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Recording Music With a Digital Recorder - A Few Features
By Michael Woerz
Recording music? Technology has come a long way. I would have scoffed 25 years ago if someone would have
told me what the recorders of the future would bring. Star Trek featured their "Communicators" and today
we have the Cell Phone. The old science fiction movies used to show a computer that took up a whole room.
Just think about how small they've become and what they are capable of doing now.
Recording music has also undergone drastic changes. The multi-track tape deck hooked to the mixer which was
hooked to the compressors, equalizers, effects units and amplification systems have now been miniaturized
into a small encasement and called a digital audio recorder. How do they cram so much into a small "box"?
I picked up my first digital recorder five years ago. It was a 16 track digital recorder made by the
Yamaha Corporation. I was overwhelmed by all the features I had to learn to use. Then I was amazed at
what that Baby could do. I started recording certain songs that were designated strictly for trying
out a certain feature of the recorder.
Some of the features that were immediately noticeable were: RTZ (return to zero) - With the old
multi-track reel decks, rewinding the tape to the beginning meant waiting quite a few seconds. With
return to zero, the song is instantly located back to the beginning-no waiting. Several location
points can be set, and with a push of the location buttons, one can instantly move from point to
point in a recording.
Virtual tracks - My recorder can play back 16 tracks at one time. That is like having 16 separate
recordings playing back at once. Each of the recordings could be a separate instrument that would
be in sync with the other tracks/instruments. Now, each track gives you the opportunity to make 8
separate recordings or takes. The tracks are listed as v1, v2, v3, etc, etc. so, I can make 8 recordings
for track 1, 8 recordings for track 2, and so on. The 8 recordings for each track can be looked at
as "Takes". So, out of the 8 takes for track #1 (let's say it's the guitar track) I can play back
the recording and listen to it with virtual track #1. Then listen to it again with virtual track #2,
and so on. Since I made 8 recordings on track #1 that were guitar, I can decide after listening,
which of the virtual tracks it is that I actually want to keep. Then, I can do this with the other
15 tracks, each with a different instrument.
Editing - This is a big subject and I'll cover only a few of the profound operations that can be
done on my machine. It's almost radical how far electronics have come in the field of music recording.
The editing capabilities are what blew me away the most. How about:
Taking track #1 and copying it to track # 16. Now I would have an "exact" duplicate of track #1 on
track # 16. I'd also have them both at my disposal to do with as I wish. Or,
I could take track #1 and move it to track # 16. This would leave track#1 blank and now it would
reside on track # 16. Or,
I could take a measured section of track #1 and reinsert it later on into a predetermined location
of the same track Or,
I could take a measured section of track#1 and insert it into a predetermined location of a totally
different track, such as track 3. Track #3 would play along until the location comes up, and then
the section taken from track 1 would sound off. Afterward, at the end of the insertion, the rest of
track #3 would finish playing.
I could take a section of any track and change the pitch to a higher or lower register.
I could take a section of a track that isn't in tune and fix it with a pitch fix.
I could erase a section of a given track. Or, I could delete a section of a given track. What's
the difference? When part of a track is erased, the amount of time remains and is heard as silence.
When a part of a track is deleted, the time is gone too, there is no silence because it goes right
into the rest of whatever was recorded initially. That track actually becomes shorter in length and
time. Where as, when it's erased, it is still the same length and amount of time.
The editing features enable a person to pull off things that are impossible, or nearly impossible
with tape. Editing has come a long way indeed. Editing can also be done with precision. An editing
function can be set down to 1/1000th of a second. This means that it is possible to get to a point
in the track recording in increments of a thousandth of a second. That is what is called "pin-point"accuracy.
I could get into the effects, compression and other neat functions, but I think I'll leave it at
this for now. Perhaps I'll go into these things in my next submission.
Mike Woerz is a musician/composer who also has a home studio for recording the music he writes.
He is also the Author of "A Perfect World" which is a CD of all original music he recorded and
released through cdbaby.com/mikewoerz
If you're interested in purchasing a CD or download, visit his web site at:
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Woerz
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