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Introduction to the Audio on Web

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Introduction to Audio on Web

Today we will learn how to prepare the audio file for publication on a Web.

Also will look at some of the tips and tricks for making most of the audio. If we are completely unfamiliar with the computerized sound, we may want to study the up on how a digital audio works before getting started.

The Source Material and the Sampling Rates

Obviously, the first step is to pick up the audio file that we want to work with. Then Start with a highest quality audio file available: Find a recording preferences dialog box in the audio editor and set it to about 44.1 thousand of samples per second. Unless we work only with the tiny snippet, a resulting file size will boggle our mind probably - but it is worth every megabyte. The file will lose the great deal of the quality later in a process, so it is important to start with the high-quality sample.

If the source material is already digitized, then the file must be an AIFF or AIF (the Audio Interchange File Format), or the WAV file. If that is what we have got, great! We are ready to go. If it is not, simply use the audio editor to convert a file to one of the two file formats which are universally recognized .

The Media Capture

Capturing the file from a CD is fairly simple process. Just open the audio editor and hit the "record" while CD is playing in a CD-ROM drive. Or, if the editor allows it, directly capture a file off the CD. If we run into problems, we may have to configure the system to receive an audio signal: Locate sound manager and set it to receive the audio input from a CD-ROM drive.

If the source is external - something nondigital like the tape or an LP - or if you do not have the CD-ROM drive, go to the local Radio Shack™ and pick up the 1/8-inch stereo-to-RCA cord. Attach RCA to the stereo and 1/8-inch to the LINE IN or an AUDIO IN jack at the back of the computer, which means buying the mighty long cord.

Press the "play" on tape, CD player, or the vinyl. Then open the audio editor and hit the "record." We will capture a file and probably lot of the other stuff you do not want.

The Audio Tips and Tricks

Now that we know how to prepare an audio file for Web, here are some of the ways to create a quality sound.

Keep everything in DDD if possible.
Audio files use three Ds to refer to the track that is digitally recorded, produced (that is mixed and edited) digitally, and also mastered digitally.

Make sure to normalize the files.
Most of the audio editors have the "normalize" command, which will let us trim off the amplitudes above and below upto certain levels. This will leave with the steady and a stable signal that does not peak or will drop out dramatically, which is very important for the digitized audio.

Use good pair of headphones or the speakers as the primary monitor.
This seems obvious, but it is crucial to do this throughout an entire production and the post-production process.

Equalize the files.
As we already know, equalization balances the waveforms so that an output contains a proper ratio of the treble to bass. Optimally we should do this with the outboard gear - like the rack-mounted unit - but most of the audio editors have a least of five-band EQ. For the advanced audio engineers, EQing process is part of the larger affair called as mixing, but everyone doing any of the audio must equalize a files before mastering them. And be careful with a bass - the built-in computer speakers cannot handle the bass response very well.

Consider having the music professionally mixed.
If an audio we are working with contains the musical composition with more than three or four of a tracks, it really must be mixed, or at least mastered. Mastering is a final arrangement of all of the audio settings, leaving the file ready to be printed to the CD. The well-mastered audio can really pop out the. Digital mastering takes lot of the equipment and experience,

Test the audio on different systems.
The Sound files must be run on different systems just as a Web pages should be tested on several of the platforms and the browsers. Play it through a big speakers, put it on the cassette tape and listen to it on the cheap boombox, and check it out on the built-in computer speaker.

Make a copy and then play around with it.
Use the "stunt copy" to go nuts. Run it to the backwards, fool around with an EQ, create the FM noise, play it half the speed. Spend the weekend messing around since it will help to gain the better understanding of the audio in general, even if we end up just throwing it away.

Keep the file simple.
Audio editors do allow to do lots of crazy things with the sound files. These capabilities could be intoxicating - especially if coming from the analog recording background. Resist a temptation to, say, slide the drum track little behind the original beat and mix two at 80/20 percent ratio for that of an "extra fat" sound. Digital has the different rules than an analog, and they tend to favor the precision - get too tricky, and will just muddy things up.

Take the advantages of system-wide integration.
A digital audio can be tracked with the absolute precision, so remember to do focus on a big picture. Use the MIDI to sync the keyboards, drum computers, sequencer, and the samples: Do it in the same way as the professional hip-hop, electronica, and the pop albums have made for years.

Use the best equipment.
This may again seem obvious, but the difference between the OK microphone and the superb one is obvious even to most of the casual audio file.

Use an Internet to learn about the tools.
Audio is a deep ocean, and we are better off swimming with the buddy. A number of mailing lists and the newsgroups can help us understand the hardware/software much better.

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