The initiation of a sound. In terms of the four stages of a sound (Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release, or ADSR), a sound’s attack is the point where the sound begins and increases in volume to its peak.
The reduction of electrical or acoustic signal strength. In audio, attenuation is measured in decibels (dB) and is typically heard as a reduction in volume. Sound waves traveling through the air naturally attenuate as they travel away from the source of the sound. Engineers also purposefully attenuate signals in the studio through gain controls or pads to prevent overload.
In its broadest sense, audio is the range of frequencies we humans can hear with our ears. In the technical sense, audio refers to the transmission, recording or reproduction of sound, whether digitally, electrically or acoustically.
The process of re-recording dialogue for film in a controlled environment after the film is shot, for the purpose of replacing poorly recorded dialogue.
A compressor with a long release time, which is used to keep the volume of the audio at a consistent level.
Programming certain changes to occur automatically during recording and/or playback. In the studio, engineers use automation on their consoles or computers so various parameters will change automatically at different times during multitrack recording and playback. This pre-programming feature makes it easier to create those changes than attempting to perform them all manually in real time.
External signal processing devices that work alongside the mixing console to modify the signal.
(Abbreviated Aux Return or Return) The input on a console or DAW that returns the effected signal sent through the auxiliary send back into the channel mix.
(Abbreviated Aux Send or Send) A control to adjust the signal level being sent from the input channel on a console or DAW to auxiliary equipment or plug-ins through the auxiliary bus. This is typically used for creating an effects loop that processes a portion of the signal, then returns it into the mix through the auxiliary return.
An imaginary line around which a device operates. For example: in microphone use, the axis is an imaginary line coming out from the front of the microphone in the direction of motion of the diaphragm, delineating the optimum location for the mic to pick up the sound. Sounds that occur “off-axis” from the microphone will not be picked up as clearly.
Refers to either 1) The ambient noise in a room unrelated to the instrument(s) or vocal(s) being recorded; or 2) The system noise unrelated to the recorded signal. (All electronics emit a level of noise.)
Sound absorbing panels that are used to prevent sound waves from entering or leaving a space.
1) The relative level of two or more instruments in a mix, or the relative level of audio signals in the channels of a stereo recording. 2) To even out the relative levels of audio signals in the channels of stereo recording.
A cable consisting of three wires (two signal wires and a ground wire) and two connectors. The two signal wires carry the same signal in opposite polarities, providing protection against interference and noise in a balanced system. Examples of balanced cables include tip-ring-sleeve (TRS) stereo cables and XLR cables.
A circuit or device that generates the sum and difference frequencies of two input signals.