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A professional audio setup lets you record and produce music
To get it right, you'll need to know how to buy the right components
* Signal paths: more channels mean more instruments.
* Home studio: 2-channel mixer; professional audio,16 or more channels.
* Get more I/O slots than the number of studio components you plan to use.
* Some speakers require mixers to power them.
* Unless you use separate effects units, in-built effects are useful
* Built-in effects mean your overall setup is portable
* On a live setup, portability and ruggedness become factors
* Dynamic mikes: reliable, versatile function.
* Condensers: better quality, but require power.
* Ribbon mikes: better reproduction of high frequencies.
* Monodirectional mikes: sound from one direction; handy for live performers.
* Bidirectional mikes: pick sound from east & west, ignore north & south.
* Omnidirectional mikes: sound from all direction.
* Classified into cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and super-cardioid.
* The illustration depicts the 'zones' from where they each pick up sound.
* Frequency range of a mike dictates its purpose.
* 80Hz to 15Hz for voices; less than 30Hz for bass drums.
* Helps record intruments with more audio depth.
* Condenser mikes have more proximity effect than dynamic mikes.
* A range of 50Hz to 20kHz is adequate.
* More Important: the monitor needs to reproduce these frequencies without any distortion/coloring.
* Near field monitors: listen to sounds up close.
* Far and mid-field monitors: sound bounces off the walls in small studios.
* Powered (active) studio monitors have in-built amplifiers.
* Passive monitors need amplifiers; offer flexibility in choice of amp.
* Instrument cables connect instruments to preamps. carry a weak signal.
* Mike cables have XLR connectors; male on one end and female at other.
* Speaker cables are unbalanced and high-voltage; connectors include quarter-inch, MDP, and binding post.
* Unbalanced cables; used as instrument and patch cables (connecting nearby components); avoid long lengths to avoid interference.
* Balanced cables; used for mikes and DI boxes.
* TS and TRS cables; come in 1/8 and 1/4 inch configurations; TS also called 'guitar cables', TRS can handle simultaneous input & output.
* XLR connectors; commonly used on microphone cables.
* RCA cables; connect stereos or other consumer electronics into the PA.
* Banana Plugs: connect audio wires to amps and speakers; connections use locking screws to allow easy fixes.
* MIDI cables: don't transmit actually audio, but signal the note, velocity of attack, and how long the note is held. Can communicte controls to software.
* USB cables; have USB connector on one end, device specific connector on ther end
* Firewire Cables: higher transfer rates
* Thunderbolt: for connectivity to apple devices.
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Professional Audio Buying Guide
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