Low Order Distortion in Creative Recording and Mixing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter will explore the use of low order harmonic distortion as used in the creative recording and mix processing of music. One of the fist choices made by engineers once location and instrument has been fixed is the choice of microphone and preamp. Microphone preamps in particular tend to provide a choice between clean and colourful capture of sound, with the choice of tube, transformer or transformerless preamp often playing a significnt part in the impact of that microphone preamp on the recorded audio. The harmonic and temporal distortion imparted by the electronic components within the preamp manipulates the perception of the recorded audio by the listener, affording a sense of for example weight, punch and gestural performance enhancement. Similarly in the mixing process engineers regularly turn to tools that impart subtle distortion to manipulate listener perception of the fundamental impact of a sound. This chapter explores the sonic impact of a range of microphone preamps on recording and mixing, focussing on low order harmonic distortion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistortion in Music Production
Subtitle of host publicationThe Soul of Sonics
EditorsGary Bromham, Austin Moore
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780429356841
ISBN (Print)9780367405854, 9780367405878
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023

Publication series

NamePerspectives on Music Production


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