ee2f2 music technology
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
EE2F2 – Music Technology

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 18

EE2F2 – Music Technology - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

EE2F2 – Music Technology. Dr. Tim Collins [email protected] Introduction. Course content: How modern technology is used by musicians Recording studio technology: Multi-track recording and mixing Effects processing Computerisation

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' EE2F2 – Music Technology' - flower

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
ee2f2 music technology

EE2F2 – Music Technology

Dr. Tim Collins

[email protected]

  • Course content:
    • How modern technology is used by musicians
    • Recording studio technology:
      • Multi-track recording and mixing
      • Effects processing
      • Computerisation
    • Performance technologies:
      • Electric instruments
      • Synthesisers and Samplers
recording technology
Recording Technology
  • Simplest scenario – single microphone, recorded straight to tape.
  • More common – several performers recorded separately and then mixed together later.
  • We will look at the key elements in the audio signal chain:
    • Microphones / electronic instruments
    • Mixers
    • Multi-track tape recorders
    • Effects
  • We will also look at the use of computers for MIDI sequencing, and digital audio.
the audio signal chain
The Audio Signal Chain
  • The audio signal chain contains all the steps between the original performance and the final distribution.


Mics and electronic sources

Track laying mixer

Multi-track recorder

Mixdown to stereo

Stereo recorder

multi track recording
Multi-track Recording
  • These days, music is rarely recorded in one ‘take’ except for:
    • Live performances
    • Classical music
  • Usually, songs are built-up from several parts using a multi-track recorder
  • A multi-track recorder can
    • Record lots of separate sounds independently
    • Play them all back at once
four track example


Bass Guitar



Four-Track Example

Track 1 - Blank

Track 2 - Blank

Track 3 - Blank

Track 4 - Blank

audio signal chain components
Audio Signal Chain Components
  • Over the next few weeks we will look at the audio signal chain in more detail. In particular:
    • Microphones
    • Mixing
    • Multi-Track Recording
    • Mastering
    • Computerisation and Automation


Mics and electronic sources

Track laying mixer

Multi-track recorder

Mixdown to stereo

Stereo recorder

  • Microphones are transducers that convert acoustical energy (i.e. mechanical vibration) into electrical energy.
  • Two main types used for music:
    • Electromagnetic: Dynamic and ribbon designs, work by electromagnetic induction.
    • Capacitor: Condenser design, works by changing the shape of a charged capacitor.

Audio output

Fixed earth plate

d.c. bias voltage


Condenser (or capacitor) Microphone

Diaphragm moves due to sound waves

Capacitance and thus voltage change

  • Regardless of the mechanism, important parameters are:
    • Frequency response
    • Sensitivity
    • Directional response




Dynamic Microphone

Diaphragm and coil move due to sound waves

Current is induced in coil

example shure sm58
Example - Shure SM58

Dynamic (moving coil) microphone popularly used for vocals.

Sensitivity = -54.5 dBV/Pa (2.8 mV/Pa)

signal levels
Signal Levels
  • Even the most sensitive microphones have sensitivities no higher than around 10 mV/Pa.
  • When held close to the mouth of a singer, a typical sound pressure will be around 1 Pascal.
  • So, even the most sensitive microphone will produce a signal of around 10 mV in amplitude.
  • Typically, for common microphones, the signal level would be around 1 mV (depending on how loud the singer is and on the microphone positioning).

Frequently Asked Question:

“What do all those knobs do ?”

  • In the simplest terms, all a mixer does is to add together two or more input voltages.
  • In practice, it must also provide gain controls in order to:
    • Correctly mix signals from different sources, e.g.
      • Line level signals (~1 V) from electronic instruments
      • Mic level signals (~1 mV) from microphones
    • Balance the different parts of a mix.
  • Actually, most mixers perform several other functions as well. We will cover them in a later session.
tape recorders
Tape Recorders
  • There are two types of tape recorder in the audio signal chain.
    • Stereo (two track) recorders, similar to domestic hi-fi tape decks.
    • Multi-track recorders (anything from 4 to 24 tracks)
  • Analogue and digital versions of both types are available.
  • These days, mostly digital machines are used.
  • In fact, magnetic tape is often not used at all. Hard disk recording is becoming more common.
  • The master tape containing the final stereo mix must be duplicated in different ways for different distribution media.
    • Vinyl LPs require special equalisation (filtering)
    • Cassette masters are made on special tape used for high speed duplication
    • CDs require the addition of codes to mark the start and end of tracks
  • These processes are known as mastering.
computerisation automation
Computerisation & Automation
  • Computers have been gradually introduced into the recording studio to automate certain tasks:
    • Triggering drum machines with preset patterns (sequencing)
    • Changing fader levels on a mixing desk to preset levels at the right time
    • Triggering (remotely playing) electronic instruments (via MIDI)
    • Digitally recording onto hard disk
    • Generating synthetic sounds using software synthesisers
    • Generating special effects in software
    • Replacing most of the equipment in a conventional studio with virtual software equivalents
  • In this course, we will be looking at how modern technology has affected musicians in terms of:
    • Recording technology
    • Synthesis and sampling technology
  • The basis of most contemporary recordings is the multi-track concept.
  • This is traditionally realised using analogue multi-track tape machines.
  • Nowadays it is often done digitally in software.
  • Next time: Stereo and Multi-track recording