Recording Studio

by Paul Stanton - Date: 2010-10-04 - Word Count: 787 Share This!

A recording studio is a facility for sound recording and mixing. Ideally, the space is specifically planned by an acoustician to achieve the preferred acoustic properties. Different types of studios record bands and artists, voiceovers and music for television shows, movies, animations, and commercials, and/or even record a full orchestra. The typical recording studio consists of a room named the studio, where instrumentalists and vocalists perform; and the control room, which houses the equipment for recording, routing and changing the sound. Often, there will be smaller rooms called isolation booths present to accommodate noisy musical instruments such as drums or electric guitar, to stop these sounds from being audible to the microphones that are capturing the sounds from other musical instruments or vocalists.

Recording studios generally consist of three rooms: the studio itself, where the sound for the recording is made, the control room, where the sound from the studio is recorded and manipulated, and the machine room, where noisier equipment that may interfere with the recording process is reserved. Recording studios are carefully designed around the philosophy of room acoustics to make a set of spaces with the acoustical properties essential for recording sound with precision and exactness. This will consist of both room treatment (through the use of absorption and diffusion materials on the surfaces of the room, and also consideration of the physical dimensions of the room itself in order to make the room respond to sound in a desired way) and soundproofing (to give sonic isolation between the rooms). A recording studio might include additional rooms, such as a vocal boxes - a small room designed for voice recording, as well as one or more extra control rooms.

Equipment found in a recording studio commonly includes:

Mixing console, multitrack recorder, microphones,reference monitors,keyboards

Equipment may include:

Digital audio workstation, music workstation, on air / recording light, outboard effects, such as compressors, reverbs, or equalizers

General purpose computers have swiftly assumed a significant function in the recording process, being able to replace the mixing consoles, recorders, synthesizers, samplers and sound effects equipment. A computer thus outfitted is called a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. Standard audio-recording software includes FL Studio, Digidesign's Pro Tools-the industry standard for a large amount studios. Cubase and Nuendo both, MOTU Digital Performer-the standard for MIDI.

Todays software applications are more reliant on the audio recording hardware than the computer they are running on, therefore typical high-end computer hardware is less of a priority.

Project studios

A small, personal recording studio is sometimes called a project studio or home studio. Such studios often cater to bespoke needs of an individual artist, or are used as a non-commercial hobby. The first modern project studios came into being during the mid 80's, with the advent of reasonably priced multitrack recorders, synthesizers and microphones. The phenomenon has flourished with declining costs of MIDI equipment and accessories, as well as reasonably priced digital hard-disk recording products.

Recording drums and electric guitar in a home studio is challenging, because they are usually the loudest instruments. Conventional drums require sound isolation in this scenario, unlike electronic or sampled drums. Getting a genuine electric guitar amp sound together with power-tube distortion requires a power attenuator (either power-soak or power-supply based) or an isolation box. A convenient compromise is amp simulation, whether a modelling amp, preamp/processor, or software-based guitar amp simulator. Sometimes, musicians replace loud, inconvenient instruments such as drums, with keyboards, which today often provide somewhat realistic sampling.

An isolation box is a normal small area in a recording studio, which is both soundproofed to keep out external sounds and keep in the internal sounds and like all the other recording rooms in the sound industry it is designed for having a lesser amount of diffused reflections from walls to create a good quality sounding room. A drummer, vocalist, or guitar speaker cabinet, along with microphones, is acoustically secluded in the room. A professional recording studio has a control room, a large live room, and one or more small isolation boxes. All rooms are soundproofed such as with double-layer walls with dead space and insulation in-between the two walls, forming a room-within-a-room.

There are variations on a theme, including a portable standalone isolation box, a compact guitar speaker isolation cabinet, or a larger guitar speaker cabinet isolation box.

A gobo panel achieves the same idea to a much more moderate extent; for example, a drum kit that is too noisy in the live room or on stage can have acrylic glass see-through gobo panels sited about it to deflect the sound and keep it from bleeding into the other microphones, allowing more independent control of each instrument channel at the mixing board.

All rooms in a recording studio may have a reconfigurable combination of reflective and non-reflective surfaces, to control the amount of reverberation.

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