All posts for the month March, 2013

Capture and share some nice raw tracks of “rock and roll” instruments in their most typical roles.

Provide a means for listening to the different frequency ranges within each “tone type” that are “most important” for that sound.

Begin to describe the complexity behind audio engineering due to it being partly “software” (your brain). Most short-term goals for a track have more than one way to accomplish from a technical standpoint, but your “software” will interpret the “solutions” differently. Most short-term goals that sound simple are more than one dimension; making a guitar sound “punchy” is usually not as simple as turn this frequency up, this one down. The sounds of the tracks within the mix “fighting for dominance” in frequency ranges makes “cut-through” EQ moves most simple on the OTHER tracks (not the one you are looking to “affect”). Furthermore, just getting the particular EQ curve right for a giving sound is only part way there, you need to capture and control the dynamics of a track within the confines of a particular frequency range. The most effective way to paint a picture for the mind is with CONTRAST or VARIETY which push the mix from a “moment-in-time” EQ snapshot to a living breathing entity. This is one area in which many “Impulse Response” systems ultimately fail, they essentially define the characteristics of how an audio system responds to a varying frequency input at a constant volume, but don’t capture the intricacies of how the previous few moments in the mix were and how that interacts with your brain. One good example of this is the introduction to “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson. The bombastic low E punch at the first note is what makes the follow-on bend sound so huge and razor-sharp.

Explain some of the known “quirks” of the human mind surrounding audio: more sensitive to boosts than cuts, auditory illusions (better by comparison, but not good, louder isn’t always better.

Discuss “beginning EQ” concepts and “best-practices”. Boost Wide, cut narrow, boost to “change the sound”, cut to “improve the sound”. Recommendations for Q setting and dB of gain/attenuation for beginners to start the ear on the right path.

Begin to discuss capturing, mixing and mastering workflow at high levels. Getting organized, defining your vision, separation of “stages” of music production, importance of taking breaks. (Goes back to the software thing).

Define the audio engineering terms that have THE MOST bearing on progress forward. Dynamic Range, Fundamental Frequency, psycho acoustics, transients, repetition/steady state decisions, variety and “spontaneity”, mirror neurons.

Explain the things that need to be “properly proportioned” for a song to “shine its brightest”. This includes a digression into the “musical components” of rhythm, dynamics, relational pitch continuity, phrasing, tone and articulation, as they apply to each individual instrumentalist’s performance, to the band as a cohesive unit while “tracking”, to the song as a vehicle for creative expression and communication, to the mix and to a collection of mixed songs.

I will use this site as a way to capture what I have learned and am learning about producing audio. Tips, tricks, exercises and techniques should be readily available and as easy to understand as possible. The goal is to offer the most valuable audio production knowledge in a way that a reader could quickly benefit from it. Explaining recording and EQ/mixing workflow and the “why” behind it.

This is my husband’s first blog. I can hardly believe that, considering he has been in Info Technology pretty much all his life. But now, alas, a blog. A blog all about his path learning how to record, mix and produce his awesome music. I hope you come and follow along in his experiences.