. Lower ceilings will also help to keep the sound
compacted. If you have wood flooring or no carpet, you will want to consider
buffering the ceiling or placing an area rug around the space which the
musicians are working. This will help to keep the sound from bouncing. On the
side of the walls should be foam in order to keep the sound deadened as well.
You will only want to foam certain sides, depending on the shape of the room,
it's size and how it is built. If the noise becomes to deadened, it will be
harder to get the right mix when recording.

Another part that should be kept in mind with the musicians area is with the
voices. If you are planning on putting vocals on any CD, you will need to have
a separate area for the microphones, again, depending on the size of the room.
Often times, vocal boxes will be used in order to trap all of the sound. For
home recorders with a minimum budget, things such as closets will work in order
to keep the sound in the right space.

Of course, each recording studio will differ according to the best way that you
work, the type of instrumentation that you have, who you plan on recording and
what your needs are at the time. Before you start with your recording studio,
it is best to plan out the most legitimate way to organize your equipment and
your needs so that everything can be effective once it is set up.

No matter what your budget, needs or playing capacities, having a recording
studio that allows you to produce professional CDs is an important factor in
creating the right sounds and mixes. The more you plan out for your studio, and
the more capacities that you have with dividing the spaces correctly and with
having the right equipment, the easier it will be to create the right sounds.

Choosing Your Mixing Board

The realizations that have grown in the studio for mixing are ones that have
also led to new applications and ideas for putting together the right mix of
instruments. With this, has come a variety of technologies and options in order
to ensure that every type of studio can easily change sound waves within the
recording area. These options are allowing for better mixes and blends within
each piece of music. Knowing the characteristics of different mixing boards can
help you to decide what is your best option.

Number of input devices. Each mixing board comes with a set of number of
channels. Each of these channels will allow for one instrument to be placed
within the mixing board. You may have heard of concepts like the '24 mixer' or
'36 mixer'. The numbers that are being referred to are the channels used, each
one allowing for an instrument to be in it's place. Before you get a mixing
board, you will want to think of how many channels you will need at one time,
dependent on how many instruments you want or need to record at once.

Different uses for different environments. There are different innovations that
are used for different areas of mixing. Because a sound board has to be able to
adapt to both the software for recording and for the mix of instruments,
different types of mixers will be available. Some of these will be focused on
performance mixing while others will be strictly for the studio. You can
determine which is being used according to the level control features and the
way in which the sound board is built.

Analog or Digital. Technology innovations with mixers are constantly
re-defining the best and latest types of mixers to use within recording. This
has quickly made a transition from analog to digital mixers. Analog mixers are
defined by wired controls that mix in changes and live sounds. Digital mixers;
however, will use a digital interface in between. Typically, the mixing
difference can be heard in the sound as well as the options for mixing. Because
digital is using later technology, it is now moving into innovations such as
audio streams, all in one editing options and more possibilities for
controlling volume and input of the sound being used.

Extra effects. No matter what type of mixer you are looking into, you always
want to pay attention to the little knobs that are a part of the mix. Depending
on the mix and make of the sound board, you will also have different signal
options as well as volume control options, dependent on the mixer. The more
complex you want to make the mix, or the more instrumentation you have, will
also help you to decide on what effects you want to take place in the mix and
before the sound recording. You should keep in mind that, with these effects,
they can not be undone if they are recorded that way as sound waves, meaning
you will want to be cognizant of what is working and what doesn't in the mix.

Interactions with software. Your mixing board not only provides you with
options for pre-recording, but also should have options with how it interacts
with the software. Not only does each mixing board have different features
within the board itself, but can also interact with the software in certain
ways in order to mix together the sound waves in a certain way. You will want
to make sure that you have a mixing board that compliments your software system.

If you keep these things in mind with the right mixing board, it will save you
time, money and will allow for the right sound to be developed from what you
are creating. Your end option will be the ability to customize your sound and
to create certain controls within your music that best fit what you want to do.
By understanding the different qualities of mixing boards and how they can work
for you, there will be the ability to have the perfect recipe for your
instrumentation mix.

What Equipment Do You Need for Recording?

The improvement of technology and the capabilities within digital music not
only allows for different sounds and formats to be available, but is also
creating a space where musicians can record for themselves. If you are ready to
record, you can set up a space that works for what you need and start moving
towards getting your sounds on CD. Following are some of the must haves in
order to get your recording studio up and recording.

Software and a computer. There are a lot of options that are available with
software, but you want to make sure that you have it. This is the brain center
of your recording studio and will do more for you and your music than anything
else. With your computer, also make sure that you have a lot of memory and
power that can easily store and keep up with the recordings.

Foam. One of the most important parts of your recording studio is to make sure
that it is sound proof. It's easy for your instruments or voices to bounce off
the wall, causing an echo when you record. Recording foam will deaden the sound
and allow you to record what you need without the bounce back. Keep in mind
that, depending on the room size and the acoustics, you may not have to foam
the entire room.

Mixer. In order to get the sounds from the instruments into the computer, this
is your tool. Make sure that you have enough inputs and outputs to record all
of the instruments that you want at once.

Pre-amps. If you really want some good sound, don't just plug your instruments
into the mixer. Instead, you should get pre-amps into the mix. This will allow
for instruments, such as guitars and basses, to keep their best sound, then go
into the mix board. For example, if you want a bass to have a certain
resonance, you can set it up on the pre-amp, without it changing the main sound
of the guitar, as it would if they were both plugged into the mix board.

Monitors. You will need special speakers for after the recording in order to
make sure that you have everything set together right. Monitors will help you
to hear both the high and lows of your recording and make sure that it all
blends together correctly. Some prefer headphones over monitors; however, if
you choose this option, make sure that they are recording head phones, designed
in the same way as monitors.

Microphone Equipment. It would be nice if you could just set up a regular
microphone for recording, but it doesn't work that easily. You will need to get
a recording microphone, which will catch all of the sounds from the voice on
every side. Attached to the microphone should be a popper, which will stop the
hard consonants from recording and muffling the recording. Compressor. This is
an option for recording, but shouldn't be overlooked. This is specifically used
for vocals, and allows the waves in the voice to not reach certain peaks.
Instead, it is compressed to equal the rest of the waves. You can then adjust
the voice to match the other instrumentation as you go.

Starting with this equipment will allow you to have the basic boosts that you
need in order to cut your first recordings. Of course, you can always add in
extra equipment, or take away other equipment, but with the above, you can get
a good start to a basic and complete home recording studio.

What's That Buzz?

'The Buzz' is something that happens a lot in a recording studio as one of the
syndromes of recording. If you are setting up a recording studio and notice
that there is white noise coming from somewhere in your equipment, you will
want to make sure that you check some things out, reorganize your options and
figure out where the buzz is coming from.

If you don't find the buzz, or white noise, that is taking place in the studio,
it can cause problems with the recording. The white noise, like everything else
in the studio, will automatically be recorded as part of the sound wave. While
some of this can be taken out with a filter during the mixing process, the
sound will not be as clear and can cause problems by the time you get to the
mastering process.

If you hear a buzz, the first thing to check is the spacing of all the
instruments. Often times, the cables or the amps will be too close to each
other. The frequencies will begin bouncing off of each other and will cause the
buzz to happen. You will want to move the instruments away from each other or
will want to turn them in a different direction so that the frequencies don't
hit.

Not only can that sound come from the instruments, but can also come from
monitors. Your monitors, like the instruments, can create a buzz from the sound
frequencies hitting the electrical part of the monitors and bouncing off. You
will want to fix this by moving the monitors into a higher area or mounting
them against the wall so that this doesn't happen. Crossing the monitors on
both sides of the room so that they are far away from each other and give a
complete sound will also help to prevent the white noise and will allow for a
better sound to be heard.

Another check point for the buzz is with the cables that you are using. If a
part of the cable comes loose or has some problems with the wires, it can
easily start to create some extra noise. Cables that are crossing each other
may also sometimes have this problem. If you want to make sure that you are
stopping this type of noise from happening, get three prongs to plug into the
amps and sound boards if possible. This is more stable than the single prongs
and will prevent extra noises from slipping into the recording.

If you still hear the noise, you might want to check the sound board. Often
times, the wrong levels on the mixing board can cause problems as well. If the
volume is too high on one, for instance, it will cause feed back to occur in
the rest of the room. Checking balances, frequencies, volume levels and trims
on the mixing board may lead to preventing the background noises and allow the
instrumentation to go into the software needed.

The setup of your studio as well as the way in which you proceed with your
equipment should help you to get a handle on any of the extra noise that you
hear. By checking all areas and keeping everything ordered in the right way,
you should be able to prevent the extra buzzing sound from going into your
recording.

Understanding Acoustics

With every turn of the knob on a mixer or mastering tool is also a certain
application of acoustics with the recording. If you can grasp the acoustics of
recording and how it works with the development of your particular sound, you
will also have more capabilities in recording and how you are able to portray
the audio sounds that you are creating.

Acoustics begins with the vibration of air, or in some instances, an electronic
device. With natural acoustics, the air moves through a certain compartment,
such as an instrument or the voice. The more the vibration of the air moves,
the more sound it is able to create for the instrument. This is what leads to
the sound waves, which are more re-creations of the vibration of air that is
moving through the space that it is in.

The vibration of air is what causes various acoustics to respond in a given
space. It is also the simple concept of air vibration that leads to specific
ideals about how to set a recording studio in order to take in the right sounds
to record.
Understanding how to control acoustics becomes the basis for setting up a
recording studio as well as the main concept in controlling sounds as they are
recorded.

When a sound is made through an instrument, it has a variety of levels of air
that it hits and causes to vibrate. At one level, we hear this as a note that
is played through the sound. However, the acoustics can take on different
capacities in producing different sounds that are not heard.

The first sound that is produced comes from the environment in which the sound
is played. If the room is larger, has further ceilings and is spacious, the
sound will bounce against the walls. This will cause the sound to move faster,
become louder and to resonate throughout the area. For recording, this is why
the walls are deadened and smaller spaces are created. If there is the echo
effect in the song, it can begin to sound like the beats are off.

Another way in which acoustics change the sound is through resonance. This is
when the vibration of the sound is heard, even when the note is no longer being
sung or played. This resonance can continue to move as long as the vibration of
air continues to hit the particular area. Most of the time, resonance will be a
filtering off of the initial sound as the vibration of air continues to slow
down. In recording, this resonance is also muffled through the sound proof
rooms in order to create a clearer sound.

The last part of acoustic sounds is the concept of overtones. Even though we
only hear one note that is being played or sung, this is not the only note that
is in the air. Acoustics create a vibration of sound waves that continue to
resonate and vibrate at different levels. These will be pitches that are
created above the original pitch, with specific spacings in the pitch. While
they are not heard, they still create an effect on the ear with the sound
vibration that moves through the air. This also makes a difference in
recording, as the overtones can create a different effect and can be recorded
as a wave file. This may cause differences in peaks as well as basic sounds
that are heard in the piece.

With the understanding of these acoustic ideas is also the ability to control
it within the recording studio. Each of these areas are 'sound proofed' at
certain levels. This is to allow the audio to move into the recording area as a
pure wave file, which will then stop the acoustic sounds from muffling, echoing
or changing the sound that is intended to be heard in the recording.

When defining acoustics and recording, there are a variety of perspectives to
consider that relate to sound waves and how they work. By understanding these
perspectives, you can create a recording area that is more conducive to muffle
certain acoustics and to let others resonate through the air.

Turn Up the Volume! Industry Standards for Recording Volumes

Many of you have been in a situation where you are watching your favorite
program. It is interrupted by a commercial break where you have to turn down
the volume of what you are listening to. Then, when the show comes back on, you
have to turn the volume back up.

This scenario is not a mistake of the television program. This is a controlled
function in the industry to control volume levels at different ratios. The
result is that it causes individuals to listen to the music differently. At
this point, many are calling the industry standards for volume at a louder
frequency, which is changing the instrumentation, the way that the music is
played and even the listening capabilities of those who are tuning into their
favorite CD.

When the recording industry started, the volume levels were closer to negative
numbers, around 2 or 3. Records would be at this lower volume because it was
considered to be more pleasant listening. It would also allow for the ranges of
the instruments to be heard, such as loud and softer dynamic levels and high and
low instruments that would blend together.

The use of these lower levels for volume allowed the industry not only to show
off the instrumentation, but it also gave them room. When you are recording,
your volume is a space where the noise can be increased or decreased. When you
are moving into the negative numbers, usually -6 to -1, you have room to
increase the volume in order to allow it to balance out. This is always a part
of the volume levels within instrumentation.

As time went on, the frequencies of these volumes continued to increase. The
industry standard now is close to 0 for music. This means that they are at one
of the loudest points of volume that they can get to. Most don't notice, and
simply turn down the volume on their stereo or in their car. However, this
particular decision by the industry to change the volume levels to the maximum
is changing everything within music.

Not only is it changing the musical concepts, such as dynamics, range and
instrumentation, but it is taking out a lot of the traditional and innovative
ideas that are musically based. If you listen closely to music, you will notice
that the music does not usually have a lot of ranges, changes in musical
instruments or pace that is going. This is because the volume level has been
maxed out. Because this has changed, there is no room to put anything else in
that is musical.

Of course, the volume controls and the mastering process that causes this will
also differ according to the format that you get. For instance, there is a
standard for radio playing that is very different than CDs, which is also
different than MP3 players. For Indie musicians and those with specialized and
custom recording studios, there is also a difference in preferences according
to their musical tastes and style with volume as well as the arrangement that
is being used. If you are recording, deciding on your preferences for volume
that fits to different formats and style will be important before going to the
industry standard or producing the CD.

One of the main concepts that should be kept in mind with recording is to know
the volume capabilities and the differences that they make in music. You don't
want to compromise the music for the volume, but you want to get close to
industry standards. Knowing what you need to do with your volume, how it
relates to your instrumentation and your concepts within music will help you to
create a volume that is worth turning up and listening to.

Tips to Getting Everything Balanced Correctly

The entire process of recording a CD is based on one thing; balance. Whether
you are recording, mixing, mastering or putting in the final touches, this is
always the perspective that you will be using to piece everything together
exactly right. By keeping some general concepts in mind every step of the way,
balancing your songs can become an easier process during recording and
engineering. Following are some tips that you can use as you move through the
process.

1. Volume levels. If something seems off with the instrumentation at any stage,
check the volume levels first. This will allow you to hear what is really going
on and to balance it out correctly. This goes for certain waves that can have
volume envelopes as well as instruments and the mix of all of the instruments
together.

2. Frequencies. If you are stuck with sounds in your process of recording, check
and see if you have checked your frequencies lately. Every wave comes with low,
medium and high frequencies. If one of these is distorted or too high, it can
through the rest of the instrumentation off.

3. Automated Set-ups. One of the popular ways for engineers to become frustrated
with finding balance or not finding balance is what is glanced over. Often
times, software allows you to create automatic settings for instrumentation.
Make sure that this is turned off if it doesn't fit right so that you can have
the right balance.

4. The waves. In the end, everything comes down to the wave files. Balancing
will always include where the waves peak, where they are too low and how they
can reach a normalized sound. Making sure that your waves stay leveled at every
step will keep everything even throughout the recording process.

5. Keeping it simple. One of the mistakes of new recordings that are still
experimenting with the tools is to go too far with what is being done. As nice
as it is to add in the extra effects, make sure that this doesn't throw off any
part of the balance or cause you to loose the right sound with your song.

6. How close is it to the middle? This is along the same lines of frequencies,
but has to do with the overall effects. Whether you are working with sound
waves or with the entire line of instruments, make sure everything is close to
the middle with your sounds.

7. Check the instruments. One of the ways to make sure that the balance is on is
to make sure that everything is even with the different instruments. Many times,
it will be one instrument that throws the other instruments off and causes the
song to sound too high or too low. Using formulas and balances within the
individual instruments first will help you to get the right balance later on in
the recording process.

In the end, checking your balance within your recording will help you to get
the right sound for your instrumentation. At all levels, balance with the wave
files applies and helps to make the correct end product. Checking some of the
basic parts that are in the recording process will help you to get everything
in order and to keep it in the right space with the recording track.




Software Options for Recording

Once you get into the recording studio, there are several options for software
that you can use in order to get your sound exactly right. Knowing what your
options are for software and finding those that best fit what you need can help
you to produce the CD that you want and get your sound waves in the right order.
Following are options that you can use when deciding what the best software is
for your recording.

1. MIDI. This is a basic software application that is used for recording needs
as well as for sound fonts. It comes with the sounds and orchestration patches
for the recording with a digital audio area that is built into the system.
Because this is lower budgeting, it has some inabilities for editing and for
the stereo sounds that you might need.

2. Adobe Audition. This is a basic application that can be used for the entire
process of recording. While this specific software option also has some
limitations, it is accessible with it's ease of use and can provide accurate
results for professional mixing and mastering.

3. Band in a Box. This is a Macintosh application that is known to work well for
beginners or for those who are limited in what is being recorded. This is
because it has the capability of creating immediate tracks once a certain chord
or set of chords is entered. This allows those who have not put together
arrangements to use these basic structures before progressing to the next part
of the recording.

4. Cakewalk. This specific type of software was created for Macintosh, then
evolved into a separate application for Windows. This is known to have the
basics for mixing and mastering as well, and carries it's audio options through
MIDI.

5. Fruity Loops. If you are into DJ tracks, loops and patterns, this is the
specific program to use. While this has some recording capabilities, it works
better as a loop mixing area for the musical pieces you are putting together.

6. Vegas. This program is similar to Adobe Audition in the way that it pieces
together separate tracks as well as the capabilities for mixing and mastering.
The tracks in this program are easy to pre-mix and mix, especially with
individual track options and configurations that you can use for the program.

7. Cubase. The large benefit of this particular program is the ability to have
unlimited numbers of VSTs, or orchestration patches. It also offers more tracks
than the programs such as Cakewalk. One of the other benefits of this program is
the ability to add on other programs in order to make it more conducive to your
particular music.

8. Studio Vision. This is another Macintosh program and is known to be one of
the high end options in software. It's capabilities include a variety of
writing for music and allow you to control every part of your musical pieces.

9. Reason. This is another program that is built around finding rhythms, loops
and specific tracks. While it offers a wide range of capabilities in placing
together pieces of music, it has become more popular among Djs and those who
are looking for defined back beats.

10. Pro Tools. This particular choice is one that is known among most
professionals as the best software out there. It contains a wide variety of VST
options as well as the ability to completely control and manipulate the music
that is being worked on. If you move into Pro Tools, you can expect to go
through a longer learning curve as there are a wider variety of details and
choices for recording.

It can be seen that each of these options carries choices in terms of how much
you control the music you are making, strengths and weaknesses, sound options
and tools that work the best. By knowing the applications, you can easily begin
to use the software in a way that best fits your production.

Newer Options for Recording Studios

Recording is moving above and beyond the old fashioned tapes and the need to
perform everything live. The recording industry as well as technology
individuals are beginning to produce new capabilities within the industry that
are creating opportunities, not only in the sound technology, but also in the
abilities to record.

Overall, recording capacities are moving into better and simpler
characteristics. Before, having a recording studio would take thousands of
dollars worth of equipment, each which was specialized and would not offer all
of the capabilities. Today, recording equipment is moving into condensed
capabilities with sharper abilities to use equipment in an effective way that
captures sound.

One of the innovations that is at the forefront of recording is digital
capabilities. This includes the ability to record everything through a digital
sound, typically produced from the mixing board. The concept of digital sound
is one that captures the sound waves at a faster rate. The result is that it
creates a clearer sound and allows for more to be picked up with the sounds
that are being captured in the area.

With the digital capacities are also new mixing boards that are being used.
This is effective for those who are building home recording studios and need
compact options. Some of the mixing boards contain capabilities to record, mix
and master without the software or computer. This allows for remote
capabilities in recording and the possibility to have a simpler process in the
recording process.

Not only are these options growing in recording, but so are the electronic
capacities of instrumentation and instrumental sounds. As more is found out
about the way in which recording works, newer options for capturing the right
types of sounds that sound either electronic or digital are also coming into
place. There are continuously newer options to get the correct sound, grow with
the right capacities and have more options for putting together an arrangement.

Along these lines of improvement are the new capacities for equipment.
Microphones, amplifiers, pre-amps and the equipment that stabilizes the sounds,
both in the recording studio and to capture the sounds, are now coming in more
condensed packages as well. You can now find all in one amps or microphones,
all which are built specifically to record and to capture the right sounds
without the problems of playing live.

The way in which the equipment is being built is becoming divided into two
categories. This is either for the studio or for performance. This is occurring
because of the acoustics that apply to both. In a studio, you want to dampen and
deaden all of the extra sound vibrations that occur. With performance; however,
you want to capture the smaller sounds and allow for resonance. This, as well
as capacities among electronic instruments with easy to use options are quickly
moving into the market.

If you are building a recording studio, keeping the newer options in mind and
how they can affect your recording process will help you to build the right
type of studio with the best capacities. You will then be able to create more
options in capturing the correct sounds, putting together the right mix and
saving on time with the CDs that you are able to put together.

Legalities of Your CD

Now that the recording is done, where do you go? Even though you have all the
right mixes together and everything is placed in the correct place, there are
still other things to put into the right area before you are able to completely
finish your CD. Knowing what to do after the recording can help you to move in
the right direction towards a successful CD.

The first thing that you want to do after you have completed your CD is to send
it to the copyright office. This will stop others from stealing your music and
will allow you to keep a track record of what you have put together. Typically,
you will need to fill out a copyright sheet for the office as well as send a
copy of your CD with the copyright fee. This will last for a certain number of
years before you need to re-register your copy.

After this step, you can set up a variety of different ways to keep your music
licensed and registered. One of the options to look into is ASCAP or BMI. Both
of these areas keep track of music that is composed by individuals. If these
musical pieces are ever performed, the area will send a performance fee for the
music that is composed. If your CD isn't finished yet, you should consider
registering with either one of these groups for musician rights and you should
make sure that you send them all music that you have done so that a track
record can be kept.

The third area that should be considered is royalties for others using your
music. For instance, if someone hears your song and wants to use it on their
own compilation recording, you will want to get royalty rights. There are
certain businesses, such as Harry Fox, that keep track of your music as a
publishing license, and allow you to gain royalty fees for every CD that is
sold on someone else's compilation.

Along these lines are different licensing options that are being used.
Typically, these will become an important factor if your music is used for
something like a television show or for a band. Every time someone uses your
song for mixed media, they become responsible for paying you a mechanical
licensing fee as well as a royalty fee. This means that you still own copyright
to the music, but are allowing them to 'lease' the song for their own purposes.
Typically, ASCAP or BMI can help you to keep track of your CD songs that are
played in other places, as long as it is registered through them and the
individual goes through this company in order to get the proper requests
completed for the music.

After this point of registration, you have options of how you want to proceed
with preparing your music, dependent on what you need. With the growth of
technology, are two main ways in which you can approach your CD sales. The
first is through the Internet and the second is through physical distribution.
The physical distribution can include publishing areas such as on demand
printing as well as online portals or physical areas that are able to support
the music that is moving through their area.

If you move into digital distribution, you can look into several areas that
consolidate sales. This is typically done through a space such as CD Baby,
SnoCap or IODA. Both of these will take your CD music, turn it into MP3s and
distribute it to online spaces and jukeboxes that will play them. All you will
need to do is register your CD or your music through this area for a small fee,
and allow the portal to handle the rest for you.

No matter what type of music you are piecing together and no matter what your
intent is for use, you should always consider the options for legalities and
claims. In the long run, this will help you to not only approach your CD as a
product that you are selling, but will also provide you with more options for
getting your music into the public eye.

Keeping the Balance: Equalizing Instruments

If you are rehearsing or performing with a group, you automatically know that
the last step before getting onto the stage is to make sure that everything
blends. There is nothing that kills a performance of music more than not having
the right fit. I'm sure many of you have experienced going to a performance and
hearing a female voice taking over the entire band or noticing that one of the
mics stopped the rest of the instrumentation from getting into the right groove.

Recording is no different in terms of finding balance. There will be two areas
in which this happens, one which is with the physical recording, and one which
is balanced through the EQs, also known as equalizers. When you are working in
your studio, you want to make sure that you are aware of both of these sound
levels for your recording, as it will make the entire difference in how your
sound turns out in the end.

The first part of the sound balance comes from the physical presence. This will
be done through the mixing board. With this, there will be the need to balance
the instruments as they will be recorded into the tracks so that the volume
does not peak too high and so each individual instrument can have a natural
sound to it. When building this part of the equalization, you will want to pay
attention to both the input into the computer as well as the output that the
individuals hear through the monitors.

The main concept during this part is to make sure that everyone is equal. This
means that the volume levels should be about the same on everyone. Remember
that the lower it is, the more room you have to change the mix later. You don't
want anyone to peak with their instrument during any part of the recording.
Sound checking will help with both the input and output part of the recording.

The EQs are the next important part of getting the right mixes together. This
is something that will be done from the mixing to the final mastering. During
every step of the way, you will want to make sure that you have a balance
between the high and low sounds and that one does not dominate over another.

There are a variety of standards that are followed in order to keep EQs in
certain levels. This will be based on personal preferences as well as industry
standards that are divided by genre of music. The main thing to keep in mind;
however, is to not let one frequency be too loud over another. This means that
the low part of one instrument should be about the same as the high end.

This should be the same for the instruments that are blended together. Unless
you want some extra bass boost that comes through the recording or want the
piano to dominate over the other instruments, make sure that everything is at
about the same volume level. Not only can you do this through the
normalization, mixing and mastering, but you can also place envelopes
throughout the individual instruments. This will allow for certain parts of the
song to be kept at a certain level then move back up to a normal dynamic level
at another part.

The best way to check and see if all of these components are working correctly
is to see how the monitors sound. Your monitors should be placed up high and on
both sides of the room so that you can hear how the sound is bouncing back. The
low ends on the bottom of the monitor will tell you if the bass is too high and
the high ends will let you know if the high ends are too high. You can then
adjust according to your preference until you have a fit.

Whatever your style of music, never start without getting the balance between
individual instruments and the whole put into place. The more you know about
this mixing process and EQs the better your CD will come out and the more
professional it will sound. Finding your preferences and looking into the
standards will give you a head start on keeping everything balanced.

It's All in the Mix

You can play all day, but with recording, the real sound is all in the mix.
Mixing a CD with the different sounds, can help you to achieve a variety of
things, and is one of the most important tools for putting your CD together
with the different instrumentation and capabilities. Defining the process of
mixing and how you can use it effectively will make all the difference in how
your CD sounds in the end.

The first thing to recognize is that there are two areas where mixing takes
place. The first is before anyone records onto a track. All of the mixing that
takes place at this point happens between the musicians and through the sound
board. This type of mixing will help to define the instrumentation for the
computer software programs as well as for the musicians that are working with
the mixer.

The most important part of this type of mixing is to make sure that all of the
instrumentation is leveled and even with each other. It is not necessarily
finding a blend, but instead, creating similar volume levels and even balance
between the different instruments. This also helps to prepare the tracks for
the final recording, which will include noise gates and deadening the sound so
that the waves are able to be manipulated.

This stage of mixing is then redefined after all of the tracks are recorded.
The mixing process after this point is dependent on finding the individual
instruments, their strong areas and making sure that they sound right with
those areas. By the time you begin mixing within the software program that you
are using, all of the instruments should be normalized. This means that the
peak points of the waves will be at the same number that is calculated through
the noise levels of the wave.

Mixing then becomes a way to enhance the individual instruments through the
piece. While doing this, you will want to be thinking of the other instruments
and how they link to this; however, this is not as important as the need to
bring out the best in the instrument that you are using. There are a variety of
components that you can use to do this and to make sure that your mix in the end
has a better sound.

The first part of the mix that you can use is enhancing the sound through
special effects. Each of the instruments can have their own, or can have equal 
effects that allows everything to sound unique. Things like creating effects for 
a certain type of room so that there is more resonance to building reverb around 
instruments are all effective parts of the mixing process that enhances the 
instruments.

After you have the effects, you can take the wave files and make sure that the
necessary areas of each instrument are enhanced. You will want to create things
such as volume envelopes throughout the piece in order to bring out individual
instruments in some places and to let them be in the background in other areas.
This will help you to define what you want to come out the most in the song. You
will also want to create levels of highs and lows within the waves of the
individual instruments so that everything remains balanced within the song and
with the specific instrument. The last step to the mixing process is defining
the volume level and figuring out whether you want to move the levels up or
keep them the same. Remember to always give yourself room with the volume
levels so that you can balance out the levels during the pre-mastering and
mastering stages as well.

By the end of the mixing process within the software program, you will be able
to have all of the instruments equalized out with their volume levels, effects
and different areas of sound. This will allow you to begin to blend in the
instruments, first individually and then as a group. By understanding the
details of mixing, you will have more abilities to create the exact sound that
you want for your piece.

If the Formatting Fits

Even after the mastering is done, the ability to get your CD out into the right
places and to have it meeting the necessary standards still has to be a
priority. There is more than one way to get your recording into the right
place, but the engineering and technology has to come first in order to get it
into the right arena.

The general concept to keep in mind with each of the areas that your recording
formats can and should be is that each of them is based on two things. The
first is the way in which the mastering is done with the instruments, allowing
each one of them to blend together with the lows, mids and highs in the right
places. What this means is that too much bass in one area is just enough in the
other. The second consideration is the volume levels that are used. The overall
volume format that you use will be different according to where you decide to
put your music.

The way to follow each of these formats is to test it through your monitor
speakers. This will give you an idea of the high end and low end sounds and how
they are impacting the song. You can also look into industry standards and
concepts with some of the following formats.

CDs -- The major capability of CDs is to be able to create your own unique
sound and volume consideration. There is an industry standard for CDs in terms
of volumes and mix; however, you have the choice of whether to follow this.
Within this, you can master things according to your style. For example, if you
play rock music, you will want the rhythms and the bass to be slightly higher on
the low end than they would be in a country piece.

MP3s and Downloads -- Thanks to digital media, there are entirely new ways to
listen to music. With this are also different volume checks, standards and
mixes that are incorporated. This is important to follow because most of the
digital media that is downloaded will be going onto a computer or a smaller
digital device. This makes it so that the mix is different, specifically with
the need to have low ends on a computer or not to have the high ends taking
over the smaller speakers.

Radio -- The radio has a completely different standard than any other type of
format. This is because the music must be processed through the radio's player
and then into the speakers that move into a home stereo. Typically, volume
control for radios is going to be slightly louder with mixes in the low ends
being more quiet than the high end. This allows for the format to be played on
anything from an alarm clock to a car radio without a bad mix.

Of course, more formatting options are available, all which specialize in the
volume control options as well as the high end and low end mixes. You can
easily find your options through looking at the industry standards or looking
at plug ins in your software that may already have the current industries
recommendations as a plug-in. When it is time to change your wave file into a
format, you will want to make sure that you know the formatting that fits.

Getting To the End of the Road

If you have a home studio or a small set-up for your recording studio, you are
probably familiar with the blues of the recording process. It includes the down
times of having to listen to the same things over and over again, trying to hear
the different levels and parts of the instruments several times and spending
hours just to get to the end of the road.

It's the recording blues that stop hundreds of small bands from completing a CD
and taking ten years to get their next album out. The difficulties that come
with recording and the process that has to be done can be tedious, frustrating
and can cause to burn out of either the songs, members or others who are
working on the CD.

If you are recording, and even if it is by yourself, you don't want to stop
until you complete the CD. The levels of satisfaction that can be achieved can
help you to do greater and better things and can help to influence those around
you to do the same. There are several perspectives that allow for the benefits
of finishing the CD to be a part of what you are doing. Sticking with the
process, learning what you need to and plowing forward will eventually get you
to the end result and allow you to be even more effective with your music and
creativity.

If you're feeling down about your recording, keep in mind your end goal. Keep
visualizing yourself at the end of the road and how this will affect everyone
else. This begins with the achievements that this is able to bring you and what
you have accomplished with the CD. This is something that many don't have the
will power, desire or capacity to do. That already puts you ahead of the game.

More than that, never stop thinking about what your fans or potential fans
would think if you have a CD out and how this will influence them. Finishing
the recording process and getting the CD into the public opens doors for you to
make connections in a positive way and to do what you need in order to share
your creative process with others. Whether it is one person or fifty million,
this part of the process is one that can be effective and make you want to set
the next date to record your next CD.

In recording, it is not necessarily the end goal of the CD, even though this
will bring rewards individually and towards those around you. It is also the
process of being able to hear your pieces in a different way and to manipulate
the sounds from an engineering point of view, instead of just a performance
point of view. If you haven't stopped to enjoy the process of putting together
your CD, start listening a little bit differently for the way that things fall
together within the process.

The main advice for recording your CD is to keep the different perspectives in
mind. While the entire process may be tedious and difficult, allowing yourself
to enjoy the process and think of the end benefits can help you to further your
career as a recording producer and engineer as well as a musician who is able to
share creativity with others.

Getting the Right Mix: Mixing Boards and Recording

The most important step from the instrument to the recording software is the
mixing board. This particular part of recording is one that allows you to put
everything together the correct way, before you have to manipulate it in the
computer software. If you want to make sure that you are putting together
everything right, you will also want to know exactly how the mixing board can
benefit you.

A mixing board is also referred to as a sound board and is responsible for
taking the instruments and mixing and routing them into the computer. As soon
as an instrument is plugged into a mixer, it will then turn into a digital
signal, which creates sound waves.

A mixer works by allowing each instrument being recorded to have one area in
which the signal is received. These individual instruments can be changed with
volume levels, depth of the sound and other features through the mixing board.
For example, if you are playing with a piano and a bass, they can both have a
different input area in the mixer. One can be louder and the other can be
softer, with the bass having less treble, or high end sound, with the piano
balancing out with more mid-range sounds. It is these volume levels that then
move into the software and allow for the sound waves to be recorded with a
specific balance.

When defining the different parts of the mixer, there is also the ability to
combine different types of volumes, depending on the knobs that are being used
for the right mix. These are known as input controls, and contain everything
that allows for the specific sound of the instrument. This starts with defining
the volume through this one instrument. There is also a trim or gain control,
which defines the level of sound within each wave.

From here, the mixing board will allow for details of the sound waves to be
defined through an EQ, which means equalization. The main responsibility of
this part of the mixing board is to change the frequencies within each range.
For example, if the EQ of the bass is too high, the higher frequencies can be
boosted in order to balance out both ranges. The EQ frequencies can be referred
to with some general preferences that work within instrumentation as well as
personal preference to allow the sound to be as low or high as you want.

When the instrumentation is received into the mixer and begins to be balanced,
other options can also be put into the mix. For example, the amplitude of the
sounds can be defined through specific parts of the board. There are also noise
gates, which stops the sound from echoing before it goes into the recording
area, or allows for some resonance to be in the mix. There is also the ability
with some mixers to compress the instruments, meaning that the sound waves will
be shortened if they reach or go over a certain peak number, allowing you to
keep control of the volume before it gets into the computer program as a sound
wave.

After all of these options for individual instruments, the mixing board will
then move into mixing the physical space. Main volume areas as well as controls
for outputs are used in order to ensure that everything is balanced while
recording and remains equal in sound to those who are listening while
recording. Like the instrumentation that is moving into the software as sound
waves, these areas have a variety of options for making the sound balance
within the studio.

The idea with a mixing board is to make the right mix for both the internal
software so that the sound files can sound the same, as well as the external
area, so that all of the instruments can blend together while recording. The
different devices that are used within the mixing board help to achieve this
through the different options for volume control and mixing options.

When you are looking into a sound board, you should always consider the options
for getting the mix right, including the number of instruments that you can hook
up to the different functions that the mixing board contains. When you start to
put together the recording with the right mix board, you will have a better
blend of sounds and will allow the end result of the recording to mix together
exactly right.

Getting Rehearsals Ready for Recording

Going into a studio is something that is different than practicing or from
performing. It's a different art form in music and takes some different steps
in order to get your tracks exactly right. In fact, it's become such an art
form, that there are now several musicians who are simply studio musicians
because of the different techniques that are used. If you are getting ready to
record, you will want to make sure that you rehearse in a way that gets you
ready to record.

The number one rule to remember about recording is that you can't miss a beat.
If you do, it will cause everything else to be off. Because everything is
typically recorded in layers, it combines the need to stay exactly on tempo
with the song that is being recorded. Make sure that you know the tempo and
don't miss it when you are practicing to record.

The second rule of thumb for recording is to rehearse with layers as one of the
options in mind. While most studios will allow you to record all of the
instruments at once, your instrument will still be singled out in order to get
the rest of the process right. This means that you want to make sure that you
can move around with your instrument and know the song forwards and backwards.

Along those lines, always have starting and stopping points that work well with
you in one song. If there are any flaws while recording, they can be punched in.
You will want to have specific points that you know you can start at again so
that you can record over any mistakes that you did make. Dividing up your
pieces and learning them in segments will help while you are recording.

Another aspect to keep in mind with the rehearsal before recording is to know
what to practice and know what can be plugged in. For example, getting louder
or software can be manipulated by the production process, as well as the sound
and resonance of what you are playing. It's not necessary to put in the extra
ornaments and marks that are often times found in music for a performance or
practice, unless you definitely know you want it to stand out.

With all of these concepts in mind as an individual, you can then begin to
think about how the blend will change when it moves into the studio. Even
though every instrument will be on a different track, you will want to
determine how this will best fit in, what the possibilities are for balance and
what you want the end product to sound like. This will help you to get used to
the right sound and build the correct balance from the concepts that you think
fit best.

With these different tips and tricks, your recordings will go much smoother and
you will simply be able to follow your musical script to get what you want laid
out on the right track. If you prepare in this way, you will find that your
abilities to record will be much easier than if you go in without having any
preparation. It will save time and space, and will allow those who are
producing the CD to have an easier time putting your CD together.

Defining Signals for Sound

In recording, there are a variety of ways to capture the sounds that you want
and to filter out the ones that you don't want. These are all done through the
capacities of equipment parts known as signal processors. Typically, signal
processors will be used during the pre-mixing and mixing stage as well as the
set up of instruments. They are also used as a combination of defining what the
instruments need to turn into a wave and what the mixing can do to make the
instruments sound at their best. Following are some basic signal processors you
should know.

Equalization. This is also known as EQs and is used in a variety of places of
the recording process. The main part of this is to create a balance between the
ranges that are within each instrument, from the low to the mid and high ranges.
Equalization processors can be found in mixing boards as balance knobs as well
as specialized functions in different types of software.

Filters. This is done to take out the extra sounds that don't fit into the
song. For example, if you have a buzz or white noise that you can't get out
physically, you can filter the sound and allow for only the clarity to come
through. This is done by isolating the wave and recalculating the wave instead
of the noise underneath.

Reverberation. This is an effect that is used after the instruments are
recorded into the software. Reverb allows for the resonance that would be heard
in a natural setting to be implemented into the song. This type of setting works
best for sounds that are already clear and need an extra effect to them.

Delay. This is the echo effect of signal processors. Delays come in a variety
of formats, ranging from changing the room to a larger room to an echo effect
that stops the sound from occurring by milliseconds. Depending on the technique
and sound you are trying to create, you can use this specific tool to create a
completely different sound in your music.

Dynamic Processing. This consists of a variety of options for recording, all
which take place at the very beginning of the process of recording. The first
type of processing is compression in which the wave will be limited to certain
peaks on both sides, allowing it to stay closer to the middle. The second type
of processing is expansion, in which the waves move to higher peaks that are
away from the middle. Limiting is the third option, and stops the notes from
sounding for a longer period of time. The last type of dynamic processing is
noise gates, which stops certain sounds from being recorded, especially if it
is based around the resonance of an instrument.

Noise Reduction. This is done in order to dampen the noises that are being
heard through the recording process and is typically done at every step of
recording. Noise reduction will include the ability to limit sounds and to
reduce the lows or highs that don't need to be heard with certain sound effects.

These main signal processors are used in order to control the recording process
and sounds as well as to create the desired effects for the end result. By using
these different components at different times, it becomes easier to effectively
create the sound you want through your recordings.

A Wave File Is A Wave File

Software products, theories and preferences within the recording industry have
taken over the best to the worst options in what to use in order to get the
perfect CD. Recording engineers and specialists always spend their time
thinking about the best way to mix and master a wave file and the way to really
get the job done. However, the need to have specific measurements for different
software and hardware is one that is not necessarily important.

No matter what you record with, the brand that you use or the software that is
a part of your studio, there is only one general rule that you need to
remember. That is that a wave file is just a wave file. The sound that goes
into the computer from your instrument will always be that same wave file, no
matter what you try to use, change or create to make it the perfect wave file.

This means that the software that you use, the way that you plug in your
information for recording and the type of instruments you use will all lead to
the same thing. The sound wave. No matter how many theories or ideas cross over
into what the 'best' is, it always comes back to this one general term. This is
important not only to not become overwhelmed by the amount of information
available, but also to recognize that the entire process of recording is based
around this one concept and how you can use it the best.

What one should be looking at in terms of the wave files is what can be done in
order to create the best sound. You want your mixing and mastering to lead you
to the sound that fits you as being a unique and creative sound. You also want
it to keep a certain level of control with volume as well as clarity. With
every step in the mixing and mastering process, this is what should be in mind
first, not necessarily what you go through to get it there.

Beyond this, your rule of thumb should be how to make the wave files to perform
at their best. This relates to taking care of the peaks and the low points so
that it sounds in a way that is best suited to whatever format you are putting
it in, as well as the abilities to create a complete sound to the ear.

The reason why these should have priority is because it is the demonstration of
the wave file to the ear that becomes the most important thing in the end. If
you can remember this as your end goal with the recording, you can go through
whatever is needed in order to make the correct associations with the songs
that you are playing.

The importance of the wave file is that it is your communication of music.
Because of this, you want to make sure that you use the correct tools and the
ones that are best suited to what you need. This isn't something that needs to
be associated with the instrumentation, software or amount of things that you
have in your studio. If you know how to use a wave file and how to create the
best sound, than you are on your way to making a professional CD.

10 Tips to a Better Song

If you are getting ready to step into a studio to record, make sure that you
start thinking before you ever put foot close to the microphone. While
recording has allowed for new wonders and expectations to be met with music,
there is still the need to do some old fashioned needs to make sure that your
songs are worth the extra track. Following are ten tips that you can remember
to make sure you have the arrangement correct before you begin recording.

1. Balance. Is your instrumentation balanced? You should have an even amount of
ranges, from low to high. If you have too much of one and not enough of
another, your recording might not sound so great.

2. Harmonies. You want to make sure that there is some good support going into
the melody of your song. Without the right harmonies, or alternative sounds to
the melody, it will sound like your song is missing a piece of the puzzle.

3. Musical arrangement. This is based completely around the ability to organize
the instrumentation in the song. Not only should it be balanced, but it should
also include contrasts and similarities in how the music follows what you are
trying to say. If you are stuck with creating instrumentation that fits, get
into some basic theory concepts to assist you.

4. Spacing. More important than all of the melodies and harmonies, is the room
that you put in between each. This means that you don't want to rush through
your song and you don't want to take too much time. Make sure that you give
some breaks with melodies and change up the harmonies enough to keep it
interesting and moving correctly.

5. Tempo. Often times, it is assumed that there is a specific tempo and that is
it. However, you want to make sure that your tempos are defined and everyone
follows them without missing a beat. Once you get into the studio, you don't
want anything to be off by a second, as it will cause the recording to become
difficult to lay down.

6. Form. The easiest way for a listener to relate to your song from the
beginning is to have the right form. If you are focused on lyrics, this will be
the hook that is used during the chorus. If you are experimenting with form,
make sure there is always a place in the music that goes back and keeps the
attention of the listener so that they can relate to the music.

7. Variety. One of the overlooked parts of arranging is the variety that is in
the song. This means that, even though you are repeating choruses or verses,
make sure that you have some different movement or instrumentation in your
recording.

8. Movement. The movement of the song goes beyond the tempo and into the extra
small things that you do with a recording. This is what will make or break a
song. Things such as louds and softs, ornamentation and other small add ons
will help to move the song in the right way.

9. Consistency. Along with the variety of the song should be a certain
consistency that lets the song fit together. This partly is related to the form
of the song and also links to things such as tying the song together with the
right lyrics and musical concepts. Within each of these areas, you can have
some variation, but make sure that the frame work allows the listener to follow
what you are doing.

10. Creativity. Of course, this should never be left behind. All too often are
musical ideas that are heard that are close to what was heard before. The first
rule to a good song is always to let yourself go, follow your creativity and to
let the rest fall into place.

With these simple tricks are ways that you can improve your song and get it
recording ready. From this, you will be able to make sure that your songs and
pieces are polished, stand out from the crowd and get your voice heard among
other musicians.

The History of Recording

The abilities to record may seem to be more recent, especially with the
capabilities of technology and the understanding of how sounds are used within
a recording studio. However, there is a longer time frame of recording that has
been used in order to document audio areas and to put music on track. By
understanding the progression of recording, you can also find ways to implement
similar characteristics and routines within your own studio.

The beginning of recording dates back to the 1890s. During this time, most of
the recording was done through acoustic means. Recording equipment consisted of
a tape that would allow for the audio to be documented into the tape. This would
then go through a horn which would record the sound frequencies that were being
played. This would then be documented by putting grooves into the recording
through the waves and how they were translated.

This type of recording also included limitations on the sound rooms and how the
sound was recorded. Upper scale recording studios consisted only of a sound
proof wall so that the audio noise would not bounce. The ability to mix, master
and edit the audio information; however, was not available. Those who were
interested in recording would also take the records outside of the studios to
do things such as field recordings, where natural sounds would be placed onto
audio. This became a second popular means of creating recordings to share with
the public.

By the 1930s, different options and equipment began to be popular for
recording. This started with amplifiers and microphones that were added to
record more sound frequencies. This was followed by a mixing board and by loud
speakers so that the sounds could be manipulated and changed while recording.
This caused for most of the acoustic recording that was done in the past to be
replaced by the new technology so that more accurate recordings could be done.

Up until the 1970s, these combined methods were the popular way of recording
musicians and artists in the studio. The acoustic rooms were combined with the
microphones and were recorded live through the mixing board and straight into
the disc or recording tape. This left little room to re-record or edit. Most of
the recording that was done would be done with complete bands, orchestras or
groups that would place everything onto the disc at one time.

The change that occurred during this time combined the ability to monitor the
sounds more effectively and to move into editing. It was during the late 1960s
and 1970s that analog recording moved into the field, allowing for more complex
machinery to be at the forefront of recording. The analog recording consisted of
a magnetic tape that would carry the sound waves and read them back through the
recording. This could then be written over and revised according to what was
recorded.

This time period not only allowed for advancement within recording, but also
created experimentation with new equipment, sounds and effects that became
popular for individual recording studios, now considered to be signatures of
various recording industries. Those who were working within the industry found
not only new technologies for recording, but also developed sounds that were
unique because of the ability to process the mixing and mastering in a
different way.

It was the movement into analog recording that changed recording into an
electronic and digital set of capabilities as well as industry standards that
are now accepted as the normal setting among all recording studios. Because of
this experimentation and new technology, those working within the industry came
to certain conclusions about what worked better with recording and how the
production could be effective.

This progression shows how recording has become a mainstream through
innovations, creativity and experimentation. By the recording industry creating
the effects of recording, it has allowed for new arenas of development in
recording music to be explored.





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