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Thread A newbie quest for recording lingo. Help!

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1 A newbie quest for recording lingo. Help!
1) How do I add echo to my voice as my voice is being recorded? I heard a phrase; Adding an effect to the sound source. Is that exactly what I am trying to do?


2) Can a headphone do a professional job instead of near-field monitor?

3) Is an audio interface basically an AD converter? I guess what I am wondering is, is an AI just an external soundcard?

4) Do all mixers include audio and MIDI converters and preamp?

5) Is a DAW same as a studio interface?

6) Are control surface, sound board, and mixer just different names for the same thing?

7) Do I need a separate drum machine or does it usually come with a synth keyboard?

Any answers will be appreciated.


Unsaint
2
Several answers:

1. You are better off to add effects after the sound source is recorded. You may want more or less effect or a different effect before the mix is complete, in which case you would have to rerecord it if the effect was recorded with it.

2. You can get good results using headphones, but the mix will sound different thru speakers. So get your rough mix with headphones if you like, but the final mix should be to speakers because thats the way your audience will probably listen. You should try playing the mix thru as many different systems as possible, even in mono and thru crappy speakers too.

3. Yes. Could be the internal sound card also.

4. NO. Preamps are usually included. There will be no midi to audio converters included in a mixer. Possibly midi control of the mixer and/or effects (if the mixer has an effects unit) could be built-in .

5. A DAW is usually a synth keyboard with sequencer and effects.

6. NO. A control surface is just the knobs and sliders. These are usually implemented as midi controllers and are read by your production software as volume faders, pan pots, effects sends, ect. Sound boards and mixers can be the same thing but a mixer could be in software while a sound board is hardware. A control surface used with mixer software "might" be concidered a substitute for a sound board.

7. Maybe. Check the specs.
3
All Sams answers are good, but I thought I'd comment on two of them-

Although you can track (record) with headphones (after having verified that you've got a good tone going for the instrument), getting a decent mix with headphones, even good ones, will be very difficult. If you want to put out a decent recording, you will need a pair of reference monitors. They don't have to be hugely expesive, but they are a dedicated specialty item- not stereo or computer speakers. Headphones are hard to mix on because they usually don't have accurate bass response and the present a "hyped" stereo field.

DAW satands for Digital Audio Workstation. This is a generic term for any computer based recording solution.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
4

Quote: 1) How do I add echo to my voice as my voice is being recorded? I heard a phrase; Adding an effect to the sound source. Is that exactly what I am trying to do?



You basically run the signal through a delay before it gets recorded to your tape machine, or computer, etc. It’s a risky thing to do on a lead vocal, but risk is cool!!!! John Lennon used to record the vocals with delay on the old Beatles stuff. If you commit to a sound ti will help guide all the other decisions you make. Commitment is the biggest casualty of modern recording techniques. I think its almost always a cool things to commit your effects to “tape” but vox is the one thing where I would err on the conservative side.

Quote:
2) Can a headphone do a professional job instead of near-field monitor?



Its possible if it’s the only option you have got. You can get fatigued a lot faster with headphones and you will be mixing from a perspective few people hear your stuff. Things seem exaggerated in head phones.

Quote:
3) Is an audio interface basically an AD converter? I guess what I am wondering is, is an AI just an external soundcard?



An audio interface will usuall be both and AD and a DA converter. Some will have additional features such as built in pre amps etc.

Quote:
4) Do all mixers include audio and MIDI converters and preamp?



I hope this comment comes off as helpful and not condescending. This question leads me to believe that you do knot have a knowledge of the fundamentals of recording and MIDI. That’s OK because we are all still learning, but I would advise you to read a few books on the subjects to get some good basic knowledge. It will help you make better sense of the advice on these boards. I do not think you are going to get a good understanding of MIDI and audio just off these boards. A guy name Craig Anderton has written some good books that could help. The whole world of audio and MIDI is a lot more fun if you know the fundamentals.

Oh and to answer your questions: No.

Quote:
5) Is a DAW same as a studio interface?



DAW is a generic term, short for Digital Audio Work statioin. It refers to any sort of digital studio in a box, usually including stand alone and computer based systems.

Quote:
6) Are control surface, sound board, and mixer just different names for the same thing?



No. Soundboard and mixer are interchangeable, but a control surface is basically a big mouse. Control surfaces do not pass any audio (except for the fact that a few have pre amps attached to them), they just control software functions in the computer.

Quote:

7) Do I need a separate drum machine or does it usually come with a synth keyboard?

If you have a decent drum machine in your synth you should be fine.