What is single system?

When it comes to film and video sound, the first thing you need to determine is whether to use a single or double audio recording system.In a single system, audio is captured directly into the camera, and records simultaneously with the image. For a double or dual system, sound is captured independently of the camera and onto a digital audio recorder.The benefit of a single system is that it does not require audio to be synced up in post-production. This is advantageous in news and documentary formats that often require a quick turnaround of material.

What is double system?

Dual System Audio is simply where picture and sound have been recorded onto two different devices (or systems). In the early days of film the camera had no way to record audio so all sound was recorded onto separate audio recorders. The classic Nagra tape recorder is a masterpiece of Swiss precision engineering and was used on film shoots for many years. Even today audio is recorded separately on film shoots but now it is usually recorded digitally.Double system is ideal if your camera lacks higher-grade audio inputs. But more importantly, a double system delivers stronger audio quality.One of the ways it achieves this is through a higher sampling rate.You see, when an analog signal is converted to digital, the curves of the wave signal have to be split into samples.

In a typical post-production workflow the following steps would have to take place:

1: Digitization of all video material, with guide audio if available.

2: Trans coding of all video material to an acceptable format and quality for editing.

3: Digitization of all audio material, trans coding to a common format if necessary.

4: Synchronization of all video and audio material, either by time code or manually if no time code is available, checking that sync does not drift over the course of a long recording.

Not only does this workflow streamline the post-production process and reduce the need for all media to be digitized, it allows all members of the production team to have access to the media as it is being loaded, from anywhere with an internet connection.

By working in this way the time taken to arrive at the first cut can be drastically reduced. Team members can collaborate easily no matter where they are located and feedback can be sent to the editors quickly and easily.

Mixing and mastering music are two separate but equally important parts in the audio production process that can often become blurred and hard to differentiate between.  Basically, mixing is the step before mastering that involves adjusting and combining individual tracks together to form a stereo audio file after mixdown.  The stereo file is then mastered, which ensures that the various songs are clearly polished and  form a cohesive whole on an album.   This defines mixing and mastering in their simplest forms.  Let’s take a deeper look at the numerous other differences  between mixing a mastering.

Mixing Steps

After all of the individual tracks of a song have been recorded, a mixing engineer steps in to work their magic.  They begin by labeling and organizing the tracks into their similar groups.  The song is often Normalized to ensure that the tracks are all at similar volume levels and no tracks peak.  The engineer will then EQ each individual track to get the best tones out of the instruments and use high and low pass filters to eliminate any unneeded frequencies.  The general goal of EQing is to make adjustments that allow all of the tracks to inhabit their own frequency areas.  This allows the song to be clear and each instrument distinguishable.  The same idea is also applied to panning the tracks to get a full, wide sound.  Compression, reverb, delay, and other processors can be added to each track to get the desired tones for the instruments as well.  Manipulating fades and effects throughout the songs with automation can help the engineer control the emotion of the song sonically.  A lot of engineers will switch between headphones and the studio reference monitors to get a consistent sound for their mix on various sources.  After hours of tweaking knobs and faders, and the song sounds as best as it possibly can: It’s time for the mastering engineer to step in.

Mastering Steps

The mastering engineer receives the stereo track along with some notes and reference songs from the engineer and/or the artists.  This will help give the engineer an understanding of the sound that they are going for and so that the mix isn’t altered in areas that are intended to sound a particular way.  Then, the finishing touches are added to the song by making slight adjustments primarily to the EQ, compression, limiting, and stereo enhancement.  All of the songs mastered on an album are brought to similar levels so the album flows and is cohesive throughout.  Spacing and fades are added to the beginning and endings of  the songs.  Usually the Red Book standard of 2 seconds is added in between songs unless otherwise specified.  Audio mastering engineers often offer sequencing services for albums to put the songs in the desired order, label track names, as well as encode the tracks with ISRC.  The mastering engineer’s primary goal is to provide a high fidelity, high clarity, professional sound that can be enjoyed by listeners on any source.

You could have a great mix without a great master, or vice versa, and still be unable to achieve a professional sound that can compete in today’s music world.  The line between mixing and mastering should never be blurred.  Attempting to combine these two steps into one will only hinder your music and prevent it from reaching its full potential.

The goal of mixing is to bring out the best in your multi-track recording by adjusting levels, panning, and time-based audio effects (chorus, reverb, delay). The aim is to sculpt your arrangement to make sense of all your tracks in relation to each other.

A multi track recording is anything with more than one individual track (also referred to as stems). There’s no right or wrong number of tracks. You just can’t have zero. The final output of a multi track recording is also known as the mix down. The mix down is the final step before mastering.It doesn’t matter if you’re recording tracks with microphones and pre-amps, or using pre-recorded sample packs, learning how to mix for yourself is very important. Taking control of your artistic and creative vision will take your music to the next level. It’ll make you a better producer.

Start with these basic tips. They’ll get your mix as far as it can go before you seek more specific resources.