Glossary of Audio Terms
To increase the inherent loudness of a sound. This differs from volume control in that you are actually changing the file when you Amplify. Many digital audio editors, such as Blaze Audio RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus, offer this effect.
An alternative method of copying CD tracks, used when digital ripping
doesn't work for one reason or another. Analog ripping is simply recording during playback, using the analog signal, not the digital.
You can do analog ripping with Blaze Audio's RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus, by following our brief
tutorial on the subject.
A sound signal that is continuously variable by nature and corresponds
exactly to real sound. This differs from digital sound, which is composed entirely of on and off bits (ones and zeros) that
computers can understand. An analog signal is recorded by creating magnetic traces, grooves, or some other marking corresponding
to actual sound vibrations in the air. Tapes, LPs, and 8-tracks all work with analog sound. An analog recording technically
contains more audio information than a digital recording, because digital sound consists of a finite series of ones and zeros
that can never perfectly describe the original analog waveform (see bit depth, below). However, analog recordings cannot be
copied or manipulated without degrading the sound, and they often contain more noise than digital recordings. In practice,
digital recordings sound better and are much easier to work with.
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Provides for exporting of multiple audio files in
batches to the desired format.
Makes the low frequencies louder to emphasize the bass and bass drum in music.
Bit Depth (Sample Size)
The bit depth is the level of detail at which a computer samples
analog audio to create digital audio. Generally, when recording with a home PC (using Blaze Audio’s RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus, for example)
you can choose between 8 and 16 bit sampling. 16 bit audio generally sounds better (each sample is described by 16 bits of data
instead of just 8), but takes up twice as much disk space when stored.
Bit depth is closely related to sampling rate. The sampling rate is how many times a second your audio recording software
"listens" to the incoming audio signal. Again, you have a choice with RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus - 11, 22, or 44 kHz. If you selected 11 kHz,
RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus would sample the incoming audio signal approximately 11,000 times per second. 44KHz audio is sampled 44,000 times
per second - a lot! Audio recorded at 44KHz sounds better, but again, takes up more disk space. Generally, a recording of human
voices sounds fine at 8 bits and 11KHz, while music would be of poor quality. Try 16 bits and 22KHz for some music, and reserve
44KHz for CD-quality recording. Generally, it’s best to experiment and adjust these settings to the lowest possible levels that
give acceptable results, in order to save disk space.
The number of kilobits per second of data in your audio file. The bitrate you choose
when creating an MP3 file determines the size and quality of the resulting MP3. The highest commonly available bitrate is 320 kbps.
A file created using this bitrate will have excellent quality, but will be fairly large. The standard bitrate for MP3s is 128 kbps.
A file created using this bitrate will have good quality, and take up about 1 Mb per 1 minute of sound.
To write data or files onto a recordable CD using a hardware device called a CD Burner.
Generally, you create either an audio or a data disc when you burn a CD. If you create an audio disc, you will be able to play that
CD in any standard audio CD player. A data disc contains computer files and can only be read on computers. If you want to create an
audio CD you must use software such as our RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus - simply copying wave (.wav) audio
files onto a CD will produce a data CD, not an audio CD. On this site, "burn" refers to recording audio CDs that will be playable
in your stereo.
A byte is a unit of computer data, representing one character (such as “w,” “4,” or “:”).
Each byte is made up of 8 bits. Bits are the basis of computer code - each bit is either a 1 or a 0 (“on” or “off”). If you looked at
the byte that represents the capital letter “A,” it would look like “01000001”. This language of 1’s and 0’s is called binary.
Bytes are a unit of measurement, like inches or meters. Instead of measuring weight or distance, they measure space on your hard drive. Here is the breakdown:
8 bits = 1 byte
1,024 bytes = 1 Kilobyte (Kb).
1,024 Kb = 1 Megabyte (Mb).
1000 Mb = 1 Gigabyte (Gb).
Modern computers can store anywhere from 5 to 100 Gbs on their hard drives. Why would you need to worry about the file size of your
digital audio with so much space available? Well, your computer needs a good chunk of its hard drive to store the operating system (Windows,
Linux, etc.) and instructions for running things like your modem, your internet browser, and your email program. So space is often at a
premium. You’ll see.
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Center Channel Removal
Often the vocals are recorded equally in both left and right channels on a stereo
recording, making them sound like they are in the center. Center Channel Removal removes sound that is present equally in both channels and
may eliminate the vocals from some recordings.
Stands for "CD-Recordable," and refers to a CD that can be burned. Recordable CDs can be one of
two types - CD-R discs, which can only be written one time, and CD-RW discs, which can be written and erased numerous times.
When sound is recorded in stereo, it is split into two channels - one for the left speaker and
one for the right speaker. The waveform of stereo sound will display the graphs of the two channels separately, one above the other. Mono
audio has only a single center channel.
A voice effect available in Blaze Audio’s RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus that makes one voice
sound like many. Chorus works with all types of audio, but is particularly effective with the human voice.
CODEC (or Codec)
Codec stands for compression / decompression. A codec is a small program that's
installed on your computer which then allows Windows to compress and/or decompress audio to and from certain formats. Codecs which
allow for higher quality compression are available for download separate from any specific software program, but are not useful unless
you have a program that supports that Codec. For example, Blaze Audio RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus supports both the Fraunhofer and LAME codecs when
creating MP3 files.
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A postponing of a sound or effect. This term is often used to describe and set the amount
of time between the original sound and the effect. For example, the Echo effect in RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus generates an echo in
your wave file by taking the original sound, reducing its volume, and mixing it back into your audio with a slight delay. You can set
that delay to be anything from 10 milliseconds to 740 milliseconds.
Digital audio is audio that has been converted into a series of ones and zeros that
can be understood by a computer. Computers cannot understand analog data - it must first be converted into digital data. When analog
sound is converted to digital, it is generally saved as a wave file. Digital, or digitized, sound is easier to reproduce and manipulate
without loss in quality than analog.
An effect available in several Blaze Audio products that takes the original sound, reduces
its volume, and mixes it back into your audio with a slight delay. The effect is somewhat like shouting into the Grand Canyon.
Encoding / Decoding
When used in the context of audio files, these terms refer to the process of
converting audio to or from a compressed format like MP3 or WMA. The encoding and decoding processes are often incorporated into programs
called CODECs (see definition above).
Sound is made up of many simultaneous vibrations at different frequencies. An
audio equalizer lets you separately adjust the volume of different bands (ranges of frequencies) to control the overall sound. Frequency
is measured in hertz (Hz); the higher the number, the higher-pitched the sound. Some equalizers, like WebEQ,
operate in real-time; other programs, such as RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus, allow you to apply equalization to an effect after it’s already been recorded.
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A set of effects available in Blaze Audio's wave editor RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus. Fade-in brings
the sound in gradually to reach full volume at a point in the file selected by the user. Fade-out does the opposite - the sound disappears
gradually until there is silence.
An audio effect that distorts sound by applying a short delay and variable modulation of the frequency. This effect adds a Sci-Fi
dimension to your sound and is available with Blaze Audio RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus.
A feed is a list (usually formatted in RSS) which provides the URLs of the site (or podcasting show) of which one wishes to be kept informed. RSS feeds typically also show publication date, titles, and brief descriptions of each article or episode.
The number of vibrations in a sound wave per unit of time. Frequency is usually measured
in hertz, where one hertz is one cycle per second. High-pitched sounds have higher frequencies and low-pitched sounds have lower frequencies.
A fun phenomenon that is sweeping the globe, where singers provide their own vocal
accompaniment to their favorite songs. Karaoke singers usually get to follow the cues from a synchronized lyrics display that tells
them when to sing which words. Popular at nightclubs, bars, and parties of all kinds. Our own Karaoke Sing-n-Burn
lets you turn your own computer into a karaoke machine!
The input jack on your computer’s sound card. This is where you plug in equipment
such as tape-decks, turntables, etc, to feed music into your computer from an outside source.
Low Pass Filter
A low pass filter removes all sound above a set frequency. It is useful in removing certain kinds of hiss.
MIDI (Musical Instruments Digital Interface)
A 'language' that allows computers and certain musical
instruments to communicate. This language consists of instructions telling the instrument (or the MIDI synthesizer in your sound card) which
notes to play, with what instrument, and when. MIDI can be used, for example, from a computer to control external MIDI-compliant instruments
such as synthesizers. MIDI can also be used entirely within a computer, with no external instruments. Karaoke Sing-n-Burn
works great as a MIDI player as well as a karaoke player.
Computer-based karaoke that utilizes MIDI technology for accompaniment. MIDI karaoke files
are much smaller and easier to download than other types of karaoke files, and they allow the singer to adjust the instrumentation, pitch,
and more, none of which can be easily done with other types of karaoke files.
.MID files / .KAR files
These are the extensions used for MIDI and MIDI karaoke files. These files
display a song’s lyrics in time with the song, and are widely available on the internet. Both are supported by Blaze Audio's
Mono To Stereo
Our Mono To Stereo tool takes a single channel of sound, splits it in two, and modifies the resulting
data so it sounds like it was recorded in stereo.
Stands for MPEG audio layer 3. A popular compressed audio format widely used to transfer
music over the internet. An MP3 file is much smaller than a wave file - a three minute song will take up 30 Mb as a wave file, but only
between 2 and 7 Mb as an MP3 (depending on the bitrate you choose), but still sound virtually as good as the original. Though they are
controversial because of certain copyright abuses, MP3 files themselves are not illegal. Blaze Audio RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus
each have a built-in MP3 converter that allows you to convert MP3 files to wave files, or wave files to MP3 files.
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A noise gate is a filter that analyzes a sound, looking for sections that have only noise, and filters all
sound until there is some useful audio signal. It is especially helpful for soft sections that have certain kinds of noise.
This effect permanently adjusts the amplitude (volume, essentially) of your audio to
a certain value. Normalization is particularly useful when creating a CD using tracks from many different CDs or MP3 files. The volume of
each track will be slightly different from the others; normalization will set them each to the same volume for a consistent final CD. This
effect is available in Blaze Audio’s audio editors RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus.
This filter removes all audio in a specified frequency band in a wave file.
Note Scrubber allows you to use a tool called an Equalizer (sometimes referred to as an EQ) to reduce
the amount of sound in a particular range of notes.
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Ogg Vorbis is a free, open-source audio
compression format. While it is still nowhere nearly as popular as MP3, many users contend
that it can provide an excellent substitution due to its high fidelity and increased use on
Pop and Click Removal
This tool uses sophisticated DSP algorithms to detect abrupt changes in the waveform that indicate a
pop or a click. It then removes just the portion that is causing the undesired sound.
Streaming Audio Recording
Streaming audio refers to the
way that audio is delivered through a computer. Rather than being downloaded first to a machine's
hard drive from which it is then played, streaming audio may actually be listened to while it is
being delivered. Recording streaming audio from various applications is made possible by the
innovative technology of RipEditBurn Plus.
The number of times per second the program converting analog to digital "listens" to
the analog signal. See Bit Depth.
A method of delivering audio from the internet to your media player that allows you
to play the audio as you are downloading it, rather than waiting for the entire file to finish downloading. Internet radio stations play
streaming audio. The two most popular formats used for streaming audio are RealAudio and Windows Media.
The Sound Warmer works by adding a little bit of resonance to the sound. It's like a simple reverb.
RealAudio (.ra) Format
A streaming audio format often used for posting sound files on the internet.
Real Audio files are smaller even than MP3 files, but are of lower quality if compressed enough to play over a slow connection (such as a 56 kbps modem).
Refers to effects that take place as you listen, without a noticeable delay. For example,
when you move the sliders on Blaze Audio's WebEQ, the equalization changes as you move them.
An effect that takes one or both channels in a sound file and plays them backwards. This
effect is available with Blaze Audio's RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus.
To extract music directly from your CD in pure digital form and save it directly to your hard
drive, bypassing the noise-introducing process of converting to analog and back to digital again. Blaze Audio RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus lets you rip
audio from your CDs directly into the program's wave editing or burning module.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is usually referred to as a feed or an RSS feed and it contains a summary of content--as in an RSS feed for a news site--about the website or podcast to which it links. RSS is an easy, automated way for subscribers to stay current with the content of their favorite websites.
RSS content is read using an aggregator, also called a feed reader. Subscribers enter a feed's link into the aggregator or click the RSS symbol on the website.
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Wave (.wav) Files
A wave file, simply, is an audio file on your PC. A wave file is uncompressed data -
as close a copy to the original analog data as possible - and is therefore much larger than the same file would be in a compressed format
such as MP3 or RealAudio. Audio CDs store their audio in, essentially, the wave format.
A graph of the level of air compression or rarefaction that is how sound is shown in the
display of a wave file editor (such as Blaze Audio RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus). Usually there is a horizontal line in the middle of the display representing
no compression or rarefaction. The line representing the sound goes up as air becomes more compressed and down as it becomes less compressed.
Audio software designed for editing digital audio. Some of the editing functions work like a
text editor; for example, you can cut, copy, and paste sections of a wave file and zoom in and out for precise editing. Other functions add
effects such as echo, chorus, flange, or fade to your audio. Good wave editors allow you to import digital audio in other formats as well,
such as MP3. If you want to be able to make changes to your wave or MP3 files, you’ll need an editor of this type; naturally we recommend
that you try out Blaze Audio RipEditBurn or RipEditBurn Plus!
Windows Media Audo (WMA)
Windows Media Audio (WMA) is a proprietary compressed audio file
format developed by Microsoft. It is part of the Windows Media framework. Files in this format can be played using Windows Media
Player, Winamp and many other alternative media players.
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is a type of file which combines text and additional information about the text, such as HTML and RSS feeds. ePodcast Producer, ePodcast Creator, and ePodcast Express all create XML files automatically so that no coding need be done by the individual user.
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