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Focusrite Answerbase

Glossary

ADAT

A proprietary standard in digital audio from Alesis, this allows transmission of 8-channels of digital audio data through a single ADAT fiber optic cable.

ADC

ADC (or A/D, analog-to-digital converter) The electronic component which converts the instantaneous value of an analog input signal to a digital word.

ASIO

Audio Stream Input/Output - developed by Steinberg, is a cross-platform, multi-channel audio transfer protocol

AudioUnit

plugin format used by Apple's CoreAudio system

DAW

Digital audio workstation.

dBFS

Decibels Full Scale. This is a measurement of signal level relative to a maximum known value, always calibrated to 0dBFS. dBFS is commonly used in digital audio systems where 0dBFS is the clipping point of the system. Measurments in dBFS will always be negative values.

dBu

Measurement of signal level relative to a reference level (0.775 Volts with an unloaded, open-circuit source). dBu is commonly used to measure signal level in the analogue domain.

firmware

Firmware is software that is stored in a read-only format on a hardware device. Just like software, firmware should be updated when improvements have been made.

GUI

Graphical User Interface - This can be a plugin window, or any graphical control interface presented to a user on a computer screen or graphical display

IRQ

The IRQ is a number set in the computer for the interrupt request. The interrupt request is assigned to devices to allow it to "interrupt", or send a signal, to the computer when it is finished processing.

latency

Latency is the transit time through a process, from input to output.

opto

Abbreviation of 'optical semiconductor' - a component which will switch or generate electric current when illuminated.

PACE

PACE Anti-Piracy develops and licenses technology that allows software and media publishers to enforce their product licensing terms.

RTAS

Real Time Audio Suite (RTAS) is a plug-in format created by Digidesign for Pro Tools. Unlike the hardware powered TDM ProTools plugins, RTAS uses host based processing. RTAS is limited by the available CPU processing power. RTAS offers similar performance to TDM in that each plug-in is fully automatable.

S/PDIF

Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format. A consumer digital interface standard, similar to the professional AES/EBU standard, (IEC-958) for encoding digital audio.

side-chain

An auxiliary input to a device which is generally used for a control purpose e.g. the side chain input to a compressor controls the gain-reduction.

superclock

Special clock signal used by some Digidesign interfaces which runs at 256 times standard clock signal.

voltage

The difference in the electrical potential of two points in a circuit.

VST

(Virtual Studio Technology): A plugin architecture developed by Steinberg.

Wordclock

A signal that is shared by a group of devices that require sampling frequency synchronisation

ZIP

Zip format is widely used as an interplatform compression format. It can compress applications and documents without losing any of their data.