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Audio Visits
 

Audiophile like us not only enjoy good music, but we especially appreciate good recordings.  Rarely, Audiophiles get the opportunity to vist a recording studio.  I would like to thank Professor George Huang - chief recording engineer and sound engineering professor at Tainan University of Technology, for his warm hospitality and a tour of his professional recording studio.  Here is the associated equipments in the studio: 

Microphones:

Microtech UMT 800 condenser microphone / Bluemic - Mouse

Console: ICON Digital console built by Digidesign
Software: AVID pro tool
Speakers: Genelec Pro 8050A bi-amplified louspeaker system (5 channel)
Subwoofer: Genelec Pro 7071A Active subwoofer

Q:  What is the most important thing when you build a recording studio ?

A:  A recording studio generally consists of three rooms: the studio, where the sound for the recording is created, the control room, where sound engineers operate and a machine room, where noisier equipments that may interfere with the recording process are kept.  Everything is important here; from the room acoustics, to speaker placement, to the quality of the microphone, etc.  They are all carefully designed around the principles of room acoustics to create a set of spaces with the precision and accuracy.  It's a serious profession, and requires a lot of attention to details.

Q:  How come I can't see the studio room from the control room?

A:  Conventionally, we have a big window between the studio and control room.  However, the big window isn't good for acoustics, and some singers may also want to keep his/her privacy.  We now use cameras and monitors; we can turn it on and off.  We can also communicate with microphone; there is no need or advantage of a big window. 

Q:  What is the optimal temperature and humidity of a recording studio?

A:  It varies with different recording engineer.  In general, temperature should be between 16 ~ 27 degrees Celsius, and humidity should be maintained between 35 to 50 percent.  In here, I set the temperature to be 23 degree Celsius and humidity of 40%.

Q:  Why do most studios like to use active speakers.  Is there any difference between professional studio speakers, and audiophile speakers? 

A:  We use active speakers mainly because we don't have much space in the control room for amplifiers.  At recording studio, we emphasize on the sonic accuracy and precision.  The design of these studio speakers have to meet this criteria.  For Sound engineers, it is simply a tool.  When I listen to music myself, I may not choose these professional studio speakers.  I believe audiophile speakers involves more personality, and flavours.  They can sound really nice, better than professional studio speakers, and they are usually designed and built better suited for home environment.

Q:  So what does this spaceship control panel do?  Is it expensive?

A:  It's a recording / mixing console unit.  Most people would mostly be interested in this, but it is just a tool to control the software on the computer.  In fact, you can control the software without a console unit, a lot of home studios don't have this console; but  with this, it offers better control and convenience.  This unit is about $250,000 USD.

Microtech UMT 800 condenser microphone.
Bluemic Mouse microphone
Digidesign console
Console running with leading software - Avid Pro Tool
Spaceship-like feeling ?
ICON Digital console built by Digidesign

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