Translation glossary: Acoustics, Sound, Audio Engineering Glossary

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ChipA slang term for an Integrated Circuit or IC. 
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ChordThree or more different musical notes played at the same time. 
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ChorusAn effect created by doubling a signal and adding delay and pitch modulation, intended to make a single source sound more like an ensemble. 
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ChromaticA scale of pitches rising or falling in semitone steps. 
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Click TrackAn audible metronome pulse which assists musicians in playing in time. 
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ClippingWhen an audio signal is allowed to overload the system conveying it, clipping is said to have occurred and severe distortion results. The ‘clipping point’ is reached when the audio system can no longer accommodate the signal amplitude –either because an analogue signal voltage nears or exceeds the circuitry’s power supply voltage, or because a digital sample amplitude exceeds the quantiser’s number range. In both cases, the result is th 
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ClippingWhen an audio signal is allowed to overload the system conveying it, clipping is said to have occurred and severe distortion results. The ‘clipping point’ is reached when the audio system can no longer accommodate the signal amplitude –either because an analogue signal voltage nears or exceeds the circuitry’s power supply voltage, or because a digital sample amplitude exceeds the quantiser’s number range. In both cases, the result is th 
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ClockingThe process of controlling the sample rate of one digital device with an external clock signal derived from another device. In a conventional digital system there must be only one master clock device, with everything else ‘clocked’ or ‘slaved’ from that master. 
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CloneAn exact duplicate. Often refers to digital copies of digital tapes. 
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Close-MikingA mic technique which involves placing a microphone very close to a sound source, normally with the intention of maximising the wanted sound and minimising any unwanted sound from other nearby sound sources or the room acoustics. In classic music circles the technique is more often known as \'Accent Miking\'. 
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CloudEssentially an internet communications network (either a Wide Area Network [WAN] or a private network) in which a data-centre performs a range of services such as data storage (cloud storage) or remote apps and programs (cloud computing). The term comes from the way network engineers used to draw system diagrams with a cloud symbol to simplify a very complex (and irrelevant) network of routers, switches, drives and cables into something that just 
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CloudEssentially an internet communications network (either a Wide Area Network [WAN] or a private network) in which a data-centre performs a range of services such as data storage (cloud storage) or remote apps and programs (cloud computing). The term comes from the way network engineers used to draw system diagrams with a cloud symbol to simplify a very complex (and irrelevant) network of routers, switches, drives and cables into something that just 
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Coincident 
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Coincident 
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ColourationA distortion of the natural timbre or frequency response of sound, usually but not always unwanted. 
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Comb-Filtera series of deep filter notches created when a signal is combined with a delayed version of itself. The delay time (typically less than 10ms) determines the lowest frequency at which the filter notches start. 
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Common Mode RejectionA measure of how well a balanced circuit rejects an interference signal that is common to both sides of the balanced connection. 
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Compact CassetteOriginally conceived as a recording format for dictation machines in the early 1960s, it became a mainstream music release format in the form of the Musicassette. A plastic shell protected 3.81mm wide (1/8-inch) recording tape which ran at 4.75cm/s. A stereo track was recorded in one direction, and the tape could be turned over to play a second stereo track recorded in the opposite direction. 
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CompanderAn encode-decode device typically employed to pass a wide dynamic range signal over a channel with a lower dynamic range capability. The source signal is compressed in the encoder to reduce the dynamic range, and subsequently expanded by the decoder to restore the original dynamics. The Dolby noise reduction codecs are examples of companders. 
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CompingShort for ‘compilation.’ The process of recording the same performance (e.g. a lead vocal) several times on multiple tracks to allow the subsequent selection of the best sections and assembling them to create a ‘compilation’ performance which would be constructed on a final track. 
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CompressorA device (analogue or digital) which is designed to reduce the overall dynamic range of an audio signal either by attenuating the signal if it exceeds a set threshold level according, or by increasing the level of quiet signals below a threshold. The amount of attenuation is defined by a set ratio, while the speed of response (attack) and recovery (release) can usually also be controlled. 
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ComputerA device which can be instructed (or programmed) to carry out arithmetic or logical operations. Although mechanical \'analogue\' computers do exist, most are now electronic and digital, and process digital data. 
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Condenser Microphonesee Capacitor Microphone 
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ConductorA material that provides a low resistance path for electrical current. 
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ConeA specific shape of drive unit diaphragm intended to push and pull the air to create acoustic sound waves. Most bass drivers use cone-shaped diaphragms, where the electromagnetic motor of the drive unit is connected to the point of the cone, and its outer diameter is supported by some form of flexible membrane. 
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ConsoleAn alternative term for mixer (See also Desk). 
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Contact CleanerA compound designed to increase the conductivity of electrical contacts such as plugs, sockets and edge connectors. (cf. De-Oxidising Compound) 
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Continuous ControllerType of MIDI message used to translate continuous parameter changes, such as from a pedal, wheel or breath control device. 
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Control VoltageA variable voltage signal typically used to control the pitch of an oscillator or filter frequency in an analogue synthesizer. Most analogue synthesizers follow a one volt per octave convention, though there are exceptions. To use a pre-MIDI analogue synthesizer under MIDI control, a MIDI to CV converter is required. 
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ConverterA device which transcodes audio signals between the analogue and digital domains. An analogue-to-digital (A-D) converter accepts an analogue signal and converts it to a digital format, while a digital-to-analogue (D-A) converter does the reverse. The sample rate and wordlength of the digital format is often adjustable, as is the relative amplitude of analogue signal for a given digital level. 
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ConvolutionA mathematical process whereby the characteristics of one function (or signal) are imposed upon a second function (signal) , to produce a third function which combines both of their characteristics. (See Convolution Reverb). This process is performed in the digital domain by multiplying each individual sample value of a source signal with the impulse response of the wanted effect signal, so that the characteristics of the latter are imposed on th 
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ConvolutionA mathematical process whereby the characteristics of one function (or signal) are imposed upon a second function (signal) , to produce a third function which combines both of their characteristics. (See Convolution Reverb). This process is performed in the digital domain by multiplying each individual sample value of a source signal with the impulse response of the wanted effect signal, so that the characteristics of the latter are imposed on th 
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Convolution ReverbA computationally demanding, but very accurate method, of creating artificial reverberation derived from real acoustic spaces with all their natural complexity. In essence, a reverberant space is measured to obtain its unique impulse response. That impulse response is then convolved with a \'dry\' (reverberant-free) source signal to create an output signal which contains the original (dry) source signal with the desired room\'s reverberation char 
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Convolution ReverbA computationally demanding, but very accurate method, of creating artificial reverberation derived from real acoustic spaces with all their natural complexity. In essence, a reverberant space is measured to obtain its unique impulse response. That impulse response is then convolved with a \'dry\' (reverberant-free) source signal to create an output signal which contains the original (dry) source signal with the desired room\'s reverberation char 
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Copy ProtectionA method used by software manufacturers to prevent unauthorised copying. 
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CPUCentral Processing Unit 
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CrashSlang term relating to malfunction of computer program. 
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CrossoverA set of audio filters designed to restrict and control the range of input signal frequencies which are passed to each loudspeaker drive unit. A typical two-way speaker will employ three filters: a high-pass filter allowing only the higher frequencies to feed the tweeter, a low pass filter that allows only the lower frequencies to feed the woofer, and a second high-pass filter that prevents subsonic signals from damaging the woofer. 
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Crossover frequencyThe frequency at which one driver ceases to produce most of the sound and a second driver takes over. In the case of a two-way speaker the crossover frequency is usually between 1 and 3kHz. 
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Cut and Paste EditingThe ability to copy or move sections of a recording to new locations. 
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Cut-off FrequencyThe frequency above or below which attenuation begins in a filter circuit. 
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CVsee Control Voltage 
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CycleOne complete vibration (from maximum peak, through the negative peak, and back to the maximum again) of a sound source or its electrical equivalent. One cycle per second is expressed as 1 Hertz (Hz). 
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Daisy ChainAn arrangement of sharing a common data signal between multiple devices. A ‘daisy chain’ is created by connecting the appropriate output (or through) port of one device to the input of the next. This configuration is often used for connecting multiple MIDI instruments together: the MIDI Out of the master device is connected to the MIDI In of the first slave, then the MIDI Thru of the first slave is connected to the MIDI In of the second slave 
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Daisy ChainAn arrangement of sharing a common data signal between multiple devices. A ‘daisy chain’ is created by connecting the appropriate output (or through) port of one device to the input of the next. This configuration is often used for connecting multiple MIDI instruments together: the MIDI Out of the master device is connected to the MIDI In of the first slave, then the MIDI Thru of the first slave is connected to the MIDI In of the second slave 
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DampingThe control of a resonant device. In the context of reverberation, damping refers to the rate at which the reverberant energy is absorbed by the various surfaces in the environment. In the context of a loudspeaker it relates to the cabinet design and internal acoustic absorbers. 
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DANTEA form of audio-over-IP (layer 3) created by Australian company Audinate in 2006. DANTE is an abbreviation of \'Digital Audio Network Through Ethernet\'. The format provides low-latency multichannel audio over standard ethernet intrastructures. it has been widely adopted in the broadcast, music studio, and live sound sectors. 
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DATAn abbreviation of Digital Audio Tape, but often used to refer to DAT recorders (more correctly known as R-DAT because they use a rotating head similar to a video recorder). Digital recorders using fixed or stationary heads (such as DCC) are known as S-DAT machines. 
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DataInformation stored and used by a computer. 
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DAW(Digital Audio Workstation): A term first used in the 1980s to describe early ‘tapeless’ recording/sampling machines like the Fairlight and Synclavier. Nowadays, DAW is more commonly used to describe Audio+MIDI ‘virtual studio’ software programs such as Cubase, Logic Pro, Digital Performer, Sonar and such-like. Essentially elaborate software running on a bespoke or generic computer platform which is designed to replicate the processes inv 
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