Take a look at the list of services we offer, then dive in deeper to get a clearer understanding of how you can benefit from our full line of audio services.
There are many types of recording services. The two main types are music recording and voice recording. We also offer sound effects and foley recording. Foley is the process of recording sound effects in sync with a movie or video project. All recording services at Stokes Audio involve high-resolution digital recording. No tape is used and all recordings can be copied and duplicated numerous times without the loss of quality.
Music recording, although somewhat straightforward, involves different recording equipment and techniques depending on the musical instrument or instruments being recorded. Drums for example, are sometimes the most difficult instruments to record because each drum in a drum-set has different acoustical characteristics, as do the numerous music instruments in today’s world. And often times a single microphone is used to record each drum or piece in a drum-set. Drum-sets have varying numbers of drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments depending on the individual drummer and genre of music. So each project is different and the techniques are tailored to create the specific sound the project requires.
Sometimes music is recorded while a complete or partial ensemble plays together. Many times, though, a process called over-dubbing is used, in which each instrument is recorded, or added to a basic ensemble individually. This gives each player the opportunity to give the best performance. Often, the best performance is derived from not just a single take, but several takes that are edited together to create the best overall performance.
Voice recording is done in different ways depending on the type of project and how the final sound will be used. For example, we record a singer using different techniques than we would when recording a voice actor.
Singers generally are recorded as they listen to a music track using headphones to which their voice will eventually be added. And, singers often record multiple versions or takes of their voice thus creating multiple choices or layers for the best vocal track or mix. Singers often add various harmony tracks to give a more produced sound to the final mix.
Voice actors are recorded using vastly different techniques depending on the type of project.
Mixing is an art and there are different approaches and techniques. The art of mixing involves tonally shaping a particular instrument or sound to fit into the sonic spectrum so that each individual source sound blends naturally within the scope of the completed mix.
The process of mixing any project, whether it is a movie or television program or a musical project, involves many different elements and resources. And, taking into account the numerous clients, producers, directors and the required approvals, the process can be, but not always is, time-consuming.
Sound design is the creating of an overall sound for a movie, show or project. It usually involves compiling the “right” blend of music and sound effects, and sometimes vocal effects, which are combined to create a general feeling used throughout a project. This might involve creating an overall sound for a horror film, video game or website. Sound design is often combined with the mixing process for smaller projects, but not always. We have crafted designs for movies, commercials, radio programs, corporate training programs among others.
Sound editing is also straightforward. It is the manipulation of a piece of sound which is then used in a final project or mix. Often times this involves voice editing but also involves creating different sounds or sound effects from various sources. We are true artists in the field of sound editing and are able to manipulate sound in fine detail.
Mastering is the final process that musical pieces go through before creating a final album or CD, and is considered “the icing on the cake”. The basic necessity for mastering is because often times, music pieces are created by different producers or in different studios using different equipment and artists. The mastering process is a fine-tuning process that brings cohesion to a final musical project. In recent years, many mix engineers have been providing individual stems to give the mastering engineer more flexibility in creating the final version of a song or songs. These stems usually include a vocal mix, a rhythm mix, and a harmonic mix. But this varies largely depending on specific needs. In addition, songs are often mastered differently for radio play than for an album or CD since radio bandwidths differ in different parts of the world. Also, you might want to master a song to be played on the internet or from an artist’s website differently so that when compressed for streaming, it sounds natural.
Noise reduction involves reducing or removing unwanted noise from a recording while sometimes enhancing the desired sound. Depending on the recording and what is needed, this can be complicated and results often vary. Basically, though, the sound is analyzed first to determine what can be expected before proceeding. Sometimes, only minute changes can be enough to achieve reasonable results. Most commonly, this process is used to make inaudible voices or sounds clearer for legal uses. We have also used noise reduction to reduce unwanted background noise in dialog tracks or music tracks prior to mixing.
Video editing can be more complicated than sound editing in general, but producing a final video project incorporates many different aspects of both sound and video. Many different video and sound sources can be used but need to first be converted into a digital format. In addition, various titles, effects, and graphics can be used to enhance the project overall. Video editing is timeline based and the video and sound don’t necessarily need to be permanently linked together. Certainly with a live event, the sound and video need to match, but when different cameras are used to record the same event, one soundtrack can be used while using different cameras or image sources to give the appearance of a more professional project. Photos can be scanned and used and motion can be added to them to make each photo more interesting. Many options are available depending on your budget and resources. And, once a video project is completed, it can then be converted to be played on the internet or written to a DVD or Blue-Ray disc.
Any piece of sound can be used to create an audio CD or CD-ROM. In addition, custom CDs or DVDs can be created combining various elements and can be used in many ways. We have created custom and interactive DVDs with menus, looping backgrounds using client provided video, images and music. There is really no end to what can be created, it is only limited to your imagination. We can also duplicate most CDs or DVDs that you have had previously created.
The digitizing process is playing analog sound material such as records, cassette tapes, or other types of analog media and creating digital files from them. Once this process is completed, we can then manipulate the sound using many of the techniques described earlier, such as removing noise from a record or old recording and then creating CDs or MP3s for example. The digitizing process is not charged at an hourly rate but at a rate depending upon the length of the material to be digitized. Our prices are reasonable and the results are outstanding.