Key Technology Terms

Hazel Meades
Flashcards by Hazel Meades, updated more than 1 year ago
Hazel Meades
Created by Hazel Meades about 7 years ago


A Levels Music Tech (Technology) Flashcards on Key Technology Terms, created by Hazel Meades on 02/25/2014.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Frequency response How a mic responds to different frequencies. E.g: frequency response which favours high frequencies = more trebly output.
Transient response The measure of accuracy with which an audio system reproduces transients. E.g: hit of a snare may have a 12-15dB above average signal level.
Transient A sudden high amplitude that decays quickly to average program level e.g: percussion instrument beats.
Capacitor An electronic component which stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field.
Phantom power A means of distributing DC current through audio cables to provide 12-48V to mics and other equipment.
Expanders Reduces signal levels that fall below the threshold to expand dynamic range. Generally used to reduce background noise.
Noise gate An extreme form of expander used to reduce background noise to silence. Uses a ratio closely set to infinity symbol:1.
Limiter A more extreme form of compressor designed to quickly reduce the signal so it doesn't damage equipment. It has a short attack and release and ratio close to infinity symbol:1.
Drum machines Use a combination of sampling and synthesis to imitate real drums. Often used instead of a professional drummer if they're unavailable
MIDI This stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. The standard protocol for drum tracks is 10.
MIDI choke The condition that occurs when a MIDI sender, such as a sequencer, tries to send data at a rate exceeding what the cable is capable of transmitting. This may be done deliberately to avoid too much data being sent through.
Expression This is a MIDI parameter different to overall volume because it controls parts within the instrumental melody instead of the overall volume level.
Phase Measured in degrees from 0-360, this compares the timing of 2 similar sound waves. If waves of the same frequency sound simultaneously they're in phase (0 degrees). This produces a stronger sound. If they're out of phase (180 degrees) they are exactly opposite an cancel each other out to produce virtual silence (phase cancellation).
Fundamental harmonic This is the lowest strongest part of the sound - AKA the pitch.
Harmonics Every sound has higher, softer overtones. These occur at regular integer multiples of the fundamental frequency. We hear this as timbre.
Signal to noise ratio This is the difference between the nominal recording level and noise floor (the level of electrical activity or noise present in a system). The nominal level is the ideal level for the device usually labelled as 0dB. In order to avoid amplifying noise it is important to record at around this level.
Headroom Space above the nominal level which allows for louder but not distorted signal. Having this space helps to manage the sound levels and maintain dynamic interest.
Distortion This can be achieved by overdriving the audio circuit so the signal shape distorts. This can add warmth to the recording. However, in post-production this should be avoided.
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