The recording studio - Outline of a recording studio

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A recording studio gathers a wide range of sophisticated equipment aimed at creating music. Here we'll find all we need to record sounds, manipulate them as we wish, and finally blend them together. The following outline should be taken as a possible standard configuration to refer to as a theoretical reference; every studio has its own characteristics and its own equipment which has been chosen out of personal taste and the kind of results one hopes to obtain.

The following diagram shows the outline of a recording studio

The recording studio - General outline of a recording studio

General outline of a recording studio

We will refer to this diagram throughout the entire section.

The first thing we notice is that there are two rooms: a recording room (where the recordings of sounds takes place) and a control room (where the sounds are handled and manipulated). The recording room will have acoustics [Criteria for designing a recording studio ] which enrich the sounds being produced. During recording, the musicians are arranged in the most ideal positions in terms of acoustics, decided by the sound engineer depending on the result he wishes to obtain. The recording room has a series of plugs (point B in the studio outline) transporting all the sound signals to and from the control room. A set of plugs in a recording room could be as follows:

The recording studio - Connections


The first row of plugs consists in a series of XLR [XLR ] female connectors plugged to the microphone inputs of the mixer (we have considered 24 input-channels). In the second row we have 1/4" mono jack connectors [TRS jack 1/4" ] plugged to the mixer's line-inputs. Then we'd have two plugs per headphone, since that the mixer can create two independent mixes for the musicians (for example one mix for the drummer who especially needs to hear the bass, and one for all the other musicians in which the drums and bass are kept at a low volume so that the melodies are more prominent). Sometimes MIDI connections are also present [The Midi Protocol ] allowing the instruments to be controlled by this protocol directly from the control room.

Let's now take a look at the various facilities present in a control room.


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