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High Fidelity

Posts about music and sound production.

Getting Started in Audio Production

The other day someone used the contact page, asking for some tips for someone getting started in audio. This particular person is planning to go to an audio engineering program. I’m certainly no expert, but there are a few things that I wish I’d known starting out. Here’s an edited and expanded version of my reply:

The best knowledge comes from experience. In fact, you should think of going into an engineerging program as “paying for experience” more than book-learning. I never learned audio engineering formally, but I learned by working as an “apprentice” of sorts (with Darren) at my college radio station, where I got exposure to all sorts of gear and had to think my way through unusual situations.

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Actually Obsolete Audio: Fun with an Otari 8-Track Reel-to-Reel

A lovely piece of aging technology, the Otari MX-5050 MKIII-8 is a 1/2-inch 8-track analog tape machine. It’s not as huge and glorious as some other models that are out there, but it’s also not nearly as expensive to operate. Which means, at current tape prices, about $2.40 per minute — whereas a 2″ 24-track machine (at 15ips) would cost about $7.50 per minute. Fortunately I happen to have a few reels of 1/2-inch tape to play with.

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iLok FAIL

A few years ago, I purchased a Muse Receptor for use with my band. I’d consider myself somewhat of an early atopter.. I was fortunate enough to have an idea for the band’s live setup (namely, a hardware box that ran software synths) that someone had already implemented. I enjoyed using it for a couple years, though it tended to be not the most reliable piece of equiment ever.

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