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Testing1212 - terms for sound engineers
Category: Electronics and Engineering > Audio
Date & country: 05/11/2007, UK
Words: 1153


Fade
1) A gradual reduction of the level of the audio signal.
2) A gradual change of level from one pre-set level to another.

Fader
A control to control the gain of a channel on the console, thereby determining the level of the signal in that channel.

Far Field
The area from 3 feet away from the sound source up to the critical distance.

Fat
Having more than a normal amount of signal strength at low frequencies or having more sound than normal (by use of compression or delay).

Feed
To send an audio or control signal to.

Feedback
1) The delayed signal sent back to the input of a delay line, used in repeat-echo effects.
2) The pickup of the signal out of a channel by its input or the howling sound that this produces.
3) In an amplifier, the phase reversed output signal sent back to its input, reducing gain but also distortion and noise.
4) This occurs when the sound coming out of the speakers goes back into the microphones, then back out the speakers, then back into the mics...and so on. This can build very quickly to a point where everyone in the room is holding their ears and screaming at you. It can also cause damage to the PA.

Feedback Control
The control on a delay line or delay effects device that controls the amount of feedback.

Fidelity
The recording or reproduction quality.

Field
1) In video, one half of a frame.
2) In computer-controlled devices a window display with functions and choices that the operator can make

Figure Eight Pattern
Another name for Bi-directional Pattern (microphone pickup pattern picking up best from the front and back of the diaphragm and not picking up from the side of the diaphragm).

File
A collection of digital data stored in a computer's memory bank or on a floppy disc.

Filter
1) A device that removes signals with frequencies above or below a certain point called the cut-off frequency.
2) An equalizer section, used in this sense because filters are used with other components to give an equalizer its frequency response characteristics.
3) The action of removing signals of some frequencies and leaving the rest.
4) A mechanical device to smooth out speed variations in tape machines called a Scrape Flutter Filter- more usually called a Scrape Flutter Idler

Final Mix
The two track stereo master tape which was mixed from the multitrack master.

First Generation
A descriptive term meaning original (as opposed to a copy).

Flamenco
A style of music with roots in Spanish and Arabic culture.

Flange
An effect caused by an approximately even mix of a modulated (varying) short delay with the direct signal.

Flat
1) Lower in musical pitch.
2) A slang term used to describe the sensitivity to frequency of a microphone, amplifier, etc., as being even at all frequencies, usually within 2 dB.

Flat
Refers to the frequencies on the EQ when they are arranged in centred neutral positions.

Fletcher Munson Effect
A hearing limitation shown by Fletcher Munson Equal Loudness Contours (as music is lowered in volume, it is much more difficult to hear bass frequencies and somewhat harder to hear very high frequencies).

Floor
1) An alternate tam meaning Range (a limit on the amount the signal is reduced when the input signal is low by an expander or gate).
2) A shortening of the term Noise Floor (the level of the noise).

Floor Toms
The large toms to the right of the drummer.

Floppy Disk (Floppy Disc)
A round flat object (usually housed in a protective sleeve) coated with material that can be magnetized in a similar manner to tape.

Flutter
1) High-frequency variations in pitch of a recorded waveform due to fast speed variations in a recorder or playback machine.
2) Originally, and more formally, any variations (fast or slow) in pitch of a recorded tone due to speed fluctuations in a recorder or playback unit.

Fly In
1) To add sounds into a mix or recording that have no synchronization.
2) An application of this where a performance from one part of a tune is recorded and then recorded back into the recording at a different time in the recording.

FOH (Front of House)
Refers to the speakers that face toward the audience. Also called the 'main' speakers.

Foldback
A European term for the signal sent to the stage monitors in a live performance.

Folded Horn
A speaker design where the speaker points back into the cabinet and bounces around finally coming out large ports in the front. It is intended to maximize low frequencies in a relatively small cabinet.

Foot (Foot Drum)
Another name for Bass Drum (the largest drum in the Drum Kit which puts out bass frequencies and is played with a foot pedal).

Foot Pedal
1) An effects device where the amount of the effect can be controlled by a musician with his foot.
2) The beater mechanism of a foot drum that is activated by the drummer's foot to play the drum.
3) Any device, like a volume control, that can be operated by the foot.

Foot Switch
A switch placed on the floor and pressed by a musician to do various functions.

Formant
An element in the sound of a voice or instrument that does not change frequency as different pitches are sounded.

Format
1) The number of tracks, their width, spacing and order for tape recording.
2) To prepare a digital storage medium so that it will accept and store digital information bits.

Frame
1) A division of one second in synchronization and recording coming from definition two.
2) The amount of time that one still picture is shown in film or video.

Frequency
Practically speaking, high frequency means high pitch and low frequency means low pitch.

Frequency
The number of cycles of a waveform occurring in a second.

Frequency Range
The range of frequencies over which an electronic device is useful or over which a sound source will put out substantial energy.

Frequency Response
How sensitive an electronic device (mic, amplifier, speaker, etc.) is to various frequencies; often communicated with a graph.

Frequency Shift Key - FSK
The full name for FSK (A simple clock signal that can be used to run a sequencer in time with an audio tape).

Fret Buzz
A buzzing sound made when a note is not properly fretted. Common with cheap guitars or beginning guitar players.

Frets
Vertical metal wires which sit vertically on the guitar neck.

Front Loaded
A speaker cabinet where the speaker faces out toward the front.

Full
A quality of the sound of having all frequencies present, especially the low frequencies.

Full Range
Describes a sound which covers all audible frequency ranges. As in 'full range speaker cabinets.'

Full Step
A change in pitch that occurs when moving up or down two piano keys

Fundamental
The tuned frequency and (almost always) the lowest frequency that is present in the sounding of a pitch by a musical instrument.

Gain
1) Knob usually found at the top of each input channel on the soundboard. Used to set input levels of the separate channels to relatively equal positions.
2) The amount of increase in audio signal strength, often expressed in dB.

Gain Control
A device that changes the gain of an amplifier or circuit, often a knob that can be turned or a slide that can be moved up arid down.

Gain Reduction
The working of a limiter or compressor reducing gain during high-level passages.

Gain Structure
The way in which the gain varies in the stages or sections of an audio system.

Gate
A dynamic processing device that turns a channel off or down when the signal drops below a certain level.

Generating Element
The portion of the microphone that actually converts the movement of the diaphragm into electrical current or voltage changes.

Generation
A term used to describe the number of times that the recorded audio signal has been copied.

Golden Section
A ratio of height to width to length of a room to achieve 'good acoustics' and first recommended by the ancient Greeks. The ratio is approximately the width 1.6 times the height and the length 2.6 times the height

Graphic Equalizer
An device with several slides controlling the gain of audio signal present which is within one of several evenly spaced frequency bands (spaced according to octaves).

Ground
In electronics, a place (terminal) that has zero volts.

Ground Adapter Plug
Adapts a three pronged electrical plug to a two pronged wall outlet. This bypasses the ground and may create a hum in the system. A lack of a good ground can cause mild electrical shock when touching a microphone.

Ground Lift
A switch that breaks the connection between the ground point in one circuit and the ground point in another circuit.

Ground Lifter
An adapter that takes a three prong power cord and plugs into a two prong outlet, used to disconnect the third (ground) pin of the power outlet. WARNING: It can be VERY DANGEROUS to have no ground connection to the case by using a ground lifter and not grounding the unit by other means.

Ground Loop
A double grounding of a line or electronic device at two different 'ground' points of differing voltage.

Group
1) A number of channels or faders that can be controlled by one Master VCA slide.
2) A shortening of the term Recording Group (a buss or the signal present on a buss).

Group Faders
The VCA faders of individual channels that are all controlled by a Group Master Fader (a slide control used to send out a control voltage to several VCA faders in individual channels).

Group Master
A slide control used to send out a control voltage to several VCA faders in individual channels, thus controlling the gain of several channels.

Grouping
1) Controlling the gain of several individual channels with a Group Fader.
2) The mixing together of several individual audio signals to send a mixed signal out of the console to record a track on a multitrack tape machine.

Guitar Controller
An electric guitar or device played like an electric guitar that puts out MIDI signals that can be used to control synthesizers and sound modules.

Guitar Processor
A unit that will add effects to a direct guitar signal, including a simulated instrument amplifier sound and (often) delay and reverb effects.

Haas Effect
Simply stated, a factor in human hearing where delay has a much bigger effect on human perception of direction than level does.

Half Step
A pitch difference of the amount that is present between adjacent keys on a piano.

Hall
A large building designed for concerts; also called a concert hall.

Hall Program
A setting of a digital delay/reverb effects unit that approximates concert halls. Hall programs are characterized by pre-delay of up to 25 ms.

Hard Disk (Hard Disc)
A storage unit for digital data that has rigid disks coated with magnetic material in a housing that includes the drive mechanism.

Hard Disk Recording
The recording of digital audio onto a hard disc.

Harmonic Distortion
The presence of harmonics in the output signal of a device which were not present in the input signal.

Harmonics
Whole number multiples of the frequency that determines the timbre recognition of an instrument's sound.

Head
1) In tape recording, the transducer (energy converter) that changes the audio energy from electrical energy to magnetic energy and back; also the devices that apply magnetism to the recording tape for other purposes such as in the erase head.
2) The part of a device that immediately includes the transducer to change sound or audio signals from one energy form to another.

Head Amp
British name for Preamplifier (A low-noise amplifier designed to take a low-level signal, such as the output of a tape head, and bring it up to normal line level).

Headphones
Devices that can be worn on the head with small speakers that fit over the ears (or sometimes into the ears).

Headroom
1) The level difference (in dB) between normal operating level and clipping level in an amplifier or audio device.
2) A similar level difference between normal tape operating level and the level where the distortion would be 3%.
3) The difference, in decibels, between the peak and RMS levels in program material.

Headstock
The area of the guitar at the end of the neck where the strings are tuned.

Hearing Limitation
An inability of the ear to hear important characteristics of sound under certain conditions. Characteristics that can be affected include pitch, level, clarity, presence and direction.

Hertz
The unit of frequency. Equivalent to cycles per second. Abbreviation: Hz.

Hi-Z
An abbreviation of the term High Impedance (Impedance of 5000 or more ohms).

High Frequencies
The audio frequencies from 6000 Hz and above.

High Hat
A double cymbal on a stand which can be played with a foot pedal or by the top cymbal being hit with a stick.

High Impedance
Impedance of 5000 or more ohms.

High Impedance Cord (High Z)
A big word for instrument cable. These cords generally have quarter inch male ends. they tend to loose signal strength at lengths longer than 25 feet.

High Impedance Mic
A microphone designed to be fed into an amplifier with input impedance greater than 20 k ohms.

High-Pass Filter
A device that rejects signals that are below a certain frequency (called the cut-off frequency) and passes signals with frequencies that are higher.

Highs
Short for the term High Frequencies (the audio frequencies from 6000 Hz and above).

Horn
1) The part of the speaker that emits midrange and higher range frequencies.
2) A speaker or speaker enclosure where sound waves are put into a narrow opening (by a speaker cone or driver) and the narrow opening flairs out to a larger opening.

House Sync
A synchronization signal such as SMPTE time code that is used by all recorders in the control room.

Howlback
British term for the term Feedback (the pickup of the signal out of a channel by the input of the channel or the howling sound that this produces).

Hum
The 60 Hz power line current accidentally induced or fed into electronic equipment.

Humbucker
Pickups that are coupled together to get a certain sound.

Hybrid
A product created by the marriage of two different technologies. Meant here as the combination of a dynamic woofer with an electrostatic transducer.

Hypercardioid Pattern
A microphone pick up sensitivity pattern where the least sensitive pick up point is more than 90 degrees but less than 150 degrees off axis (usually 120 degrees).

Hz
An abbreviation for the term Hertz (the unit of frequency).

Hz (Hertz)
Unit of frequency equivalent to the number of cycles per second.

I-O
Short for 'Input/Output' and referring to: 1) An in-line console module that contains controls for the input section, output section and monitor section.
2) A module in electronic gear containing input and output amplifiers for the device.
3) A digital port (connector) able to both receive digital data and output digital data.

IC
Abbreviation of Integrated Circuit (A miniature circuit of many components that is in small, sealed housing with prongs to connect it into equipment).

Icon
A visual picture or symbol on a computer screen that represents a file, program or disc that can be used.