Learning the Language of Recording Studios If you have ever had the opportunity to spend some time in a recording studio, you know that it is essentially a different world than the one most of us live in. There is an abundance of high-tech equipment that the average person can’t begin to identify, and people speak some strange combination of English and what sounds like a foreign language. With some practiced observation you can usually begin to figure out which buttons control which functions for the studio. However, deciphering the language used by recording arts professionals can prove to be quite the challenge. So what exactly is this Babel-inspired language, and how can you learn to speak and understand it? Unfortunately, recording studio terminology is not something you can learn overnight, but with a little dedication and some great resources, you too can speak this intricate language. Mastering the Recording Studio Lingo Competition is fierce in the recording arts industry, and knowing the lingo will help place you ahead of the competition. If you are pursuing a degree in recording arts you will most likely come across most of the terminology through your classes and coursework. However, change occurs frequently in this versatile industry, and it will serve you well to stay on top of developments at all times. Below you will find a sampling of some commonly used recording arts terminology. This is by no means a complete list, but it will help you get a good start on learning the lingo used in recording studios. Recording Studio Terminology • AD/DA converters - AD converters convert analog audio signals to digital; DA converters convert digital audio back to analog. • AES/EBU - A digital audio signal standard, used for transmitting digital audio between devices. • AIFF - Common sound file format (Audio Interchange File Format) • Bandpass filter - In a crossover network, a filter that passes a band or range of frequencies but sharply attenuates or rejects frequencies outside the band. • BIT Width - The number of bits, or binary digits, used to store each individual sound sample. • Capstan - In a tape-recorder transport, a rotating post that contacts the tape (along with the pinch roller) and pulls the tape past the heads at a constant speed during recording and playback. • DAW - An acronym for Digital Audio Workstation, a stand-alone system of hardware and software which will allow the recording, playback, editing, and storage of digital audio • DBX - A type of noise reduction used by some analogue magnetic tape machines. • EEPROM - An acronym for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. A computer chip that can be loaded with data (sound samples, program patches, etc.) and later erased (with an electrical voltage) and loaded with updated information. • Foldback - Also known as 'FB' or 'Cue system', a monitor system that permits musicians to hear previously recorded tracks, along with their live performance, through headphones. • MIDI - A simple data transfer system that allows computers to communicate with synthesizers, music keyboards to communicate with computers etc. • S/PDIF - The Sony/Philips Digital Interface, used for transmitting digital sound signals between equipment. • XLR - A type of audio connector, common in studios and professional audio equipment. The selections above are a brief introduction to the vast and varied amount of terminology used in the recording arts industry. Clearly, this industry has managed to create a language that is entirely its own. If you are interested in pursuing a career in recording arts, it is essential that you master this lingo. For a more complete glossary of commonly used recording arts terminology, we recommend checking out the Guitar Nine Records Glossary of Terms and Bruce Bartlett’s Glossary of Recording Terms. This article is presented by the IADT – Tampa. Contact us today if you are interested in pursuing a rewarding career or a recording arts program through one of our innovative and industry-current degree programs. IADT – Tampa does not guarantee employment or salary. All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Pages to are hidden for
"Learning the Language of Recording Studios"Please download to view full document