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Blackbird Academy Tutorial

Electrical Levels in Audio Production

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8 Videos
Length: 11min 50sec
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    Tutorial 1

    Electrical Levels in Audio Production

    0:35

    This course lays out the types of electrical signals that flow from, into, or through microphones, instruments, processors, consoles, and speakers.

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    Tutorial 2

    What Is a Decibel?

    2:25

    In audio production, the decibel is used to measure the operating level, the intensity of sound or electrical output produced by a piece of gear.

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    Tutorial 3

    Consumer vs. Pro Audio Gear

    2:55

    Audio gear falls into two categories, professional and consumer. What differentiates the two in the broad sense is the intended use.

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    Tutorial 4

    Mic Level

    1:11

    The electrical output level of a microphone is very low, so weak in fact that its output is measured in millivolts noted by the symbol mV.

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    Tutorial 5

    Line Level

    1:06

    Once any audio signal is boosted to professional line level, it can be freely routed to other pro audio gear such as compressors, EQs, converters, consoles, and the inputs of powered speakers.

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    Tutorial 6

    Instrument Level

    1:42

    Instruments such as guitars, basses, guitar pedals, and electronic keyboards are consumer audio devices with high impedance, unbalanced outputs referenced at -10dBV.

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    Tutorial 7

    Speaker Level

    1:10

    Once the signal has been recorded and its time to hear your work, it must be sent through another transducera speaker or a set of headphonesto send the signal through the air once again on the way to our ears.

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    Tutorial 8

    Electrical Level Recap

    0:46

    A recap of the Electrical Levels in Audio Production course.

To achieve great results when recording, processing, and mixing audio, its important to know the levels at which various pieces of musical and studio gear operate. This course digs deeper into the operational qualities of studio gear in the signal chain.

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Kevin Becka has been a recording engineer for over twenty-five years, working with the top names in music including Kenny G., Quincy Jones, Michael Bolton, George Benson, George Lynch, and more. An experienced educator, Kevin is currently the co-director and instructor at the Blackbird Academy in Nashville. He has also taught advanced recording at Belmont University, taught surround recording and lectured at the Danish Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was director of education and instructor at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences for ten years. Kevin is also an audio journalist who has worked as the editor of Pro Audio Review and Audio Media USA magazines. Since 2003, Kevin has been the technical editor of the industry-leading Mix magazine where he writes features, product reviews, and a monthly column. Kevin is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the Country Music Association (CMA), and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Products by Kevin

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    tutorial video

    Analog & Digital Processing

    EQs, compressors, pitch shifters, transient shapers, reverbs, and delays are just a few of the powerful tools an engineer may use while recording and mixing. Knowing how to use these powerful analog and digital processors is key to achieving great results when recording and mixing.

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    tutorial video

    Cables & Connectors

    Cables and connectors provide the pathways for audio signals to flow throughout the studio. Great connections can have a positive impact on not only the sound but also a creative difference in the recording process by maintaining the quality of the source and inspiring the performer.

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    tutorial video

    DAWs & Converters

    The digital audio workstation, or DAW, is an essential building block of the modern studio. Knowing the components, features, and tools found in this “studio in a box” is essential knowledge for all audio engineers, both old and new.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Electrical Levels in Audio Production

    To achieve great results when recording, processing, and mixing audio, it’s important to know the levels at which various pieces of musical and studio gear operate. This course digs deeper into the operational qualities of studio gear in the signal chain.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Managing Gain & Distortion

    Recording engineers and music producers encounter many ways to adjust gain along the recording and mixing signal path. Knowing the best practices for setting levels in your DAW, processors, and other gain stages will allow you to avoid distortion and noise in your productions.

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A great sound starts with a quality signal chain. In this first installment of the Foundation Series, you will learn the basics of audio starting with the source, and then moving step by step down the line to the finished product.

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