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Recording Glossary


A/D converter
A circuit that converts an analog audio signal into a digital audio signal.

Conversion of an audio signal from analog to digital, or from digital to analog. All processing within the AW series workstations is performed in digital form, but when an analog audio signal is input, it passes through AD conversion, and when sound from the AW workstation is monitored (*see entry), it passes through DA conversion.

This is one of the professional formats for exchanging digital audio signals, and is a versatile format used on many devices. The MY8-AE (separately sold option), which can be installed in the YGDAI slot (*see entry), provides a D-sub 25 pin connector that can simultaneously transmit and receive eight channels of digital audio signals.
A specification for CD-RW drives that can be installed in the AW2816. The specification is the same as IDE, but on the AW2816 this term is used to distinguish it from the internal hard disk.
Audio source
A collective term for the signals that are input to a mixer or recorder. In the field of recording, the similar terms "tone generator" or "sound module" usually refer to an electronic instrument that produces sound, such as a synthesizer.
A function by which operations of mixer parameters such as knobs and faders are recorded along the time axis defined by the AW4416/AW2816's internal time code or externally received MTC (*see entry), and can reproduce these movements during playback.
Stands for "auxiliary." Signal output destinations used when using the two internal effects of an AW series workstation, or when using an external effect processor.
An audio signal route within the AW workstation's mixer section, used to combine multiple channels. Normally you will not need to be aware of buses if you use the QUICK REC function to prepare for recording. However you can also use buses to perform more sophisticated recording or mixdown techniques.
A signal routing unit through which a sound that is input to the mixer section is adjusted by volume and pan (*see entry) and then output. The mixer section of the AW4416 provides a total of 44 channels, while the AW2816 provides 28 channels, including the recorder playback and the outputs of the two effects.
A state in which the AW workstation is receiving MTC (*see entry) from an external device and running in synchronization with it. A standby state in which synchronization operation is possible is sometimes called "chase on" or "chase standby."
Refers to a type of connector that carries IEC60958 (S/P DIF) format digital audio signals.
An effect that lowers the volume when the input sound exceeds the specified Threshold level, or boosts the sound when it is below this level, in this way making the overall volume more consistent.
D/A converter
A circuit that converts a digital audio signal into an analog audio signal.
Default Setting
The state of a setting when a device is purchased or powered-on. Also called "factory setting" or "initial setting." The AW4416 and AW2816 can be restored to the default settings by recalling scene memory 00.
Disc-at-once (CD recording)
In Disc-at-Once recording, one or more tracks are recorded without ever turning off the recording laser. Media that you write using Disc At Once will be finalized automatically, and can be played back by a CD-RW drive or CD player that supports that type of media. However, no further data can be written to a disc that was written using Disc At Once.
When a digital audio signal is transmitted to a device with a lower quantization (*see entry), dithering combines some of the rounded-off portion with the data that is retained (i.e., instead of simply discarding the lower-value bits), in order to reduce the noise that is generated by this conversion. Since this changes the data itself, there are situations in which it is better not to apply dithering.
Dynamic Range
The range from maximum volume to silence, expressed in dB (decibels). This is one aspect from which you can determine the accuracy with which a certain device can handle audio signals.
Refers to changes in the volume; for example if the volume varies dramatically between loud and soft, one might say that there is "a lot of variation in the dynamics." Effects such as compressor (*see entry) or limiter (*see entry) that are used to compensate the volume are referred as "dynamics effects."
A function that adjusts the sound by boosting/cutting a specific frequency band of the sound that is input to that channel. A four-band parametric equalizer with adjustable frequency (*see entry) is provided on every channel of the AW series workstations.
Frequency Band
Refers to a point or area on the frequency axis of sound, from low to high ranges. This term is used when specifying the point at which an equalizer (*see entry) will adjust the sound.
A knob that adjusts the sensitivity of the head amp (*see entry) in the input section of the AW4416,AW2816 or AW16G. If this control is adjusted to keep the input volumes consistent at this point, it will be easier to use the faders of each channel to create a balance.
Head Amp (HA)
A circuit placed before the A/D converter (*see entry) of an input jack on the AW workstations, used to adjust the analog input signal to a level that is suitable for digital con-version. (Also called mic preamp.)
Resistance to alternating current. In general, this refers to the load of a signal input or output. The input/output jacks of the AW products have specific impedances depending on their type or intended input/output signal, and must be connected to a device of the same or similar impedance. Even if its cable connector has the same form as a line input, a high-impedance source such as a guitar must be connected to a high-impedance jack, not to a regular input.
Internal Arithmetic Precision (Bits)
The arithmetic precision with which digital signals are processed inside a device. AW series workstations use 32 bit arithmetic internally, guaranteeing an excellent dynamic range (*see entry) of 192 dB.
When digital audio signals are transferred, the Word Clock of the devices must match. When samples are not output at their correct time relative to other samples, a type of noise called jitter will occur. A device with a more stable Word Clock will mean less jitter and better audio quality.
Preset settings for the AW workstations' equalizers (*see entry), dynamics processors, and their two effect units, created with a wide range of uses in mind.
An effect that limits the volume to prevent overload when the input sound exceeds a specified threshold.
The process of adjusting the overall tone and volume of a song that has been mixed down. On AW series workstations, the term is used in reference to the process up to creating an audio CD.
The YGDAI (*see entry) input/output expansion slot found on the rear panel of the AW4416 and AW2816.
Also called "track down." The process of combining multiple tracks of sound into a final two-track mix that can be played back on an audio CD player, etc.
MMC (MIDI Machine Control)
A group of MIDI messages used to control recorder operations such as Play, Stop, and Record.
The headphones or speakers used to reproduce the sound that is output from the AW workstation. Also used to refer to the act of listening to the playback from the headphones or speakers.
Moving Faders
Faders that automatically move to a position that corresponds to the value of the parameters that were recalled, for example when you switch the selection of the MIXING LAYER section or recall another scene from scene memory. This is very convenient, since the faders will move according to the parameter changes during automix, providing visual confirmation of the mixdown status.
MTC (MIDI Time Code)
A type of MIDI message used to convey time data in realtime over a MIDI cable, in order to synchronize the operation of the AW workstation and devices such as rhythm machines, sequencer software, or other recorders.
Nominal Level
The "nominal level" referred to on a mixer or recorder indicates the standard level setting for that device. When all parameters are set to the nominal level, the audio quality will be the closest to the specifications given in the catalog.
Refers to a type of connector to which an optical cable is connected. For consumer audio, a format called IEC60958 (S/P DIF) is used. However, the MY8-AT (separately sold) option that can be installed in the YGDAI (*see entry) slot of the AW4416/AW2816 provides an optical connector that uses the ALESIS ADAT format, and allows eight channels of digital audio to be input or output when connected to a compatible device.
A technique that can be used on multi-track recorders such as the AW series, in which (for example) drums are recorded first, and then other instruments such as guitar and bass are recorded on other tracks while the musician listens to the previously recorded tracks, in this way accumulating a larger number of tracks.
A term derived from "panorama," referring to a parameter that specifies the location of a sound within the stereo field. Normally if a sound that is originally stereo is assigned to two monaural channels, the pan controls of the two channels are set to far left and far right so that the sound can be monitored in its original spatial state.
Phantom Power
Power that is supplied via the cable of a microphone, and is normally required when using a condenser mic. This is defined as 48 volts.
Pop Guard/Pop Shield
A thin mesh card placed between the vocalist's mouth and the mic to reduce "breath" noise or "pop" noise when recording a vocal. Tissue paper is sometimes used.
When you want to re-record just a specified area of a previously recorded track, the action of switching from playback into record mode at the beginning of that area is called "punch-in," and the action of switching from record mode back into playback at the end of that area is called "punch-out."
A parameter of the parametric-type equalizers (*see entry) featured on AW series workstations. Q specifies the width of the frequency band (*see entry) that will be boosted or cut. High settings of Q will make the band narrower, producing a steeper curve of change.
Quantization (Number of Bits)
The resolution of the data when an analog input signal is converted into a digital signal.
The action of recalling a previously backed-up song from CD-R/CD-RW back into the internal hard disk.
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)
This was originally a specification used to transfer data between a computer and an external storage device, but the AW4416 and AW2816 also use this connector to connect external hard disks or external CD-R/RW drives. (*Do not connect the SCSI connector of the AW4416/AW2816 directly to a computer. Doing so may damage both devices.)
S/N (Signal-to-Noise)
The ratio of audio signal to noise. In dB (decibel) units, this indicates the level of the residual noise that is produced when absolutely no sound is being output.
Stands for Sony/Philips Digital Audio Interface. The specification is formally called IEC60958, but is more generally known as S/P DIF. This is a consumer format for transferring digital audio signals, and simultaneously transmits or receives two channels (one stereo pair) of audio.
Sampling Rate
Also called Sampling Frequency. The number of times per second that an analog sound is converted into digital data. A sampling rate of 44.1 kHz means that 44,100 digital conversions are being performed each second. If this number is higher, a broader frequency range of sound can be captured as data.
Scene Memory
A function that collectively saves the parameter settings of the AW workstation's mixer section. A scene that you saved can be recalled at any time to reproduce those settings.
A function that allows you to listen only to the sound of a desired channel during mixdown, etc.

Time Code
Time data that is used when making an AW workstation operate in synchronization with a rhythm machine, sequencer program, or another recorder. The AW series can all transmit and receive MTC (*see entry).

A number assigned to an audio signal that is recorded or played back by a recorder. All AW series workstations have 16 tracks x 8 virtual tracks (*see entry), for a total of 128 tracks.
Track-at-Once (CD Recodring)
In Track-at-Once recording, the recording laser is turned off after each track is finished, and on again when a new track must be written, even if several tracks are being written in a single recording operation. Tracks recorded in Track-at-Once mode are divided by gaps.The gap between audio tracks is usually 2 seconds. In order for a disc written using Track At Once to be playable by the CD-RW drive or a CD player, you must perform a process known as “finalizing” to write track information to the disc. Once you have finalized a disc, you cannot write any more data to it.
Virtual Track
Although the AW seriescan play back multiple tracks simultaneously, each track actually has eight tracks, and you can select one of these tracks for playback. The eight tracks that can be selected for each track are called "virtual tracks."
Word Clock
A synchronization signal used when transferring digital audio data, which is used to ensure that the audio data is received at the same rate it is being transmitted. When two or more devices are digitally connected, all devices must be using the same word clock. If not, it may be impossible to transfer audio signals, or noise may occur in the signal.
XLR Connector
This is type of three-pin connector used for mics. It has a locking mechanism that prevents the cable from being pulled out accidentally.
Stands for Yamaha General Digital Audio Interface. Digital mixers or digital recorders that have a YGDAI slot allow you to install separately sold I/O cards that support various professional digital audio formats or provide AD/DA functionality. There are two types of cards; YGDAI cards (CD series) that can be used by the Yamaha 02R and 03D, and Mini YGDAI cards (MY series) that can be used by the Yamaha 01V, D24, AW4416 and AW2816. Two optional Mini YGDAI cards can be installed in the AW4416 and one in the AW2816.