Digital Audio

Digital Audio Group: Miles, Lazae, Mitsuko

Your jargon list is, as your group name suggests, kind of a mishmash of digital audio terms. Much of this was covered in the MSP reading, ‘How Does Digital Audio Work’.  Therefore, begin by trying to define as many terms as possible, in your own words, without doing any research.  Check yourself against the reading as well as the web, generally.  Since we have limited time, I’ve put the most important items in bold.  When you are satisfied with your definition, add it to the class glossary.  Be sure to include:

  1. A brief definition in your own words – what is it?
  2. Practical applications – why does it matter? (If relevant)
  3. Where can we find out more? Include links to useful text, video or images that contributed to your understanding of the term. (If relevant)

Each of you should be prepared to explain these terms to your classmates independently.  We will be dividing into mixed-groups for a jargon drill in part 2 of the exercise.

List of Terms to Define (Feel free to add any terms if other questions come up – they may be in others’ lists as well.)

  • analog
  • digital
  • analog to digital conversion (ADC)
  • digital to analog conversion (DAC)
  • Sample rate
  • Nyquist Theorem
  • Aliasing/foldover
  • Bit depth
  • Channels
  • Mono
  • Stereo
  • 5.1
  • Panning
  • Also: ambisonics and binaural recording (If you want more work.  Not required.)
  • DAW
  • Reaper
  • Max/MSP
  • Audacity
  • Spear
  • Lossy vs Lossless
  • Wav, AIFF, mp3, AAC
  • Amplifier
  • Preamp
  • Audio interface/external sound card
  • Mixer
  • Speaker driver
  • Routing
  • Audio bus
  • Compression (dynamic range compression) <–Please specify in glossary since compression means different things in different contexts
  • Limiting
  • Normalization
  • Gain
  • Trim
  • Attenuation
  • Decibel
  • Clipping
  • Distortion
  • Noise floor
  • Signal-to-noise
  • MIDI
  • OSC (Open Sound Control)

Once you have finished defining these terms in the glossary, spend a bit of time thinking about the quickest way to clearly describe the meaning of, or the concept behind each term.  When you’re satisfied with your explanations, if there is time remaining before part 2, join Keith, Caroline, Michael, and Ruby.  If they are still defining terms in the glossary, help them.  If they are quickly describing the meaning of, or the concept behind each term, take notes.


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