About the rec.audio.pro faq

IF you're new to the world of audio production and sound
reinforcement you've stumbled across this newsgroup in hope
of finding answers to many questions. Before posting your
question check the rec.audio.pro frequently asked questions
file. YOu can find it a variety of places on the net.

An older version not updated in many years can still be found
by anonymous ftp at rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group

OR ftp or http to


DOwnload a zipped text copy of the faqat

The version on filegate.net is the same as can be found at
recordist.com, which as of this writing was 0.9.2.

Although these later copies have not been updated recently
they still contain valuable information for the neophyte, and
are later than the version at the usual faqs repository at

HEre's what you'll find there:

<<<table of contents>>>
Section I - Netiquette

Q1.1 - What is this newsgroup for? What topics are appropriate here and
what topics are best saved for another newsgroup?

Q1.2 - Do I have to be a "professional" to post here?

Q1.3 - I've got a question, what is the first thing I should do? **[9/98]

Q1.4 - I need to ask the group for help with selecting a piece of
equipment. What information should I provide in my message?

Q1.5 - I want to sell something. Is this the place to do it? **[9/98]

Q1.6 - What is some general Netiquette to follow? **[9/98]

Q1.7 - Hey, I posted something here, and now I'm getting a bunch of junk
mail! What gives? **[9/98]

Q1.8 - Hey, I posted a simple question, and some jerk gave me a rude
answer! What gives? **[9/98]

Section II - The business of audio

Q2.1 - How does one get started as a professional audio engineer?

Q2.2 - Are audio schools worth the money? Which schools are best?

Q2.3 - What are typical rates for various professional audio services?

Section III - Audio Interconnections

Q3.1 - How are professional transmission lines and levels different from
consumer lines and levels? What is -10 and +4? What's a balanced or
differential line?

Q3.2 - What is meant by "impedance matching"? How is it done? Why is it

Q3.3 - What is the difference between dBv, dBu, dBV, dBm, dB SPL, and
plain old dB? Why not just use regular voltage and power measurements?

Q3.4 - Which is it for XLRs? Pin 2 hot? Or pin 3 hot?

Q3.5 - What is phantom power? What is T-power? Can I damage my dynamic
or ribbon mic by plugging it in to phantom power? **[9/98]

Q3.6 - How do I interconnect balanced and unbalanced components?

Q3.7 - What are ground loops and how do I avoid them?

Q3.8 - What is the "Pin 1 problem" and how do I avoid it?

Section IV - Analog tape recording

Q4.1 - What does it mean to "align" a tape machine?

Q4.2 - What is bias? What is overbias?

Q4.3 - What is the difference between Dolby A, B, C, S, and SR? How do
each of these systems work? What is the effect on recorded sound of
these systems? **[9/98]

Q4.4 - What is Dolby HX-Pro?

Q4.5 - How does DBX compare to Dolby?

Q4.6 - How much better are external microphone preamplifiers than those
found in my portable recorder?

Q4.7 - What is an MRL? Where do I get one?

Section V - Digital recording and interconnection

Q5.1 - What is sampling? What is a sampling rate?

Q5.2 - What is oversampling?

Q5.3 - What is the difference between a "1 bit" and a
"multibit"converter? What is MASH? What is Delta/Sigma? Should I really

Q5.4 - On an analog recorder, I was always taught to make sure the
signal averages around 0 VU. But on my new DAT machine, 0 is all the way
at the top of the scale. What's going on here?

Q5.5 - Why doesn't MiniDisc or Digital Compact Cassette sound as good as
DAT or CD? After all, they're both digital.

Q5.6 - What is S/P-DIF? What is AES/EBU?

Q5.7 - What is clock jitter?

Q5.8 - How long can I run AES/EBU or S/P-DIF cables? What kind of cable
should I use?

Q5.9 - What is SCMS? How do I defeat it?

Q5.10 - What is PCM-F1 format?

Q5.11 - How do digital recorders handle selective synchronization?

Q5.12 - How can a 44.1 kHz sampling rate be enough?

Q5.13 - Doesn't the 44.1 kHz sampling rate make it impossible to
reproduce square waves?

Q5.14 - How can a 16-bit word-length be enough?

Q5.15 - What's all this about 20- and 24-bit digital audio? Aren't CDs
limited to 16 bits?

Section VI - Digital editing and mastering

Q6.1 - What is a digital audio workstation?

Q6.2 - How is digital editing different from analog editing?

Q6.3 - What is mastering?

Q6.4 - What is normalizing?

Q4.5 - I have a fully edited DAT that sounds just like I want it to
sound on the CD. Is it okay to send it to the factory?

Q6.6 - What is PCM-1630? What is PMCD?

Q6.7 - When preparing a tape for CD, how hot should the levels be?

Q6.8 ? What is CD-R? Why do I care about disk-at-once or track-at-once?

Q6.8 - Where can I get CDs manufactured?

Q6.9 - How are CD error rates measured, and what do they mean?

Section VII - Market survey. What are my options if I want --

Q7.1 - A portable DAT machine or rack size DAT machine **[9/98]

Q7.2 - A good but inexpensive compressor **[9/98]

Q7.3 - An inexpensive stereo microphone **[9/98]

Q7.4 - An inexpensive pair of microphones for stereo **[9/98]

Q7.5 - A good microphone for recording vocals **[9/98]

Q7.6 - A good microphone for recording [insert instrument here] **[9/98]

Q7.7 - A small mixer **[9/98]

Q7.8 - A portable cassette machine **[9/98]

Q7.9 - A computer sound card for my IBM PC or Mac **[9/98]

Q7.10 - An eight-track digital recorder?

Section VIII - Sound reinforcement

Q8.1 - We have a fine church choir, but the congregation can't hear

them. How do we mic the choir?

Q8.2 - How do I 'ring out' a system? [9/98]

Q8.3 - How much power to I need for [insert venue here]?

Q8.4 - How good is the Sabine feedback eliminator?

Section IX - Sound restoration

Q9.1 - How can I play old 78s?

Q9.2 - How can I play Edison cylinders?

Q9.3 - What are "Hill and Dale" recordings, and how do I play them back?

Q9.4 - What exactly are NoNOISE and CEDAR? How are they used?

Q9.5 - How do noise suppression systems like NoNOISE and CEDAR work?

Q9.6 - What is forensic audio?

Section X - Recording technique, Speakers, Acoustics, Sound

Q10.1 - What are the various stereo microphone techniques? [9/98]

Q10.2 - How do I know which technique to use in a given circumstance? [9/98]

Q10.3 - How do I soundproof a room?

Q10.4 - What is a near-field monitor?

Q10.5 - What are the differences between "studio monitors" and home

Section XI - Industry information

Q11.1 - Is there a directory of industry resources?

Q11.2 - What are the industry periodicals?

Q11.3 - What are the industry trade organizations?

Q11.4 - Are there any conventions or trade shows that deal specifically

with professional audio?

Section XII - Miscellaneous

Q12.1 - How do I modify Radio Shack PZMs?

Q12.2 - Can I produce good demos at home? [9/98]

Q12.3 - How do I remove vocals from a song?

Section XIII - Bibliography

Q13.1 - Fundamentals of Audio Technology

Q13.2 - Studio recording techniques

Q13.3 - Live recording techniques

Q13.4 - Digital audio theory and practice

Q13.5 - Acoustics

Q13.6 - Practical recording guides

Section XIV

Q14.1 - Who wrote the FAQ [9/98]

Q14.2 - How do you spell and pronounce the FAQ maintainer's surname?


Please avail yourself of this well written resource if you are
a newcomer. Although the questions regarding specific products
may be dated the basics are still the basics, and are well

Richard Webb

ON site audio in the lower MIssissippi Valley! See

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