Digital sound revolution in the 1990's


In the previous chapters we saw how difficult it was to record songs in older times , things changed a lot when new computing devices come into the market.

Computers made our lives easier as musicans as they are able to record sounds into the hard drive in digital format. It is easier to edit, copy and arrange sound files on the computer.

This was quick and affordable system to make songs. It created a whole new world of possibilities for creativity in more affordable working environment.

This diagram shows what happened before 90's >>



After the digital revolution the above process was changed into :





In this process, the sound recorded through the mic would go and store in the computer's hard drive.

The software which manages this process is known as DAW (Digital audio workstation). DAW's were very simple and basic in those days but still offered a lot of flexibility and options as compared to the historical analog things.

There are many benefits of using computers for recording songs: 

Each sound source can have individual track of its own. This helped in making adjustments and changed later on. This also created the possibility of recording different sounds at different time and putting them together in one song later on.

There were virtually unlimited number of tracks that can be created.

The editing of the song became easier and quiker as there were no tapes involved and everything could be done through a click of the mouse.

The software we use to arrange and create sounds on the computer is DAW (Digital audio workstation)

Example of a digital audio workstation
Here is a screenshot of Audacity software which is one of the most simple and basic free multi-track audio recording software:  




Audacity is one of the best software for beginners who are just starting out in PC recording. 

Track number 1-4 shown in the screen shot above are different tracks. the blue color lines are the wave forms . These wave forms represent the sound volume. The place where you see larger waveforms are the ones with higher volume sound.

You can also see numbers on top of these waveforms. This is for the timeline. When we click on play button the software plays all the tracks together. The timeline helps us in determining duration of the song.

Here is a simple example of what can be done using Audacity:




In the above video, you can see how the user deletes the unwanted part from the audio.

Audacity, is one of the best software to start out with. But before you start editing i would suggest you to complete this guide. There is still more to learn about the basics of sound and other fundamental concepts.

In next chapter we will talk about sound

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