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By Antonio Pelayo
A preamp is a type of amplifier specifically designed to amplify very weak signals before they are fed to subsequent gain stages or devices.
Preamps are commonly used to bring things like the output of the microphone up to a level were more equipment can work with the signal.
Preamps are called upon to deliver extremely high amount of gain while introducing very low amounts of noise and distortion.
Another device commonly used in recording studios and live production is a Direct Box(DI Unit, DI Box, DI).
DI is used to connect a high impedance line level unbalanced output to a low impedance microphone level balanced input.
DIs are used to connect an electric guitar, electric bass, or keyboard to a microphone input.
The DIs preforms level matching balancing and more to minimize noise, distortion, and ground loops.
Preamps are used to get a cleaner or higher quality recording.
Preamps only work with dynamic microphones because the phantom power is low.
The only way a condenser microphone would work with a preamp is if you had a condenser with a battery.
Facts about Microphones
The two most microphones are Dynamic and Condenser Microphones.
Condenser Mics are fairly, simple, and construction .
Condenser Mics work like a loud speaker does but in reverse.
Dynamic Mics are highly dependable, rugged, and reliable.
Modern Dynamic mics are mostly used for recording and life productions.
Condenser Mics contain electronics for it to function.
Condenser mics sound is much lighter then Dynamic Mics.
Audio Interface Studio Monitors and Headphones
An audio interface is a device that is designed to allow input and output of audio from personal computer running audio software.
You might find mic level audio inputs, Line level audio outputs or S/PDIF Digital inputs or outputs.
AES/EBU-Digital Inputs and outputs.
ADAT Optical- 8 Channel Digital inputs and outputs.
Studio monitor( Mute, dim,volume control, speaker switching).
Headphones outputs with Volume Control.
MIDI input and outputs.
Headphones allow you to hear what's going on in the studio.
Studio monitors might cost a lot of money or just enough money to buy it.
It is recommended to get a six inch speaker.
Music Production basically shows how music is produced and what famous music artist and what we are learning to use to make our music something that someone wants to listen to and not just a plain boring beat or to auto tune the singers voice if they really need it.
Cables and Connections
Polar Patterns & Proximity Effect
More facts about Microphones
Sense Condenser mics are lighter then respond much faster to vibrations and much more accurate
Because of the delicate and electronics Condenser are not as rugged or durable as Dynamic Mics
Phantom Power is a method of transmitting power through microphone cables to operate the electronic circuitry
On access is when the microphone is facing the sound source.
Off access is when the microphone isn’t facing the sound source.
An omnidirectional pattern formed microphone takes the records the same amount of volume from every direction.
A hypercardioid microphone mainly accepts sound from the front but has a very slim tunnel of sound acceptance from the back.
Shotgun microphones record a pattern accepts sound from the front, rejects sound extremely well from the sides and slightly accepts sound from the back.
Knowing the polar pattern of the microphone helps because you will know which one you need to use for whatever your recording.
Proximity effect in audio is an increase in bass or a low frequency response when a sound source is close to a microphone.
The proximity effect can help if you want to beef up the sound of the singer but if the singer is continuously changing distances from the microphone the bass levels will be everywhere.
Omnidirectional microphones do not have the proximity effect when recording.
A pop screen or pop filter protect the microphone from things like P’s and B’s.
Preamps & DIs
Connecting a microphone to a preamp requires a cable.
There are Balanced and unbalanced cables.
Balanced cables and connections are designed to reject external noise from radio and electromagnetic sources.
Balanced forces cables can be run long distances without picking up noise.
There are different connections like XLR connection which is used by a professional microphone.
The XLR connection is a style of electrical connector primarily found on professional audio, video, and stage lighting equipment.
The connecter is circular designed and have between 3 to 7 pins, pin 1 is ground, pin 2 is positive, and pin 3 is negative.
These pins also carry phantom power.
This connection has many names such as TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve), Phone Plug, Audio Plug, ¼ “ Cable.
RCA Connector sometimes called a phono connector is a type of electrical connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals.
The track mixer gives you options like a fader controls or routing system
It also has a mute button to make out a solo or to a different channel
You can plug in inputs or effects or different styles.
You can also use a physical reverb back in the old days.
There is track folders
You can record every instrument on a different track every time.
Track animation means that you can change the volume during anytime.
The volume will follow what ever that line does.
That is a very powerful tool when mixing all of those instruments together.
You can also adjust everything that has anything to adjust.
By Antonio Pelayo