Digital Recording, Music Technology and how we use the DAW and MIDI  ...


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An Introduction to Digital Recording, Digital Music Technology, using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and how we use MIDI to produce music tracks in the Studio

Today all professional audio recording is done digitally using a DAW and Digital Music Technology. Backing tracks can also be (and often are) produced in the studio using hardware and/or software synthesisers and samplers controlled by MIDI. Many think this is a black art! Although initially it can be confusing, using MIDI and the DAW to produce music tracks and to record real audio an instrument tracks is quite simple- but only if you know what you are doing. The problem is that beginners often don’t know where to start and don’t know what questions to ask or who to ask to learn how to produce music using MIDI and synthesisers and these are the problems this teaching module has been designed to address. There are several ways of entering music into the DAW, each with its own benefits and limitations, and there are various ways or recording real audio tracks. All these are covered in detail.

Beginners usually have no idea how to combine the synthesiser music they have produced with vocals or “real instrument” audio tracks recorded using a microphone and mix the two together to produce a CD and the various aspects of Music Technology can be very daunting at first. These issues are precisely what we cover for those wanting to learn about music production and recording. We start assuming you know nothing – the safest place to start - and in a structured way, build up your knowledge and experience at your pace to enable you to achieve what you want to achieve.

Below is a summary of some of the MIDI topics covered …
 

  • What is MIDI?
  • Who/what uses MIDI and why?
  • What information does it convey?
  • What Monophonic, Polyphonic and Multi-Timbrality mean
  • How does MIDI work with a digital synth
  • Ports, Patches, Banks & GENERAL MIDI
  • Synths or Samplers – what’s the difference
  • Sequencers – what they do and why we need them
  • PC-based sequencers and some software packages
  • Internal synths and the PC soundcard/codec
  • Connecting devices together using MIDI
  • Multiple MIDI Devices in series - Daisy Chaining
  • Learning about Banks and Patches
  • Putting a Band together on screen
  • Introducing CakeWalk’s Sonar software …
  • Setting up the Ports and Devices
  • Various options for getting your music into the DAW
  • Multiple MIDI set-ups – meet my “MOTU”
  • Using the Pennyland Music Studio set up to make music
  • How do we go about making recordings
  • Mixing and using various effects in the studio
  • How we use the DAW to pitch-correct out of tune singers
  • How to use the DAW to produce perfect vocal harmonies without anyone having to sing them
  • Producing a Master Mix on a DAT, CD or PC
  • Cleaning up the score and making it sound better
  • At last – you can now produce your own CD!

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