Microphones: Basic Understanding Of The Different Types
Brief Introduction to How Microphones Work
Microphones convert acoustical energy or sound waves into electrical energy, thus reproducing the audio signal that we hear. They are therefore transducers, in that they convert energy from one form to another. Microphones have different ways of converting acoustical energy, but one thing that is common to all types, is that they have a diaphragm. This diaphram is a thin membrane that mimics the human ear, and is a piece of material that vibrates when struck by sound waves. The transducer elements of the microphone are housed in the mic capsule. In a typical handheld micophone the capsule is found in the microphone’s head.
UNDERSTANDING AND USING COMPRESSORS
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
The compressor is often one of the least understood pieces of equipment, or software in a sound engineer or amateur sound recordist’s arsenal.
In this tutorial I intend to present a brief but broad overview on the use of compressors in the recording and mixing of audio. The principles discussed here will applicable for any sound application, whether it be in music, the spoken voice, or general sound effects and foley. For an audio engineer, the compressor is a great tool to have in your bag of tricks, but it is one of those things that can either make or break your recordings and mixes. Used right, compressors can greatly improve audio tracks, but used wrongly they can ruin them, leaving them sounding squashed, lifeless and muffled. The human ear is able to detect sounds in a wide dynamic range – from quiet whispers to a huge explosions. However, our recording and playback equipment has physical limitations which mean we have to squash or compress these sounds into a smaller dynamic range in order to reproduce them. The purpose of this article is to give you some tips to help you get started in the use of compressors and limiters for controlling the dynamics of your sound.
Set Your Audio Recording Levels Using Sensible Gain Staging
Recording And Gain Staging
The old adage of recording signals as hot as possible really only applies to the analog domain, not the digital one. With analog reording this was because of the noise floor inherent in analog circuitry and tape, where you were fighting low level noise and hiss. This was also how we were taught to record when digital recording was relatively new, when the best we had was 16-bit audio. Back them everyone was trying to record as close as possible to 0 dB without clipping. However, now with 24-bit converters there is no need to record signals nearly so hot. You can get great recordings with the levels set much lower, and then you will also find it MUCH EASIER to mix later, because you are not trying to force so many loud signals into the headroom limitations of a DAW. If you have a number of tracks all recorded very loud, and approaching 0 dB, at mixdown you will find yourself running out of headroom, and will have to bring all your track levels down in order to compensate.
In this tutorial I am going to attempt to give a brief outline of some of the problems we can strike when doing audio post production or sound mixing work. If you are the one responsible for the project from the outset, including both the recording aspect, and the mixing and post production work, it makes sense to try to address the issues of unwanted noises before committing to tape (ok well more likely hard drive, but I’m sure you know what I mean). If you have received someone else’s recordings, and are responsible for the final mix/master, then it is already likely too late for that, but here are a few pointers that will hopefully help you with fixing the issues already in existence, or helping to avoid future ones that you have control over.
Well we are already into the second month of 2012. My how time flys! We have added 230 new sfx to the site for February, which means our total number of sfx on site is now well over 5,000 and growing. Among this month’s update, are a number of new game show style buzzers and bells, a bi-plane doing aerobatics, and some cool new whooshes. We also added 11 new royalty-free songs, split among a few genre categories, and 11 new stingers. January saw the addition of 2 new tutorials. Look for one or two more going online later this month.
Killing Off Broadcast Royalties – A Worrying Trend
There are good royalty-free music deals and bad royalty-free music deals.
I have decided it is about time to write an article addressing a worrying trend I have been observing: namely music libraries that are not allowing composers they list to be part of Performing Rights Organisations, or the music they list to be registered with any royalty collection agencies.
Happy new year to everyone. Wishing you all a great year for your creative endeavours. Last year was tough for many people, with the global economy strife and major natural disasters around the world, (including the Christchurch earthquakes close to home here in New Zealand). Here’s hoping 2012 is generally a bit more stable and easier on the nerves!
Thanks to all our new clients who took to using our products during the year… our first year of operating the rocksuresoundz.com website. To kick off the new year we have added a number of new products to the Production Music, Free loops and Sound Effects categories for January. Also a new tutorial titled “Audio Signals: Basic Guide to levels, Signal Types and Uses” is up in the tutorials section. More new stuff to come in February too, so keep watching this space!
There often arises among people confusion over different types of audio signals and their levels. This tutorial aims to give a basic guide to the various signal levels that you are liable to encounter in the world of audio. Hopefully this will help you to understand the terms commonly used, where to plug what, and also what sort of cabling you need to carry the audio signals in their various levels.
We have just done our latest site update. There is well over a hundred new sound effects, plus some new music. Check us out if you need royalty-free music or sfx for any of your projects. The large waterfall recordings from Huka Falls are amongst the additions.
We have added 26 new short pieces of music suitable for creating moods in the Stingers section as well as 75 new SFX for October. These include some sci-fi sfx, footsteps, rivers, some thunderous large whooshes, rain and hail, traffic and street noises, and also some Dragon roars (no not someone’s mother-in-law haha. A real bonafide captured dragon perhaps?).