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An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Finally, Pro Tools gets new pan laws!

Q: "Why is the signal from my microphone low in level and noisy?"

What are your 'pain points' in audio? How would you like them to be healed?

7 important microphone types that you should know and the benefits of each

To mic or not to mic the backline? That is an interesting question raising fascinating further possibilities

"Sysmobomb" by The Engines Of Love

Q: Why is one channel always higher in level than the other?

To eliminate feedback is it good to reduce the gain and raise the fader? (Part 2)

How many sound waves can you fit into your studio?

Which comes first - lyrics, music or production?

Do your monitors have sharp edges? Shouldn't they be more curvy?

Monitor loudspeakers are traditional box-shaped with 90-degree edges. But some monitors are noticeably curvy - you need look no further than some of the Genelec range. Is this just a design feature, or are there benefits to the curved shape?

Monitor loudspeakers are traditional box-shaped with 90-degree edges. The reason for this? It's easy for the manufacturer.

In fact even if you built your own loudspeakers, you would probably find yourself giving them square corners without even thinking about it.

But some monitors are noticeably curvy - you need look no further than some of the Genelec range. Is this just a design feature, or are there benefits to the curved shape?

Yes there are distinct benefits, to the point where you have to wonder why square-edged loudspeakers still exist.

As sound travels away from a source, such as the drive units of the loudspeaker, it spreads out rapidly and widely. And when the sound wave encounters some kind of discontinuity in the medium through which it travels - such as an object, or the edge of an object - then it tends to 're-radiate' as though this object were a sound source in its own right.

So, when sound leaving the drive units encounters the edges of your loudspeaker cabinets, it re-radiates from these edges. The four front edges of the cabinet become four sources in their own right, delayed with respect to the direct sound by several hundred microseconds.

This delay is significant. When the delayed signal mixes with the direct signal, it causes interference. This leads to a series of peaks and troughs in the frequency response. This is bad, but the frequencies where this occurs change as you move your head even slightly, which makes the problem worse.

The solution is to make speakers with nice curvy edges. This doesn't totally banish the effect, but it makes the sound subtly but noticeably cleaner.

By David Mellor Saturday February 12, 2005