Recording Studio Technology
FEKT-BPC-STEAcad. year: 2019/2020
Relations between subjective and objective characteristics of sound and audio signal transfer in electrical systems. Mixing console: structure, channel strips, connection to buses, outputs, digital mixing desks, DJ mixers. Measurement and indication of the level, spectrum and envelope of audio signals. Audio effects: equalizers, dynamic processors, room simulation, guitar effects, phase vocoder, spectral processing. Digital audio signal processing, A/D and D/A conversion, dithering, digital audio interfaces. Digital audio recording, hard disc recording, non-destructive editing, sound cards. Computer digital audio workstations, plug-in technology. MIDI communication interface, devices, bus interconnection. Synchronization, relative and absolute time codes. Control of sound, light and stage equipment.
Learning outcomes of the course unit
After course completion, students are to:
- describe the structure of the mixing console, explain its operation and use it for recording or sound reinforcement,
- explain the principles of measurement of level and other parameters of analog and digital audio signals,
- describe the structure and operation principle of the basic types of audio effects, describe the type of transformation which occurs in them, and use them for audio processing,
- explain the principle of digital audio signal processing and transmission,
- explain the principle and structure of digital audio signal hard disc recording (HDR),
- describe the structure of various types of audio interfaces and structure of digital audio workstations (DAW),
- describe the structure of the MIDI protocol, enumerate the messages it uses, and use them for controlling studio equipment,
- describe the types of synchronization signal, choose the proper type of synchronization for a given system,
- describe the structure of the DMX512 protocol and use it for controlling light and stage equipment.
The knowledge of basic laws and quantities in electrical circuits is required as well as the knowledge of the characteristics of electric circuit elements, circuit behaviour with inertia elements, circuit topologies with operational amplifiers and their characteristics, periodical and non-periodical signal spectra, continuous- and discrete-time systems. The student who enrols on the course should be able to use instruments for the measurement of electrical voltage, current, and resonant frequency, waveform generators and oscilloscopes.
Recommended optional programme components
Recommended or required reading
SCHIMMEL, J. Studiová a hudební elektronika. Studiová a hudební elektronika. Brno, Vysoké učení technické v Brně. 2012. (158 p.). ISBN 978-80-214-4452-2.
Watkinson, J.: The Art of Digital Audio, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2001. ISBN 0-240-51587-0 (EN)
Zölzer, U.: DAFX - Digital Audio Effects (Second Edition). John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-470-66599-2. Zölzer, U.: DAFX - Digital Audio Effects (Second Edition). John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-470-66599-2. (EN)
Forró, D.: Počítače a hudba,Grada, Praha 1994 (CS)
Self, D.: Small Signal Audio Design. Focal Press, 2010, 556 s. ISBN 978-0-240-52177-0. (EN)
Forró, D.: MIDI - komunikace v hudbě. Grada, Praha 1993. (CS)
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
Teaching methods depend on the type of course unit as specified in article 7 of the BUT Rules for Studies and Examinations.
- Lectures provide the explanation of basic principles, subject methodology, examples of problems and their solutions.
- Laboratory exercises support practical mastering of themes presented in lectures. Active participation of students is required.
Participation at lectures is recommended. Participation at other ways of instruction is checked.
Course is taking advantage of e-learning (Moodle) system.
Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes
Evaluation of study results follows the Rules for Studies and Examinations of BUT and the Dean's Regulation complementing the Rules for Studies and Examinations of BUT. Up to 10 points are awarded for tests in theoretical knowledge in laboratory exercises. Up to 24 points are awarded for correct results and elaboration of all laboratory exercises and 6 points for submitting of project in software DAW. The minimal scope of the elaboration of particular laboratory exercises and complementary questions are specified by a regulation issued by the guarantor of the course and updated for every academic year. Up to 40 points are given for the final written examination and it is necessary to get at least 15 points for its successful completion. Up to 20 points are awarded for the final oral examination which consists of 10 groups of questions according to the course syllabus.
Language of instruction
1. Sound and audio signals, transfer and distribution of audio signal in electrical system.
2. Measurement and indication of audio signal properties: VU and PP meter, phase meter, pan meter, vectorcsope, display of spectrum, volume and envelope of audio signal.
3. Mixing desk: input circuits, equalizers, channel strip, buses, outputs, interfacing external equipment, Mute and Solo functions, talkback, level diagram, DJ mixer.
4. Digital audio signal processing and transfer: sampling, anti-aliasing LPF, quantization, sigma-delta converter, normalization, dithering, digital mixing desk.
5. Digital audio interfaces: time division multiplexing, point-to-point and network interfaces.
6. Analog and digital audio recording devices.
7. Digital audio signal recording: HDR systems, digital audio workstations, sound cards, audio signal editing.
8. Computer digital audio workstations: real-time audio processing, plug-in technology.
9. Audio effects 1: frequency filters, dynamic processors, delay-line effects.
10. Audio effects 2: modulation effects, spatial effects, room simulation, wave shapers, time compression and expansion, pitch shifting, spectral processing.
11. MIDI communication interface: principle, electrical interface, channelk and system messages, controlling studio equipment.
12. Synchronization of audio and video equipment: MIDI Clock, SMPTE/EBU and MTC sync codes.
13. Controlling audio, light and stage equipment: Sony 9-pin, DMX512, MMC and MSC protocols.
The aim of the course is to make students familiar with the operation principle and use of analog and digital audio equipment, computer digital audio workstations and their installation in sound studios.
Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences
It is obligatory to work through all laboratory exercises in regular or alternative terms to complete the course. Other forms of checked instruction are specified by a regulation issued by the guarantor of the course and updated for every academic year.