Music Tech - A2 Edexcel - Day 1

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What is the Input Mix? (Engineer)
A chance to check all inputs are functioning and at the intended level.
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What is the Cue Mix? (Musicians)
These sounds aren't recorded. They are produced to enable the performer to follow the music for overdubs and to give them confidence.
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What is the Recording Mix?
It is the sound that is sent to the recording machine. All the tracks will be sent at a maximum level to ensure a good signal to noise ratio. A recording mix may be checked visually; observing the meters.
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How do Audio Amplifiers work?
They take the low level power output of mixing desks, or electronic instruments, and bring it up to a suitable level for driving loudspeakers.
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Why is the power supply a key process to Amplifiers?
It changes the power from alternating current to direct current. It also ensures that the current is even and uninterrupted.
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What is a Pre-Amplifier?
Part of the circuitry of an audio amplifier. However, they can be separate units or built into a mixing desk or hardware digital recorder.
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What is a Power Amplifier?
This is the term usually used to described the amp at the heart of the studio monitoring system. It has very few controls on its fascia as the shaping of the sound would be carried out by the outboard effects units ore the mixing desk.
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What is an Active Speaker?
Field Monitor Speakers are often active as they have an amplifier built in. The advantage of using Active Speakers is that the speakers are perfectly matched to the built-in amps, unlike passive speakers that might be the wrong power or impedance.
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What are the Features of an Active Speaker?
They usually have a feature on the back for room acoustics, together with output level, power-on sensors and balanced or unbalanced inputs.
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What is a Hi-fi Amplifier?
Domestic stereo systems would use an amplifier to which playback equipment is fed. They feature an input select switch and treble, middle and bass controls with its own headphone output. Not found in recording studio's.
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What is a Valve / Transistor Amplifier?
Vacuum Tube/Valve amps were first portable models to appear in 1930's with built in power supplies. In 1970's cheaper, more conventional transistor amps were born. Many engineers prefer the warmer sound of the earlier tube amps and are still made.
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How do Speakers Work Part 1?
The amplified electrical signals reach the coil and magnetic assembly in a speaker driver.
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How do Speakers Work Part 2?
This causes the cone that is attatched (but flexibly suspended in the speaker basket or cradle) to move back and forth, copying the wave form that has been sent to it. This produces variations in air pressure that the human ear can detect.
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What does a Loudspeaker Enclosures often include?
Depending on the frequency range, a Loudspeaker can include Woofers, Tweeters and Midrange.
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What is a Woofer?
The largest size designed to handle the bass frequencies.
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What is a Tweeter?
Small size for the upper frequencies.
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What is a Midrange?
For the Middle Frequencies; less common then Woofer or Tweeters.
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What breaks up the incoming signal into different bands depending on their frequency?
A small electric unit called the crossover breaks up incoming signal into different bands depending on the frequency.
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Speaker Enclosures 1:
Some speaker enclosures are not sealed. These have small openings "Ports" that allow sound produced behind the speaker cones to be redirected, to reinforce the vibrations the front.
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Speaker Enclosures 2:
One common type is known as the Bass Reflex Speaker. Although these petted speakers use energy more efficiently, their sound is less precise then the enclosed versions.
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What is Microphone:
Microphones capture live sound for recording or sound reinforcement. They can be used on Balanced or Unbalanced circuits.
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Balanced Circuits in Microphones:
Balanced Circuits are less prone to interference and are preferable.
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Unbalanced Circuits in Microphones:
Unbalanced Microphones can conveniently be used at line level and generally employ a cable ending with a standard jack lead.
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Electrical Signals in Microphones:
The levels of electrical signals produced by mic's are very low, particularly with balanced lines, and will require a pre-amp to boost the signal to a useful line level.
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Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional (Full Circle Diagram)
Picks up signals from all directions. Sometimes used to capture room acoustics. Is not used for sound reinforcement as its likely to cause feedback. No bass boost when used up close (no proximity effect.) Not focused so picks up general sound.
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Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (Rounded Heart Shape)
Goot at rejecting sounds from rear for separation between tracks. Good rejection of room acoustics and background noise. Bass Boost used when up close (Proximity Effect.) Has various polar patterns: Shown on Next 2 Cards.
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Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Rounded Heart Shape)
Has a broad angle pickup in the front of the microphone, but very little pick up from behind.
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Polar Pattern: Supercardioid (Squid-ward)
More isolation then Cardioid and is good for Stage floor Mic'ing.
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Polar Pattern: Hypercardioid (Squid-ward)
Maximum side rejection. Used for more focused front sensitivity.
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Polar Pattern: Bidirectional (Figure Of Eight)
Picks up from Front and Back but not from Side. Used for backing singers and overhead orchestral sections. Found in Ribbon Microphones.
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What Is a Dynamic Microphone?
Straightforward and Robust. Moving coil reacts to changes in Sound Pressure Levels. SPL's are detected by a magnet; a fluctuating current is produced through electromagnetism. Cardioid polar response pattern. Can handle loud sounds well.
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What is a Dynamic Microphone Used for?
On stage for Vocals. Amplification recordings for guitar Amplifiers.
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What is a Condenser Microphone?
Uses low voltage for power. Very sensitive. Often has Low Frequency Cutoff switch which reduces proximity effect. More fragile then Dynamic mix's. Requires battery power or a low voltage feed (Phantom Power.) Picks up wide range of frequencies.
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What is a Condenser Microphone used for?
Recording quiet sounds (Lead vocals where large diaphragm is used.) Mounted in Shock Mount to avoid picking up vibrations. Used for bright sounds of Acoustic Instruments. High-End models are very expensive.
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What is an Electret Microphone?
Ferro-`electric material material used contains a permanent charge. Very small and affordable.
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What is an Electret Microphone used for?
Mass produced and installed in computers, phones and portable devices. Some high end models are used in studios.
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What is a Stereo Microphone?
Two directional microphone capsules in a signal housing. Single-Point recording cuts out phasing shift, therefor recordings are highly mono-compatable (important for radio broadcasting.)
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What is a Stereo Microphone used for?
Useful as an approach to recording large groups. Convenient for portable recording devices.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is the Cue Mix? (Musicians)


These sounds aren't recorded. They are produced to enable the performer to follow the music for overdubs and to give them confidence.

Card 3


What is the Recording Mix?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How do Audio Amplifiers work?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Why is the power supply a key process to Amplifiers?


Preview of the front of card 5
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