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http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/music-bookazines/the-ultimate-beginners-guide/

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  • EVERYTHING EXPLAINED INSIDE!

    Discover all you neeD

    Hardware & SOFTware

    TO mAkE YOuR fIRST TRAck TODAY!

    EVERYTHING EXPLAINED INSIDE!

    MAKE MUSIC NOW

    UltimateBeginners gUide

    tHe

    Get up to speed and in depth with the latest recording gear and software

    Discover the techniques the pros use to make todays smash hits

    Unleash your creativity and the hidden musical power that lies inside your computer Fr

    om the mak

    ers oF 7.99

    Pro TiPs TuTorials &recorDinG, MiXinG anD MasTerinG

    TEChNIqUES

    PaGeS164

    MaKe Music noW The ulTimaTe BeGiNNers Guide / C

    OMpUTEr MUSIC

    PLUs! INCLUDes exCLUsIve aUDIo & tUtorIaL FILe DoWNLoaDs

  • 21 SETTING UP All the things you need to put in place before you even think about pressing record. We show you how to be ready to deal with any recording situation

    32 ROOM ACOUSTICS The knowledge you need to turn your humble abode into an ideal recording environment

    36 HOME-GROWN SOUND How your home yields a surprisingly large number of distinctive acoustic spaces ideal for recording

    38 MICROPHONE ESSENTIALS Choosing the right mics can be a daunting task. Make an informed decision with our guidelines

    16 MONITOR SPEAKERS Youll be able to create much better mixes if your speakers give an accurate representation of the music that youre making

    18 MIDI CONTROLLERS If sitting at a computer feels a bit too much like work, add a MIDI controller and youll instantly feel like youre in the studio

    6 YOUR COMPUTER MUSIC SETUP How to use your computer as a creative powerhouse that can help you to make pro-quality music

    8 DAWS One bit of software is all you need to start making music on a computer, and its called a digital audio workstation

    10 SOFTWARE INSTRUMENTS You dont need loads of hardware keyboards and modules. These days, all of your sounds can be generated in software

    12 EFFECTS Whether you want to correct a problem or put icing on your musical cake, effects are essential

    14 AUDIO INTERFACES If you want to get quality sound into and out of your computer, an audio interface is an essential purchase

    4 / COMPUTER MUSIC / Month 2008

    Build a studio

    Get started

    contents

    MAKE MUSIC NOW

    ULTIMATEBEGINNERS GUIDE

    THE

    MAKE MUSIC NOW

    4 / THE ULTIMATE BEGINNERS GUIDE

  • 44 RECORDING ESSENTIALS Ensure that you capture your best performances with our step-by-step guide for the bedroom producer

    51 RECORDING GUITARS Capture your guitars best sounds and performances

    61 RECORDING DRUMS Discover how easy and effective recording a real drummer can be

    68 CLASSIC VOCAL SOUNDS We explore the techniques that will balance your vocals with your instruments to give them a classic, pro feel

    76 VOCAL TRICKS Modern pop records are awash with killer tricks to take your vocal performances up into the stratosphere

    85 THE GUIDE TO SYNTHS Meet the instrument thats as essential to music in this century as the electric guitar was in the last

    92 MAKING GREAT SOUNDS Time to find out how some of todays most popular sounds can be recreated

    105ANATOMY OF A SONG We break the song down into its individual sections and see what makes each one tick

    112 HOW TO USE SAMPLES Sampling has changed music more than any other technology. Find out how you can use it

    119 COMPING & EDITING Even with an experienced performer, the perfect take is rarely recorded in one shot

    126 MIXING Its time to balance every part of your recording for a professional-quality sound

    132 EFFECTS Effects processors play a significant role in professionally engineered recordings

    136 10 TELL TALE SIGNS Of an amateur mix. How to spot when you mix needs work PLUS all the tricks to bring your track back to life

    152 BEGINNERS FAQ Weve covered a lot of ground but you may have a few more questions that need answering

    157 50 PRO TIPS 50 nuggets of recording wisdom thatll give you plenty of ideas for taking your skills to whole new levels

    Recording

    Programming

    Arrangement

    Mixing & Mastering

    FAQs and tips

    THE ULTIMATE BEGINNERS GUIDE / 5

    162SUBSCRIBE! Take advantage of our special offer and get Computer Music delivered to your door

    contents / the ultimate beginners guide

  • Microphone essentialsWith so many different models available, choosing

    the right mics for your setup can be a daunting task. Make an informed decision using these guidelines

    Download this articles additional content here

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  • Microphones come in all shapes and sizes, and if youre a newcomer to recording, you

    may well wonder if theres really much difference from one to the next. Well, there is not only in the way they work, but in the way they sound. And fundamentally for anyone putting together a home recording setup, theres also a massive variation in how much they can cost.

    If your budget limits you to just one or two mics, it can be especially tough choosing the best one(s) to suit your needs. However, having a full understanding of how they actually work will put you in a much better position to make an informed choice.

    Here well take a whirlwind tour of the basics before delving into the science of microphones and how they work. Well highlight some of the classic models that have graced the mic cabinets of pro studios and the live rigs of famous artists over the years, then get down to some practical comparisons of the different types, complete with a mic listening demo in the download. By the end, you should have a good understanding of all the different factors youll need to consider when choosing microphones for your own setup.

    The basics From a practical perspective, some mics, typically condensers, need to be powered to work. These require either 48-volt phantom power or a separate power supply. Dynamic mics come in two types: ribbon, which are very fragile, and moving coil, which are extremely rugged.

    Mics also vary in what they actually hear, as determined by their pickup (aka polar) patterns. The main types are cardioid, which mainly pick up sounds arriving from the front; figure-8, which pick up equally from front and back; and

    omnidirectional, which pick up sounds arriving from all directions equally. There are variations on these basic types, such as super- and hyper-cardioid, and some mics offer a choice of multiple polar patterns that can be selected by the user.

    A microphones frequency response also needs to be taken into consideration. This can manifest itself in various ways for example, some mics are quite bright, others are ideal for low frequency sounds such as bass and kick drums, while others have a boost in the midrange

    that accentuates speech. Options such as low cut filters and level trims (called pads) are featured on some models.

    Now, if we just rewind a minute and factor in the massive variation in price again, its easy to understand why picking the one may seem like a daunting task. Bear in mind that budget mics can do a perfectly good job, and in many cases, costs are saved in the peripherals and trimmings rather than in the fundamentals.

    Mic design: the scienceThe microphone is an open node to the outside world, so its helpful to get a grasp of the inner

    workings of such a sensitive device. Gaining a basic understanding of how microphones function will make it clear why various types sound and behave the way they do. Itll also give you an idea of how youll need to handle them. Mics are precision

    (and sometimes delicate) items, so if you dont want to spend your cash getting them fixed all the time, listen up!

    DynamicOne of the most familiar microphone types is the moving coil dynamic. These work on the principle of electromagnetic induction. A small induction coil is attached to a movable diaphragm, and the whole mechanism sits in the magnetic field of a fixed magnet. Sound waves

    Valve mics can impart second harmonic distortion to a sound, giving a pleasant colouration

    High-end mic manufacturers publish diagrams showing the

    frequency response and precise polar patterns of

    individual mics this ones for Shures KSM32

    move the diaphragm, and this induces a current in the coil that can be extracted as an audio signal. The concept is simple enough that manufacturing good, robust mics is easy. The downside is that the physical nature of the design can actually compromise the frequency response, and the sensitivity is less than a typical condenser. This makes them less useful for quiet or distant sources.

    CondenserTraditionally more intricate and expensive than dynamic mics, the increasing availability of good affordable examples has made the condenser (or capacitor) mic the most common type available today. A flexible capsule diaphragm and rigid backplate make up the components of a parallel-plate capacitor. Changes in the distance between the two caused by sound vibrations produce changing capacitance and voltage, and the voltage can be extracted as an audio signal.

    This system relies on the plates being consistently charged, which requires some kind of powering. Typically this will be 48-volt phantom power sent down the mic cable from your mic preamp. However, if the mic includes a valve, a dedicated power supply will provide power for the valve and the plate charge.

    You may also encounter electret condenser mics. Here, a permanently charged material is used in a capsule akin to a traditional condenser. Although the capsule itself doesnt need power, the output electronics do, so the mic will probably require powering. Its common to find tiny versions of these in boundary