Topic: Professional sound production

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Kane Kramer is credited with inventing the digital audio player in 1979

Biography Business England Invention Professional sound production

Kane Kramer is a British inventor and businessman. He is credited with the initial invention of the digital audio player, in 1979.

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Loudness war

Professional sound production

The loudness war (or loudness race) refers to the trend of increasing audio levels in recorded music, which reduces audio fidelity, and according to many critics, listener enjoyment. Increasing loudness was first reported as early as the 1940s, with respect to mastering practices for 7" singles. The maximum peak level of analog recordings such as these is limited by varying specifications of electronic equipment along the chain from source to listener, including vinyl and Compact Cassette players. The issue garnered renewed attention starting in the 1990s with the introduction of digital signal processing capable of producing further loudness increases.

With the advent of the Compact Disc (CD), music is encoded to a digital format with a clearly defined maximum peak amplitude. Once the maximum amplitude of a CD is reached, loudness can be increased still further through signal processing techniques such as dynamic range compression and equalization. Engineers can apply an increasingly high ratio of compression to a recording until it more frequently peaks at the maximum amplitude. In extreme cases, efforts to increase loudness can result in clipping and other audible distortion. Modern recordings that use extreme dynamic range compression and other measures to increase loudness therefore can sacrifice sound quality to loudness. The competitive escalation of loudness has led music fans and members of the musical press to refer to the affected albums as "victims of the loudness war."

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Pink Noise

Physics Electronics Professional sound production

Pink noise or 1f noise is a signal or process with a frequency spectrum such that the power spectral density (energy or power per frequency interval) is inversely proportional to the frequency of the signal. In pink noise, each octave (halving or doubling in frequency) carries an equal amount of noise energy.

Pink noise is one of the most common signals in biological systems.

The name arises from the pink appearance of visible light with this power spectrum. This is in contrast with white noise which has equal intensity per frequency interval.

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Shepard Tone

Professional sound production

A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the bass pitch of the tone moving upward or downward, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.

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Timeline of audio formats

Professional sound production

An audio format is a medium for sound recording and reproduction. The term is applied to both the physical recording media and the recording formats of the audio content—in computer science it is often limited to the audio file format, but its wider use usually refers to the physical method used to store the data.

Music is recorded and distributed using a variety of audio formats, some of which store additional information.

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