Common Recording Terms Explained


Last Update 2 years ago

DAW: Digital Audio Workstation (or Workspace)

  • The program you use to record and edit. IE ProTools, REAPER, Audacity.

Input: Where the signal from a sound source feeds and is then routed to the output.

  • You input from your microphone and output to your headphones or speakers.
Record ‘Arm’ Tracks: Enabling a track's input source(s) so it can record.

Pre-Roll: The amount of playback time before the recording actually starts.

  • This allows you to hear a certain amount of the recorded audio for context or to establish rhythm and/or tempo.
Post-Roll: The delay between when the pause button is pushed and when the recording actually stops.

Punch In/Punch Out: Recording over existing audio.

  • Rather than redoing an entire track, you can “punch in" or “out" from a specific spot and fix particular points.

XLR: Stands for External Line Return.

  • The 3-pin connector cable which connects the XLR microphone and interface.

Interface: Converts the analog signal from the microphone to digital for your computer.

XLR Microphone: A microphone that requires the use of an interface and XLR cable.

USB Microphone: 'Plug and play' microphone. No additional cables are needed, a USB microphone can be plugged into your computer and you are all set to record.

For a full list of additional Learning Ally terminology, please see "Glossary of Learning Ally Terms." 

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