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Encyclopedia > Recording studio

==Individual Studio==

A recording studio is a facility for sound recording. Ideally, the space is specially designed by an acoustician to control audio reflections. Different types of studios record bands and artists, voiceovers and music for television shows, movies, cartoons, and commercials, and/or even record a full orchestra. The typical recording studio consists of a room called the "studio", where instrumentalists and vocalists perform; and the "control room", which houses the equipment for recording, routing and manipulating the sound. Often, there will be smaller rooms called "isolation booths" present to accommodate loud instruments such as drums or electric guitar, to keep these sounds from being audible to the microphones that are capturing the sounds from other instruments or vocalists. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... “Sound recorder” redirects here. ... Acoustics is the branch of physics concerned with the study of sound (mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids). ... The term voice-over refers to a production technique where a disembodied voice is broadcast live or pre-recorded in radio, television, film, theater and/or presentation. ... “Microphones” redirects here. ...

A vocalist inside the "studio", or "live room" area of a recording studio.
Siemens Sound Studio ca. 1956.
Siemens Sound Studio ca. 1956.
Watching a trumpet player from the control room, during a recording.
Watching a trumpet player from the control room, during a recording.

Contents

Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... In professional audio, a mixing console, digital mixing console, mixing desk (Brit. ... Studio monitors, also called reference monitors are loudspeakers specifically designed for audio production applications such as recording, film, television and radio studios. ... A digital audio workstation (DAW) is a system designed to record, edit and play back digital audio. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (720x1072, 319 KB) Summary A vocalist in the live room of a recording studio. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (720x1072, 319 KB) Summary A vocalist in the live room of a recording studio. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3456x2304, 3551 KB) Summary Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3456x2304, 3551 KB) Summary Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 337 pixelsFull resolution (950 × 400 pixels, file size: 73 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 337 pixelsFull resolution (950 × 400 pixels, file size: 73 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ...

Design and equipment

Recording studios generally consist of three rooms: the studio itself, where the sound for the recording is created (often referred to as the "live room"), the control room, where the sound from the studio is recorded and manipulated, and the machine room, where noisier equipment that may interfere with the recording process is kept. Recording studios are carefully designed around the principles of room acoustics to create a set of spaces with the acoustical properties required for recording sound with precision and accuracy. This will consist of both room treatment (through the use of absorption and diffusion materials on the surfaces of the room, and also consideration of the physical dimensions of the room itself in order to make the room respond to sound in a desired way) and soundproofing (to provide sonic isolation between the rooms). A recording studio may also include additional rooms, such as a vocal booth - a small room designed for voice recording, as well as one or more extra control rooms. Acoustics is the branch of physics concerned with the study of sound (mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids). ... Absorption refers to the absorption of sound waves by a material. ... A sound diffuser is not to be mixed up with sound absorber. ... Soundproofing is any means of to reducing the intensity of sound with respect to a specified source and receptor. ...


Equipment found in a recording studio commonly includes:

Equipment may also include: In professional audio, a mixing console, digital mixing console, mixing desk (Brit. ... The Tascam 85 16B analogue tape recorder can record 16 tracks of audio on 1 inch (2. ... A microphone with a cord A microphone, sometimes called a mic (pronounced mike), is a device that converts sound into an electrical signal. ... Studio monitors, also called reference monitors are loudspeakers specifically designed for audio production applications such as recording, film, television and radio studios. ... A loudspeaker is a device which converts an electrical signal into sound. ... Frequency response is the measure of any systems response to frequency, but is usually used in connection with electronic amplifiers and similar systems, particularly in relation to audio signals. ...

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is a system designed to record, edit and play back digital audio. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Audio level compression, also called dynamic range compression, volume compression, compression, limiting, or DRC (often seen in DVD player settings) is a process that manipulates the dynamic range of an audio signal. ... This article is about audio effect. ... For information about Canadas fiscal transfer system, see Equalization payments. ...

Digital audio workstations

General purpose computers have rapidly assumed a large role in the recording process, being able to replace the mixing consoles, recorders, synthesizers, samplers and sound effects devices. A computer thus outfitted is called a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. Popular audio-recording software includes Digidesign Pro Tools, Cubase and Nuendo also by Steinberg, MOTU Digital Performer, Ableton Live, Cakewalk SONAR and Apple Logic Pro. In professional audio, a mixing console, digital mixing console, mixing desk (Brit. ... The Tascam 85 16B analogue tape recorder can record 16 tracks of audio on 1 inch (2. ... For other uses, see Synthesizer (disambiguation). ... An AKAI MPC2000 sampler Playing a Yamaha SU10 Sampler A sampler is an electronic music instrument closely related to a synthesizer. ... A digital audio workstation (DAW) is a system designed to record, edit and play back digital audio. ... Digidesign is an American digital audio technology company. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Nuendo is Steinbergs media production suite with audio and MIDI capabilities. ... Steinberg is a German musical equipment and software company. ... Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) is a music-related computer software and hardware supplier. ... Digital Performer is a full-featured Digital Audio Workstation/Sequencer software package published by Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) of Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Apple Macintosh platform. ... Ableton Live is a loop-based software music sequencer for Macintosh and Windows by Ableton. ... ÊCakewalk is a company based in Boston, Massachusetts that develops music [[interchange of projects between SONAR and other competing recording/editing software (e. ... Logic Pro is a MIDI sequencer and Digital Audio Workstation software application that runs on the Mac OS X platform. ...


Apple Macintosh hardware is most commonly found throughout the recording industry, however because many of these software applications are so much more reliant on the audio recording hardware than the computer they are running on, many of the computers used today are not as current as the average home computer. Much software is available for Microsoft Windows and Linux, and a sizeable portion of both commercial and home studios can be seen running PC-based multitrack audio software. The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... “Windows” redirects here. ... This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... The Tascam 85 16B analogue tape recorder can record 16 tracks of audio on 1 inch (2. ...


If no mixing console is used and all mixing is done using only a keyboard and mouse, this is referred to as mixing in the box. There are also dedicated machines which integrate a recorder, preamps, effects, and a mixing console; these devices are frequently referred to as DAW's, generally in advertising. In professional audio, a mixing console, digital mixing console, mixing desk (Brit. ... A preamplifier (preamp), as its name suggests, is an amplifier which precedes another amplifier. ...


Project studios

A small, personal recording studio is sometimes called a project studio or home studio. Such studios often cater to specific needs of an individual artist, or are used as a non-commercial hobby. The first modern project studios came into being during the late 1980s, with the advent of affordable multitrack recorders, synthesizers and microphones. The phenomenon has flourished with falling prices of MIDI equipment and accessories, as well as inexpensive digital hard-disk recording products. The Tascam 85 16B analogue tape recorder can record 16 tracks of audio on 1 inch (2. ... The term synthesiser is also used to mean frequency synthesiser, an electronic system found in communications. ... “Microphones” redirects here. ... Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ... A hard disk recorder is a type of recording system that utilizes a high-capacity hard disk to record digital audio or digital video. ...


Recording drums and electric guitar in a home studio is challenging, because they are usually the loudest instruments. Conventional drums require soundproofing in this scenario, unlike electronic or sampled drums. Getting an authentic electric guitar amp sound including power-tube distortion requires a power attenuator (either power-soak or power-supply based) or an isolation box or booth. A convenient compromise is amp simulation, whether a modelling amp, preamp/processor, or software-based guitar amp simulator. Sometimes, musicians replace loud, inconvenient instruments such as drums, with keyboards, which today often provide highly realistic sampling. Sample-based synthesis is a form of audio synthesis that can be similar in structure to either subtractive synthesis or additive synthesis. ...


Isolation booth

An isolation booth is a standard small room in a recording studio, which is soundproofed to keep out external sounds and keep in the internal sounds. A drummer, vocalist, or guitar speaker cabinet, along with microphones, is acoustically isolated in the room. A professional recording studio has a control room, a large live room, and one or more small isolation booths. All rooms are soundproofed such as with double-layer walls with dead space and insulation in-between the two walls, forming a room-within-a-room.


There are variations of the same concept, including a portable standalone isolation booth, a compact guitar speaker isolation cabinet, or a larger guitar speaker cabinet isolation box.


A gobo panel achieves the same idea to a much more moderate extent; for example, a drum kit that is too loud in the live room or on stage can have acrylic glass see-through gobo panels placed around it to deflect the sound and keep it from bleeding into the other microphones, allowing more independent control of each instrument channel at the mixing board. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or poly (methyl 2-methylpropenoate) is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. ...


All rooms in a recording studio may have a reconfigurable combination of reflective and non-reflective surfaces, to control the amount of reverberation.


History

1890s to 1930s

In the era of acoustic recordings (prior to the introduction of microphones, electrical recording and amplification) the earliest recording studios were very basic facilities, being essentially soundproof rooms that isolated the performers from outside noise. During this era it was not uncommon for recordings to be made in any available location, such as a local ballroom, using portable acoustic recording equipment.


In this period, master recordings were made by a direct-to-disc cutting process -- performers were typically grouped around a large acoustic horn (an enlarged version of the familiar phonograph horn) and the acoustic energy from the voices and/or instruments was channeled through the horn's diaphragm to a mechanical cutting lathe located in the next room, which inscribed the signal as a modulated groove directly onto the surface of the master cylinder or disc. Tonearm redirects here. ...


Following the invention and commercial introduction of the microphone, the electronic amplifier, the mixing desk and the loudspeaker, the recording industry gradually converted to electric recording and this technology had almost totally replaced mechanical acoustic recording methods by 1933. “Microphones” redirects here. ... For the British rock band of the same name, see Amplifier (band). ... BBC Local Radio Mark III radio mixing desk In professional audio, a mixing console, mixing desk (Brit. ... For the Marty Friedman album, see Loudspeaker (album) An inexpensive low fidelity 3. ...


1940s to 1970s

Electrical recording was common by the early 1930s, and mastering lathes were now electrically powered, but master recordings still had to be cut direct-to-disc. In line with the prevailing musical trends, studios in this period were primarily designed for the live recording of symphony orchestras and other large instrumental ensembles. Engineers soon found that large, reverberant spaces like concert halls created a vibrant acoustic signature that greatly enhanced the sound of the recording, and in this period large, acoustically "live" halls were favored, than the acoustically "dead" booths and studio rooms that became common after the 1960s.


Because of the limits of the recording technology, studios of the mid-20th century were designed around the concept of grouping musicians and singers, rather than separating them, and placing the performers and the microphones strategically to capture the complex acoustic and harmonic interplay that emerged during the performance. Modern sound stages still sometimes use this approach for large film scoring projects today. Soundstage redirects here. ... A score is a set of musical compositions written to accompany a film. ...


Because of their superb acoustics, many of the larger studios were converted churches. Examples include George Martin's AIR Studios in London, the famed Columbia Records 30th Street Studio in New York City (a converted Armenian church, with a ceiling over 100 feet high), and the equally famous Decca Records Pythian Temple studio in New York (where artists like Louis Jordan, Bill Haley and Buddy Holly were recorded) which was also a large converted church that featured a high, domed ceiling in the center of the hall. For other uses, see George Martin (disambiguation). ... AIR Studios is a professional audio recording facility in Central London. ... It has been suggested that Decca Music Group be merged into this article or section. ... Louis Jordan swinging on sax, Paramount Theatre, NYC, 1946 (Photo: William P. Gottlieb) Louis Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) was a pioneering African-American blues, jazz and rhythm & blues musician and songwriter who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. ... Bill Haley, with his band, the Comets, was one of the first rock and roll acts to tour the United Kingdom. ... For the Weezer song, see Buddy Holly (song). ...


Electric recording studios in the mid-20th century often lacked isolation booths, baffles, and sometimes even speakers, and it was not until the 1960s, with the introduction of the high-fidelity headphones that it became common practice for performers to use headsets to monitor their performance during recording and listen to playbacks. For other uses, see Headphones (disambiguation). ...


It was difficult to isolate all the performers -- a major reason that this practice was not used was simply because recordings were usually made as live ensemble 'takes' and all the performers needed to be able to see each other and the ensemble leader while playing. The recording engineers who trained in this period learned to take advantage of the complex acoustic effects that could be created though "leakage" between different microphones and groups of instruments, and these technicians became extremely skilled at capturing the unique acoustic properties of their studios and the musicians in performance.


Facilities like the Columbia Records 30th Street Studio in New York and EMI's Abbey Road Studio in London were renowned for their 'trademark' sound -- which was (and still is) easily identifiable by audio professionals -- and for the skill of their staff engineers. For other uses, see EMI (disambiguation). ... Abbey Road Studios, created in November of 1931 by EMI in London, England, is best known as the legendary recording studio used by the rock bands, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, and The Beatles. ...


The use of different kinds of microphones and their placement around the studio was a crucial part of the recording process, and particular brands of microphone were used by engineers for their specific audio characteristics. The smooth-toned ribbon microphones developed by the RCA company in the 1930s were crucial to the 'crooning' style perfected by Bing Crosby, and the famous Neumann U47 condenser microphone was one of the most widely used from the 1950s. This model is still widely regarded by audio professionals as one of the best microphones of its type ever made. “Microphones” redirects here. ... RCA, formerly an acronym for the Radio Corporation of America, is now a trademark owned by Thomson SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Thomson. ... Harry Lillis Bing Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was an American singer and actor whose career lasted from 1926 until his death in 1977. ... A classic Neumann U87 microphone Georg Neumann GmbH (Neumann), founded in 1928 and based in Berlin, Germany, is a prominent manufacturer of professional recording microphones. ... A microphone with a cord A microphone, sometimes called a mic (pronounced mike), is a device that converts sound into an electrical signal. ...


Learning the correct placement of microphones was a major part of the training of young engineers, and many became extremely skilled in this craft. Well into the 1960s, in the classical field it was not uncommon for engineers to make high-quality orchestral recordings using only one or two microphones suspended above the orchestra.


In the 1960s, engineers began experimenting with placing microphones much closer to instruments than had previously been the norm. The distinctive rasping tone of the horn sections on the Beatles recordings "Good Morning Good Morning" and "Lady Madonna" were achieved by having the saxophone players position their instruments so that microphones were virtually inside the mouth of the horn. The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 as part of their first tour of the United States, promoting their first hit single there, I Want To Hold Your Hand. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lady Madonna is a song by the The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney). ...


The unique sonic characteristics of the major studios imparted a special character to many of the most famous popular recordings of the 1950s and 1960s, and the recording companies jealously guarded these facilities. According to sound historian David Simons, after Columbia took over the 30th Street Studios in the late 1940s, A&R manager Mitch Miller issued a standing order that the drapes and other fittings left by the previous occupants were not to be touched, and the cleaners had specific orders never to mop the bare wooden floor for fear it might alter the acoustic properties of the hall. In the music industry, Artists and Repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label company that is responsible for scouting and artist development. ... Mitch Miller (born Mitchell William Miller, July 4, 1911) is an American musician, singer, conductor, record producer, A&R man and record company executive. ...


There were several other features of studios in this period that contributed to their unique "sonic signatures". As well as the inherent sound of the large recording rooms, many of the best studios incorporated specially-designed echo chambers, purpose-built rooms which were often built beneath the main studio. This article is about the technological device. ...


These were typically long, low rectangular spaces constructed from hard, sound-reflective materials like concrete, fitted with a loudspeaker at one end and one or more microphones at the other. During a recording session, a signal from one or more of the microphones in the studio could be routed to the loudspeaker in the echo chamber; the sound from the speaker reverberated through the chamber and the enhanced signal was picked up by the microphone at the other end. This echo-enhanced signal -- which was often used to 'sweeten' the sound of vocals -- could then be blended in with the primary signal from the microphone in the studio and mixed into the track as the master recording was being made.


Special equipment was another notable feature of the "classic" recording studio. The biggest studios were owned and operated by large media companies like RCA, Columbia and EMI, who typically had their own electronics research and development divisions that designed and built custom-made recording equipment and mixing consoles for their studios.


Likewise, the smaller independent studios were often owned by skilled electronics engineers who designed and built their own desks and other equipment. A good example of this is the famous Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, the site of many famous American pop recordings of the 1960s. Co-owner David S. Gold built the studio's main mixing desk and many additional pieces of equipment and he also designed the studio's unique trapezoidal echo chambers. Gold Star Studios was a major independent recording studio located in Los Angeles, California. ...


During the 1950s and 1960s the sound of pop recordings was further defined by the introduction of proprietary sound processing devices such as equalizers and compressors, which were manufactured by specialist electronics companies. One of the best known of these was the famous Pultec equalizer, which was used by almost all the major commercial studios of the time.


With the introduction of multi-track recording, it became possible to record instruments and singers separately and at different times on different tracks on tape, although it was not until the 1970s that the large recording companies began to adopt this practice widely, and throughout the Sixties many "pop" classics were still recorded live in a single take. Multitrack recording is a method of sound recording that allows for the recording and re-recording of multiple sound sources, independent of time. ...


After the Sixties the emphasis shifted to isolation and sound-proofing, with treatments like echo and reverberation added separately during the mixing process, rather than being blended in during the recording. One regrettable outcome of this trend, which coincided with rising inner-city property values, was that many of the largest studios were either demolished or redeveloped for other uses.


In the 1960s, recordings were analog recordings made using ¼-inch or ½-inch two-track magnetic tape. By the early 1970s, the technology progressed to using various types of multi-track tape. The most common of which is the 2-inch analog tape, capable of containing up to 24 individual tracks. Generally after an audio mix is set up on a 24-track tape machine, the signal is played back and sent to a different machine which records the combined signals (called printing) to a ½-inch 2-track stereo tape, called a master. Analog recording is the first way humans were able to store sounds for later playback. ... Compact audio cassette Magnetic tape is a non-volatile storage medium consisting of a magnetic coating on a thin plastic strip. ...


Prior to digital recording, the total number of available tracks onto which one could record was measured in multiples of 24, based on the number of 24-track tape machines being used. Presently, most recording studios now use digital recording equipment which only limits the number of available tracks based on the capacity of the mixing console or computer hardware interface. In digital recording, the analog signal of a motion-picture/sound is converted into a stream of discrete numbers, representing the changes in air pressure (chroma and luminace values in case of video) through time; thus making an abstract template for the original sound. ... In professional audio, a mixing console, digital mixing console, mixing desk (Brit. ...


Analog tape machines are still well sought after as some purists label digitally recorded audio as sounding too harsh, and the scarcity and age of analog tape machines greatly increases their value, as does the fact that many audio engineers still insist on recording only to analog tape. This harshness is widely attributed by them to the fact that digital recording will sample a sound wave many times per second allowing an illusion of solid sound waves to be created, where in contrast, analog tape captures a sound wave in its entirety.


However, others simply argue that the lack of high frequency noise and the higher fidelity of the digital medium make the recorded higher frequencies more prominent, which results in such perceived harshness in contrast to analog recording. Still others point to problems of early digital recordings caused by the inexperience of sound engineers with the new medium as the cause for critics to the digital systems. Finally, another possibly relevant effect derives from the fact that, since CD-quality audio uses a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, no frequencies above the Nyquist frequency of 22050 Hz are acceptable for recording, otherwise aliasing occurs. Because of that, very steep low-pass filters are used on frequencies above 20 kHz (the theoretical limit for human hearing) that introduce slight distortions into the audible-range signal. This is one of the several reasons for the push on high-end equipment towards higher sampling rates, such as 48 kHz (used in video production), 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz and even 192 kHz. The sampling frequency or sampling rate defines the number of samples per second taken from a continuous signal to make a discrete signal. ... The Nyquist frequency, named after Harry Nyquist or the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem, is half the sampling frequency of a discrete signal processing system. ... Properly sampled image of brick wall. ... A low-pass filter is a filter that passes low frequencies well, but attenuates (or reduces) frequencies higher than the cutoff frequency. ... A video editor operating an AVID video software editing system in an editing suite. ...


See also

Audio engineering is a part of audio science dealing with the recording and reproduction of sound through mechanical and electronic means. ... A guitar speaker isolation cabinet enables turning up the volume of a vacuum tube guitar amplifier to produce power-tube distortion and then driving a guitar speaker and microphone to produce a signal that captures the resulting complex dynamics, at a largely reduced listening volume. ... Reamping is a process often used in multitrack recording in which a recorded signal is routed back out of the editing environment and run through an external processing or reverb chamber. ... “Sound recorder” redirects here. ... Soundproofing is any means of to reducing the intensity of sound with respect to a specified source and receptor. ... A sound baffle is a construction or device which reduces the intensity of airborne sound. ...

External links

  • The History of Sound Recording Technology

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