M

Mallet
Object used to strike a percussion instrument. Can have woolen or synthetic tips to create different sounds. Also can take on a hammer style shape used for chimes.

Marimba
A percussion instrument set up in the form of a keyboard whose bars are made of wood. Played using mallets and a foot pedal to control resonators below.

Mechanical Royalties
Money paid by a record company to issue a song in a physical medium. For each record / CD manufactured and distributed a royalty is paid.

Meter
(1) A device known as a VU Meter is used to monitor loudness on audio equipment, especially audio recording equipment.

(2) The rhythm of speech or singing, including intonation and stresses as applied to speech and singing, poetry and lyrics

Mic Level (Mike Level or Microphone Level)
This is the signal level, in terms of dBv, dBV, dBm or voltage that describes the nominal level of a microphone. This is generally considered to about 0.001 volts to about 0.003 volts (-50 dBv to -60 dBv). In the presence of a loud sound, some microphones can however output a signal of up to +4 dBv.

Microphone
This is a device for converting acoustic sound waves into an electrical representation of the sound wave. Microphones are categorised according to several different attributes. For example:

Sensitivity Pattern (Polar Pattern)

How they convert acoustic to electric waves

Frequency Response

Microphone Proximity Effect
This is the change in the bass frequency response of a microphone in relation to the distance between the microphone and the source sound.

Middle-Eight
A Middle-Eight is a specialist type of bridge section. In music theory, middle eight refers to the B section of a 32-Bar Song Form song, which is 8 Bars in length (hence middle eight). It has a significantly different melody, rhythm and harmony from the “A” section specifically, and the more generally, the whole song. It is the B in an AABA song, in an AB (Verse / Chorus) song the middle eight is usually placed after the second chorus.

Middle Eight sections usually use new chord progressions. It is called a middle 8 because it happens in the middle of the song and the length is generally 8 bars.

Middle Eights introduce a contrast with the rest of the song. Many early solos were played during the middle eight.

MIDI
Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This is a communications system (hardware and protocol) that allows MIDI compatible systems to send primarily control information from one system to another. See our article on MIDI by following the link below.

Songstuff Midi Article

MIDI Clock
A MIDI clock is a serial stream of timing code that is used to synchronise MIDI equipment. MIDI Clock messages convey tempo to other equipment and work in conjunction with other MIDI messages, like Start, Stop, Continue, and the Song Position Pointer. See our article on MIDI by following the link below.
Songstuff Midi Article

MIDI Machine Control (MMC)
This is the use of MIDI Messages to control the basic features of a recording device. This includes Start Recording , Stop Recording and Track Arming. MMC does not contain any timing information.

The Midi Interface (article)

MIDI Time Control (MTC)
This is the use of MIDI Messages synchronise MIDI compatible audio devices in absolute time. This is similar to SMPTE in that MTC can utilise different frame rates for synchronisation.

The Midi Interface (article)

Mix
This is essentially the process of combining two audio sources of any kind to achieve a desired balance between the two input signals within the combined output signal.

Mixdown
In multitrack recording, ‘mixdown’ is the name given to the process of mixing multiple pre-recorded tracks into a combined output master recording.

Muffle
A foam like substance used on drums and drum heads to reduce unwanted overtones and resonance.

Mute
This is effectively turning an audio signal off, i.e. full attenuation.

Music makes me high on stage, and that's the truth. It's like being almost addicted to music.”
Jimi Hendrix