An Easy Glossary of Studio Terms, Dude

Charleston City Paper | November 22, 2005
Analog - n. The technology in use for more than 50 years that transmits conventional radio and TV signals; vinyl recordings, and cassette tapes are examples of analog technology. Dude, I only go analog...except when I'm broke.

Click Track - n. An audible metronome that follows the changes in time signatures; often played through headphones during tracking. Dude, even with the click track blasting through the phones, you can't even come in on the right beat!

Comp - v. To create a composite performance from multiple takes. Dude, I betcha Nirvana was comping vocal takes during the making of In Utero!

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) - n. A computer that is specially equipped with a high-quality sound card and programed for editing and processing digital audio at a professional level. Dude, just send that track to the digital audio workstation -- and don't spill any beer on it!

Final Mix - n. A combination of two or more audio tracks or channels used to produce a composite audio recording. Dude, play it right; we can't just fix it in the final mix.

Mastering - n. The process of assembling all the mixed tracks into a single, finished album. Dude, the final mix is kick-ass, but wait 'til you hear the mastered version!

Phaser - n. An electronic sound processor that creates a sweeping effect by modulating a narrow notch signal filter. Dude, there's phaser all over Zep's "Kashmir."

ProTools - n. A digital audio workstation by Digidesign used for music production and digital audio editing. Dude, I can record and mix my entire concept solo album using ProTools on my Mac.

Punch-In - v. To edit audio to an existing track, often as a correction to a brief mistake. Dude, we can totally punch-in at that sour note in your solo.

Punchy - adj. A term describing a dry, defined, clean, sometimes muffled drum or guitar sound; usually on a basic track. Dude, Mick Fleetwood's snare drum sounds too punchy on "Don't Stop."

Reverb - n. A sound effect composed of a series of tightly-spaced echoes; in addition to natural reverb, software synthesis of reverberation is also possible. Dude, did The Cramps ever turn down the reverb?

Charleston City Paper

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated City Paper is Charleston's only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-largest publication in the metro Charleston area. Reaching a strong mix of active, affluent locals and tourists, the City Paper has thrived...
More »
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Market Served: Metropolitan Area
  • Address: 1316 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
  • Phone: (843) 577-5304