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Audio Mastering tips - Audio Mastering Facts - Mixing tips and Facts

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Tips On Recording A Choir

Included in this section are some of my tips that I want to share with you on recording a choir.

Planning Ahead: Make sure you have enough music stands and when you get a lot of people in one area, the environment will heat up quickly, so turn down your A/C so the choir singers do not get uncomfortable. You want them as comfortable as possible. You also should have a lot of bottled water for them. The water should be kept at room temperature. Its better for them, then cold water.

Monitoring: If the music is pre-recorded, an FM transmitter can be fed by your headphone mix and then this is fed to your FM transmitter. The choir would plug their headphones into their portable radio and dial into the correct frequency. I think this is the cheapest way to have a large group of people hear a pre-recorded mix. It cost between $100 and $200. All you need to do is ask each choir member to bring their own portable FM radio.

Arranging Your Singers:You should separate the altos, sopranos, tenors and basses into separate sections and then spread them out left to right. If the choir has a conductor, it will be his job to position the choir members

Mic Placement:The most important and hardest thing is having your mics at equal distance from each other. Microphone placement is crucial as you don't want to hear one voice more than the others. You want to hear the choir as one.

These are the 3 most popular stereo mic techniques for recording a choir. Choir should be in a U shaped or half moon shaped circle for these techniques.

  • ORTF Stereo - This uses  2 direction microphones, that point away form each other. It makes a wide V shape
  • XY Stereo - This uses 2 directional microphones angled at 90 degrees with one capsule over the other
  • Spaced Omni Stereo -This uses 2 omnidirectional microphones spaced far apart.. This is for larger groups

For a 3 or 4 mic set up, you can place mics evenly across the front of the choir. This shouldn't be used if the choir is in a semi circle.

Now that you have your microphones positioned and your singers in place, the next step is to balance the group.

Usually one section will be louder than the other section and in most cases the choir will even it out themselves. If it can't be fixed on their own, then you may need to move some singers around until the situation s fixed.

Do Your Sound Checks - Make sure there is a careful balance of choir. It should sound as one.


What Is An Audio Flanger ?

How did flanging get its name? Well, in the 1960's, audio engineers learned when they recorded the same exact sound on two different tape machines and played them at the same time, one would slightly delay to the other. These two audio sounds would react with each other and cause frequency cancellations between the both of them.

Flanging occurs when delay times go into the millisecond range that is in the single digits. One way to describe flanging is to say its like a whooshing sound or a sound a jet airplane makes. The sound it makes is a kind of filtering or resonance that moves audibly up or down in frequency. The way it moves depends on what's going on with the modulation.

Let's say a sound source is delayed by 6 milliseconds and then you combine that with the source sound, especially when feedback is added, some frequencies cancel each other out. This will result in a pattern of peaks and valleys across the frequency spectrum. When you apply modulation, the delay time can either shorten or lengthen and in return the patterns of the peaks and valleys will shift up or down.

The shifting you hear is the flanging you hear. As the delay times shorted, the flanging will appear to go up and when they lengthen, the flanging can seem to go down.

By touching the flange on one of the tape machines, this would make the machine slow down, hence causing the delay to change in one direction and this will also change the way the sound reacts with one another. This technique is considered true flanging, because it allows 2 sounds to cross in time.

Flanging is a kind of spacial effect that has a distinctive sound. This sound can be so bold, that’s its easily over used. If you where to record a 12 song album or CD, you should only use the flanger in one or maybe 2 songs. Anymore than that and its overkill.


How To Export Your Sonar

Exporting For Mastering Only:

After you have recorded, edited, and mixed your song, your need to export it at its original bit depth and sample rate.

  1. Press CTL-A: This selects all tracks and clips in your project.
  2. Selecting CTL-A should highlight your time-line, but if you want to only export part of the project, you go to the time ruler with your mouse and left click and drag all the area's you want exported.
  3. Then you select File / Export / Audio. (continues below)

Exporting For Mixing Only:

  1. Select one track at a time. You can do this by clicking the upper left corner of the track or you can solo the track.
  2. Now select the time-line line. You should export each track form  measure 1, beat 1. You can do this by hovering your mouse over the time-line and dragging it in the time-line you want to include in the export. This ensures that when I import them, they will all line up.
  3. Then you select File / Export / Audio. (continue below)

Continued For Both Mixing And Mastering

Now your export window will come up.

  1. In the look in drop down box, you define the export location to the spot you want your exported file to go.
  2. For the file Name, you type the name you want.
  3. For File type, you select wave
  4. For the Source Category, you should select Main Outs
  5. The channel Format should be Stereo
  6. The Sample Rate should be at the original at which you recorded the project at
  7. The Bit Depth should be 24
  8. The Dithering should be unchecked. Do not dither
  9. Make sure all your appropriate boxes are checked. Especially the 64bit engine and Fast bounce. (Some non-native synths may not like fast bounce. If you run into one of them, just disable fast bounce and it will export)
  10. When you’re done with all of the above, press export.

I have a folder made on my audio drive that’s labeled Sonar Exports. This is where I export all my projects. You should think about doing the same


How To Burn To CD Using Sonar (Versions 6 to 8.5)

Sonar has a CD burning program in it and this is what I will explain. You can also use other programs if you like, since this isn't going to burn your cd to red book specifications

After you exported your audio to CD burning specs - 16bit / 44100, it time to burn your song or album to CD.

  • Click Tools / Audio CD and a CD burner menu will appear.
  • Click Add Track and navigate to the folder location of your export and double click it. This will add your track to the burn que.
  • You can now insert a CD into your CD/DVD drive and wait until sonar reads it
  • Then select Burn CD                                                                                                Back to top


How To Get Your CD text To Display The CD Info On Your PC ?

We embed the CD info such as band and artist names, along with album and track titles into your master CD. This is known as CD Text.

You need special players that are compatible in order to display the CD text. These compatible players include, many of the new car stereo systems, the newer potable CD players and some other professional hi fi players.

In order for your PC to display this CD Text, you need to submit it to the Online CD Data Bases. (the people who developed the computer software screwed up and this is why it doesn't automatically show the CD Text.).

These online data bases include:

  • Gracenote - this is what iTunes and a few other programs use
  • AMG Lasso - this is what Windows Media Player uses
  • Freedb - a number of other programs use
  • and MusicBrainz - a number of other programs use

Websites for the online data bases

  • Gracenote -
  • AMG Lasso -
  • Freedb -
  • Musicbrainz -


Creating a Stereo Image...

 To create an unbelievable stereo image, the sound stage needs to be wide and the mix has to sound good in mono. This is one of the hardest things to do. That said the stereo spread should not be so wide that the image is unrealistic. The best way is to try to place each instrument as you would hear them play live onstage from the view of the audience. For example panning instruments hard left and hard right. This goes especially for guitars and drum toms.

Another way is to pan them form the drummer's point of view. The kick drum would be dead center, right in the middle of the mix. The snare drum would be left of center and the hi-hat will be placed slightly to the left of the snare drum. You would place the toms and cymbals exactly how they would appear on the drum set. Then the guitars would be panned at around 10 and 2 o'clock and the vocals and bass would be right up the middle. The back-ground vocals would be placed just right of center. With this way, you have all your important information in the center and in mono and your supporting cast would be on the outside. Just remember, this is not the only way to do it, as the stage can hold a wide variety of musicians that are playing instruments.

There are no set rules, just like everything else in mixing. So regardless of where you place each instrument, its very important to maintain an accurate representation of all the instruments. Just keep in mind that when you pan instruments hard left and hard right, you can introduce phasing problems when the mix is played in mono or pseudo stereo.


How To Export In Audacity

Exporting in Audacity:                                                                                       Back to top

  1. Name all your tracks.
  2. Then select "Export Multiple" from the File pull-down menu.
  3. Now set export format to WAV. This split files based on Tracks and Name the files using label/track name.


How To Export In Cubase

1. First you want to choose which files you are exporting to 1 file. If you are exporting the whole Mix to a stereo mix then make sure there are no tracks on solo or mute (unless they are meant to be of course).
If you are exporting each track separately for Mixing then start by soloing the first track in your session.

2. Then you need to set your locator's to the start and end of the song.
You want to have the start locator always at the same point for each track. This means that when the Mixing Engineer imports the tracks into his software program then the tracks all line up and play in time.

3.To set the start locator click the time line at the point you want the tracks to start at. (For example if the song starts at 3 seconds, then you want to click at 2 seconds in the time line). Then hold CTL and push number 1 on the numeric keypad. To set the end locator click the time line at the point the track ends making sure you are not cutting off any of the audio at all. Then hold CTL and push number 2 on the numeric keypad.


4. Go to - File,
              - Export,
              - Audio Mix down
Then choose your file destination that you want to save the export to.
For example C:\Desktop
Choose a file name for example: (Name of song)

5. Make sure the channel selection is on Stereo out.

6. Then for file format choose Wave file (if the original file is a .Wav) or choose AIFF file (if the original file is a .AIFF). If you want to export the file as a mono file then simply click the box that says mono.

7. Then for the audio engine output (Choose the original sample rate).
And choose 24bit depth (if that is what the original bit depth is)

**To find out the files original bit depth and sample rate click on the audio file in the edit window and then - Audio - Statistics**
8. Finally click export


How To Export in Digital Performer

How To Export For Mixing                                                                                                 Back to top

1. Put a piece of audio at 0:00:00.000 on every track.

2. Select all the audio in all the tracks, and be sure.

3. Select Merge Soundbites from the Audio pull-down menu.

Note that this will create new files, which can be retrieved from the Audio Files folder. Just sort the files by Date Created so that they are grouped together.

Alternatively, after merging the soundbites, you could go into the Soundbites Palette and select the merged tracks to be exported, then choose "Export Soundbites" from the palette's mini-menu. This will bring up a dialog from which you can select the desired format, resolution, and destination. Remember to export them as 24-bit Wave or AIFF files.


How To Export In FL Studio

For Mastering: (Single stereo wave file)
Go to File (Upper Left corner)
Then Export
Then Choose Wav File
Save to your Destination Folder
Choose Re-sampling (512 Point Sync)
Click Start
For Mixing:
In your Step Sequencer, each channel has a little green button (Mute/Solo).
Right Click on one of the green buttons, Click Solo, Then do the steps added above. Do this for each channel in the step sequencer.
If you are using the mixer exclusively, use the Green buttons in the mixer, Right click on the green button on insert 1, it will automatically solo it. Then Export using the steps above. Do this for each channel.


How To Export In Fruity Loops

For Mixing: (exporting individual tracks for mixing)

1. Split all the instruments or sounds onto their own mixer channels.

2. Name each channel according to the sound it's playing back.

3. Put the file in SONG MODE.

4. Clear any region set in the play-list.

5. From the File menu, select "Export"

6. Ensure "Split Mixer Tracks" selected, and export as wav or aiff files.

Naming the base file "[the name of your song]" will help to organize the exported files by grouping them by your song's title. For example, the Drums track would be called "[the name of your song] Drums", the Bass would be called "[the name of your song] Bass, etc.


How To Export In Garage Band

For Mixing: (exporting individual tracks for mixing)

1. Solo the first track, and select "Export Song to Disk" from the Share pull-down menu.

2. In the subsequent dialog box, make sure that the Compress box is left unchecked, click Export, and name the file according to the solo track's contents.

3. Solo the second track, and select "Export Song to Disk" from the Share pull-down menu.

4. In the subsequent dialog box, make sure that the Compress box is left unchecked, click Export, and name the file according to the solo track's contents.

5. Repeat the steps for the remaining tracks.

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