Glossary of Commonly Used Terms in Audio Engineering

For a newbie or a lay man the technical jargon used by Audio Professionals will be confusing. Find below the explanation of some common terms which are prevalent in Audio Engineering. The glossary will be helpful to better understand the industry and technology.

Absorption – Short Term of Acoustical Absorption (not reflect a sound wave)
AC – Alternating Current
A/D – Analog to digital
ADAT  – A trademark for Alesis Corporation designating its modular digital multi-track recording system
ADSR – First letter of  –  Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
AES – Audio Engineering Society
AES / EBU – A Standard for sending and receiving digital audio adopted by the audio Engineering Society and European Broadcast Union.
Ambience – The portion of Sound that comes from the Surrounding Environment
Amp – Abbreviation of the term Amplifier
Amplitude – Height of a waveform
Attack – The rate the sound being and increases in volume
Alternation – reduction of electrical or acoustic signal strength
Automation – A feature that lets the engineer – program control charges, so that upon playback of the multi-track recording, the charges happen automatically
Aux Send – Auxiliary send
Axis – A line around which a device operates
Boom Stand – A microphone stand equipped with a telescoping support arm to hold the microphone.
Boost – To increase gain, especially to increase gain at specific frequencies with an equalizer.
Bus – A wire carrying signals to some place, usually fed from several sources
Baffles – Sound absorbing panels used to prevent sound waves from entering or leaving a certain space.
Balance – The relative level of two or more instruments in a mix
Balanced – A method of interconnecting electronic gear using three-conductor cables.
Band Track –  A mixdown of a song without the lead vocal or without the lead and background vocals.
Bandwidth – The range of frequencies affected by an equalization setting.
Bass – The lower range of audio frequencies up to approximately 250 Hz or Short for Bass Guitar.
Beat – The steady even pulse in music
D/A – Digital to Analog
DAW – Digital Audio Workstation
Echo Chamber – A room designed with very hard – non – parallel surfaces and equipped with a speaker and microphone
MIDI – Musical Instrument Digital Interface
Pan – The process of placing a particular sound within a stereo field.

We will be adding more technical words related to sound engineering in coming weeks  in this blog post so don’t forget to share this with your friends who are working professionals or who would like to start a career in the field of audio engineering.


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