An introduction to “Understanding Recording Signal Flow,” which lays out the framework for the entire Foundation Series.
While you can fix timing and add effects and EQ later in the process to improve a sound, it’s always best to get it right at the source before you push RECORD.
Microphones vary in type and features and are used to record anything that makes a sound in the physical world including acoustic instruments, percussion, vocals, and more.
The DI acts as a bridge to the next step in the signal flow. It changes the unbalanced, high impedance output of an instrument to a balanced, low impedance signal preferred by professional studio gear.
Before you can record a signal from a microphone or DI, it must first be sent through a Microphone Preamp, which is used to boost the gain to a proper recording level called “line level”.
Certain analog processors and some kinds of plug-ins can be used during recording; it’s important to know how to use these tools to achieve the best results.
Before a signal can be digitally recorded, it has to be converted from analog to a digital format, then back again so we can hear it in the physical world.
The digital audio workstation, or DAW, is the basis for all modern recording. Inside the DAW, you can mix, edit, and process the recorded signals in many different ways.
Optionally, audio from the DAW can be processed after it has been recorded and is a typical workflow when mixing.
Monitor control, whether it’s on a console or a freestanding unit, gives you the ability to control speaker loudness, source selection, and a monitor selection if you have more than one pair of speakers.
The last stop in the signal chain, before you hear the results of your work, is with the speakers or headphones.
This video provides a recap of recording signal flow.
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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