Glossary - SoundCreation

Glossary - SoundCreation
The following section is included to help you understand some of the technical terms and jargon referred to with
consoles of this type. It is by no means a complete reference. Please refer to specialist audio publications
should you wish to know more.
Amplitude Another term used for signal level.
Asymmetric EQ An equaliser with a different amount of
cut and boost of the frequency bands. This is used to
restrict the available boost so preventing system overload
while providing extended cut to allow dramatic
performance effects by ‘killing’ selected frequencies.
Attenuate Reduce the signal level.
Aux Auxiliary. An independent mix derived from the
channels for various functions. This can be set pre
(before) or post (after) the channel fader. Pre-fade sends
are often used for foldback monitor feeds. Post-fade
sends are often used for sampler, reverb and other effects,
zone and special recording feeds.
Balanced, Unbalanced Refers to the type of input or
output signal connection. An unbalanced connection has
two signal carrying conductors, one of which is the cable
shield. A balanced connection has three conductors, two
for signal and a shield which is connected to earth.
Because the signal conductors are at the same impedance
and of opposite polarity they are better able to cancel and
therefore reject interference and noise pickup. It is
standard practice to use balanced connections for long
cable runs, for example to amplifiers, or cables carrying
sensitive or low level signals, for example microphones.
Bandpass (BPF) A filter with a bell-shaped response for
attenuation of frequencies either side of the centre
Beat Mixing Using the variable pitch controls on
turntables/CD players to synchronise the rhythm track of
two separate songs, so that the beat remains constant
when smoothly cross-fading from one to the other.
Bi-amping Providing separate amplifiers to drive the high
and low frequency units in a loudspeaker. This requires a
crossover processor that splits the frequency band into low
and high. Bi-amping usually produces a cleaner and more
controllable sound in larger systems.
BPM Beats Per Minute. The measurement of the
rhythmic beat or tempo of the music.
Booth The area, often enclosed, where the DJ operates.
Usually provided with local booth monitor loudspeakers.
Cardioid The response of a microphone which is more
sensitive in front than behind. This is generally used for
vocal miking to reduce acoustic feedback.
Cut Mixing Moving the cross-fade control sharply from
one side to the other, to either pick out a sound, a hi-hat,
kick drum etc, or to drop straight into another record. Also
known as chopping.
Cartridge The pickup in a turntable. Uses a needle to
pick up vibrations from the record (vinyl) and convert this
to electrical signals that feed the console. The cartridge is
usually fitted to a removable headshell that plugs into the
turntable arm.
Clipping The harsh distorted sound that results when the
signal hits the maximum level possible. This is set by the
power rail voltage. Above this there is simply no more
voltage available so the signal is ‘clipped’.
Compact Disc (CD) Well established stereo player
using digitally mastered pre-recorded flat discs. Becoming
popular with DJs as a replacement or alternative to vinyl
mixing. Recordable CDs are now available.
Contour The term used to describe the ‘law’ of a fader,
how quickly it responds as it is moved, or the amount of
fade per unit of movement. The contour control
associated with a crossfader lets the DJ tailor its response
to suit the preferred mixing style.
Crossfader A short horizontally mounted fader for
smoothly fading one music track in while fading the other
out. Often used by the DJ for cutting and layering sounds
while mixing.
Cue A monitor system provided for the DJ or console
operator to check individual channel signals using
headphones while lining up tracks ready to introduce into
the mix. This does not affect the main console outputs.
DAT Digital Audio Tape. A type of digital 2 track recorder
that uses a small tape cartridge to produce high quality
recordings in a compact format.
dB Decibel. The unit of measurement for audio signal
level. This is logarithmic to follow the response of the
human ear. ‘dB’ is a relative measurement to compare
one level with another, for example gain from input to
output. ‘dBu’ is an absolute measurement referenced to a
voltage standard where 0dBu = 0.775V rms. The console
main outputs operate at 0dBu = ‘0’ reading on the meters.
'’dBV’ is a similar measurement but refers to a 1V
standard. It is common for consumer equipment to
operate a the ‘low’ standard of –10dBV (316mV). ‘dBA’
refers to sound pressure level and is measured using the
‘A’ scale that ‘hears’ in the same way as the human ear.
DJ Disc Jockey. The console operator sequencing and
playing the music tracks. Some simply play the tracks,
others talk over with introductions and announcements,
and others provide an entertaining performance by mixing
and shaping sounds to create a completely different
musical experience.
DRS™ Digital Recall System. Unique to Allen & Heath
this provides user programmable memories for instant
recall of favourite settings.
Drum Machine An electronic drum simulator as used by
keyboard players and in electronic music. This now
provides another DJ tool to create an alternative beat to
mix in with the music.
Dynamic Range The difference expressed in dB
between the highest and lowest signal levels possible.
This is limited by the clipping level and residual noise floor
Earth Also known as ‘ground’. The term for the
electronic signal reference. This connects to the mains
supply earth point and all cable shields and conductive
equipment cases. It provides the return for the signal
voltage within the equipment. It also ensures operator
safety by removing the possibility of electric shock should
the mains voltage touch any metal part.
Earth (ground) Loop The result when the equipment
sees more than one path to the system earth. Current
flows because a resistive loop susceptible to radio and
mains interference is formed. In severe cases this can
result in audible hum or buzz in the system. Breaking the
XONE:32 User Guide
loop by removing all but one path to earth usually solves
the problem.
Equaliser (EQ) This provides cut or boost of selected
frequencies (equalisation) for tonal shaping of the sound.
This is similar to the bass and treble controls of domestic
hifi amplifiers. However, XONE:32 provides 3
independently controllable frequency bands for corrective
or effective sound shaping.
Feedback Also known as ‘howlround’ or ‘ringing’ this is
the rapidly increasing tone produced when a microphone
picks up its own signal from the speakers. It is usually a
shrill and annoying squeal that should be quickly dealt with
by repositioning the microphone or speakers, reducing mic
gain or equalising the system to notch out the offending
Gain This is the boost or attenuation applied to the
source signal in the channel preamp stage to match it to
the console operating level. For example, a large amount
of gain is need to match low microphone signals. It is set
using the console meters. Gain is not used for level
(volume) control.
Headroom The amount of level available expressed in
dB to handle peaks above the normal 0dB operating level.
Hz Hertz. The measurement of frequency. The audio
spectrum ranges from a low (bass) frequency of 20Hz to a
high (treble) 20kHz. Not many sound systems reproduce
the full range. Average hearing does not extend much
beyond 15kHz or so. Response is further impaired if the
ear is subjected to continual high sound pressure levels.
Highpass (HPF) A filter that attenuates frequencies
below the cut-off frequency.
Hum Apart from not knowing the words… this is the
audible noise that usually results from mains interference
pickup, earth loops, bad interconnections and induced
power supply and lighting fields. It is usually at mains
frequency (50/60Hz) or a related harmonic.
Impedance (Z) A technical term for the resistance of a
signal conductor to ground. Low impedance usually refers
to microphones of 200 ohms or less, and line signals
typically less than 100 ohms. Low Z sources are less
prone to interference pickup. Inputs are usually high
impedance so that one source can connect to more than
one channel without signal loss. Note that the operating
impedance of a connection is set by the impedance of the
source, not that of the unconnected input.
Impedance balanced Refers to the type of output signal
connection. It has three conductors, two for signal and a
shield which is connected to earth. Provides interference
rejection similar to a fully balanced connection because
the two signal conductors are matched at the same
impedance. However, the drive capability is less because
the signal is carried by only one conductor.
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator. Generates a repetitive
control voltage at a user determined rate (speed) to
automatically modulate an effect such as the VCF.
Limiter A signal processor that limits the maximum level
possible by preventing the signal going over a
predetermined threshold level. This is very useful in club
installations where it is inserted between the console and
house system amplifiers to prevent the DJ exceeding the
maximum allowable volume.
Lowpass (LPF) A filter that attenuates frequencies above
the cut-off frequency.
MC Master of Ceremonies. The presenter who introduces
the performances and maintains the running order. Also
refers to a rapper who talks in time to the beat.
XONE:32 User Guide
MiniDisc A type of low cost digital 2-track recorder that
uses a disc similar to but smaller than that used by
computers. It uses a compression algorithm and is able to
record up to 74 minutes of stereo material. It is regarded
as the modern replacement for the audio cassette
recorder. It has the added facility to label and edit tracks.
Mono A single source with no stereo content, or the left
and right stereo signals summed together as one.
Mute To turn off the signal. Transform is a mute effect.
Noise Generic term for an unwanted signal. This may be
residual electronic hiss, hum, buzz, clicks and pops, or
simply loud undesirable music.
Noise Floor This is the term for the residual electronic
noise produced by all powered audio equipment. It usually
sounds like a constant hiss, although some equipment
may suffer from residual hum as well.
Omni-directional The response of a microphone which
picks up sounds equally all round. Not suited to live vocal
applications as they are more prone to feed back.
Pan Panoramic. A control that adjusts the balance of the
signal in the left and right speakers.
Peak Meter A type of signal meter that has a very fast
attack and slower release. This picks up the fast signal
transients and holds them long enough for the operator to
see the activity on the display. These meters typically use
led (light emitting diode) displays.
Phantom Power The DC voltage required by certain
microphones to power the capsule. These are usually
sensitive studio grade mics not suited to DJ mixing. The
power is provided by the console using the two signal
conductors in the balanced connection. There is no
provision on XONE:32 for this type of microphone.
Phono Abbreviation for phonograph as in ‘turntable’.
Usually means RIAA equipped input when marked on
console inputs. Can also refer to the RCA ‘phono’ type pin
jack connector found on turntables, CDs and much
domestic equipment.
Polarity Sometimes referred to as ‘phase’ this is the + / sense of a balanced signal or loudspeaker connection.
Reversed polarity should be avoided and checked for as it
can cause uncomfortable phasing effects as the listener
moves between the speakers.
Punch Performance effect popular with DJ’s. Pressing a
button next to the crossfader punches in (turns on) the
opposite track.
Resonance Applied to the filters this is the effect of
accentuating frequencies around the cut-off point to
produce subtle or dramatic phasing effects.
RIAA Record Industry of America Association,
responsible for the long established equalisation standard
that is applied to the signal produced by a turntable
cartridge. Due to the physics of vinyl reproduction the
needle produces a reasonable high frequency signal but
much less low frequency. An RIAA pre-amplifier
compensates for this by inversely attenuating the high and
boosting the low frequencies.
Reverberation The way in which sound reflects and
bounces around the room after the source is removed.
This depends on the size and shape of the room as well as
the materials such as carpets, curtains and clothing that
absorb certain frequencies.
Reverb Effect This is a signal processor that connects to
the console to artificially simulate the reverb effect.
Parameters such as decay time, diffusion and amount of
reverb can be controlled. Typically selected sounds are
sent to the processor by turning up the channel post-fade
aux sends. The processed (wet) signal is returned to the
mix through a channel where it adds to the direct (dry)
signal routed from the channel fader.
Transform Performance effect popular with DJ’s.
Pressing a button next to the crossfader mutes (turns off)
the active music. Used for ‘stutter’ effects.
RPM Revolutions Per Minute. The measurement of
turntable speed, eg. 33, 45 RPM
Transmute A new Allen & Heath function that combines
the popular punch transform and punch effects into one
‘intelligent’ button.
Sampler Another performance effect popular with DJs.
The channel signal is sent to a digital processor that
samples (stores) a short duration of sound. The output is
returned through a channel and replayed by pressing a
trigger. Many samplers provide creative effects such as
repeat and reverse.
Scratch Mixing The art of rhythmically rocking a record
back and forward on a turntable, to repeat a certain sound,
a vocal or tone, at the same time operating the cross-fader
to create a syncopated “wah wah” chirp added over a bass
heavy back beat.
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SN) This is the difference
expressed in dB between the normal 0dB operating level
and the residual noise floor. It represents how far above
the equipment hiss level the signal operates. More is
Slipmat A fabric turntable mat positioned under the
record so that the DJ can hold it stationary ready to let go
for a fast start at the point cued.
Sound-to-Light A processor that converts an audio
signal into a control voltage that triggers lighting effects.
This produces the popular disco effects with lights flashing
in time to the beat.
Split Cue A facility to listen to the cue signal in one ear
while keeping the program in the other. Used for matching
the beat while cueing a new track. Some consoles provide
a CUE/MIX fader to preview the mix before going live.
Sub Bass A loudspeaker designed to reproduce only
very low frequency sound, typically from around 30 to
120Hz. A crossover is used to route only the low
frequencies to the sub.
TRS Jack Refers to the 3-pole (stereo) ¼” jack plug with
Tip, Ring and Sleeve connections.
TS Jack Refers to the 2-pole (mono) ¼” jack plug with Tip
and Sleeve connections. TS cables can plug into the
XONE:32 impedance balanced outputs without
Turntable Otherwise known as a ‘record deck’ this plays
vinyl discs, still the most popular source for DJ mixing. It is
common for the cartridge to plug directly into the mixing
console ‘phono’ input which provides the RIAA
equalisation required. The turntable usually has variable
speed control so that the DJ can synchronise the beat
between tracks.
VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier. An audio gain
element whose level is controlled by a remote DC voltage
rather than through a fader or rotary control.
VCA Crossfader Functions as an audio crossfader but
with the audio level controlled by a DC voltage produced
by the fader. This voltage can be electronically filtered and
is therefore able to remove the clicks, scratches and dropouts associated with worn audio faders.
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter. An audio filter whose cutoff frequency is controlled by a remote DC voltage rather
than a rotary or switched control. This provides greater
range and capability. The circuit used in the XONE:32
produces the dramatic sound of the classic analogue
synthesiser filter.
XLR The professional standard 3 pin round connector
used for microphone and other balanced connections.
Equipment female sockets are for inputs, male for outputs.
Tempo The rhythmic beat of the music, usually referred
to in BPM (Beats Per Minute). The DJ can tap the tempo
into the LFO so that its speed is in time with the music.
Order Codes
The following products and parts can be ordered from Allen & Heath or the approved dealer:
XONE:32 3 stereo channel mixer
/v = specify voltage
XONE:62 6 stereo channel mixer
/v = specify voltage
XONE:464 4 mic 6 stereo channel mixer
/v = specify voltage
60mm Stereo Channel Fader for XONE:32, 62 & 464
Optional P&G crossfader for XONE:32, 62 & 464
Standard crossfader for XONE:32
30mm Cue/Mix fader for XONE:32
60mm VCF/LFO depth fader for XONE:32
Plinth mounting rack ear kit
XONE:32 User Guide
XONE:32 Service Manual
XONE:32 User Guide
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