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AU-200 Digital Audio Workstations Week 2 Lecture.

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Presentation on theme: "AU-200 Digital Audio Workstations Week 2 Lecture."— Presentation transcript:

1 AU-200 Digital Audio Workstations Week 2 Lecture

2 Digital Recording Systems Features to look for Intuitive and elegant graphical user interface (GUI) Limitless MIDI capacity Acceptable Audio Track Count Multiple options for audio interfaces Excellent organizational architecture Several editing options Event list Graphic editor Notation editor Drum editor Waveform editor Mixer Automation Features to look for Intuitive and elegant graphical user interface (GUI) Limitless MIDI capacity Acceptable Audio Track Count Multiple options for audio interfaces Excellent organizational architecture Several editing options Event list Graphic editor Notation editor Drum editor Waveform editor Mixer Automation

3 Digital Recording Systems How to choose the best software for your application : Using proper file management, naming and storing in the proper format most any professional or semi-professional can be used to produce demo quality or better recordings. Look for the features that YOU NEED to SERVE the needs of your CLIENTS. If your doing nothing but acoustical recording you may not need extensive MIDI features. If your doing a lot of POST production work for TV or Video then you need an interface with SMPT and either the ability to control a video deck or import a digital rendering. Optimizing your environment : When we speak of optimizing a computer we are removing programs and services that may be running in the background. As well as, prioritising the amount of priority each type of program gets. Computer used for audio applications should not normally be configured to do anything else. Stabilization : Once your system is up and functioning the way you want it it is not necessary to always be upgrading to the latest and greatest revisions. How to choose the best software for your application : Using proper file management, naming and storing in the proper format most any professional or semi-professional can be used to produce demo quality or better recordings. Look for the features that YOU NEED to SERVE the needs of your CLIENTS. If your doing nothing but acoustical recording you may not need extensive MIDI features. If your doing a lot of POST production work for TV or Video then you need an interface with SMPT and either the ability to control a video deck or import a digital rendering. Optimizing your environment : When we speak of optimizing a computer we are removing programs and services that may be running in the background. As well as, prioritising the amount of priority each type of program gets. Computer used for audio applications should not normally be configured to do anything else. Stabilization : Once your system is up and functioning the way you want it it is not necessary to always be upgrading to the latest and greatest revisions.

4 Digital Recording Systems Dedicated proprietary systems (aka all-in-one boxes) Advantages Used for song demo's, small scale projects and song writing Convenient, compact, portable Disadvantages Small screen No upgrade in functionality No room for growth No flexibility Dedicated proprietary systems (aka all-in-one boxes) Advantages Used for song demo's, small scale projects and song writing Convenient, compact, portable Disadvantages Small screen No upgrade in functionality No room for growth No flexibility Roland VS-2480DVD

5 Digital Recording Systems Personal computer-based systems Advantages Power and longevity Upgradeable software and hardware Disadvantages Much harder for non-technical people or first-time buyers Need to buy several pieces of hardware Personal computer-based systems Advantages Power and longevity Upgradeable software and hardware Disadvantages Much harder for non-technical people or first-time buyers Need to buy several pieces of hardware

6 Digital Recording Systems Hard disk Vs tape Linear Vs non-linear Tape is a linear, sequential medium Hard disk is a non-linear (random access) medium Destructive Vs non-destructive Tape based recording destroys whatever was previously on the tape Hard disks allow for completely non-destructive recording and editing Hard disk Vs tape Linear Vs non-linear Number of tracks and takes Tape has a limited number of tracks, and only one take per track Hard disk allows an unlimited* number of tracks, but multiple takes on each track. Hard disk Vs tape Linear Vs non-linear Tape is a linear, sequential medium Hard disk is a non-linear (random access) medium Destructive Vs non-destructive Tape based recording destroys whatever was previously on the tape Hard disks allow for completely non-destructive recording and editing Hard disk Vs tape Linear Vs non-linear Number of tracks and takes Tape has a limited number of tracks, and only one take per track Hard disk allows an unlimited* number of tracks, but multiple takes on each track.

7 Digital Recording Systems PC Vs MAC or OSX Vs Windows XP Both use the same CHIP The PC is easily configured by the end user with a little knowledge. The end user is given options with software on the PC platform. The MAC platform is pretty much plug and play with very little need for the end user to know much about the computer at all. Both come in 16 bit, 32 bit and 64 bit versions Various programs only run on one platform or the other. PC Vs MAC or OSX Vs Windows XP Both use the same CHIP The PC is easily configured by the end user with a little knowledge. The end user is given options with software on the PC platform. The MAC platform is pretty much plug and play with very little need for the end user to know much about the computer at all. Both come in 16 bit, 32 bit and 64 bit versions Various programs only run on one platform or the other.

8 Digital Recording System BASIC components of a DIGITAL recording/playback system. Sound source (acoustic, electronic) Transducer (Hi-Lo impedance microphones, pick-ups) Signal/Microphone Cable Pre-amplifier Analog-to-Digital (A/D) Converter (with/without MIDI) Computer Keyboard, mouse/trackball, monitor, OS, Hard drive, CD/DVD burner, etc. DAW Software FX and Dynamics PlugIns Virtual Instruments USB/MIDI Keyboard Digital-to-Analog (D/A or DAC) Converter Signal Cable Power Amplifier Speaker Wire Speakers BASIC components of a DIGITAL recording/playback system. Sound source (acoustic, electronic) Transducer (Hi-Lo impedance microphones, pick-ups) Signal/Microphone Cable Pre-amplifier Analog-to-Digital (A/D) Converter (with/without MIDI) Computer Keyboard, mouse/trackball, monitor, OS, Hard drive, CD/DVD burner, etc. DAW Software FX and Dynamics PlugIns Virtual Instruments USB/MIDI Keyboard Digital-to-Analog (D/A or DAC) Converter Signal Cable Power Amplifier Speaker Wire Speakers

9 Digital Recording System Other components of a DIGITAL recording/playback Studio Instruments Guitars/Basses Keyboards Drums Percussion Amplifiers Acoustical Panels Stands Cables Direct Inject (DI) boxes Various outboard processors and mic pre's Mixer Control Surface ETC. Other components of a DIGITAL recording/playback Studio Instruments Guitars/Basses Keyboards Drums Percussion Amplifiers Acoustical Panels Stands Cables Direct Inject (DI) boxes Various outboard processors and mic pre's Mixer Control Surface ETC.

10 Digital Recording System Console Vs Mixer Vs Control Surfaces (HUI Vs MMC Vs Proprietary) A console and a mixer are basically the same thing in that they mix audio signals and allow the use of outboard processing. However, a console is a term normally used in the recording world because that mixer will also have direct out to a tape deck and a tape return path. An audio control surface allows the interaction between multi-track audio sequencer computer applications that record or mix audio to be controlled using a simulation of an analog mixing console. This heavily reduces the operators reliance on the keyboard and mouse, as well as giving a feeling of using an older analog mixing console. Console Vs Mixer Vs Control Surfaces (HUI Vs MMC Vs Proprietary) A console and a mixer are basically the same thing in that they mix audio signals and allow the use of outboard processing. However, a console is a term normally used in the recording world because that mixer will also have direct out to a tape deck and a tape return path. An audio control surface allows the interaction between multi-track audio sequencer computer applications that record or mix audio to be controlled using a simulation of an analog mixing console. This heavily reduces the operators reliance on the keyboard and mouse, as well as giving a feeling of using an older analog mixing console.

11 Digital Recording System HUI Vs MMC Vs Proprietary HUI : Human User Interface. Also a product designed by Mackie called the Baby HUI. Allows DAW's with the proper MIDI control language to be controlled by a HUI device. Levels and panning are the basics, but a control surface may do much more. MMC : MIDI Machine Control. A MIDI protocol that when used allows all the instruments, sequencers, external recorders and DAW's to sync together. When the transport is activated on any device, all devices on the circuit also respond Proprietary : Some companies (like Digidesign) have dedicated control surfaces that communicate usually over Ethernet 10BaseT connections. These devices have many more features but only work on the product they are designed for. HUI Vs MMC Vs Proprietary HUI : Human User Interface. Also a product designed by Mackie called the Baby HUI. Allows DAW's with the proper MIDI control language to be controlled by a HUI device. Levels and panning are the basics, but a control surface may do much more. MMC : MIDI Machine Control. A MIDI protocol that when used allows all the instruments, sequencers, external recorders and DAW's to sync together. When the transport is activated on any device, all devices on the circuit also respond Proprietary : Some companies (like Digidesign) have dedicated control surfaces that communicate usually over Ethernet 10BaseT connections. These devices have many more features but only work on the product they are designed for.

12 Routing Signals into a DAW There are a myriad of different signal levels one can encounter in analog audio, but there are three ranges one is most likely to deal with: Microphone level, -10dB line-level and +4 dB line level. Audio Signal Levels & Impedance * Microphone Level o Level: about v o Impedance: 150 W (Pro) XLR connector, 50KW (consumer) 1/4 connector * Line Level o Professional Level: v Impedance: 600 W 1/4 connector o Consumer Level: 0.75v, Impedance: 10K W RCA connector * Instrument Level o Level: about v 1/4 connector o Impedance: 50K W * Phono Level o Level: about v, Impedance: 47K W o NOT the same as mic! (EQ much different) * Speaker Level: o Level: 5 to 200v (dependent on amp power) o Impedance: 4-16 W There are a myriad of different signal levels one can encounter in analog audio, but there are three ranges one is most likely to deal with: Microphone level, -10dB line-level and +4 dB line level. Audio Signal Levels & Impedance * Microphone Level o Level: about v o Impedance: 150 W (Pro) XLR connector, 50KW (consumer) 1/4 connector * Line Level o Professional Level: v Impedance: 600 W 1/4 connector o Consumer Level: 0.75v, Impedance: 10K W RCA connector * Instrument Level o Level: about v 1/4 connector o Impedance: 50K W * Phono Level o Level: about v, Impedance: 47K W o NOT the same as mic! (EQ much different) * Speaker Level: o Level: 5 to 200v (dependent on amp power) o Impedance: 4-16 W

13 Routing Signals into a DAW When routing these signals it is important to not add noise or to overdrive any stage of the signal path. Gain Structure When multiple pieces of electronic audio (or video) equipment are used together, the gain structure of the system becomes an important consideration for overall sound quality. This basically refers to which pieces are amplifying or reducing the signal how much. A properly set up gain structure takes maximum advantage of the dynamic range and signal to noise ratio of each piece in the chain. No one piece is doing a disproportionate amount of the amplification unless it is a piece designed for that function (such as a mic preamp). An example of poor gain structure would be a setup where a mixer's master fader is near the bottom, while all of the individual channel faders are near the top. When routing these signals it is important to not add noise or to overdrive any stage of the signal path. Gain Structure When multiple pieces of electronic audio (or video) equipment are used together, the gain structure of the system becomes an important consideration for overall sound quality. This basically refers to which pieces are amplifying or reducing the signal how much. A properly set up gain structure takes maximum advantage of the dynamic range and signal to noise ratio of each piece in the chain. No one piece is doing a disproportionate amount of the amplification unless it is a piece designed for that function (such as a mic preamp). An example of poor gain structure would be a setup where a mixer's master fader is near the bottom, while all of the individual channel faders are near the top.

14 Routing Signals into a DAW The resulting level out of the mixer is the same as it would be if all faders were at some mid setting, but the chances of distortion are much higher because of limited available headroom in the circuits preceding the master fader, while the S/N ratio of the final output isn't as great as it could be were the master fader at a more appropriate level. Part of assembling a system with good gain structure is making sure all the pieces can operate at the same reference level. Gain structure must be considered to optimize any system where levels can be adjusted in more than one place.

15 Routing Signals into a DAW

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17 Audio Path with a Mic or Guitar 1. The guitar (or Mic) signal goes into the mixer through a preamp. 2. The signal travels through the mixer and goes out your recording output (called an alt-3-4 bus, direct out, or group out). 3. The signal goes into the interface, (A/D converter, soundcard) and is converted to digital audio data. 4. The waveform appears on the screen in your sequencer. 5. You can cut and paste, chop up, move around, even reverse this waveform. You now have one audio track. 6. The sound of this track goes back to the mixer and to the speakers. You hear it and like it or don't like it. If the latter, you go back to #1. Audio Path with a Mic or Guitar 1. The guitar (or Mic) signal goes into the mixer through a preamp. 2. The signal travels through the mixer and goes out your recording output (called an alt-3-4 bus, direct out, or group out). 3. The signal goes into the interface, (A/D converter, soundcard) and is converted to digital audio data. 4. The waveform appears on the screen in your sequencer. 5. You can cut and paste, chop up, move around, even reverse this waveform. You now have one audio track. 6. The sound of this track goes back to the mixer and to the speakers. You hear it and like it or don't like it. If the latter, you go back to #1.

18 Routing Signals into a DAW MIDI Path using a keyboard that has sounds 1. You want a bass line, so you call up a bass program on your keyboard 2. You press record on a MIDI track, play the part along with the guitar track. 3. The MIDI data (which notes you pressed and when) is recorded in the sequencer as a MIDI track. 4. When you play back the track, this data goes back to the keyboard and triggers the notes. 5. The sound of the keyboard goes to the mixer, is mixed with the sound of the guitar track and you hear it on your speakers. 6. At this point you can record it as audio, or leave it as MIDI till later. By leaving it as midi data, you can always change the notes you played, time-correct them, add notes, remove notes or change the instrument from bass to bassoon if you want. MIDI Path using a keyboard that has sounds 1. You want a bass line, so you call up a bass program on your keyboard 2. You press record on a MIDI track, play the part along with the guitar track. 3. The MIDI data (which notes you pressed and when) is recorded in the sequencer as a MIDI track. 4. When you play back the track, this data goes back to the keyboard and triggers the notes. 5. The sound of the keyboard goes to the mixer, is mixed with the sound of the guitar track and you hear it on your speakers. 6. At this point you can record it as audio, or leave it as MIDI till later. By leaving it as midi data, you can always change the notes you played, time-correct them, add notes, remove notes or change the instrument from bass to bassoon if you want.

19 Routing Signals into a DAW MIDI path using a software synth or drum sample synth 1. You call up a midi track in the sequencer and assign (for this example) a software drum sampler, like Battery. 2. The computer creates a virtual instrument and you assign it to an output in the sequencer. 3. You play notes on your keyboard. You hear the drums and make a wack beat The MIDI data creates a track in the sequencer. The data plays the drum sounds on playback. 4. You think it is so crappy you quantize all the timing to 8th notes and switch to your coolest samples. You can now live with it. 5. You can "bounce" these virtual tracks to audio tracks inside the sequencer MIDI path using a software synth or drum sample synth 1. You call up a midi track in the sequencer and assign (for this example) a software drum sampler, like Battery. 2. The computer creates a virtual instrument and you assign it to an output in the sequencer. 3. You play notes on your keyboard. You hear the drums and make a wack beat The MIDI data creates a track in the sequencer. The data plays the drum sounds on playback. 4. You think it is so crappy you quantize all the timing to 8th notes and switch to your coolest samples. You can now live with it. 5. You can "bounce" these virtual tracks to audio tracks inside the sequencer

20 Do research online to answer the following questions: What is a DAW Describe two specific types or configurations of DAWs Type up your results in a 1 page paper, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font.


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