(We have a guest writer for this blog entry. Matt Marcil is the owner of Tweek Sound, a recording studio in Concord NH. Matt has done engineering, mixing and mastering for several projects on behalf of Bluntface Records and has over a decade of experience working in the industry. Check him out online at http://www.facebook.com/Tweeksoundstudio
Few written words express the feeling of music to all who read them. I am still exitedly looking for those words. So far the best I have come up with are: … Ya, got your hopes up, didn’t I? That’s the thing. When it comes to music there are few univerals expressions if any. What novel idea can a Jazz enthusiast say to a heavy metal lover that will make intrisic and personal sense?
This is the job of the audio engineer. We are the ones who are asked to figure out what makes music musical. We are tasked to understand what touches people regardless of whether they like to hear the click of a kick drum or the throaty character of a viola. We are asked to capture that sound onto a recording.
But I am not in the mood to explain why an audio engineer is the person that is trusted to understand what any individual instrument should sound like in any given genre. I am more interested in getting my emotion across. And thus I will expound.
Sound is made up of two things; level and frequnecy. All sound or music you have ever heard is made up of these two things. It doesn’t matter if it’s the whine of jazz club saxophone or the chest vibrating thump of a Hofner bass guitar. It’s all frequency and amplitude. Understanding that concept is one thing but knowing intimately how to effect and manipulate those frequencies and amplitued accurately is something else.
But I am not in the mood to explain how a competent audio engineer will understand the complex relationship of frequency and amplitude. I am more interested in getting my emotion across. And thus I will expound.
No two musians interact and repsond in the same way and thus a person who can understand and translate the differing ways of communication to the rest is invaluable. 20 years of hearing musicians explain what a minor arpegio sounds like when done with a Mashall amp will give the audio engineer the edge in getting that message across.
But I am not intersted in explaining how combining different musical histories translate to audio engineer communication. I am more interested in getting my emotion across. And thus I will expound.
But that’s the thing. The emotions an experienced audio engineer will express are done through frequency and amplitude, personal interaction and session running, goals of the musicians and ways to get those goals acomplished. All these things are part of the audio engineer’s job and all of them will result in a better recording for your listeners. And what else would you expect?