Archive for the ‘theory’ Category

Poorly programmed or dull drum fills are a sure sign of an inexperienced musician/producer. Read this good tutorial with examples and get your skills up to speed!

Creative EQ for drums

Posted: June 8, 2016 by TGASMrDunne in Recording, Techniques, theory
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Getting the drums to sound right can be challenging. AS and A2 students will find this article and the accompanying video very useful.

Pro Audio Essentials -Ear Training

Posted: May 12, 2016 by TGASMrDunne in Techniques, theory
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Attention AS and A2 students! You could do worse than visiting the iZotope Pro Audio Essentials ear training site to help prepare for your upcoming exams!

Chemical Brothers ‘GO’ – Analysis

Posted: April 19, 2016 by TGASMrDunne in Songs, Techniques, theory
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A quick and simple breakdown from Computer Music on the recent Chemical Brothers song ‘Go’. Useful for AS and A2 students looking for information on how to structure a song for maximum impact while maintaining the flow.

Justin Colletti discusses the various advantages and disadvantages of sample rates. Worth a read for the conclusions drawn, even if the science is sometimes difficult to follow!

The Science of Sample Rates (When Higher Is Better — And When It Isn’t)

Another excellent article from the Studiospares blog on different types of microphone, and the differences between a published frequency response chart and the actual performance of the mic. Useful for both AS and A2 students.



A good interview with a mastering engineer with some thoughts on the use of Master Bus compression. Some hands-on tips given too!


In simple terms, latency is the amount of time it takes for a signal to pass from the start of a system to the end. In pro audio terms, it is most commonly known as the time delay between playing a note on a midi controller keyboard, and sound coming out of your monitors, or the time taken between singing a note and hearing it through headphones.

Latency problems can severely affect your projects, so it is important to know how to manage or reduce it. The following factors can affect latency:

  • A/D Converter

Whether this is a sound card or external interface, the A/D converter will add some milliseconds to the signal chain. Speed and quality of conversion is key. Interfaces with a super fast rate will not necessarily also have great A/D conversion.

  • USB Bus

The signal is then sent through a USB cable. This also adds time….

  • Audio Driver (ASIO)

The signal is then accessed by the driver that links your audio software to hardware. ASIO is particularly good because it allows the audio stream to bypass the normal Windows based audio processing kernel (which is comparatively slow).

The process is then reversed to send the signal back to the D/A converter, and we hear sound from our output device. Audio software will typically only measure the latency of the ASIO driver stage, therefore a stated latency time of 2.9ms in reality could be closer to 22ms!



Many musicians like to adjust the settings of their audio drivers for different situations. For example, when recording, it is useful to have the lowest possible latency by reducing the buffer. When mixing, however, it can be useful to increase the buffer size to allow the software more time to process all data correctly, leading to less stuttering or fewer dropouts.

New Technology

Intel’s new Thunderbolt interfaces were designed to have very low latency, as the specification allows almost direct access to the CPU, reducing latency to as little as 3-6ms. Coupled with a huge data transfer rate, this spec could theoretically offer simultaneous transfer of thousands of channels of high quality audio! Thunderbolt also carries a lot of power, 10W, compared to the 4.5W of USB 3.0, which allows for more powerful pre-amps and hardware. All this doesn’t come cheap however, you can expect to fork out a lot more for a Thunderbolt powered interface!