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15
votes
16answers
85k views

Reason: Why do my songs sound dull and soft?

Just to get it out of the way, I have no formal training in music production, let alone sound engineering. So apologies in advance if I say anything stupid. I have been using Reason to make hip ...
15
votes
3answers
27k views

What is “clipping” distortion? What causes it, and how to avoid it when recording audio?

What is "clipping" distortion? What causes it, and how to avoid it when recording audio?
15
votes
7answers
31k views

Why is Pro Tools the industry standard in high end audio production?

Are there some specific features which make Pro Tools so popular in high end audio? Most comparisons I've found with other DAW's are several years old and are pretty subjective. I'm interested in ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

What does the term quantization refer to?

Many DAWs have the option to "quantize" a set of notes. What does it do?
15
votes
0answers
6k views

Pro Tools Problems?

Greetings everyone, I'm making a Pro Tools "Community Wiki" on here since we seem to get a lot of Pro Tools related tech questions. It seems a bit unnecessary to clog this place up with tech issues ...
14
votes
8answers
11k views

Free batch conversion from FLAC to Apple Lossless (ALAC)?

I am looking for a free tool that would allow me to convert large amounts of FLAC files to ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) while preserving the meta information and optionally adding new information ...
14
votes
6answers
17k views

What would sound sound like at the speed of sound?

Crazy title. This is out of interest sakes, and maybe a stupid question: Theoretically, if one where to travel at the speed of sound with no air/wind (not a vacuum as there would be no sound) what ...
14
votes
6answers
9k views

How do I remove mouse click noise

I am using a mac and I am using screenflow software to do a screencast about how my web application works. During the demo I click on a lot of buttons and links. In my screencast I have this click ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I get a mix with two heavy bass elements to not sound muddy?

I often struggle with mixes where I've got two very bassy sounds, usually a very 'big' kick sample and either a hip-hop-style sub bass or a rhythm sample involving low-pitched drums. What's the best ...
14
votes
6answers
25k views

Setting up ableton live as a live looper?

I have seen that it is possible to set up Ableton to work as a live looper How is it done?
14
votes
3answers
6k views

What specifications should I look for when buying a budget microphone?

For amateur purposes I might consider buying a budget microphone to record my vocals, as I have the thoughts that my current cheap home headset microphone won't suffice to get some quality. What ...
14
votes
8answers
367 views

SSD App Needed?

Hey all, I know there has been multiple threads on having groups on Sound Cloud, Twitter, Poll Surveys, etc... But as SSD has been becoming more populated, I feel like there could be a pretty slick ...
14
votes
3answers
34k views

Microphone windscreens — how effective / necessary are they?

I've done a fair bit of podcast recording using a headset that has a small integrated foam windscreen over the mic. I never thought much about it, until we recently purchased some wireless headsets ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Making space in a synth-heavy mix for electric guitar?

I've got a Duran Duran tribute and the band is, obviously, big synth sound heavy. Trying to fit the guitar in to the live mix has been a constant struggle. I've put notch filters on the synth channels ...
14
votes
1answer
6k views

How do software algorithms to calculate BPM usually work?

Most music editing programs will tell you the BPM of a song, but how do they calculate it? Obviously they try to find some sort of constant pulse throughout the song, but: how are they separate from ...
14
votes
7answers
772 views

Most influential people in your career

After listening to the guys at the audionowcast discuss the people most influential to them, I figured I wanted to start a thread here and discuss this with the rest of you guys. here's a list of the ...
13
votes
25answers
10k views

Best entry-level portable recorder [closed]

I'm an absolute newbie. I'd like to buy a portable recorder but I don't know which is the best. I read about Zoom H2, Zoom H4n and Tascam DR-07 but there are also a lot of other models... Any ...
13
votes
11answers
68k views

How loud is 0dB, and what is a good dB to mix to?

In Shaun's recent post about the sound design challenge, he mentioned that there was a request for a loudness-limit (-10dB peak, I believe), and I realized that I was most likely the reason for it, if ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What is compression and why is it used?

Related to vocal recording, I see some answers that talk about compression. What exactly does compression do, and why and how is it used?
13
votes
5answers
8k views

Linux tools for beginning electronic music production

Ok I want to start music from the beginning. Just computer, mic, midi keyboard and nothing else. What programs should I use to: Create electronic samples mix them, modulate and add effects Create ...
13
votes
2answers
39k views

How do I change the playback speed without changing the tempo?

I have a recording in Audacity that I want to slow down for editing purposes only. When I'm finished editing and I go to export the file, the file should have the original tempo. Yes, I can go to ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Linux digital recording — Audacity or Ardour?

We're evaluating options for a live recording setup in a church. Because the budget is tight, we're looking at running Linux with two Delta 1010's. So far I've Audacity and Ardour. So far I'm leaning ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the best volume to work with studio monitors?

What is the best volume to work with studio monitors for mastering and mixing tracks? I own a pair of M Audio Bx8 Studio monitors and I always produce with the volume knob at the middle.... so here ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Managing Machine Noise in the Home Studio

Does anyone here have strategies, or more specifically successes, in limiting machine noise (computers and hard drives) in your home studio? There are people who build their own acoustic isolation ...
13
votes
4answers
610 views

SoundSwap - trading sound effects

This isn't really so much of a question as it is a heads up. I've added a new forum to my website called SoundSwap. All it's for is trading sound effects and nothing else. I started thinking about it ...
12
votes
23answers
3k views

Audio Postproduction/Sound Design resources you'd recommend

Hi everyone, I'd like to create this thread that would be like a library for sound designers/audio post people. The principle is as basic as 1 post = 1 resource, so each book/webpage can be voted for ...
12
votes
12answers
2k views

Canned sounds vs. ones you record yourself

I've been thinking about this for a couple days, now. On Thursday, David Sonnenschein and Ric Viers had a free webinar -- it was largely a promo for their upcoming online seminars, but it was still ...
12
votes
13answers
632 views

Going Into Debt for Gear

I expect to get very few responses for this one because it's such a personal and difficult topic, but I think the experiences of the people here could be very informative. While there seem to be many ...
12
votes
11answers
2k views

FireWire or USB

Which is better for audio recording? FireWire or USB audio interfaces? I've used USB quite a bit and struggled with a few latency issues (which have since been resolved) but the speeds of FireWire ...
12
votes
13answers
8k views

What sound design books have influenced you the most?

There are so many great books on sound design. I'm interested in hearing about a book that has been your faithful companion. You can pick one per discipline you're involved in. My selection is: ...
12
votes
9answers
5k views

Non obvious ProTools tricks?

What ProTools techniques have you discovered that are non-obvious? ie using a tool or technique in an unusual way? An example: I use volume graphs for envelope shaping a lot, but an extreme & ...
12
votes
5answers
31k views

Tips for mixing dialogue

Can this be a thread for tips on mixing dialogue? Do you EQ the voice a certain way or ever use different sync for different characters? Reverb/delay? Do you have a certain workflow for the dial ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Preventing tangled mic cables

It seems like no matter how carefully I wind up my mic cables, the next time I get them out I'm fighting tangles and knots. And untangling mic cables is not one of my favorite things to do in front ...
12
votes
10answers
1k views

Negative Space / Figure-Ground Perception in Sound

My mind has been preoccupied lately with the concept of negative space and figure-ground perception. As an example of what I'm talking about, check out Rubin's face / vase or the Young Lady / Old Hag. ...
12
votes
4answers
68 views

What hardware units should I have in my arsenal?

I'm an amateur audio engineer who most of the time needs to record choirs or musical theatre productions, but who occasionally does home studio recording of songs. I don't have a huge amount of money ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What does panning do in a stereo system

I use pan a lot, but would now like to understand what it does. My question is spurred on by being told in a mix (a rock band for example) everything needs to live in its own space. Well, surely it ...
12
votes
2answers
933 views

XLR vs USB Microphone

I have a Fast Track Pro (which as an XLR pre-amp) mostly used for DJing tasks. Now, I am in the process of creating a small (really cheap) recording studio in my home. I was looking for cheap Mics, ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

Why does ffmpeg's conversion from mono to stereo lower the volume?

We start with this mono file: test.wav In audacity it looks like this: Then we convert it to stereo with this command: ffmpeg -i test.wav -ac 2 out.wav Now it looks like this: Notice that the ...
12
votes
10answers
14k views

Should I use 44.1KHz, 48KHz or 96KHZ sampling frequency for hobby projects?

I use a firewire audio interface with a decent microphone pre-amp and the ability to sample up to 96KHz in 24-bit. I get why I'd want to use 24-bit for the added dynamic range, especially when using ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

What is impedance and why do I care when buying a microphone?

I've been researching some mics and aside from reviews I've been looking at the specs. I'm not sure I understand what impedance is and why I care about it when purchasing a mic.
12
votes
5answers
45k views

How can I make a section in a song sound like it's coming from an AM radio?

I am working on a project in Logic Pro, and for part of my song, I want to make it sound like an AM radio is playing a segment from a talk show reporting on a sport event. What effects can I apply to ...
12
votes
3answers
621 views

Workflow: Getting sounds into your library.

Sound design is like cooking in a lot of ways. When you cook a giant meal, it's a lot of fun. But the clean-up is boring. What they say when you're learning to cook is that you have to clean-up as you ...
12
votes
4answers
197 views

What's the point of putting electronics inside a guitar instead of just outputting the raw pickup signal?

I'm new to electric guitars, but I understand that all the different models out there have various signal-modifying electronics shoved somewhere inside the body that modify the pickups' signal before ...
12
votes
7answers
437 views

full vehicle coverage

At some point you can have too much coverage of a vehicle, but it takes quite a lot to get there. The question is how much is enough without being too much? Lets assume that we want to put together ...
12
votes
4answers
408 views

Vuvuzela silencing techniques

Last year's soccer World Cup in South Africa brought about many vuvuzela silencing tools. What are the characteristics of vuvuzela noise that allow it to be silenced? What are some of the common ...
12
votes
4answers
41k views

Reducing latency on MIDI-over-USB Keyboard

I have recently bought a low-end usb keyboard(Acorn Instruments Masterkey 49). I am trying to use it with Sibelius 6. After spending a lot of time in the settings of Sibelius, I have managed to get ...
12
votes
7answers
6k views

Audio File Organization

Regardless of how you organize your library in databases like SoundMiner, Basehead, etc., how do you sanely file your recordings on your hard drive, especially between initial ingestion of the raw ...
12
votes
6answers
18k views

Monitoring multiple USB microphones

I am in the planning stages of producing a podcast consisting 2 or more people in the same room. I have a large diaphragm USB condenser mic, and another non-USB mic. At this point, I need to decide ...
12
votes
1answer
36 views

Suggestions for micing violins

I have a session coming up where I will be recording a couple violins. I've done a few violin sessions in the past and never been happy with the violin sound I've ended up with - it's always been too ...
12
votes
2answers
765 views

Field recording databases

Freesound.org seems to be the largest and most reliable source of unprocessed field recordings (with a good share of pitch-shifted monster sounds too). I struggle to find alternatives of comparable ...

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