Glossary

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ASIO

ASIO provides an interface between your audio application and the sound card, and stands for: Audio Stream Input/Output. It was developed by Steinberg Media Technologies and helps manufacturers and developers to create hardware and driver software which extend the personal computer's audio connectivity to meet the needs of musicians and audio engineers. ASIO offers a relatively simple way of accessing multiple audio inputs and outputs. The Audio Stream I/O API addresses the areas of efficient audio processing, high data throughput, synchronization, low latency and extensibility on the audio hardware side. The interface is not bound to any fixed number of input and output channels, and provides a constant streaming model.

 

ASPI

ASPI stands for  Advanced SCSI Programming interface and standardizes communication between a SCSI host adapter and CD drives, hard drives and other devices.  (Most people can think of it as a special driver to communicate with your CD writer.)

 

Audio Clips

Audio clips represent audio files that can be stretched, edited, looped and played in Mixcraft.  Audio clips will usually be OGG, WAV, MP3, WMA or AIFF files.

 

AVI

AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is a Microsoft video file format standard for storing audio and video on PCs.  AVI files can contain compressed or uncompressed video and audio.

 

BPM

Beats per minute. The usual measurement of tempo in music. In Mixcraft, BPM means quarter notes / minute.

 

Burn Proof

Burn Proof is a proprietary technology for buffer under-run protection developed by Plextor.  Other buffer under-run avoidance technologies are called Safe Burn, Power Burn and Just Speed.  Most new drives have a buffer under-run protection technology.

 

Buffer Under-run

This is when the computer cannot deliver data fast enough to a CD writer.

 

CD Quality

CD Quality is the standard quality used on audio CDs.  It is 44,100 Hz, 16 bit, stereo.

 

Clipboard

The clipboard is a buffer of sounds that can be stored and pasted later.  Currently, clipboard operations involving sound is limited to Mixcraft and it will not share audio data with other programs unless you add the audio file directly.

 

DAO

DAO stands for Disc At Once.  During the CD burning process, the entire CD is written at once without the write laser being turned off.  Thus, you can have seamless uninterrupted audio with 'seek-able' tracks.

 

Decibel

The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit of relative measurement used to compare the ratio of the intensities of two signals.  When an amplitude doubles, the increase corresponds to 6 dB.

 

Decoder

An algorithm or process for taking compressed or encrypted data and turning it into uncompressed or unencrypted data.

 

DirectX Effects

DirectX Effects are Microsoft's method of processing audio.  Audio goes in to an effect and comes out manipulated.

 

DRM

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management.  DRM provides a security layer on software, audio or any type of media to help ensure proper licensing and use of the content.  DRM on audio files is constantly evolving and the 'jury is still out' as to whether it is effective.

 

Effects Chain

A list of effects in which audio is processed.  Audio is sent down the effect chain list from top to bottom and the final result is heard on your speakers.

 

Encoder

An algorithm or process for taking uncompressed data and turning it into compressed or encrypted data.

 

Goldenhawk

The Goldenhawk burning engine uses ASPI to communicate with your CD writers.  (One of three engines in Mixcraft.)

 

General MIDI

General MIDI or GM is a standardized mapping of patch numbers to specific instruments.  For example, patch 0 is always 'Acoustica Piano'.  Each GM standard synthesizer will have patch 0 mapped to 'Acoustica Piano'. More details can be found on Wikipedia.

 

IMAPI

IMAPI is the built in burning system found in Windows.  IMAPI stands for Image Mastering Application Programming Interface.

 

ISRC

ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code.  If your intention is to burn an audio CD for commercial use, you will need to enter in your ISRC codes for each track.

 

Key

The key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section.

 

Latency

Latency is a delay between the time something occurs and the time that you sense the occurrence. In audio software, this might be the difference from the time audio is mixed and processed to the time you hear it.

 

Megabyte

A megabyte is approximately one million bytes ( 1024 X 1024 bytes ).  A typical hard drive stores around 40 GB (gigabytes).  A gigabyte is equivalent to a billion bytes or 1024 X 1024 X 1024 bytes.

 

Metronome

A metronome is a device or system that produces a regulated pulse, usually used to keep a beat steady in musical compositions.

 

MIDI

MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and is the way that physical and virtual synthesizers communicate with each other.  For example, when you press middle C on your musical keyboard, it sends a message says "Play Middle C".  It is a small and compact series of codes.

 

MP3

MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a popular digital audio encoding, lossy compression format, and algorithm, designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent audio, yet still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners.

 

Mixcraft LE

Mixcraft LE is the light edition of Mixcraft.  In Mixcraft LE, you are restricted to 8 audio tracks and 16 virtual instrument tracks.  The LE version cannot burn audio CDs or create MP3 files.  If you have the LE version, you will not need to purchase the software.  However, you will have the option to upgrade to the full version of Mixcraft so that you can burn audio CDs, create MP3 files and have unlimited tracks.

 

Multitrack

Multitrack recording ('multitracking' or just 'tracking' for short) is a method of sound recording that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources to create a cohesive whole.

 

Normalize

The process of raising the volume so that the biggest volume in the sound is increased to the maximum possible and the rest of the sound is raised in volume by the same percentage.

 

OGG

Ogg is a patent-free, fully open and standardized multimedia bit stream container format designed for efficient streaming and manipulation (concatenation and muxing) by the Xiph.Org Foundation.

 

Overdub

Overdubbing (the process of making an overdub, or overdubs) is a technique used by recording studios to add a supplementary recorded sound to a previously recorded performance.

 

Pan

The balance or ratio between the left and right speakers (channels).

 

Peaks

A visual display of a sound's amplitude over time. (Mixcraft shows one peak per millisecond.)

 

PCM

Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a digital representation of an analog signal where the magnitude of the signal is sampled regularly at uniform intervals, then quantized to a series of symbols in a digital (usually binary) code. PCM has been used in digital telephone systems and is also the standard form for digital audio in computers and the compact disc red book format.

 

Primo

Primo is a CD burning engine created by Primo Software.  It is the default burning engine.

 

Sample Bit Depth

In digital audio, bit depth describes the amount of data contained in each sample, using the unit bits (not to be confused with bytes). Common examples of bit depth include CD audio, which is recorded at 16 bits, and DVD-Audio which can support up to 24-bit audio.

 

Sample Channels

Sample channels describes the number of channels contained in each audio sample.  For example, CD audio has two channels in each sample.

 

Sample Rate

The sampling rate, sample rate, or sampling frequency defines the number of samples per second (or per other unit) taken from a continuous signal to make a discrete signal. For time-domain signals, it can be measured in hertz (Hz).

 

Semitone

A semitone, or half-step is a musical interval. It is the smallest interval commonly used in Western music, and is considered the most dissonant.

 

Standard MIDI File

This is a standard file format that stores multiple tracks of MIDI data.  Most MIDI software will read standard MIDI files (.MID)

 

Tag

A tag is extra ancillary information stored inside of an audio file, which includes things like artist, album, genre and copyright.

 

TAO

Track-At-Once or TAO is a recording mode where the recording laser stops after each track is finished and two run-out blocks are written. One link block and four run-in blocks are written when the next track is recorded. TAO discs can have both data and audio at the same time.

 

Tempo

In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for "time", from Latin Tempus) is the speed or pace of a given piece.

 

Time Signature

The time signature (also known as "meter signature") is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each bar and what note value constitutes one beat.

 

Time Stretch

Time stretching is the process of changing the speed or duration of an audio signal without affecting its pitch.

 

Virtual Instrument Clips

A Virtual Instrument Clip contains MIDI data which is a series of notes and other events.  To produce actual audio, it sends the note data to the synthesizer configured on a Virtual Instrument Track.

 

Virtual Instrument Track

A Virtual Instrument Track is a track that has a Virtual Instrument or external synthesizer which it sends MIDI information to.

 

Volume

The amplitude of sound.  The minimum is 0% and the maximum is 200%

 

VST Effects

Virtual Studio Technology and its acronym VST refer to an interface standard for connecting audio synthesizer and effect plug ins to audio editors and hard-disk recording systems. VST and similar technologies allow the replacement of traditional recording studio hardware with software counterparts.

 

WAV

WAV (or WAVE), short for Waveform Audio Format, is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing audio on PCs.

 

Wave Form

Waveform means the shape and form of a signal, such as a wave moving across the surface of water, or the vibration of a plucked string.

 

WaveRT

This is the new low latency, high performance audio driver system on Windows Vista.  It stands for Wave Real Time.

 

WDM

WDM stands for Windows Driver Model.

 

WMA

WMA stands for Windows Media Audio.  WMA files contain perceptually encoded sound data.

The frequencies that humans cannot perceive are removed, although some audio purists say they can tell the difference between a high bit-rate WMA and a Wave file.  A WMA file can be as much as 20 times smaller than an equivalent WAV file.

 

WMV

WMV (Windows Media Video) is a Microsoft video file format for storing and streaming audio and video on PCs.  WMV files contain compressed video and audio.