10 Things You Should Know About Audio

Audio Fanzine recently published an excellent article on the top 10 things that can never be taught enough in audio.  They wrote this with live sound in mind, but the concepts are just as important (some even more so) for recording.  Here is their list:

1.  In order to perform their best, musicians need to hear themselves and their band mates (if applicable) properly when playing live.

2.  Sound travels at 1,130 feet per second, at sea level, at 68 degrees (F) and 4 percent relative humidity.

3.  The Inverse Square Law.

4.  The equal loudness contours of human hearing.

5.  Distortion is usually an ugly thing - unless you do it on purpose for effect.

6.  Sound from the same source bouncing around the room creates copies of itself which can increase, decrease, or even completely cancel each other out.

7.  If it wasn’t captured upstream at the mics (or pickups), it can’t be created (or manipulated) downstream.

8.  The sound of the performance should match the genre (music) of the performance.

9.  Hum and buzz due to grounding issues.

10.  Gain structure/gain staging.  This is about getting the levels right at every stage of the audio path.

Each of these is explained in summary form with some illustrations to go with it.  If I were to choose the most important of the above, I would pick number 10.  Not getting this right is one of the main reasons people end up with noisy and just generally bad-sounding audio when they record.

Check out the full article here: http://en.audiofanzine.com/live-sound/editorial/articles/top-10-things-that-can-never-be-taught-often-enough-in-audio.html

The equal loudness contours of the human hearing system.

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