Computer Applications In Music Class 5-10 Frank Markovich Fall 2005 Revision A August 27, 2005
Organization • There are a few items that I should be noted: • Organization and process on the computer can help and will often be required. • Really decide on how you will save your data and where you will save it. • Hierarchical structure best for most people. • Do constant backups – • To CD or DVD • To a hard drive • To tape • To a large storage site (Gmail is a good one to use 2Gig). • Next assignment covers file management (refer to page 29-35 in text).
Operating Systems • This corresponds to module 5 in your text. Please read by the next class. • Currently there are 2 main operating systems in use by musicians – MS Windows and Mac. • There are other operating systems such as Lynx and Unix that are used in other areas. • Both of the main operating systems use GUI (Graphical User Interface). • Apple actually was the first of the 2 to use that type.
Organization is important • Best to store information in a Hierarchical file structure. • Make names something that makes sense. Don’t code your file names! • Back up often – I sent most of you a link to join GMAIL – Google mail. Now has 2.5 Gig of storage – Send yourself file updates often. • Do revision control be it numerical or alpha such as xxx revA or xxx rev1.1 etc.
Computer S/W Maintenance • Keep up to date virus, anti-spyware etc. Run regularly. • Microsoft has an anti-spyware that is fair • Also run Ad-aware and spybot. Both free and downloadable. • Run the operating system updates. • Run defrag programs regularly. • Spam filters help somewhat – I use rules in Outlook. • Have a firewall – either S/W or H/W
Web • Great and not so great – Mozilla is an alternative to MS Explorer. Less problems for many. • Google has an anti-spyware and pop-up blocker built in. • Be careful where you go. • Don’t give out personal information!! • Watch out for Phishing.
Web Positive • Great source for research. • Lots of MIDI files on web that can be downloade. • Lots of music in both print etc. • Don’t always trust the information. Make sure that you have another source. • We will not do a web page in this class. If you want to work on one I can help in lab time but that is best left for a web development class. • Embedding music though is very easy.
Many other uses • Google is just one of many search engines. Try various ones for finding data. • Forums and News – I don’t use much but do belong to 3 user groups: • Protools • Hard Disk Recording • Westside lumber (Hobby is model RR).
Basic Computer and Networking Concepts in book Chapter 6 • We already talked about the difference between digital and analog but as a review analog is more the real world – a continuous changing sound, waveform etc. While digital is 1’s and 0’s or yes and no’s grouped in bytes, etc. Modern computers are digital but many of the inputs are analog. • Converting from Analog to Digital is required for modern computers to process the data. • Then the data must be converted from Digital to Analog to be used again.
Internet Protocols • So that all computers can talk to each other a protocol was set up. • TCP/IP or Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This is a data structure.
Internet Addressing • Domain Name – fmarkovich.music.edu as an example • IP address – physical address = 126.96.36.199 Most people never have to deal with it as a S/W program called Domain Name Server (DNS) handles the translation. • Web internet address use a URL or Uniform Resource Locators. Such as https:// or ftp:// This is what browers will use.
Files • Files have an extension that tells the computer what program to use to open the file. • For example for finale files it is .mus – that will tell the computer that when a file is .mus to use finale to open it. Never delete the extensions. Mac’s are a bit different but the idea is the same.
Audio Files • For windows the file format is .wav for Mac it is Aif. Most programs in music can read either one but you may have to do a file conversion. • Protools as an example will import either file type but you have to specify. • When saving a file make sure that you use the right format for the computer. • MIDI files – these are very small but there is really no music data in them. Just data that tells a MIDI device what not to play, for how long, volume, bends etc. Most MIDI files are 2K or less.
Compression • Compression is used to save space. For example a .wav file will use 5Meg of space per minute per stereo track. So a 3 minute piece will be about 30 Meg. While a similar MP3 will be about 5 to 6 Meg. Huge difference. • MP3 is the main compression format for audio but others do exist. There is a big change taking place though in that ACC and WMA are replacing MP3 as more processing can take place and the ACC is what your I=Pod uses.
Video compression • MPEG-1 is the main one used now for DVD format but there are issues particularly with sound. The sound is not synced with the video fully, but rather only at the start of each scene. • MPEG-4 addresses this a little but doesn’t fully sync yet.
Future • In the future there will be yet newer schemes for compression and distribution of both audio and video. • Current compression means are not loss – less. Some data is lost and some artifacts do creep in. • I have trouble at times listening to MP3’s but only when things are quiet. • In your car with the engine running and driving you are going to not hear anything above about 5K Hz, while most music has frequencies up to about 20K Hz so for me MP3’s in cars are fine but not in my living room.
Short Quiz • For next Tuesday read pages 25-73 in the textbook. • Bring in any questions that you have next Tuesday.
A to D and D to A • These will be critical for you to understand with digital audio. • Will only cover the basics. • The world in Analog not digital but we do mainly digital recording now. • We take an analog signal and convert it to a digital signal. This is called A to D conversion.
The 2 important numbers • Number of bits, early recordings were only 8 bits, then the industry went to 16, now 24 bits is standard and 96 is even getting to be common with other’s inbetween. • Sampling rate – how many conversions per second. The higher the sampling rate the higher the accuracy of the conversion. Typically in music it is 44KHz, 48KHz, or 96KHz. Less than 44KHz (32KHz is reserved for mainly voice – lecture etc.). Nyquest says that the frequency must be at least 2 times the highest frequency of interest to capture the information. Since the human ear can hear up to 20KHz – well some can, that means that the sampling rate must be over that frequence. • I will show on the board the idea of this.
D to A • Going back the other way you must convert from digital back to analog. • Same concepts apply and your D to A must match frequency and sample size in order to work properly.
Recording • I just want to give you an introduction into digital recording. We will first review the A/D and D/A. • I will do this with equipment in our lab to start but will bring in ProTools at a later date. • To start we will use sound forge. We will start on Page 6 of the online manual.
Sound forge advantages • Easy to get started. • With an external mixer can do quite a bit. • Good method to learn the basics, very little equipment required etc. • I use this for simple things – lectures etc. • Very fast and easy to learn. Once you have learned this other programs will fall into place. • Good for just scratchpad or for a small demo. If you need something fast this works well.
Sound forge disadvantages • Only 2 channels. For most recording this is just not enough. - I use at least 2 just per instrument. • Not full featured in the version we are running. I really prefer to use ProTools for critical work. • Some small bugs that are bothersome. • Not in a format that studios can mix down to easily. • Lower dynamic range than external systems. • No automation in the version – new version may offer it with an external Mackie Mixer.
Mackie Mixer • Manual is loaded on your computer at school. Be sure to read it then play with the mixer. • Also review the hook up manual. • At this point will go to word document on basic mixing.
Software Mixers • In order to really take advantage of these you must know the basics of mixing. • The idea is just the same as a H/W mixer. • Following is a 2 page on one S/W mixer. • I like Vegas as a stand alone mixer but it may be overkill for you.
Do a write-up of each section – at least a couple of sentences summing up the section. Add in any questions that you may have on this.