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Recording

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    Q. Do I need to address the gain structure differently in digital and analogue consoles?

    I was told by a sound engineer that, when mixing, it is not a good practice to have all the channel volume faders way up and to have the master fader down, and that this applies both to analogue and digital consoles. Is this true?

    Sound Advice Jan 2004
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    Backing Vocals header artwork.

    Q. What's the best way to produce a double-tracked rap vocal?

    How do you get that double-tracked vocal sound you hear on rap records? Are there any plug-ins I could use?

    Sound Advice Dec 2003
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    Q. What's the difference between audio and data CD-Rs?

    What is the difference between audio and data CD-Rs? Surely digital audio is just data?

    Sound Advice Nov 2003
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    Berlin Woodwinds' flute ensemble: (L-R) Yasuko Fuchs, Klaus Schöpp, Silvia Careddu.

    Q. How do I mike up woodwind instruments?

    I'm going to be adding some woodwind parts to a track, recording flute, clarinet, alto and tenor saxophones one at a time. Can you offer any advice on how to mike them up?

    Sound Advice Nov 2003
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    Q. How do I solve my phasing problems?

    I have recorded an acoustic guitar into Cubase SX, both with a mic and DI'd. As I had expected, there are some phase issues...

    Sound Advice Nov 2003
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    Q. Should I believe my meters?

    I read that the level meters in most DAWs don't give a true indication of when audio is peaking, and that audio which looks like it's below 0dBFS may actually be peaking above it, causing distortion when played back. Is this true?

    Sound Advice Oct 2003
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    Q. Are all Decibels equal?

    Equipment specifications often give input and output levels with units like dBu, dBV and dBFS. What's the difference?

    Sound Advice Oct 2003
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    Q. How do I compress my orchestral recordings?

    I regularly make stereo location recordings of orchestras, using Cool Edit Pro for editing and mastering. If I simply...

    Sound Advice Sep 2003
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    Q. Why is my vocal clipping?

    I've been recording vocals using a Neumann TLM103 mic going through a Dbx 386 tube preamp, and using the Dbx's converters to send a digital signal into a Roland VS1680 multitracker. I understood the Dbx was virtually impossible to clip, but experience proves otherwise! What am I doing wrong?

    Sound Advice Sep 2003
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    What Mic Should I Buy First?

    Sound Advice

    We answer one of the most common queries from those just starting out with home recording.

    Sound Advice Jul 2003
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    Q & A

    Dozens of your recording questions receive poignant answers from SOS's editorial experts.

    Sound Advice Jul 2003
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    Q & A

    Your Questions Answered

    What advantages are there to variable input impedance? • How can I extract loops from audio sample CDs? • Can I use the True Tape option in Cubase to prevent clipping? • Should I use S/PDIF or AES for long cable runs? • Can you have too much low-frequency absorption? • What's the best way to use the multiple filters on my soft synth?

    Sound Advice Jun 2003
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    Q & A April 2003

    Definitive Answers To Readers' Questions

    What exactly is a modular synth? How slow is a slow release? How can I wire my 32:8:2 analogue desk to a 16-track recorder? How can I compensate for a lack of phase-reversal and EQ bypass controls on my mixer? Why do some bass notes have more 'punch' than others? Is there a problem with inputs on the Roland VS2480? Should I buy a DI box or a channel strip? Should EQ or compression be applied first? What is the advantage of recording with a higher resolution, as opposed to a higher sampling rate? Can I run V-Producer via OMS?

    Sound Advice Apr 2003
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    Q & A March 2003

    Sound Advice

    How can I create the fat bass sound I hear on commercial productions? What are the differences between S/PDIF and AES-EBU? Are there any problems powering UK electrical equipment with Vancouver voltages? Can you recommend some omni mics for chamber recording? How can I build a suitable enclosure to reduce the noise of my computer? Is it possible to create a fake stereo track from a mono source? How can I make my MIDI controller's knobs work? How can I mix a track on a multitimbral synth?

    Sound Advice Mar 2003
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    Q & A January 2003

    Your Technical Questions Answered

    Can I use my drum pads to trigger drum machine sounds? • Are red indicators in audio software significant? • What is 'zero level'? • Can you advise me on vocal recording and microphones? • Why have my faders stopped working? • Does normalising have any adverse effect on audio? • Can I obtain better orchestral sounds on a budget?

    Sound Advice Jan 2003
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    Q&A October 2002

    Your Technical Questions Answered

    Should I buy a second-hand tape recorder or cheap digital multitracker? How can I stop my speakers from 'booming'? Should the earth pin in an XLR plug be soldered to the shell? How reliable is the word clock on Yamaha's SW1000XG? Can you advise me about connecting a classic Leslie to a VK8?

    Sound Advice Oct 2002
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    Q&A September 2002

    Your Technical Questions Answered

    How can I use my external effects units with my Akai DPS16 hard disk recorder? How can I convert my mono recordings into stereo? Are there any cheap multi-band compression plug-ins? How can I reverse the effects of performing Windows XP tweaks?

    Sound Advice Sep 2002
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    Q&A July 2002

    Your Technical Questions Answered

    How can I produce aggressive female vocals? Mac Or Windows? How do I eliminate flanging MIDI notes? Can I use Virtual Guitarist with Logic on a Mac? Should I record at a 24-bit resolution?

    Sound Advice Jul 2002
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    Q&A May 2002

    Your Technical Questions Answered

    Why can't I run Cubase 5.1 on Windows 95? Is there a software package that acts purely as a virtual tape recorder? What is panning law? How can I get equal monitoring levels? Do multi-client soundcards still exist? Which hard disk format is best for PC audio?

    Sound Advice May 2002
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    Q & A April 2002

    Your Technical Questions Answered

    Why is phase important? What orchestral sample libraries are available for HALion? Where can I get Windows-based ASIO drivers for an Audiomedia III card? Are there really reverb and synth plug-ins supplied with Mac OS X? How can I isolate the vocals from a stereo mix?

    Sound Advice Apr 2002
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    Getting Started In Music

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The answers to some of the more basic questions we receive at SOS might seem obvious, but they are, in fact, more complex that they appear. Mike Senior sets about answering the unanswerable...

    Sound Advice Mar 2001

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