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Erm, very important lol. In a lot of cases though, a good noise gate and using a nice loud signal will let you get away with a lot if you're making electronic music.

If you want to record the subtle performance of a piano or orchestra though, those quiet sections will expose poor signal to noise ratio HARD.

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Thank you neblix...I will learn to keep to myself and never attempt to learn something new ever again!

As a side note, you have nice hair (I don't really know if this is true).

I was joking.

And no, I don't have nice hair. At least, now I don't. It was all chopped off with a size 3 buzzer.

Also, looking wikipedia tells me that it's the "level of the desired signal compared to the level of background noise".

Can anyone clarify that in layman's terms?

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so, looking wikipedia tells me that it's the "level of the desired signal compared to the level of background noise".

Can anyone clarify that in layman's terms?

From what I understand...

Its like, if you recorded a nice acoustic guitar solo, and for whatever reason, you would like to add a bit of distortion to it, "fuzz" if you will. Its the amount of clean acoustic "sound" coming from your guitar, in comparison to the "distortion, or fuzz" effects being added to it.

I can whip up some audio examples if I need to. But basically, you don't want too much noise (unorganized sounds) overwhelming your good clean signal.

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From what I understand...

Its like, if you recorded a nice acoustic guitar solo, and for whatever reason, you would like to add a bit of distortion to it, "fuzz" if you will. Its the amount of clean acoustic "sound" coming from your guitar, in comparison to the "distortion, or fuzz" effects being added to it.

I can whip up some audio examples if I need to. But basically, you don't want too much noise (unorganized sounds) overwhelming your good clean signal.

Hmm, I was thinking it was more like the background noise you get with a lot of USB microphones. Like with what Malcos said, you can get away with loud signal and a good noise gate. If that's true I would think the bigger the ratio the better, the more easily you can use a noise gate to cut that shizzle out.

Or I could just be wrong.

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Its like, if you recorded a nice acoustic guitar solo

your microphone picks up noise. Try it. Hook a mic up to your audio interface and make no noise and turn up the volume. It picks up electrical interference and all kinds of noise. Mixers do this too. It doesn't happen when you generate sound completely in the box or use digital outputs of equipment that has it, but for pretty much everything else, you get noise.

, and for whatever reason, you would like to add a bit of distortion to it, "fuzz" if you will.

That has nothing to do with signal/noise but with the dry/wet ratio of effects.

Getting rid of noise transparently can be done by just cutting the offending sections out completely.

Then there are people who add noise back again to their recordings - aforementioned in the box strategies may sound too sterile.

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Hmm, I was thinking it was more like the background noise you get with a lot of USB microphones. Like with what Malcos said, you can get away with loud signal and a good noise gate. If that's true I would think the bigger the ratio the better, the more easily you can use a noise gate to cut that shizzle out.

Or I could just be wrong.

Malcos is right from a more technical standpoint, but I was trying to use the best example I could think of, that more people could understand just to get the basic idea of how important it is.

It means the difference between getting a good, clean recording and garbled crap.

Good point Yoozer. I was talking more about output, than input in my post, but as far as input signals are concerned, you' re correct.

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Then there are people who add noise back again to their recordings - aforementioned in the box strategies may sound too sterile.

I actually just ran into a similar issue with a piece I was writing -- it wasn't background noise per se that I added to a section in the music but rather a kind of quiet swish noise, and I found that it gave the sound more body and provided emphasis at the point where I cut the swish out and the bass came in.

And now I really want to try this with a sample-based orchestra piece and see how it sounds.

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