Practical Recording Techniques

Practical Recording Techniques : The Step- by- Step Approach to Professional Audio Recording

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This hands-on, practical guide covers all aspects of recording, perfect for beginning and intermediate recording engineers, producers, musicians, and audio enthusiasts. Filled with tips and shortcuts, this book gives advice on equipping a home studio (both low-budget and advanced), suggestions for set-up, acoustics, choosing monitor speakers, and preventing hum. This best-selling guide also instructs how to judge recordings and improve them to produce maximum results.

New in the sixth edition:

* Complete update of digital media material, including updated equipment and microphone descriptions
* Digital performers and computer DAWs
*Additional material regarding ProTools ability to let owners choose other interfaces with their software
* More information on how the hook-ups in a studio work, with more advice on setting up a home project studio, and expansion of location recording material
* Further information on things like Auto-tune and multiband limiting, a useful plug-in round up
* Further information on workflow, addressing issues like file formats, uploading & downloading of songs and materials, and use of a computer as a recording device
* Expansion on Internet issues
* Updated home studio setup information, including the workflow with Windows 7 and Mac OSX
* Expansion of technicalities of MIDI, including data structure and controller codes

Companion website can be found at
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Product details

  • Paperback | 516 pages
  • 187.96 x 233.68 x 27.94mm | 861.82g
  • Focal Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 6th New edition
  • 024082153X
  • 9780240821535
  • 180,253

Table of contents


1 Music: Why We Record
Increasing Your Involvement in Music
Different Ways of Listening
Why Record?

2 The Recording Process
Types of Recording
Pros and Cons of Each Method
Recording the Mixes

3 Sound, Signals, and Studio Acoustics
Sound Wave Creation
Characteristics of Sound Waves
Behavior of Sound in Rooms
How to Tame Echoes and Reverb
Making a Quieter Studio
Signal Characteristics of Audio Devices

4 Equipping Your Studio
Setting Up Your Studio
Hum Prevention
Reducing Radio Frequency Interference

5 Monitoring
Speaker Requirements
Nearfield[tm] Monitors
Powered (Active) Monitors
The Power Amplifier
Speaker Cables and Polarity
Control-Room Acoustics
Speaker Placement
Using the Monitors
The Cue System

6 Microphones
Transducer Types
Polar Pattern
Frequency Response
Impedance (Z)
Maximum SPL
Signal-to-Noise Ratio
Microphone Types
Microphone Selection
Mic Accessories

7 Microphone-Technique Basics
Which Mic Should I Use?
How Many Mics?
How Close Should I Place the Mic?
Where Should I Place the Mic?
On-Surface Techniques
The Three-to-One Rule
Off-Axis Coloration
Stereo Mic Techniques

8 Microphone Techniques
Electric Guitar
Electric Bass
Synthesizer, Drum Machine, and Electric Piano
Leslie Organ Speaker
Drum Set
Acoustic Guitar
Grand Piano
Upright Piano
Acoustic Bass
Mandolin, Dobro, Bouzouki, and Lap Dulcimer
Hammered Dulcimer
Fiddle (Violin)
String Section
String Quartet
Bluegrass Band and Old-Time String Band
Harmonica, Accordion, and Bagpipe
Lead Vocal
Background Vocals
Spoken Word
Choir and Orchestra

9 Effects and Signal Processors
Software Effects (Plug-Ins)
Noise Gate
Delay--Echo, Doubling, Chorus, and Flanging
Octave Divider
Vocal Processor
Pitch Correction
Tube Processor
Rotary Speaker Simulator
Analog Tape Simulator
Spatial Processor
Microphone Modeler
Guitar Amplifier Modeler
De-Click and De-Noise
Surround Sound
Multi-effects Processor
Looking Back
Sound-Quality Glossary

10 Mixers and Mixing Consoles
Stages of Recording
Mixer Functions and Formats
Analog Mixer
Digital Mixer
Software Mixer
Control Surface

11 Mixer Operation
Session Preparation
Composite Tracks
Getting More Tracks
Drum Replacement
Automated Mixing
Lo-Fi Recording: How to Trash Your Tracks

12 Judging Sound Quality
Classical versus Popular Recording
Good Sound in a Pop-Music Recording
Good Sound in a Classical-Music Recording
Training Your Hearing
Troubleshooting Bad Sound

13 Digital Recording
Analog versus Digital
Digital Recording
The Clock
Digital Audio Signal Formats
Digital Transfers or Copies
2-Track Digital Recorders
Multitrack Digital Recorders

14 Computer Recording
Basic Operation
The Computer
Audio Interfaces
DSP Card
Analog Summing Amplifier
Recording Software
Optimizing Your Computer for Multitrack Recording
Using a DAW
Audio for Video

15 Session Procedures, Mastering, and CD Burning
Setting Up the Studio
Setting Up the Control Room
Session Overview
Breaking Down
Transferring the Mastered Program to CD-R
Master Log
Copyrights and Royalties

16 MIDI and Looping
MIDI Components
Recording Music Made by Soft Synths
"No sound" MIDI Troubleshooting
Recording with a Keyboard Workstation
Recording with a Drum Machine and Synth
Using Effects
Loop-Based Recording

17 On-Location Recording of Popular Music
Record Off the Board
Record with Mics and a Portable Digital Recorder
Record with a 4-Tracker
Connect the PA Mixer Insert Sends to a Recording Mixer
Splitting the Mic Signals
Multitrack Recording in a Truck
Preparing for the SessionPreparing for Easier Setup
At the Session: Setup
Mic Techniques
Sound Check and Recording

18 On-Location Recording of Classical Music
Selecting a Venue
Session Setup
Microphone Placement
Setting Levels
Recording a Concert

19 Web Audio and Online Collaboration
Streaming versus Downloading
Data Compression
Web-Related Audio Files
What You Need
How to Upload Compressed Audio Files
Putting Your Music On Your Website
Collaborating by Sharing Files
Finding Studio Musicians, Producers and Engineers

A dB or Not dB
Sound Pressure Level
Signal Level
The VU Meter, Zero VU, and Peak Indicators
Balanced versus Unbalanced Equipment
Interfacing Balanced and Unbalanced Equipment
Microphone Sensitivity

B Optimizing Your Computer for Multitrack Recording
Speeding Up Your Hard Drive
Increasing Processing Speed
Preventing Interruptions
Setting the Buffer Size
Minimizing Latency
Other Tips
Windows Vista and Windows 7
Optimizing MacIntosh for Multitrack Recording

C Impedance
What is Impedance?
I'm connecting two audio devices. Is it important to match their impedances? What if I don't?
What about microphone impedance?
I'm connecting a mic to a mixer. Is impedance a consideration?
Should I consider impedance when I connect two line-level devices?
Can I connect one source to two or more loads?
Can I connect two or more sources to one input?

D Phantom Power Explained
Using a Stand-Alone Supply
Cautions for Use
DC Bias

E Where to Learn More
Books and Videos
Recording Magazines
Pro Audio Magazines
Consumer Audio Magazines
Guides, Brochures, and Other Literature
Guides to Recording Schools
The Internet
Recording Equipment Catalogs
Starting a Career as a Recording Engineer

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Review quote

Praise for the 5e: "...packed with well-illustrated graphics and pictures and gives extensive guidance on everything from studio and location recording techniques through to publishing your sounds on the web."-- James Eade, Lighting and Sound International
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Rating details

19 ratings
4.47 out of 5 stars
5 58% (11)
4 32% (6)
3 11% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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