Monday, April 1, 2013

Audio Recording Tutorial #02 - Basic Multi-Track Recording

I just put part two of my Audio Recording tutorial series online (and I have some additional study notes further down in this post). This series is more related to home studio work than it is to DJ'ing, although I'm still covering the very basics of audio engineering and production work. This series is eventually going to expand into about thirty different videos about simple recording and audio engineering, everything from the basics of recording instruments and vocals, to the use of MIDI, to the theory of sound and audio, and eventually a number of advanced editing and recording techniques.

Audio Recording Tutorial #02: Basic Multi-Track Recording

In this video, we start exploring multi-track recording in a single pass.  I talk about external soundcards, which usually connect to your computer via USB or firewire, and which give you better quality of your audio signals flowing in and out of the computer.  I talk about types of audio signals & cords, and the plugs that you'll commonly encounter (ie. XLR, 1/4", RCA/phono).  I discuss basic information about microphones, including dynamic and condenser mikes, which are the most common types.  Working with Abode Audition, I record a simple piano performance using a dynamic and a condenser microphone, and then do some basic editing to make the track sound better.  The song I played was an instrumental cover of "Wasted Time," written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley of the Eagles.

If you want to download the audio files that I was using in this video, to better hear the audio (or experiment with it) in your own home studio setup, here’s a link to a zipped folder containing the relevant files:

Audio Recording Tutorial #01: Basic Recording

This was the first video in the series, which you might want to watch before you watch #02. This one deals with very simple audio recording using the microphone on a HD video camera, and using a portable audio recording device.  It talks about some of the basic types of processing that a studio engineer would put on an audio track (particularly on vocals), which includes reverb, delay, chorus, and EQ’ing, although it only goes into any detail on the last of those four topics.  I predominantly use Audacity to illustrate some basic concepts, with just a bit of use of Audition and VLC to help out with some other tasks.  Essentially, I’ve recorded a song (a cover of Pearl Jam's "Elderly Woman" on acoustic guitar and singing) and then extracted the audio from the recording devices, then I did some very simple processing in order to come up with a better quality audio file.

Once you've watched the two videos above, I'd recommend that you spend some time learning a bit more about a few of the things that I covered in this video:


Phantom Power:

Signal Cords:

USB Condenser Microphones:

Mono versus Stereo:

Background Noise:

I also have quite a few other tutorial videos relating to DJ'ing, audio editing software, and studio equipment. I've got an organized list of those videos in the index of my "videos" page on my main website. If you're interested in any of those topics, you should bookmark this page right now:

Thanks for your interest in this series, and thanks for sharing this post or links to any of the videos.

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