Audio Interface

8 Mar

Audio Interface

According to wiki audio an audio interface has the following definition:

An audio interface is a device that provides audio input and output capabilities to a computer. Audio interfaces may include features such as internal/external clocking ,analog or digital i/o, built in effects, and additional expansion slots for further upgrades.

audio interface

In simple terms an audio interface is a device that handles all audio input and output for a computer. In the early days, an audio interface was there to handle simple sounds, as computers and their capabilities grew, so did the demands on audio interfaces. As electronic music has progressed different types of audio interface have been designed built and sold to meet the new demands.

Audio Interface Connectivity

There are a number of ways to connect an audio interface to a computer or digital audio workstation. Perhaps the most popular are USB and Firewire. USB or universal serial bus is an industry standard connector and communication protocol that was designed to create a common connector between computer peripherals and external hardware. It is found on nearly all modern computers, it is estimated there are over 6 billion USB ports in the world, however it is limited by its rate of data transfer and this can equal limitations on the number of audio channels. Firewire is a moniker given by Apple to the IEEE 1394 interface. This interface was designed for higher speed communication between external accessories and so is ideal for an audio interface. Firewire interfaces are faster and more reliable than USB interfaces and therefore have less latency which is ideal if you want professional results.

 

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Studio Monitors

25 Jan

Studio Monitors – A Guide

In my last 2 posts I looked at how to set up your studio and a couple of different condenser microphones from AKG. In this blog post I am going to be talking all about Studio Monitors. Studio Monitors are the speakers through which all your mixed and mastered auido is relayed through, The should always be placed in a formation that creates an equilateral triangle between the listener, and the studio monitors. This is very important to create a good stereo image.

Active Studio Monitors

These days, most studios opt for a set of active studio monitors. Active monitors are powered by the mains and have dedicated built in amplifier units. They are connected directly to the mixing console and the mains.

Yamaha HS50m active monitors

Yamaha HS50m active monitors

If you are just starting out, the choice of Studio Monitors can be overwhelming. For beginners we recommend the Yamaha HS50M. These are a great set of Active Studio Monitors, because they create a true, flat sound.

 

Many budget studio monitors have too much emphasis on the treble or bass output, to try and give the impression they are better than they are. Quite simply, if it sounds good on these studio monitors, it will sound good anywhere.

 

 

If you have a bit more cash to splash on your studio monitors, then check out the super cool and super pricey The Focal TWIN 6 BE Active Near Field Studio Monitors. Weighing in at a pricey £2480, they are not for the casual musician setting up a first studio, but they pack an audio punch. Designed for absolute clarity. They do not project any sort of colour or noise onto your audio production, so you can expect a sound free of distortion.

 

focal-twin-6-be

Focal Twin 6 BE

AKG – Professional Microphones

18 Jan

AKG Microphones

AKG Acoustics have been producing professional microphones for over 60 years now. A name synonymous with quality in the industry, the company was founded in 1947 in Vienna, Austria, supplying movie equipment to theaters after World War 2.

These days the company produces a wide range of quality ribbon, condenser and diaphragm microphones for professional recording and live sound applications. Below are two of the best selling AKG professional microphones.

AKG D112

AKG D122 Professional Microphone

AKG D112

The AKG D112 is a stunning diaphragm microphone absolutely free of distortion even at high sound pressure levels. It has a very low diaphragm resonance, and a relatively narrow-band rising high frequency response at 4 kHz.

The classic design and style not only looks impressive; the robust construction makes it ideal for busy recording studios and touring alike.

D 5 dynamic vocal microphone

AKG microphones

AKG D5 microphone

The D 5 dynamic vocal microphone is perfect for capturing lead vocals and backing vocals alike. Designed for the noisiest of stages, expect outstanding performance in any application. Its supercardioid polar pattern ensures maximum gain before feedback. With the D5 AKG made the first microphone diaphragm with varying thickness across the diameter. The result? The deep-drawing process allows the diaphragm itself to be fine-tuned with no extra tuning resonators, leading to a new levels of performance from this amazing dynamic microphone.

In addition this microphone has dual shock mounts, preventing any leakage of mechanical noise, making sure the audience hears only the quality of the vocalist in the live stage performance.

In my next article I’ll look at another amazing microphone brand, Shure. Yet another world leader in the production of professional microphones for recording and line performances.

Professional Audio Equipment – Home Studio

7 Jan

Professional Audio Equipment

Whether you are just getting started as a recording artist or you’ve been in the game for years, there is a huge amount of choices when it comes to professional audio equipment. 

When setting up your first studio, its important to consider a few things ahead of setting up. Firstly take time to think about the layout and position of your professional audio equipment. How will it all connect? Is it a nice, comfortable environment to work in? Will you be able to access all the equipment easily? Will the wiring be out of harms reach?

Pro Audio Equipment

Too much off this is not productive!

Next consider the position of your monitors. In a stereo system the two speakers and your head should make up the three corners of an equilateral triangle. That is, the distance between the two speakers should be the same as the distance between either speaker and your head. This is vital to ensure you get a clear stereo image in your recording studio.

After getting the position of your monitors correct, you now have to consider where you will place the rest of your pro audio equipment. Arrange the audio hardware around you, with the most used things closest. Work outwards, leaving the least used audio equipment furthest away from you. Do not be afraid to keep everything close. Do not make the mistake of spreading everything around to make the studio look more impressive. It will only create an environment where creativity is stifled.

Don’t nail that Audio Equipment down just yet!

Once you think you have the perfect set up, work with a few times, make tweaks and adjustments, more your professional audio equipment around a little, get the perfect audio hardware set up. Once you are truly happy with your home studio set up, you can then start to make the fixings and cabling more permanent. Don’t scrimp on your home studio audio cables – your sound is only as good as the weakest link. Scrimping on audio cables and connectors is one of the biggest mistakes when people are setting up a home studio.

pro audio equipment

The Perfect Studio?