D/A - Abbreviation of the term Digital To
Analog Converter, a device that changes digital data numbers (digital audio signal) into
discrete voltage level.
Daisy Chain - 1) A hook up of several
devices where the audio signal has to pass through one device to reach the second device
and through the second device to reach the third device. 2) In MIDI, a hook up of MIDI
devices where the MIDI signal has to pass though each device to reach the next device.
DAT - An abbreviation of Digital Audio Tape and
a standard format for recording digital audio on specially designed small cassette tapes.
Data - 1) Information, usually letters, words
and commands. 2) An analog signal in early console automation systems made from the
control voltages feeding VCA's (voltage controlled amplifiers).
DAW - An abbreviation of Digital Audio
Workstation (a dedicated device that is both a recorder and mixer for Digital Audio).
dB - An abbreviation of the term Decibel, a unit
used in comparing signal strengths.
Note: It is recommended that you read the entire entry for Decibel.
dBm - 1) Decibels of audio power present
compared to one milliwatt of power in a 600 ohm load. 2) Very incorrectly and too commonly
used to designate the reference voltage of .775 volts of audio signal strength regardless
dBSPL - The sound pressure level present
compared in dB to the standard sound pressure reference level representing "no"
sound (a sound pressure level that about 50% of the people would say there was no sound
dBu (dBv) -
The audio voltage present compared in dB to the level of .775
volts of audio voltage in any impedance. Since almost all modern audio equipment is voltage-sensitive, 0 dBu represents a standard strength of audio signal. This unit is used extensively in the design and installation of audio equipment today. dBu is the preferred form.
dBv The audio voltage present in dB compared to the level of 1 volt of audio signal
in any impedance. 0 dBV is a common reference level used in consumer audio
equipment and semi-pro gear.
dBx - A Manufacturer (brand) of noise reduction
systems, dynamic processing equipment and other audio gear.
DC - Abbreviation of the term Direct Current
(electric current flowing in one direction only).
Dead - 1) Referring to an acoustically
absorbent area or space. 2) A slang term for broken.
Decay - 1) The rate of reduction of the audio
signal generated in synthesizers from the peak level to sustain level (see the term ADSR).
2) The fade out of the reverberation of a sound
Decibel - The ratio of two Levels according
to a scale where a certain percentage change is one unit. One decible is approximately a
12% change in sound pressure level.
CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION!
De-esser - 1) An audio compressor or
limiter with its control, circuit made more sensitive to the sounds made by a person
pronouncing "s." 2) Any device that will reduce the high frequency energy when
"s" is loudly pronounced.
Definition - 1) The quality of a sound
that allows it to be distinguished from other sounds. 2) In Lexicon Reverb Units, a
parameter which sets a decrease in reverberation density in the later part of the decay.
Degauss - A term with the same meaning as
Demagnetize (to remove the magnetism from).
Delay - A signal which comes from a source
and then is delayed by a tape machine or delay device and can be mixed with the original
(non-delayed) signal to make it sound fuller, create echo effects, etc.
Delay Effects - Any signal processing
that uses delay as its basis for processing such as echo, reverb delay and special effects
like flanging and chorusing.
Demo - 1) An inexpensively made recording
which gives an idea of some of the musical performances that could be used in a final
music production. 2) To make a demo. 3) Any demonstration or trial use of equipment that
nay be purchased in the future. 4) The equipment being demonstrated.
Detune - To tune slightly flat, especially
when double tracking, usually to give a fuller sound.
D.I. - An abbreviation of the term Direct
Injection or Direct Input.
Dialogue - The spoken word recorded in
film/video sound, commercials and instructional recordings.
Diaphragm - The part of the microphone,
which moves because the pressure changes of the sound pressure wave, move it.
Digital - 1) Of numbers - using
numbers in displays. 2) Communication by using signals that represent numbers. Example:
A pulse code signal of numbers to digitally record or transmit an audio signal
Digital Controls - 1) Controls
that have changing number displays when the control is changed. 2) Controls that change
the digital control signal bits to change the value of some functions.
Digital Delay - A delay line or delay
effects unit that converts the audio signal into a digital audio signal, delays it, and
converts it back to an analog audio signal before sending it out of the unit.
Digital Domain - In a state of being
binary numbers or binary number signals rather than analog or analog signals.
Digital Error - Lost bit information
used in the digital words of the digital audio signal.
Digital Interface Format (DIF)
- A specification of the number of bits, what the individual bits mean, the voltage, and
type of connector for digital audio connections.
Digital Multimeter - A small
hand-held, battery operated, testing device that will test voltage, current, and
resistance levels as well as continuity, giving a digital display.
Digital Recording - The process
of convening audio signals into numbers that represent the waveform and storing these
Digital Signal Processing
- Any signal processing done after an analog audio signal has been converted into digital
Digital To Analog Converter
- A device to change digital data numbers that make up the digital audio into discrete
voltage levels that approximate the original analog audio waveform.
Digital Word - A number of information
bits that will communicate one value; each word being a standard length.
Dip - To reduce the level of signals in a
specific band of audio frequencies.
Direct - 1) Using a direct pickup. 2) Using
a direct output. 3) Recording all musicians to the final two track master without using a
Direct Box - An electronic device
utilizing a transformer or amplifier to change the electrical output of an electric
instrument (for example, an electric guitar) to the impedance and level usually obtained
from a microphone.
Direct Current - Electric current
flowing in one direction only. Abbreviated DC.
Direct Input - A term meaning the same
thing as the term Direct Pick Up (feeding the signal from an electrical output of an
electric instrument to the recording console or tape recorder without using a microphone
but by changing the electrical output of the instrument to the impedance and level of a
Direct Injection - Same as the
term Direct Pick Up (feeding the signal from an electric instrument to the recording
console or tape recorder without using a microphone but by changing the electrical output
of the instrument to the impedance and level of a microphone).
Direct Output - 1) On most consoles,
an output of the console activated by the direct output switch, which connects a numbered
input module to the same numbered track (for example. the direct output on input module
one feeds to track one of the tape recorder). 2) On some consoles, a jack that is the
output of a console input module and can be used to patch the signal from this module to
any tack input of a tape machine.
Direct Pick Up - Feeding the signal
from an electric instrument to the recording console or tape recorder without using a
Direct Sound - The sound which reaches
a microphone or listener without hitting or bouncing off any obstacles.
Directional Pattern - 1) In
microphones, a term meaning the same thing as the term Pick Up Pattern (a description or
graphic display of the level that a microphone puts out because of sounds arriving from
different directions). 2) In speakers, the pattern of dispersion (the area that the sound
from a speaker will evenly cover in a listening area).
Disk (Disc) - 1) A round
flat object (usually housed in a protective sleeve) coated with material that can be
magnetized in a similar manner to tape. 2) Any round flat object capable of storing audio
signals (digital or analog) or digital data, including phonograph records and compact
Disk Operating System
- Full name of DOS (the function of storage and handling of data by the computer).
Distant Micing - The technique of
placing a mic far from a sound source so that reflected sound is picked up with the direct
Distortion - 1) The audio garble that
can be heard when an audio waveform has been altered, usually by overload of an audio
device like an amplifier. 2) The similar garbled sound that can be heard when the sound
pressure level is too loud for the waveform to be accurately reproduced by the human
Diversity - A system in
wireless microphone receivers that switches between two or more antennas to prevent dropouts in the audio.
Dolby - The name of a manufacturer (and a
trademark) of noise reduction systems and other audio systems, to improve performance and
fidelity of audio recording, playback, and transmission.
Doppler Effect - A change in
frequency of a delayed signal caused by the delay time changing while the cycle is being
DOS - Short for Disk Operating System, which is
the function of storage and handling of data by the computer.
Double - 1) To record a second performance,
double tracking (recording a second track with a second performance, closely marching the
first performance). 2) To use a delay line with medium delay to simulate this.
Drive - 1) To control something else,
especially mechanical movement of a recording or playback device. 2) The mechanical
mechanism used to Drive (definition 1). 3) To feed a signal to. 4) Short for Disc Drive,
the mechanism that writes and reads digital data to and from a floppy disk.
Dropout - A very short absence of signal in
magnetic recording usually caused by dirt or defects in the magnetic coating of tapes and
discs or any very short loss of an audio signal.
Drum Booth (Drum Room)
- An isolation booth/room setup for recording a drum set.
Drum Machine - A sample playback unit
(or sound module with synthesized sounds) with drum sounds that can be sequenced by an
internal sequencer to play drum patterns.
Drum Pattern - A sequence of drum
soundings during a tune played by a drummer or sequenced into a drum machine; especially a
short pan used in part of a song.
Dry - 1) Having no reverberation or ambience.
2) More loosely used to describe an audio signal without any signal processing.
DSP - An abbreviation for Digital Signal
Processing (Any signal processing done after an analog audio signal has been convened into
Dub - 1) To copy a recording. 2) A copy of a
recording. 3) A recording made in time with another recording so the final result is a mix
of the first recording and second recording. 4) To add dialogue to a picture after the
picture has been filmed or recorded on video tape
Dynamic Microphone - 1) A
microphone in which the diaphragm moves a coil suspended in a magnetic field to generate
an output voltage proportional to the sound pressure level. 2) Occasionally used to mean
any microphone that has a generating element, cutting magnetic lines or force to produce
an output; a dynamic microphone (definition 1) or a ribbon microphone.
Dynamic Processing (Dynamic Signal Processing) - An automatic change
in level (or gain) to change the level relationship of the loudest audio to the softest
Dynamic Range - 1) The level
difference (in dB) between the loudest peak and the softest level of a tune recording etc.
2) The level difference between the level of clipping and the noise level in an audio
device or channel.
Dynamics - 1) The amount of fluctuation in
level of an audio signal. 2) In music, the playing of instruments loudly or softly at
Back to Top of Glossary