Review of some basic concepts related to digital audio processes.

Microphone Basics

March 14, 2010


Some topics related to understanding how microphones work and typical applications

Shure Guides

How to buy a microphone – simple guide relating technical characteristics to suited applications. Covers:-

  • Dynamic – Condenser comparison
  • Frequency response
  • Pick up patterns

Flash demo of different mics, different polar patterns, different distances. Needs decent headphones.

Distance factor in context of placement for different polar patterns relative to a sound source.

Microphone reach – discusses the  effect of ambient sound and polar patterns on microphone reach.

Difference between dynamic and condenser microphones – Dynamic and condenser describe the operating principal used in a microphone.

The proximity effect – Why do the bass frequencies increase as the microphone gets closer to the sound source?

Also

The Microphone – Data site has a useful library covering aspects such as

  • Microphone choice
  • Wind and vibration noise
  • Pre- amps and impedence
  • Cables

Choosing the right mic is a good place to start for a basic understanding of various mic applications.

Mics, pre-amps and impedence – why different combinations sound different.

Soundfield

High end mic systems used in OBs,  Film and TV production

Example of football OB application

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Beach Walk Audio Picture

February 18, 2010


Create an audio piece, 2 to 3 minutes long, based on a couple walking their dog along a beach during a storm.  This should give you lots of scope to create a believable  audio environment.  Build your soundtrack up using layers such as

  • Footsteps
  • Waves
  • Rain
  • Storm – thunder and lightning
  • Dog

Plus any other effects tracks that you think will help recreate the scene in the listeners imagination.

Mix all the tracks down to a stereo master

Pay attention to the different levels of each track and aim for a mix that gives a balance between them all that is clear and without distortion.

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Sound Board – influences

February 17, 2010


To help with sound design ideas for your game, try listening to the games that you said influenced you as part of your mood board presentation.

Speed runs of most games are available.

Try tracking down a video example on youTube

You could also try  Speedruns.net

…..


This exercise is all about using Adobe Audition to manipulate  music samples in the multitrack.  It covers

  • Creating project folder
  • Creating a session file
  • Importing clips
  • Creating a basic 3 track arrangement lasting around 2 minutes
  • Looping clips
  • Panning two tracks
  • Fading tracks in and out
  • Adding reverb effect
  • Adding chorus effect
  • Adjusting audio levels for a final mix
  • Mixing down to a final master
  • Adding compression and equalisation to the master
  • Saving final mix as a wav file

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Audio Editing Activities

January 26, 2010


For this unit you will cover the following for your assessment

Audio Theory

  • multiple choice questions

Basic Recording & Editing

  • Record and edit 5 audio clips

Manipulation Audio clips

  • fade in and out
  • normalise
  • compress
  • Equalise
  • mix multiple track levels
  • Reverb
  • Chorus
  • Flange

Audio Pictures

  • Re-create the sounds that you would hear for given images.

Video Soundtrack

  • Create a soundtrack for a given silent piece of video.

All your audio files need to be kept safe in a project folder.

Regularly make notes about what you are doing and the theory you will cover.

Write a short evaluation of your work for this unit.

This will all be supported by short theory lectures and practice exercises.

Audio Recording project

December 1, 2009


Simple project to record a variety of sounds using a portable audio recorder such as the Zoom H2

Make sure you are familiar with

  • Switching on the recorder.
  • Choosing the set of mics you want use
  • Monitoring the audio input
  • Setting the audio recording levels
  • Making a recording that has a minimum of unwanted extra noises i.e your hand holding the mic or rustle of your clothing.
  • Switch off  the recorder
  • Transfer files to a PC

Make 10 good quality recordings of the following

  • Birds/animals
  • Traffic
  • Door opening
  • Door closing
  • People in a large space
  • Footsteps (various surfaces)
  • Machinery/workshop

Transfer the audio files into a folder you have created on a PC, rename them according to what they are a recording of,  and put them together using an application such as Adobe Audition or Premier Pro

Save the session/project file in the folder and submit the folder for assessment.

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