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In sound recording and reproduction, audio mixing is the process of optimizing and combining multitrack recordings into a final mono, stereo or surround sound product. In the process of combining the separate tracks, their relative levels (i.e. volumes) are adjusted and balanced and various processes such as equalization and compression are commonly applied to individual tracks, groups of ...
What is Audio Mixing? Audio Mixing or Mixing Down as it is also referred to, is the combination of all of the recorded sounds/stems on your track, professionally mixed by an Audio Engineer. The Audio Mixing process creates one balanced and unified song that would then be presented to the Mastering Engineer.
Aug 03, 2020 · Sound mixing is the process of matching audio levels of all of the sound in a film ⏤ from dialogue, to Foley, to the musical score. A sound mixer must tweak every single audio file in the movie in order to make it sound clear, crisp, and seamless. This isn’t easy, even for professionals.
Audio mixing is the process of taking recorded tracks and blending them together. Tracks are blended using various processes such as EQ, Compression and Reverb. The goal of mixing is to bring out the best in your multi-track recording by adjusting levels, panning, and time-based audio effects (chorus, reverb, delay).
Save Word Definition of sound mixer : one that controls the volume and tone of sound picked up by microphones (as on a motion-picture set) in order to obtain the desired effects for recording
May 24, 2019 · Mixing live sound is one of the most fun yet challenging aspects of music, and the ability to mix both in the studio and live makes a good audio engineer in high demand. Let's take a look at the basics of mixing live sound , and how you can be quickly on your way to learning to mix.
Jan 17, 2011 · On the other hand, sound mixing in simplified terms means mixing of already available sounds into a film. It might sound less stressful however; mixing is still difficult and deserves attention as well.
Jan 10, 2018 · Audio terminology can be downright confusing. Even familiar words often take on new meanings when used to describe sound. If you’ve ever been on an audio forum, discussed a mix with a client, or read gear reviews, you’ve likely been pelted by a multitude of technical and descriptive terms.
- Dynamics and Audio
- Dynamics and Recording
- Macro and Micro Dynamics
- Dynamics Processors
- Expansion and Gating
- Close The Gate
- The Big Squeeze
- The Wrap
When it comes to audio, Dynamics refers to the variation in level—volume—in the audio signal, and when a musical part—like a recording of drums, or a vocal track—ranges from loud to soft over the course of, say, a song, the upper and lower limits of that variation—the difference between the loudest and softest levels—is the Dynamic Range. Audio levels are measured in decibels—dB—and Dynamic variations are also expressed in dB. For example, the dynamic range of human hearing—the difference between the quietest sounds we can hear (the Threshold of Perception) and the loudest we can handle (the Threshold of Pain) is about 120 dB, more or less. Differences between loud notes and soft notes on various musical instruments might be anything from around a few dB, to up to 50 dB or so (grand piano), or even more (think live drums), and the dynamic range of a full orchestra, from the quietest passages to the loudest fanfares, might be even greater—70 or 80 dB or more.
Older recording media were more limited in their dynamic range. The Dynamic Range of tape and vinyl—the difference between the softest usable level that could be recorded (above the noise floor) and the loudest level (before distortion (clipping) sets in)—was only around 60–70 dB at best. 16-bit CDs upped that to approximately 96 dB, and modern 24-bit digital audio has a (theoretical) range of 144 dB, exceeding the dynamic range of human hearing.
If you delve into the literature on audio levels and dynamics, you may come across terminology like macro and micro dynamics. The terms themselves are not all that common, but they do serve to illustrate the different ways dynamics are addressed in recording and mixing. Macro dynamics refers to changes in level over a longer period of time. For example, a rhythm instrument—guitar, keyboard—may play more quietly in the verses of a song, than in the choruses. Micro dynamics might refer to either of two things. It could describe more rapid changes in dynamics, like from note to note in a phrase, where some notes are accented (louder). It could also be used to describe differences in level withina note—for example, a hard-played piano note or drum hit will start off with a louder impact noise—a Transient—and then the rest of the note will be lower in level, gradually (or quickly) decaying to silence. The waveform graph in Fig 3 shows level (vertical) vs. time (horizontal), and you can s...
There are four main types of Dynamics processors—the ones you see both in studio racks and in that Dynamics submenu in your DAW plug-in insert slots. They’re divided into two categories—those that reduce Dynamic Range, and those that increaseit. Dynamic Range reduction is by far the most common application, but all these tools typically come into play in a multitrack mix. Compressors and Limiters reduce Dynamic Range, while Expander and Gates increase it. Compression is probably the most-used type of dynamics processing, but all can come in handy. Let’s take a look at how they work.
A Compressor reduces Dynamic Range, bringing the levels of the loudest parts (of an audio wave), and the quietest, closer together. It does this by reducing the level of the loudest bits, and then raising the overall level to compensate for any drop in average volume. A level Threshold is set, and any sound above that is reduced in gain (level). How much gain reduction is applied is determined by a Ratio control—typical settings might range from 2:1, to 4:1, up to 10:1 or higher. When a louder audio signal exceeds the Threshold by a certain number of dB, it’s reduced in level so it exceeds it by fewer dB, based on the Ratio. So, with a 4:1 Ratio, audio that goes 4 dB above Threshold will be reduced enough so that it only goes 1 dB above Threshold. Higher Ratios mean more gain reduction, and a narrower dynamic range. Ratios above 10:1 or 20:1 practically limit levels to the Threshold, for more extreme compression, and this extreme compression is called, naturally, Limiting.
An Expander works like a Compressor in reverse. Once again, there’s a level Threshold, and parts of the audio wave that cross that Threshold are reduced in level (gain). But this time, it’s the already-softer sounds belowthe Threshold that are further pushed down in level. So the difference between the (untouched) louder bits, and the gain-reduced softer bits is widened, for an increase in, or Expansion of, dynamic range. The softer sounds are again reduced according to a set Ratio. If the Ratio is preset to maximum, and the amount of gain reduction applied is so great that those softer sounds are reduced to the point where they’re inaudible, then they’re said to be Gated out, and that Expander is referred to as a Gate, or Noise Gate (so, just as limiting is a more extreme form of compression, gating is a more extreme form of expansion).
Noise Gates are often used to remove unwanted low-level sounds in a track, like leakage from other sounds in the recording room or from the musician’s headphone mix, or noises like buzzes or crackles that are drowned out by the main signal when it’s present, but become audible when it stops momentarily (note that a Noise Gate can’t remove unwanted sound that’s audible under (along with) the main signal—you’d need a different kind of processor for that). With some sounds, like breaths in a vocal track, it might be better to reduce them in level but not remove them (gate them out) completely, so gentler Expansion settings (less gain reduction) might be used instead. There are plenty of other applications for Expanders & Gates, including some creative tricks, but since my space is limited, I’m going to move on to the most widely used type of Dynamics processing, Compression.
Compression was originally invented to control the dynamics of music with a wide dynamic range, so it would fit in the available media. To make the dynamics of a full orchestra recording fit in the narrower range of tape or vinyl, compression was applied, hopefully reducing the dynamic range sufficiently, without detracting from the musical impact and excitement too much. Likewise, radio stations used limiting to keep sudden level jumps from exceeding broadcast level limits, which would incur a fine from the FCC. Music engineers adopted compression to control uneven dynamics in individual tracks in a multitrack mix, and they soon realized that compression could be employed more creatively, as well, to manipulate micro dynamics, like drum transients, re-shaping the attacks and decays of notes, for a bigger, fatter sound. And mixers and mastering engineers began to apply compressors and (specialty digital) limiters more aggressively to overall/finished mixes, to keep the average level...
Dynamics processors in general, and Compressors in particular, with their interactive controls (I barely touched on operation) are among the most difficult tools to thoroughly master, but the results are well worth the time and effort it may take to really get a handle on them.
Audio – In its broadest sense, audio is the range of frequencies we humans can hear with our ears. In the technical sense, audio refers to the transmission, recording or reproduction of sound, whether digitally, electrically or acoustically.
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