audio terms

  1. audiokid

    (term) Closed Back

    In reference to headphones, describes the design of the cup where there is no venting of the audio to the outside. Closed back, circumaural headphone are often used in studios, where "bleed" from the headphone can be picked up by the recording microphone. Closed back headphones minimize this...
  2. audiokid

    Clock Speed

    In a computer, clock speed refers to the number of pulses generated by an oscillator that sets the tempo for the processor. The faster the processor can access data, the faster the computer can perform its functions, given that other parts of the system are sufficiently tuned to support the...
  3. audiokid


    In digital audio or video, a clock serves as a timing source. Data has to be executed at very specific times for digital audio or video to function properly. An issue that has to be addressed when synchronizing systems with each other. Although audio and video require different references to...
  4. audiokid

    (term) Class H

    If an amplifier has more than one voltage rail then it is designated Class H. Its operation involves changing the power supply voltage from a lower level to a higher level when larger output swings are required. For most musical program material the output stage is connected to the lower...
  5. audiokid

    (term) Class AB

    A class AB amplifier is a combination of both class A and B in that the output bias is set so that current flows in a specific output device appreciably more than a half cycle but less than the entire cycle. That is, only a small amount of current is allowed to flow through both devices...
  6. audiokid

    (term) Class B

    Class B is opposite to class A in that the current in a specific output flows for one half cycle. In other words, both output devices are never on simultaneously. This system allows for much better efficiency, but displays poor linearity around the crossover region, since it takes time to...
  7. audiokid

    (term) Class A

    A type of amplifier design where the output device is always on for both parts of a complete sinusoidal cycle. Class A is the most inefficient of all power amplifier designs, averaging only around 20%. Because of this, class A amplifiers are large, heavy and run very hot, due to the...
  8. audiokid

    (term) Circumaural

    Used in reference to headphones and means "around the ear." Can be combined with semi open, closed and open back designs. (See Supra-Aural)
  9. audiokid

    (term) Center Frequency

    The particular frequency to which a given filter-band in an equalizer is tuned to. Parametric equalizers are able to sweep the center frequency, providing a greater degree of flexibility to the EQ, while graphic EQ's have a number of fixed center frequencies. The amount of boost/cut that can...
  10. audiokid

    (term) Carrier

    A modulated RF signal. That is, one which is carrying audio or other information. FM and AM radio employ two carrier signals but modify them in different ways. FM synthesis uses a carrier as part of the algorithm for generating sound. The carrier usually outputs the original sound source and...
  11. audiokid

    (term) Capsule

    The portion of a microphone that converts acoustic energy to electrical energy. Often includes shock mounts, acoustic isolators, protective covers and electronic circuitry in addition to the basic transducer. Also called an element.
  12. audiokid

    (term) Broadcast Wave File

    A subset of the standard .wav audio file format commonly used by PC's. The specification restricts what kind of audio data can be carried, along with extra data that provides information on the title, date, time etc. of the audio file. It's most important function for digital audio is the...
  13. audiokid

    (term) Brickwall Filter

    A type of filter in which the cut-off slope is very steep, almost resembling a wall. Sometimes used in converters to remove source material above the Nyquist frequency, but the negative results of phasing and attenuation of bands near the center frequency make them unusable for higher end...
  14. audiokid

    (term) Black Burst

    Also referred to as house or video sync. Derived from video editing where video decks and cameras needed to proceed from one frame to other with absolute synchronization, the term is now finding use amongst audio professionals as they find the need for their digital workstations to lock to...
  15. audiokid

    (term) Bit Depth

    In digital audio, the term is used to define the number of bits a digital device uses to process audio. While sampling frequency determines the outer frequency limits that a piece of hardware is capable of processing, bit depth refers to the dynamic range that can be captured during...
  16. audiokid

    (term) Binding Post

    Type of output connector on a power amplifier, or as the connector on a speaker cabinet. A very versatile connector, accepting banana plugs, alligator clips, and bare wire. Usually color-coded.
  17. audiokid

    (term) Bias Voltage

    A low DC voltage typically supplied by a body-pack wireless transmitter to power a condenser microphone. Not to be confused with phantom power.
  18. audiokid

    (term) Barrier Strip

    Also know as a terminal strip. A series of screw terminals arranged in a line, to which other devices are connected. Popular on equipment from about twenty years ago due its low cost and reliability, nowadays the connectors are mostly found on amplifiers or crossovers that are going to be...
  19. audiokid

    (term) Bargraph

    A display device indicating a value, usually by means of a row of LED's or LCD segments. One or more LED's or LCD segments illuminate to display the present value of the function being monitored. Bargraphs have replaced fragile and expensive mechanical meters for most low-cost audio equipment.
  20. audiokid

    (term) Bantam

    Used to describe patch bays or cables based on the Western Electric/AT&T long frame switchboard. Sometimes referred to as TT bays. Liked by professional installations because of the large number of points that are available for a given size patch bay.