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The device, successor to the MAGNETIC WIRE recorder, which since the 1940s (when it was called the sound mirror) has been the most commonly used means of storing and reproducing an AUDIO signal.
The stage that a particle in vibration has reached in its CYCLE. Particles are in phase when they are at the same stage in the cycle at the same time, and out of phase when they are at opposite stages. Phase is measured by the angle of rotation, in degrees or radians.
If two TONEs are about 15 Hertz or less apart, INTERFERENCE will result from their similar though not exactly identical frequencies. Gradually they will move out of PHASE until at 180° destructive interference results, producing diminished loudness. When they move back into phase, constructive interference will produce increased loudness. Thus, beats are a form of AMPLITUDE MODULATION. As two frequencies are brought closer together, the beats will gradually slow down and disappear when they become identical.
A recent development where, in contrast to the conventional analog TAPE RECORDER, the audio SIGNAL is sampled within a set of pre-defined limits. It is thus the reciprocal process to that described as digital SOUND SYNTHESIS. Digital sampling is also used is some digital SOUND SYNTHESIZERs.