The process of blending two or more signals into one mixed signal. In summing audio, each successive channel adds volume to the overall signal, so channels must be mixed in order to prevent peaking the combined signal.
A very tight cardioid microphone pattern with maximum sensitivity on axis and the least amount of sensitivity approximately 150 degrees off-axis.
A technique of recording and playback in which the listener hears various aspects of the sound from front to back as well as side-to-side—a 360-degree audio image, as opposed to the standard stereo left-right image. Surround sound can occur in various formats with different numbers of speakers arrayed through the room. Surround sound today is most commonly used in film and TV production.
The third of the four stages of a sound (Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release, or the ADSR envelope), the sustain is the part of the sound that holds at approximately the same volume after the initial attack and drop in volume level (decay), until the sound stops playing. In some instruments, sustain is short or virtually nonexistent; in many instruments, sustain loses volume over time until the sound dies off (for example, in a held piano note). In synthesizers and samplers, the sustain function can be set to hold the note at the same volume level indefinitely until the key is released.
A vague term referring to the fine-tuning of audio in the post-production stage of recording. Effectively, any small “tweaks” to to make the audio sound better is considered sweetening.
A device that makes and/or breaks electrical connections.
A microphone having the capability of two or more pickup patterns, which can be toggled by use of a switch on the microphone.
Short for “Synchronization.” In audio/studio settings, sync refers to the correlating of two or more pieces of audio or video in relation to each other. This can include syncing two recording/playback devices timed to a sync signal like SMPTE Time Code, synchronizing audio with video in film or TV, and many other examples. Licensing a song or piece of music for placement in film, TV or video is also referred to as “syncing.”
A short tone (usually a sine wave at 1 kHz, and the length of a frame of film) that is placed exactly two seconds before the start of a piece of film or music. The sync pop is used to make sure that all related audio and video tracks stay in sync with each other through all stages of post-production.
A musical instrument that uses electrical oscillators to generate tones artificially, either to simulate the sounds of other instruments or to create other sounds not possible with other instruments.
A MIDI message that will only be recognized by a unit of a particular manufacturer.
In analog tape recording, a device on the recorder that measures and regulates tape speed by emitting pulses as the tape moves across the head.
A method of winding audio tape so that the end of the last recorded selection is at the outside of the reel.
The recording that is done between one start and stop of a tape recorder or DAW.
Writing down the takes of the tune being recorded on a take sheet or on the track log with comments. Take notation was/is recommended for analog tape recording, but in most studios, this function is now accomplished on the DAW.