This FAQ listing originated in and

Links collected by Erwin Timmerman.
Last updated: 2002-12-13  

recent additions appear in bold italic,
link updates (repaired dead links) appear in italic.

The most recent version of this FAQ listing can be found at


When you're a beginner and search on or for info on a specific subject,
first try Google - power search.

Type in the box "newsgroup" or, type in the box "Keywords" a keyword from your question. There you have it: probably a LOT of articles on the subject.

When this doesn't work, you can try the following links:


Recording FAQ section

The FAQ from

The FAQ from
Educational CD's from, with contributions from a lot of RAP members:
The RAP CD's

Forums, visited or moderated by several RAP members:

A whole list of faqs, gear reviews etc.
Audio FAQ, good section about speakers and amps (sec. 9 and 10)
Surround sound FAQ, 5.1, DVD-audio etc.
Home theater FAQ

Headphones, including tips for mixing on them (when you have to)

Recording drums (FAQ from
3-Mic drum techniques (By Fletcher from

Amptone: all about guitar amps, effects boxes, iso booths

How to mix a pop song from scratch
No "pan-potted-mono" mixes! How to achieve depth in stereo recordings

A mastering house (digido), explaining the how/what/why
Another mastering house (drtmastering, specializes in analog)

Avoid losing months of your work

The disease called "Tinkeritis"


Newbie section

I am a complete newbie to recording, what should I do?
Tips for a beginner setup (4-track, mics)
More tips for a beginner setup
Tips for a more serious setup
Beginner's recording handbook

BouncingWow & Flutter

How to become a "professional" producer/engineer


Microphone section

The microphone FAQ (very detailed)
Michael Hartkopf's Microphone pages
Stereo microphone specs/techniques (dead link)
Microphone techniques: Studio recording, sound reinforcement (from Shure, very good)
Shoot-out of a few budget mics, by yours truly
Wireless microphone licensing FAQ

How to build a tube preamp


Theory section

Very detailed descriptions:
How CD's work
How CD-R's work
How DVD's work
How Minidisc works

The decibel: dBVU, dBm, dBfs, +4, -10 etc.
What's your dB IQ?
Decibel comparison chart: How much sound does a trombone make, and a guitar?

All about digital audio in general: more bits, dither, etc.
What is dither, and why should I care, anyway?
Everything you don't want to know about Jitter
48 -> 44.1 Downsampling algorhithms: can you hear the difference?

Thoughts on EQ, Thoughts on reverb
Compressor theory: very thorough description (100k pdf file)
Good explanation about different time stretch/pitch shift techniques
Vocal elimination techniques

Acoustics: building a good sounding studio room

Ranenotes: Library of tech info (mostly pdf)
UCSC Music studio articles: tech info, synth info, etc. Huge, check it out!

Textbook: Introduction to Sound Recording by Geoff Martin
Introduction? A MASSIVE source of info for the theory-slut
(mathematics come in very handy here)


Tech and electronics section

The CD-Recordable FAQ
How safe is high speed CD recording: a test
Detailed test of the most popular MP3 encoders
High-quality transfers from LP to CDR

All about recording via a PC (sound card reviews and so on)
Very large Music Shareware/Freeware site (no warez)

Connecting balanced and unbalanced:quick wire-up
Connecting balanced and unbalanced: very thorough wire-up info
Balanced? Unbalanced? The electronics behind it (very detailed)
All about MIDI and how to use/program it

Alt.Music.MIDI FAQ

Compression, EQ, Grounding (getting rid of hum)
Another paper on grounding
Do-it-yourself tech FAQ site: MIDI spec, Grounding, Electronics...
HUGE link site about audio electronics, schematics included!
Another huge link site about audio electronics (dead link)
Music electronics archive
Nice tube schematics (on the page, click the schematics tab)
The electronic cookbook archive: simple electronic building blocks

Two companies selling build-it-yourself-audio-kits, SCHEMATICS ON-LINE!!!

What on earth do AC-3, FFT, ADAT and SCMS mean?
Rane's audio dictionary tells you what they are talking about

Recording technology history
Edison to DVD, AM radio to digital broadcast... GREAT source


Gear section

Lots of gear reviews by users (tape recorders!)
List of MD multitrackers

Some webzines:
Composing Recording Mastering AV
CRM has a good software reverb comparison article,
gear reviews, and guitar tuning articles

Stolen gear database


Musicians section

Copyrights, publication, labels, distribution, promotion (dead link)
Choosing the appropriate studio to record in... save money

Indian Trail Recording Studio
Great articles from Harvey Gerst about what it takes to be a band, the pitfalls,
how to divide gear ownership, when to make a CD and what to be ready
for when you do, etc. etc. Great advice and writing style.

Chord finder site, guitar as well as keyboard

Simple note frequency chart spanning 2 octaves
Note frequency chart: every MIDI note with its corresponding frequency
Another MIDI note frequency chart
Alternate guitar tuning chart + chord finder, for these weird tunings

For composers: Musical instrument range chart

Solomon's music theory and composition resources

On-line ear trainer

Guitarresources: GREAT guitar lessons, and more
Wolfman's school of music: guitar lessons
Ultimate Guitar Page: more guitar lessons

OLGA: more guitar tabs than you can play in a lifetime
Rawktabs, another great guitar tab site
Link listing to many tab sites (HUGE)
Guitar tab universe
Temple of tabs

Free sheet music for piano

Vast collection of song lyrics and sheet music

Free rhyming program (great!)
English rhyming dictionary


Synthesizer/Sampler section

Beginner's synthesizer FAQ
Tutorial on basics of electronic music
(use of LFO's, filters etc., Shockwave plug-in required)

Very good samples of TR808 and TR909
Another Samplelibrary
KnudWeb orchestra soundfonts

Vintagesynth: info on any old synth you can think of

SyntheTek: the Indie Music Site synth pages

E-music DIY archive: build your own analog synth (dead link)


Final section

Whatever you couldn't find in all the links above, you'll probably find here:
Audiolinks (MASSIVE link site, alphabetically organised)
Pro Audio Directory (another massive link site, also alphabetically)
Tom Loredo's audio links (similar to this list, only 10x larger)
Hitmeister link list

And finally the most important of all:

Have fun!


Erwin Timmerman

If anyone feels there's a site that absolutely must be on this list, or if you discover a link to be dead, please drop me a mail.

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