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Typical Recording Signal Flow

A brief presentation on the process of a typical recording signal flow.


on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of Typical Recording Signal Flow

Typical Recording Signal Flow
by Reuben Dayal
Typical Recording Signal Flow
(Input Transducer)

Audio Interface
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
on a Mac/PC

The digital signal is carried by the USB cable to the Computer (Mac/PC) for recording in the DAW.
Studio Monitors
Studio Headphones
XLR CABLE for a (Balanced Signal)
Consists of 2 Semi Conductor wires and a shield, therefore provides a balanced signal flow.
Standard Connection Procedure
Standard Disconnection Procedure
Turn Off Studio Monitors.
Guitar Pickups convert the String Vibrations into Voltage Variations and transmit the audio signal through a TS Cable to the Audio Interface.
Mic acts as a Input Transducer and converts Pressure variations in air to Voltage Variations
and transmits the audio signal through an XLR Cable to the Audio Interface.
Receives Mic input via an XLR cable or an Instrument input via a TS cable.
The built in Pre-Amplifier amplifies the input level or attenuates it to the Line level.
The Line level can further be adjusted to a suitable level by cranking up the gain knob.
Acts as a A to D converter and converts the analog signal to a Digital Signal (Binary - 101110...) which can also be described as Samples and transmits to the Computer for recording.
Audio to Line level Converter
A to D - Analog to Digital Converter
TS Cable
(Imbalanced Signal)
Consists of one Semi Conductor wire and one shield, therefore provides an imbalanced signal flow.
The output from the Computer is carried by the USB cable back to the Audio Interface
D to A Converter - Digital to Analog Converter
Transmits signal to Headphones/Monitor Speakers.
Digital Audio Interface
*Line level is the standard strength of Voltage Variations to transmit audio signals in devices.
*Gain Stage - Set gain to line level by raising it on the input signal. Its good to ask the Artist/Singer to perform at the loudest note or level as they would during that bit of the recording. This way you can set the gain stage appropriately.
*While Monitoring: look at the meter on the device (Audio Interface) to check the signal level and ensure the same never goes beyond the orange/3/4th of the meter.
*Its always advisable to keep the gain level low before starting to record as most Artists/Singers tend to get louder.
*Keep a check on the interface's meter to ensure the signal doesn't clip/goes beyond orange level. In some cases the meter may be a single color. In such a case ensure the signal doesn't go beyond 3/4th the level.
* Keep the gain level low when beginning to record as the Artist/Singer generally tends to perform louder during the actual recording.
*Move the mouse over to the Computer image screen to view control options and click the play button to play a video of the sample recording track through a mic.
Recommended Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Software
Pro Tools
Logic Pro
Ableton Live
Digital Performer
FL Studio
Studio One
Acid Pro
Studio One Free
Podium Free
Hi All, 
I am Reuben. I'm from India and presently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. I'm a self taught Guitarist, Vocalist and a Music Composer.
In this lesson I would like to take you through the concept of 'Typical Recording Signal Flow'.
The Computer receives the binary signal/samples and records it on the computer's memory using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software.
After processing the input signal from the Audio Interface the computer returns the same to the interface as an output signal for monitoring audio.

Samson Q7 Dynamic Mic

XLR & TS Cables

M-Track II M-Audio Interface and USB cord

Logic Pro 9 running on MacBook Pro

Beyerdynamic DT 990
Gear used in this lesson
Tips & Tricks (Optional)
Output Transducers
Thank You for your time
I hope this lesson has been informative.
Please leave me your valuable feedback.
Turn Off Studio Monitors.
Turn down the Input Gain.
Turn Phantom Power Off
(If using Condenser Mic)
Connect the Mic via an XLR or
Electric Guitar via a TS cable.
Connect to the Audio Interface.
Turn Phantom Power On
(If using Condenser Mic)
Turn On Studio Monitors
Set Gain Stage.
Turn down the Input Gain.
Turn Phantom Power Off
(if using a Condenser Mic)
Disconnect the Mic via an XLR or
Electric Guitar via a TS cable.
Follow the above procedure to avoid loud clicks/feedback that can potentially be harmful for you and your monitor speakers.
Disconnect Audio Interface
Free DAW Options
Tip - While monitoring a recording or mixing tracks always be conscious of using only flat response studio monitors or headphones. Commercial audio speakers/headphones are built to enhance sound, thus can result in coloring the sound you hear which can result in your mix sounding not so good.
Audio Interface/Recording
Mixing/Recording Tips
Audio Interface/Recording
Full transcript