Glossary of audio engineering terms White Noise MP3 Download

Glossary of audio engineering terms

Here's a glossary I've compiled of the most common terms used in location audio and audio engineering.

A

Adapters — cabled or in-line audio format converters used for connecting different sound equipment

ADR — Automatic Dialog Replacement; the process of replacing dialog that is unusable in its present form

AGC — automatic gain control, use very sparingly

Assisted Listening — auxiliary listening monitors, usually for directors, script supervisors, clients and producers

Audio DA — audio distribution amplifier

Audio Mults, Audio Snakes — multi-pair cables, housed in a single cable, generally used for long cable runs

B

Boom Operator — assistant who operates a microphone at the end of a boom pole

Boom Pole — a lightweight (ex. graphite) pole, used for extending microphone reach

C

Cardioid — heart-shaped microphone pickup pattern

Condenser — a type of microphone that requires power

D

dBFS — means “decibels relative to full scale”. An abbreviation for decibel amplitude levels in digital systems which have a maximum available peak level. 0 dBFS is assigned to the maximum possible level.

F

Feedback — a high-pitched sound that occurs when a microphone “hears” itself from a PA speaker or headset

Frame Delay — an audio processor that delays the audio signal so the final video and audio will be in sync

G

Gaff tape — Gaffers tape; a cloth tape that is used extensively on productions for their light-tack quality

H

Headroom — the maximum audio signal level before distortion

Headset — microphones worn over the head; with or without earpiece

Hypercardioid — a polar pattern similar to the cardioid except there is more sound pickup in the rear

L

Lavaliere — tiny microphones (wired or wireless); may be visible for announcers and newscasters

M

Micro-Cat - a small “furry” windscreen used on lavaliere microphones

Monitors, Audio — speakers

MOS — acronym for “mitt out sound”; meaning no sound on the next shot

O

Omni — circular microphone pickup pattern

P

Phantom Power — low-wattage power for condenser microphones

Plant Mic — hidden microphone for dialogue or sound effects pickup

Playback — audio or video replay of pre-recorded material

Polar Pattern — microphone pickup pattern

Plug-in Transmitter — wireless transmitter that plugs into any adaptable microphone

Q

Q-Box — troubleshooting listening device made by Whirlwind™.

R

RF — acronym for “radio frequency”

S

Saddlebag — a metal or fabric “saddlebag” that holds wireless receivers on a video camera

Shark Fin — flat-sided RF antenna; “bat-wing”

Shotgun — a long-tube type microphone with a supercardioid polar pattern that is predominately used on production sets

Stick — handheld microphone used for announcer stand-ups

Supercardioid — microphone polar pattern usually associated with “shotgun” microphones

T

TRS — acronym for tip, ring, sleeve; used in balanced audio connectors

T-Power — terminology for 12 volt microphone power

W

Weatherproofing — process of protecting against inclement weather

Whip — a standard rubber coated antenna

Windscreen — foam or cloth covering over microphone for wind protection; most microphones come with a built-in metal windscreen

Wireless — terminology for radio frequency equipment

“Work the mic” — when the on-camera talent maneuvers the microphone between themselves and the guest

X

XLR — acronym for a 3-pronged balanced audio connector

Z

Zeppelin — hard meshed cover for a shotgun microphone used for wind protection

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