Matt explains the similarities and differences between reverb, echo, and delay. Reverb describes the way sound fills an acoustic space or an artificial simulation of it. Traditional artificial reverb used a physical space, a spring, or a metal plate, or impulse responses (IRs). Echo usually means a single distinct delayed copy of a sound, and delay usually refers to an artificial effect that makes use of one or more echoes, using a tape recorder or with analog or digital effect processing.
- Let's discuss a group of related effects.…Reverb, echo, and delay.…These three are related…because they all involve copies of a sound…repeated over time, which gives the sound a sense of space.…Let's start with reverb.…This is short for reverberation,…a phenomenon that happens physically…in the acoustic domain.…Reverb can also mean a simulation…of acoustic reverberation,…such as a plug-in in a DAW.…We hear reverb all the time.…
So much that we don't usually even notice it.…Reverb begins when sound hits a surface…and a copy or echo bounces back.…This by itself isn't reverb yet.…It's just one echo.…A bit quieter, and later than the original.…The original sound continues on its way,…hitting other surfaces and creating other echoes.…The echoes made from those surfaces…then bounce off still more surfaces,…splitting and multiplying.…The result is an uncountable number of echoes…of the original sound, all blurring together into reverb.…
Various surfaces absorb or reflect different frequencies…in different amounts.…So each echo is essentially EQ'd in the acoustic domain.…
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