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Cue Tones Used in Recording Sessions(?)
SuperbCollision
post Jan 18 2013, 22:59
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Over the years I've listened to numerous "raw" studio recordings of musicians, voice over artists, etc... And in between takes a tone (or buzzer, in older recordings) would be heard. The tones would be quick in duration (1/4 sec. or less) and either 1, 2 or 3 in rapid succession.

Presumably these tones/buzzes are markers or ques of some sort for the engineers but, I don't think they are automation ques.

What does a single buzz/tone signify, that differs from a double or triple?

Thanks!
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punkrockdude
post Jan 19 2013, 00:30
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Here might be members that know the answer but for a bigger chance to get the question answered I would ask it over at TapeOp messageboard or Gearslutz. Regards.
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SuperbCollision
post Jan 19 2013, 00:53
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QUOTE (punkrockdude @ Jan 18 2013, 18:30) *
Here might be members that know the answer but for a bigger chance to get the question answered I would ask it over at TapeOp messageboard or Gearslutz. Regards.

Great! Thanks!
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slks
post Jan 19 2013, 08:28
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I've heard tones in recordings before. I can't say for sure what the purpose is, but on the recordings I listened to, they *seemed* to indicate points at which the engineer started and stopped the tape, or something similar.

The practice might even vary by different equipment, studio, and engineer. But since I don't know what I'm talking about I will refrain from speculating anymore. biggrin.gif


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Dynamic
post Jan 19 2013, 14:17
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I guess you could also see a regular sequence of 3 tones in a waveform editor's waveform or spectral view fairly easily, making it quicker to find cut points and get on with the job. This is speculation, however.
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Kees de Visser
post Jan 19 2013, 18:07
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Did you hear them on analog (tape) recordings ?
I remember colleagues who recorded a 50 Hz buzz between takes. While fast-winding the analog tape and cueing (pressing the tape to the playback or cue head) the buzz would sound like a high-pitched beep, making it easy to find the start point of takes. Those were single tones though, not 2 or 3 in a row.
It would help if you could upload a sample.
Another possibility is in the case of sound-for-picture where audio beeps are used to synchronize the separate audio and image.
Dynamic's suggestion that it's for easy track start identification on DAW's with waveform display sounds very plausible too.
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Kees de Visser
post Jan 19 2013, 20:17
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They could be "ADR beeps", often used in film production dialog re-recording (Automated Dialogue Replacement).
QUOTE
The 3-beep method aligns a loop with the movement onscreen and cues the actor using a series of three audio beeps. On the fourth "silent" beep the actor reads the loop and attempts to match the voiceover aligned with the voice movement and performance onscreen.
AFAIK it's never used in audio-only (without picture) recording.
I'm not sure if there's a standard for the beeps, but often they are a sine wave of 500, 800 or 1000 Hz and 50ms duration.
Does that sound like your beeps?
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dreamliner77
post Jan 19 2013, 20:40
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It could be test tones used to calibrate tape machines for the correct playback speed.


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