chapter  15
6 Pages

Hybrid studios

WithRick Snoman

Many professionals reach a point where they understand it is a hybrid mix of both software and hardware that provides the most creative avenues and elevates their sonic potential. Before audio workstations became the mainstay of a studio, producers relied on Musical Instrument Digital Interface sequencers such as the Atari STE running Cubase or the Alesis MMT-8 hardware sequencer. Maintaining a suitable gain structure in hardware and the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) requires an understanding of signal levels and how meters are calibrated. Most audio devices feature some form of visual notification via a signal level meter that is calibrated in decibels. The reference levels do not exist within the digital domain of a DAW. There are no cables and no voltages. There are, however, mathematical versions of this same procedure occurring. Whether recording channels through an audio interface or relying on samples and plug-in instruments, every channel is routed via the mix bus and summed within the DAW.