[This page was designed for McNally Smith College of Music recording and production students. However, if the information on this page is useful to you, I'm glad to have been assistance.]
Sound and Electricity and Basic Concepts
- What are the characteristics of sound waves?
- The Properties of Waves
- About Frequency, Waveforms, Harmonics, and Power (pdf) This paper is written as background for a generator called the "Ultra," but it's a pretty good primer on harmonic theory.
- Audio Distortion Measurements B&K Tech Paper (pdf)
- Types of Audio Distortion Parallel Audio Tech Paper. This is a little touchy-feely because Parallel Audio is an audiophile equipment manufacturer and they often over-complicate the sound reproduction process. Still, there is good information here and some ideas to consider.
- The Sensitivity of the Human Ear
- How Hearing Works
- Binaural Headphone Examples (video): Arkamys: Holophonic Ball Experiment and The Interrogation Chamber - Amazing Binaural 3D Sound Play.
- The Nature of Sound
- Acoustics of Music (A series on all aspects of sound, hearing, and some theory of audio reproduction.)
- Wikipedia's Colors of Noise
- Building a Square Wave
- Dispelling Popular Audio Myths
Recording Equipment and Standards
- Amplifier Sound - What Are the Influences? ESP (Elliott Sound Products)
- Gain Structure Revisited by Mark Amundson (the late FOH Technical Editor) Mark’s original paper, Gain Structure Madness, is no longer available on-line. While my website is still alive, you can find it on the link above. After that dies, you’ll have to email me for a copy. Mark made the critical error of thinking he was talking to actual engineers when he addressed that first column to “audio engineers.” Later, he realized he was writing to idiots and retards and dumbed it down to be less offensive to the mathphobes and Luddites who make up the overwhelming majority of live sound “engineers.”
- What is a mixer bus and why do I need them?
- Following the Letter of the (Pan) Law (Adobe Technical Resources)
- Tracks, Busses, Submixes, and the Master Bus Apple Soundtrack Pro 3 Users' Manual
- Steve Albini & Ken Andrews - Analog VS. Digital Recording - YouTube debate between two "sides" of a long, unfinished argument.
- Analog vs. Digital Recording - ArtistHouse Music with Trina Shoemaker (This is very non-technical, marginally correct, and absolutely touchy-feely. The kind of thing you will be hearing your whole career. The errors in her thinking drive me nuts, but I'm getting used to being nuts).
- The Pros and Cons of Recording and Mixing via Analog versus Digital Another set of opinions, with some fact and lots of conjecture.
- Session Documentation: Choose Your Weapon (ProSoundWeb article)
- Track Notes software review
Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback (an AES paper describing a test administered by the Boston Acoustic Society) This test questions the need for a higher-than-44.1k/16 bit audio standard, based on the inability of listeners to hear differences between the current digital audio standard and the proposed high-definition 96k/24 options.
Digital Recording Topics
- (Really) Basic Concepts of Digital Audio from The Musician's Guide to Home Recording
- Digital Audio Overview (an audiophile perspective)
- Jitter and the Digital Interface (Stereophile Magazine)
- Does dither really matter? Skeptic Ethan Winer argues that dither may not make a difference in your recordings.
- Digital Audio Connections and Synchronization (ProSonus webpage)
- Introduction to Digital Recording Techniques
- Signal Flow in a digital studio (including console)
- The Digital Myth: Why Digital Audio Sounds Better Than You Think
- One man's argument for "Why vinyl really can get closer to the original studio sound than digital." In my opinion, almost all of this argument can be easily debunked in the real world of audio mastering. Still, it's an interesting theory.
- What is dither? A good description of the process by Ear Level Engineering.
- "Who's using the oldest audio software?" A pretty good question and if you read the responses, the answer might surprise you.
- Debunking Digital-Audio Myths
- An AES Presentation on Audio Myths
- Does Your Studio Need A Digital Master Clock? (Sound On Sound article)
- Understanding MP3 Compression (webpage)
Analog Recording Topics
- Analog Tape 101 A good primer on how tape recorders work and how to maintain them)
- The Practitioners Guide - Analog Tape Machine Alignment
- RMG International's Bias Chart (pdf. The current manufacturer of EMTEC formula pro tape.)
- New tape vs NOS, (A web review of RMG's 468)
- Analog Recorder Maintenance (A pretty good 1997 SOS article on tape deck maintenance.)
- Analog Tape Recorder Maintenance (A pdf of a 1991 Radio Guide article on maintenance and operation with a good bit of magnetic recording theory tossed in for reference materials.)
- Analog Tape Calibration (A simple, accurate description of a typical analog tape deck calibration procedure.)
- If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked A Tape! (One of the problems with a certain period of analog tape is that the backing becomes adhesive as it absorbs moisture. One approach to a temporary repair of that is baking.)
- The Studer Legend - the history of our tape machines. The history of Studer tape recorders (and a lot more of recording history). This is a ten minute video and more than worth your time. Learn how we went from 1-track to multitrack from the Swedish perspective.
Signal Processing (Dynamics and Time-Based)
- Rane's "Selecting Mic Preamps" pdf
- EQ Basics Explained (Mix webpage)
- PreSonus EQ Tutorial (webpage)
- PreSonus Dynamics Processing Tutorial (webpage)
- Audio Compression Explained A pretty decent philosophical and technical explanation of the "automatic volume control" and its parameters.
- This brief video is Reason's explanation of how the very basic Comp01 software compressor works and how you might use it in practical applications. Turns out, this is a pretty decent primer on compressors in general.
- Audio Expansion Explained Media College's description of the other kind of "automatic volume control," expansion. This is oversimplified and not anywhere near as complete as the compression description. Still, it's more information in a smaller package than you're likely to find anywhere else.
- Reverb Types Explained
- Gibson Guitar's Effects Explained: Echo, Delay, and Reverb
- Top Ten Reverb Tips and Tricks (Electonic Music article)