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

Playback Head
A transducer (energy converter) which converts magnetic flux recorded on tape into an audio signal.

Playback Level
1) A term with the same meaning as Reproduce Level.
2) A control that determines the output level of signals played back from the tape by the reproduce head.

Playback Mode
A connection of the console's monitor mixer inputs to the tape machine outputs for a quick playback of the multitrack master.

Playback Monitor
A position of the switch on a tape machine which allows the VU meter and sound output of the tape machine electronics to monitor the playback of what is actually recorded on the tape.

A series of computer commands to a disk recording of digital audio where the playback of the digital audio is to play certain portions and not others.

A connector, usually on a cable, that mates with a jack.

Point Source
A design in speaker systems, where separate speakers (reproducing different frequency ranges) are made so that the sound appears to come from one place.

Polar Pattern
1) For microphones, a graphic display of the audio output levels caused by sound waves arriving at the mic from different directions.
2) In speakers, a graphic display of the speaker's dispersion.

1) The condition of being positive or negative with respect to some reference point or object.
2) The direction of flow of electricity either negative to positive or positive to negative. Matching polarity between different amplifiers can greatly reduce hum and the risk of elictrical shock. Most amps come equipped with a 'polarity switch'.

The direction of current flow or magnetizing force.

Polarizing Voltage
The voltage applied to the plates of the variable capacitor in the condenser microphone capsule.

Pole Mode
In MIDI, a mode which allows the voices of the controlled synthesizer to be assigned polyphonically by incoming keynote numbers.

Pole Pieces
Iron or other magnetic material that conducts magnetic force to where it can be used in transducers like record heads, playback heads, microphones, etc.

Able to play more than one pitch at the same time, in synthesizers.

Playing several recorded tracks with sync playback through a console to mix them together and record them on an open track.

Pop Filter
A device that is placed over a microphone or between the microphone and singer to prevent loud 'pop' sounds by the singer.

1) An opening in a speaker case or in a microphone case, just behind the diaphragm.
2) A jack accepting or sending digital data.

1) A pitch change that smoothly glides from one pitch to another.
2) The synthesizer mode or MIDI command that allows or causes this to happen.

Ported-Case Microphone
A microphone with at least one port (opening behind the diaphragm) in its case.

1) A position of a send control (or other control) after the main channel fader.
2) Short for the term Post-Production.

Post Echo
A position of an echo send control after the main channel fader.

Post Production
Production done after a film or video is shot including the recording of replacement dialogue, adding sound effects and the mixing of dialogue, effects and music for the production.

Post Roll
The amount that the tape machine will play past the desired end point.

1) Short for the term Potentiometer.
2) A device that outputs part of the input voltage according to the position of the control's knob.

A device that outputs pan of the input voltage according to the position of the control's knob.

Potentiometer (Pot)
See 'attenuator'. For our purposes, they are the same.

1) The measurement of the ability of an electrical current to produce light, produce heat or do other work.
2) A similar measurement of another energy form to do work.
3) The name of the switch which turns on a device.

Power Amplifier
Converts sound signals of line level (approx. 1 volt) into tens of volts, with currents of around 1 Amp to drive speakers.

Power Amplifier
A device that takes a line level signal and amplifies it to be able to drive a speaker.

Power Strip (six way)
Allows you to plug a lot of things into one power outlet.

Power Supply
Basically, a rack mountable power strip that costs a whole lot more, but hey, some of them have cute little lamps that light up the face of your rack.

Power Supply
An electrical circuit which supplies voltage and current for devices to operate.

Pre Delay
Delay circuits at the input of a reverberation device causing a delay before the reverberation is heard.

Pre Echo
1) A repeating of the sound before the reverberation is heard used to simulate reflections caused by a stage.
2) In Tape Recording, a low-level leakage of sound coming later caused by print through.
3) In Disc Recording, a similar sound caused by a previous groove deforming a later groove.
4) A placement of an echo send control before the main channel fader.

Pre Emphasis
A boosting of high frequencies during the recording process to keep the signal above the noise at high frequencies.

Pre Fader
A placement of a send control (or other control) before the main channel fader.

Pre Fader Listen
A solo circuit that allows a channel signal to be heard (and often metered) before the channel fader.

A low-noise amplifier designed to take a low-level signal and bring it up to normal line level.

Pre-Fade Listen
Often shortened to PFL. Control on a sound mixing desk which allows the user to check the presence of a signal, and its quality before bringing up the fader. Also vital for fault-finding, where the route of a signal can be PFL'ed around the desk until the point where the fault occurs. Also known as Check and Cue.

1) Another term for ponging (playing several recorded tacks with sync playback through a console to mix them together and record them on an open track).
2) To mix together the audio of several devices before sending the composite mix to the main console.
3) The composite mix of #1 or #2.

Pre-Post Switch
A switch on the input module, which determines whether the echo send control comes before or after the main channel fader.

Precedence Effect
A factor in human hearing where delay has a much bigger effect on the human perception of the location of the sound source than level does.

Prefade- Postfade
An output from a sound desk is said to be prefade if it is independent of the channel fader. If it is postfade, the level of the output is relative to the channel fader.

The quality in sound of the instrument (or sound source) being right there next to you.

Presence Frequencies
The range of audio frequencies between 4 kHz and 6 kHz that often, when boosted, increases the sense of presence, especially on voices.

1) A program of a sound done at the factory by the manufacturer.
2) A set of factory set parameters to give one effect on a signal processing device.

Pressure Gradient Microphone
A microphone whose diaphragm is exposed front and back and diaphragm movement is caused by the pressure difference between its front and back.

Pressure Microphone
A microphone where the diaphragm moves because of the pressure of the sound wave having one side of the diaphragm working against the normal or controlled air pressure inside the microphone case.

Pressure Operated Microphone
A term meaning the same thing as the term Pressure Microphone. See the preceding entry.

Pressure Sensitivity
The feature in a synthesizer or Keyboard Controller of After Touch (a control or operational function of a synthesizer where pressing a key after it has been pressed, and before it is released, will activate a control command that can be set by the player).

Pressure Zone Microphone
The full name for PZM (trademark), Crown's barrier microphone (a microphone with the head attached closely to a plate, designed to be attached to a larger surface, and which has a half-Omni pickup pattern).

1) To play the edit in a digital audio editing system before committing to save it.
2) In a computer assisted punch in, to have the computer play over the area while switching the monitoring so that the effect of the punch in can be heard before it is performed.
3) Short for preview signal (a signal in disc recording that matches and is earlier than the signal being recorded).

Preview Head
An extra reproduce head on a tape transport used in disc recording that the tape reaches before the regular playback head

Preview Signal
A signal in disc recording that matches and is earlier than the signal being recorded.

1) The action of a Print Through (unwanted transfer of magnetic flux from one layer of tape to another).
2) To record (slang definition).

Print Through
The unwanted transfer of magnetic flux from one layer of tape to another.

Pro Tools
A trade name of Digidesign for a hard disk digital audio recording system

1) A computer performing tasks as programmed.
2) Short for Signal Processing (changing the sound of the instrument or other sound source with equalizers, limiters, compressors and other devices thereby 'processing' them to be recorded onto a master).

The part of a computer which actually performs task/calculations.

The 'director' of an audio recording project responsible to get a final product of desired quality within a budget.

1) A recording of a tune, collection of tunes, video or film performance.
2) The action of directing an audio recording project to get a final product of desired quality within a budget.

Production Studio
A recording studio that specializes in the assembly and mixing of commercials and radio programs from pre recorded music and effects with newly recorded dialogue.

1) The instructions, the action of instructing, or the action of recording instructions for a computer or computer controlled device to perform certain functions.
2) A Sound Patch, the sequence of tone generators and modifiers in a synthesizer to obtain a particular sound.
3) The settings (especially those set at the factory) that will obtain a certain effect in an effects processor.
4) One selection of recorded music on a CD or DAT.
5) The audio that is recorded in general.

Program Change
A MIDI message for the receiving device to change presets.

Program Disc
In a computer, the floppy disc that holds the program (to tell the computer how to process and store digital information).

Program Equalization
Changing the level of any signal in a certain range of frequencies to accent (or de-emphasize) certain frequency elements of an instrument or sound source and change its tone.

Program Mode
An operational mode of a monitor section of a console where the monitor inputs are connected to the console outputs feeding the multitrack tape machine (used during the recording session).

Program Number
The number of the pre-recorded selection in a CD or DAT.

Program Switch
A switch which activates the Program Mode (Record Mode) of the monitor section connecting the monitor inputs to the console outputs feeding the multitrack tape recorder (used during the recording session).

Program Time
In DAT recording, the time indication from the top of one selection.

Able to have the parameters changed by the user, especially in a computer controlled device.

A set of instructions for the user to follow, which appears on a computer screen.

Describing a function, feature or characteristic owned by one company and available only in units manufactured by that company.

A system of digital data where the positioning of the data, and what each bit in the data stream signifies, is according to a standardized format so all devices can properly interpret the data.

Proximity Effect
In directional microphones, the boost in the microphone's output for bass frequencies as the mic is moved closer to the sound source.

The study of how things sound to individuals because of mental or emotional factors.

Any circular piece of metal, fiber, rubber, etc., which drives something from a rotating power source.

A rise and then fall in amplitude, similar to a square wave but staying up for less time than staying down.

Pulse Code Modulation
The use of amplitude pulses in magnetic tape to record the digital information bits of digital audio.

Pulse Wave Modulation
Moving smoothly from a square wave to pulse wave according to a control voltage input (usually from a LFO).

Pulse Width
The amount of time that a pulse is at maximum voltage.

Pumping Breathing
The sound of the noise changing volume as the limiter or compressor works.

Punching In and Out
Putting the recorder in record on a previously-recorded track while the tape is playing in sync playback and the singer or musician is singing or playing along is called Punching In.

Pure Tone
A tone without harmonic frequencies except for the fundamental frequency and with a sine wave shape.

A trademark belonging to Crown for their barrier microphones (a microphone with its head attached closely to a plate, designed to be attached to a larger surface, and which has a half-Omni pickup pattern).

Quad (Quadraphonic)
A system of four channel sound where the channels are designated as left front, left back, right front, and right back.

A sound system which uses four independent speakers (or sets of speakers). The fore-runner of today's Surround Sound. See Stereophonic.

Quality Factor
The ratio of reactance to resistance in a coil which affects Q.

A quantizing (see above).

Quantization Noise
A modulation noise (also perceived as a distortion) that occurs in digital processing/recording caused by the sample levels being altered to conform to standard Quantization levels.

The conversion of the values of an analog wave or random occurrence into steps.

Quarter Track
A format in tape recording where each track takes up 1/4 of a quarter inch tape width.

Short for the name Rotating Head Digital Audio Tape, a standard format of recording digital audio on a very small tape cassette, using a rotating head.

A cabinet of standard width (19') into which various components can be bolted. Racks are ideal for touring equipment, are neat, and they allow easy access to the rear and front panels.

Rack Ears (Rack Flanges)
Mounting brackets that can be attached to equipment to make the equipment able to be housed in a standard equipment rack.

Rack Mount
To mount in an equipment rack.

Rack Space
A standardized size of the front mounting plate in outboard gear equal to approximately 1 3/4' tall by 19' wide.

Rack Toms
Small to medium-size drums (usually 10 - 14 inch diameter) that are mounted to a rack over the foot drum in a drum kit.

The angle and pattern of coverage of a speaker.

Radiation Pattern
A drawing of the coverage of speaker using a polar graph.