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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.
Finally, let's talk a little bit about the environment where you'll be recording. Now this could be in a room in your house, it could be in an actual studio, or even a makeshift location somewhere. There's a few things you can do to try and make it a little bit more efficient and comfortable. Remember the objective here is to try and get good sound but also to try and get good performances and get whoever you're recording or working with to be able to focus on what they are doing. So one of the technical things, and I learned this early on because I was really in to kind of like taping down and securing everything so it was perfect and out of the way, and that's great because it looks good, but ultimately you'll have to change things and move them around.
So avoid the temptation to tape things down or wire cables behind columns or under the bed or across the room behind five desks, because eventually and ultimately you'll probably want to rearrange those microphones, or you might have to make just quick slight adjustments, and if everything is nailed down and placed like that it takes way too long to kind of make easy changes. It is good to keep your cables kind of orderly and out of the way of the performers. You want to try and place cables and devices so that they don't interfere with the way people play.
You don't want to try and put people in cramped spaces. You want to make sure they have enough room to be comfortable. Another thing is that if you're recording, and you are kind of the person manning the equipment, hitting Record, if it's someone else is doing the performing, sometimes it's good to get out of their line of sight so that they aren't distracted by you. But other times they want to see, you can give them signs that let them know, yeah, if that sounds great or this sounds good. So just based on who you're working with feel that out. Sometimes it's good to disappear a little bit so that people can just focus on what they're doing.
Whatever seems to work in order to get the best performance but just pay attention to those options. Sometimes you'll sit there on and on and on, and you don't even know you're making a face that sends the message that, oh, it doesn't sound so good, but you don't know it, but the performer is picking up on that. Other times if they see you leaving or kind of trying to get out of sight while they're performing, they might think you're not paying attention, you don't care, and they might take that as meaning you are not doing that well. Finally, it's good before the session to agree with your performers what kind of terminology and sign language you are going to use to kind of signify different things like rolling, we're recording, cut, end the take, things like that.
In the process I'll say rolling, please wait two seconds, and then start recording. Just set up some of those guidelines or things like at the end of the song when you hit the cymbals please be still for another 10 seconds and don't start to get out from your drum set because we want that nice to stay on the cymbals. Just kind of set those guidelines up and they might have some ideas for you, you might have some for them, but it's good to agree on those before you get going. It will make things run smoother. So hopefully all the things I've talked about here will help you be able to set up in a recording session and make it run smoother, and then you can focus more on getting a great performance and getting great sound.
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