Abbreviation of Analog-to-Digital Conversion, the conversion of a quantity that has continuous changes (like electrical signals) into numbers that approximate those changes (i.e., computer data).
This term describes a perfect polarity between an original signal (into the microphone) and the reproduced signal (through the speaker). When positive pressure exerted upon the microphone is translated as positive pressure to the loudspeaker, the two are in “absolute phase.”
In acoustics, absorption is what happens when sound waves are absorbed by a surface, as opposed to bouncing off the surface (reflection). Absorptive materials in a control room, for example, tend to “deaden” the sound of the room because the sound energy is absorbed rather than reflected. (See also “Reflection.”)
See “Alternating Current.”
A device that measures the acceleration to which it is subjected and creates an electric signal to match it. In music and audio, accelerometers are found in such things as microphones and guitar pickups.
Named for its acorn-like shape, an acorn tube is a small vacuum tube used in ultra high frequency (UHF) electronics such as tube amplifiers.
The part of a musical instrument that vibrates in response to the initial vibration of the instrument, causing the surrounding air to move more efficiently and making the sound louder. For example: the body of an acoustic guitar, the bell of a horn, a drum’s shell, and the wooden soundboard of a piano.
A room designed with hard, non-parallel surfaces to create reverberation. In recording studios, they are used to add natural reverb to a dry signal.
The science of the sound—more specifically, the science of the properties and behavior of sound waves. A good understanding of acoustics is essential to audio engineering and studio design.
A component that is designed with the ability to control electrical current (as opposed to a “Passive Device”). In the recording studio, active devices are generally components that include an amplifier. (See also “Passive Device.”)
The part of a switch that causes change of the contact connections (e.g., toggle, pushbutton, or rocker).
A method of sound synthesis in which sounds are designed or created by combining simple waveforms together to create richer or harmonically diverse sounds.
Abbreviation for Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release, the four stages of volume changes in a sound event. ADSR controls are particularly useful on synthesizer instruments.
Audio Engineering Society.