Everything in experiential reality is connected. Even the most seemingly insignificant details are an integral part of the big picture. Life ebbs and flows with perfect precision. This truth is very much present within the Audio Engineering world. Connection and flow are at the forefront of day-to-day activities in the recording studio.
In Chapter 2 I learned more about this connection by learning about basic electronics. I learned about how electrons, protons and neutrons dance with one another to create different elements and how they maintain electrical flow. An Audio Engineer must be aware of this flow because it is how the sounds are transferred from one thing to another.
Ensuring that everything is flowing correctly could easily be a simple job description of an Audio Engineer. Although it sounds simple, there is more to it than one may suspect! The journey that electricity embarks upon is precise and vast! Moving from the power generation plant all the way into a home or business is quite the process. From there an individual may utilize this power source in nearly an infinite variety of ways!
One goal of an Audio Engineer is to assist an artist to convert their unique sound into a digital sound wave so it can be mixed, mastered, and ultimately shared with the world! (Or whatever the artist’s personal goal may be). To effectively put this into action, the sound wave being emitted by the artist must travel through a series of steps to get from the source (vocals, instrument, etc.) to the computer for mixing and mastering.
I have been learning more about the application of monitoring this signal flow in the studio by helping out with setting up the daily sessions. Flowing from the mic, to the panel tie, to the patch bay, finally making its way to Protools, the signal flow has a precise order in which it must go to fulfill its intended mission; make some sweet sounds!
For one of the sessions, we worked with a band that was overdubbing electric guitar and vocals. The guys had been making music for over 30 years so they had a pretty good idea about what they were doing. Before they arrived we set up 7 mics so we could see which one sounded best with the artist’s vocals. We also ensured that the signal was flowing properly and showing up in protools in the right spot. All was well, so we were ready to begin the session before they even got there! To start the session off, we tested out the mics… It is amazing how different they all sound with different vocals! Once that was established we were ready to rock to overdubs.
I have been learning so much within the studio. Always looking forward to what the next session may hold! On to Chapter 3… Digital Audio!