5. Digital Audio

  1. Explain analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) and digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) using the following terms in your answer: sample rate, bit depth, voltage, samples, audio interface, and speakers.

  2. An analog signal is a continuous signal; analog signal values are known for all moments in time.

    A digital signal is a discrete signal; digital signals are only known at certain specific times.

  3. What is the use of an audio interface? What are some benefits to using a dedicated audio interface rather than the built in audio inputs and outputs on a computer?

  4. Define bit rate, network buffer size, and codec (terms used when streaming audio).

  5. Define and discuss when you use lossless audio files (and give examples of lossless file types) and when you would use lossy audio files (and give examples of lossy file types).

  6. How do the acoustics and noise present in the recording space effect mic placement when recording? (For instance: Where would you place the mic if you didn’t like the space and didn’t want the characteristics of the space to be apparent in the recording?)

  7. Explain proper gain structure (or staging) in the recording process. What two levels are you looking for on the level meter when you are recording?

    • have -6dB as the ceiling for recording (peak below -6dB … not near 0dB)

    • average the recording around -18dB

  8. Define multitrack recording.

  9. Explain proper gain staging in the mixing processes. What plugin should you add to every track in the very beginning of the mixing process [in order to keep *all* faders initially at 0db … or -6dB if you choose that technique]?

    • What is the purpose of automation in a DAW? Provide some examples of parameters you might automate.

  10. How does normalization work? How is it different than compression?