See “Monaural,” “Monophonic.”
(Abbreviated “Mono”) 1) A single sound source or single-channel transmission (as opposed to stereo). 2) A melody line in which only one note at a time is played. 3) Describing an instrument or synthesizer setting that only plays one pitch (or “voice”) at a time. (See also “Voice.”)
See “Dynamic Microphone.”
A feature in some consoles in which fader changes can be pre-programmed to occur automatically during playback of a multitrack recording.
A small device that tests electrical voltage, current, and resistance. Multimeters are useful in recording studios for calibrating electrical systems and troubleshooting problems.
Refers to the ability of a synthesizer or module to play several different sounds, patches or “timbres” at once.
(Also called tracking or multitracking) The heartbeat of the recording studio, multitrack recording is process of recording a collective of sound sources onto separate tracks, each with its own audio channel, then combining the tracks to play back simultaneously. Recording can be done either one track or instrument at a time (to be combined later) or by recording the performers onto separate tracks as they play together live. These signals were originally recorded onto multitrack analog tape, but today they can also be recorded digitally as separate audio files into a digital audio workstation (DAW).
A piece/reel of magnetic tape which can be used to store two or more discrete signals in sync with each other.
A switch on a console or other piece of audio equipment that turns off the input or output, or a matching button on the virtual audio control space of a DAW. The individual channels on a console each have a mute switch that can cut the signal for that channel.
The standard unit in measuring the amount of magnetic strength on analog tape. A Weber is a unit of magnetic strength, but it is too large a unit to apply to the magnetism in tape recorders, so nanowebers is used instead. Nanowebers per meter of tape effectively describes the signal strength that is being recorded to tape.
Noise (random energy) that occurs over a limited frequency range.
The area between 1-5 feet from the sound source. Studio monitors are generally considered “near-field” speakers because they are meant to be listened to at close range. (See also “Far Field.”)
A stereo miking technique in which two microphones are placed near each other at an outward angle to create a stereo image (as opposed to “Coincident Miking” which angles the microphones toward each other). Common versions of near-coincident miking include DIN stereo (90-degree angle, 20cm apart), NOS stereo (90-degree angle, 30 cm apart) and ORTF (110-degree angle, 17 cm apart).
A portion of the output signal that is fed back to the input of an amplifier with its phase inverted from the original output signal. This has a dampening effect on the output, effectively cancelling out a portion of the volume.
Describes any unpleasant, objectionable or unintended sound frequencies present in the audio signal. All electronic equipment produces some type of noise, which may be described as a hiss or buzz that can be heard during quiet or otherwise silent passages. (See also “Noise Floor.”) Bad connections, improper grounding, radio interference and other issues can also cause introduce noise into the signal. Engineers may also deliberately run a noise signal through a sound system for testing purposes. (See also “White Noise, “Pink Noise.”)