Routing – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Recording Techniques Glossary

I. What is Routing?

Routing in the context of recording refers to the process of directing audio signals from one point to another within a recording system. This can involve sending signals from microphones, instruments, or other audio sources to various destinations such as recording tracks, effects processors, or monitors. Routing allows for flexibility and control over the flow of audio signals in a recording setup, enabling the engineer to create complex signal paths and achieve desired sonic results.

II. How does Routing work in recording?

In recording, routing typically involves using a mixing console or digital audio workstation (DAW) to route audio signals from input sources to output destinations. This can be done using physical patch cables on a mixing console or virtual routing options within a DAW. By setting up routing configurations, engineers can determine how audio signals are processed, mixed, and monitored throughout the recording process.

III. What are the different types of Routing?

There are several types of routing commonly used in recording:

1. Input Routing: Directing audio signals from input sources such as microphones, instruments, or line-level devices to recording tracks or processing units.
2. Output Routing: Sending audio signals from recording tracks or processing units to output destinations such as monitors, headphones, or effects processors.
3. Bus Routing: Grouping multiple audio signals together and sending them to a common destination, such as a submix or effects bus.
4. Patch Routing: Using physical patch cables to connect audio sources and destinations on a mixing console or outboard gear.
5. Virtual Routing: Configuring routing options within a DAW using software controls to direct audio signals digitally.

IV. Why is Routing important in recording?

Routing is crucial in recording because it allows engineers to manage and control the flow of audio signals throughout the recording process. By setting up routing configurations, engineers can route signals to specific tracks, apply effects processing, create submixes, and monitor audio in real-time. Effective routing can help optimize workflow, improve signal quality, and enhance the overall recording experience.

V. How can Routing enhance the recording process?

Routing plays a key role in enhancing the recording process in several ways:

1. Signal Management: Routing allows engineers to organize and manage audio signals efficiently, ensuring that each signal is directed to the appropriate destination.
2. Flexibility: By setting up flexible routing configurations, engineers can easily adjust signal paths, create custom mixes, and experiment with different processing options.
3. Signal Quality: Proper routing can help maintain signal integrity and prevent signal degradation, resulting in cleaner, more professional recordings.
4. Workflow Optimization: Efficient routing setups can streamline the recording process, saving time and reducing the likelihood of errors or technical issues.
5. Creative Possibilities: Routing opens up creative possibilities for engineers to explore different signal paths, effects chains, and mixing techniques, leading to unique and innovative recordings.

VI. What are some common Routing techniques used in recording?

There are several common routing techniques used in recording:

1. Send/Return Routing: Sending audio signals from a track to an external effects processor and returning the processed signal to a separate track for mixing.
2. Parallel Processing: Duplicating a signal and processing it separately before blending it back with the original signal to achieve a thicker or more dynamic sound.
3. Sidechain Routing: Using a secondary audio signal to control the behavior of a compressor or other dynamics processor on a different track, creating pumping or ducking effects.
4. Bus Routing: Grouping multiple tracks together and sending them to a common bus for processing or mixing, allowing for cohesive treatment of related elements.
5. Monitor Routing: Directing audio signals to monitors or headphones for real-time monitoring during recording or mixing, ensuring accurate playback and sound evaluation.

Overall, routing is a fundamental aspect of the recording process that enables engineers to manage, manipulate, and enhance audio signals effectively. By understanding the principles of routing and utilizing various routing techniques, engineers can achieve professional results and create compelling recordings.