Buying Pro Audio Equipment
Advice on Buying Pro Audio Equipment
Professional sound recording, nowadays, is a multi-faceted, and multi-platform, operation. Live audio can be recorded via a microphone, electronically, or via MIDI ("Musical Instrument Digital Interface"), controlled by standalone equipment, or a computer, plus a vast array of processors, controllers, etc. A basic knowledge of the types of audio equipment available, and what to look for in each type, can therefore help to focus your attention on the components that can provide you with the control, and ease of use, that you require.
Your first task, of course, is to capture the sound of the human voice, or musical instruments. Microphones can essentially be divided into "dynamic" microphones, which employ a diaphragm and coil vibrating in a magnetic field to induce a voltage in that coil, and "condenser" microphones, which employ two thin metal plates separated by an air gap, or a resistive material, instead.
Dynamic microphones are typically better for use with vocalists, or in close proximity to musical instruments, while condenser microphones are often used for acoustic, stringed instruments, such as guitars or violins. Another possibility, of course, with electronic instruments, is a MIDI interface; this allows suitable instruments, or a keyboard , to communicate directly with a computer during a performance.
Professional audio mixers can be use to adjust the intensity, or amplitude, of the high, mid and low range sounds to achieve the overall effect that you require. You should, of course, make sure that your chosen mixer has sufficient channels, and line, in and line-out connections, to accommodate all of the audio tracks that you wish to lay down.
When it comes to reproducing audio, you’ll be looking at amplifiers and loudspeakers. The output power of these devices may be expressed as RMS, or "Root Mean Square", output – which is the best reflection of the capability of an amplifier, or loudspeaker, over a protracted period – or as "Peak", or "Burst", output. This latter figure is based on a theoretical, instantaneous, maximum output under ideal conditions, and is significantly less reliable as a measure of quality.
Many loudspeakers, nowadays, are what is known as "actively controlled"; in other words, they monitor amplifier output, via electronic processors, and adjust input accordingly. Wireless speaker systems, too – which rely on a RF ("Radio Frequency") transmitter and receiver to send audio signals through the air – are becoming increasingly popular. If your looking for new wireless speaker systems, why not check out 3wisemonkeys.co.uk – a reputable and established UK electronics retailer and experts in pro audio equipment .