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The difference in electrical force or pressure (“potential”) between two objects, causing a flow of electric current between them.
An amplifier whose gain level is affected by an external voltage being sent to it. VCAs are commonly used in synthesizers, signal processors, and as a means of automation for some mixing consoles.
A filter (especially a low-pass filter) that will change its cutoff frequency according to a control voltage fed to its control input.
An oscillator whose frequencies are modified by voltage input. Most commonly found in synthesizers.
A common, non-technical term that either refers to sound pressure level (which we hear as loudness), or to audio voltage level.
A unit to measure perceived loudness changes in audio. The unit is basically the decibel change of the average level as read by a VU Meter. (See also “VU Meter.”)
A Latin word meaning “voice,” often used as an abbreviation for track logs in the studio.
A meter that reads audio voltage levels in or out of a piece of equipment and is designed to match the ear’s response to sudden changes in level.
Unit of electrical power.
A visual representation or graphic of a sound wave, audio signal or other type of wave, showing the wave’s oscillations above and below the zero line.
The physical length of one cycle of a wave, measured in feet, inches, etc. The longer the wavelength of a sound wave, the lower its frequency; the shorter the wavelength, the higher the frequency.
An equalization curve used in audio tests that compensates for the Fletcher Munson Curve at various levels. (See also “Fletcher-Munson Curves.”)
Refers to a signal that has the full amount of an effect (like reverb) applied to it, as opposed to “dry,” which refers to the un-effected sound. Many times, the preferred sound in mixing will be a blend of wet and dry signals. (See also “Dry.”)
A noise signal containing an equal spread of energy across all audible frequencies. Like pink noise, engineers often send a white noise signal through audio equipment for tuning and calibration purposes, or in EQ-ing a live audio space. (See also “Pink Noise.”)
A change in pitch equivalent to two half steps, or the difference in pitch between two piano keys.