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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
As the name implies, multi-track recorders are designed to let you work with multiple tracks of audio and also multiple tracks of MIDI. When you're working with MIDI it's usually referred to as sequencing. Most multi-track programs are both MIDI sequencers and audio recorders. This is probably the most useful of all of the applications in terms of the range of uses it provides, it's kind of the all-inclusive studio, and you can use it to work with audio, work with MIDI, do lots of editing, do lots of mixing and also mastering.
If you're recording bands with lots of tracks this is the kind of software you'd want. Or if you are doing things like Podcasts, and you're going to have multiple voices and add sound effects or background tracks of music, the multi-track recorder is the way to go. It's also good for doing MIDI arrangements and composition if you are using a lot of samplers or sound module and playback devices, and it's also great for doing sound design if you are doing anything with video for film, it's a great place to make sound effects or add music and then layers of voice-over and do some mixing in that respect as well.
It also has the option of using plug- ins, which are other mini applications that you can use in conjunction with the multi- track recorder, which you can use to effect. We will talk more about what plug-ins are later, but multi-track recorders, that's one of the great benefits is they are expandable in terms of their capabilities because you can use these other mini-applications in conjunction with them. Some of them are popular software that you will find out there in the multi-track world, are Pro Tools, Digital Performer, and Logic. There is also a huge selection of different titles out there and at different price ranges.
For an example, let's open up Pro Tools and just kind of look around and see what's there. Okay, so here we are in Pro Tools, and I've got a music session setup that we are looking at, and as you can see there is kind of different tracks, different waveforms to represent each track and multiple tracks, drums, bass, couple of guitar tracks, some reverb tracks with some effects on there. Down here we have a MIDI track and a Master Fader, and when you work in this Timeline, you set it up and hit Play, you get some music, get some playback, it's non-linear, so you can jump around.
We can work with different tracks independently, see, we can solo this one out. We can solo the little drum track there. So you can play this or you can mute them, then you can work with them in groups, you can copy and paste stuff. Take all those pieces and say, hey, we want them back over here for why I don't know. So you can do things like that, and you can work in a multi-track fashion. You can also go ahead and record a new track in. We'll add a new track, create a mono track there, and bring it up here, say newtrack, and then record.
Record another track in there, maybe some cymbal crashes, maybe the sound of some coyotes, something exciting. We can also work with the Mix window, as we are playing back all these tracks, I will go ahead and hit play via the console here, and then we can look at the Mix window which shows our Mixing Board, Digital Mixing Board. We can go in and make Volume changes. So the main thing here to keep in mind is that we have independent control of the channels.
Also we've got some plug-ins happening here, different kinds of things. This is--let's take a look at what we have here, this D-Verb, so we have added some reverb. I will give you a little taste of this, some action there. Let's do the drums, that's going to solo those out.
Now we are doing like the '80s Duran sound. So you can play with different plug-ins here to effect things, EQ and stuff like that. So in general this is the overall look and feel of a multi-track setup, independent channels, multiple channels, and independent control and great for music production. Again, you can also use this to do voice-over or podcast production, one track for voice-overs, other tracks for music beds, sound effects, things like that, or you can also import movies, it will open a little window up here in the corner that will playback a QuickTime movie, and so you can actually score to that movie playthings in time with it, sync things to it. So this is the multi-track environment.
We will go in-depth into kind of the different pieces of the multi-track software in another chapter, but I wanted you to get an idea of what it looks like and what it's capable of real quick.
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