The key to understanding how audio works is to know the signal path. Sound waves in the acoustic domain are converted to a mic-level analog signal by a transducer like a microphone. A preamp amplifies it to line level, and then a power amp boosts it to speaker level for playback through a loudspeaker.
- The first step in understanding how audio and…recording works is having a mental map of the signal path.…It's like knowing the neighborhood where you live.…If you didn't have a mental map,…you'd be lost, wandering around…not knowing where you are or where you're going.…In audio, when you fully understand the signal path,…you'll know where to go and what to do…to accomplish your audio goals.…Let's start by describing a very simple signal path,…like a microphone setup for someone delivering a speech.…To keep things simple, let's use an example…with only the acoustic and analog domains.…
First, sound is produced by someone's voice.…This is in the acoustic domain.…Next, the acoustic soundwaves move a microphone's…diaphragm back and forth.…The mic's circuitry translates these…movements into electricity.…Back and forth turns into positive and negative.…A microphone is a type of transducer.…A transducer is something that…changes energy from one form into another.…In this case, an acoustic soundwave…into an analog electrical signal.…
The course starts with explanations of what sound really is and how we hear it, including discussions on frequency, amplitude, phase, and psychoacoustics. Matt explores analog audio signal path, explaining connections, gain staging, and metering. Next, he brings the audio signal into the digital domain, discussing analog to digital conversion, digital gain staging, file formats and compression, and dither.
Then the course digs into digital audio workstations (DAWs), explaining the concepts and misconceptions involved in digital recording systems. Matt describes how memory, CPU speed, and storage affect your DAW's performance, as well as how to manage computer resources and understand the plethora of file formats associated with digital recording. He follows with an overview of MIDI: how to generate, store, process, and communicate MIDI data. He wraps up with the audio processors that are often used for mixing in a DAW—including EQ, compressors, reverb, delay, and many others.
- What is sound?
- The three domains of sound: acoustic, analog, and digital
- The analog vs. digital signal paths
- Converting analog audio to digital
- Digital formats and data compression
- Understanding the five types of DAWs
- Recording performances with MIDI
- Mixing and processing audio with EQ, compression, and other effects
Skill Level Beginner
Music Production Secrets: Larry Crane on Recordingwith Larry Crane2h 21m Intermediate
Drum Setup and Mic'ing in the Studiowith Ryan Hewitt1h 14m Appropriate for all
1. Concepts of Sound
2. The Signal Path: Acoustic and Analog
3. The Signal Path: Digital
4. Digital Audio Workstations
6. Mixing and Processing Audio
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