Mac = Command (Cmd/Apple) + F
The plugin format used by Avid's Pro Tools DAW starting with Pro Tools 10 and higher.
ADC (or A/D, analogue-to-digital converter) The electronic component which converts the instantaneous value of an analogue input signal to a digital word.
Audio Stream Input/Output - developed by Steinberg, is a cross-platform, multi-channel audio transfer protocol. This allows you to get multiple channels in and out of your computer using our interfaces.
Plugin format used by Apple's CoreAudio system. Used in Logic, Garageband and many other DAWs (see DAW below) on macOS.
Digital audio workstation - any software you record audio into. This includes programs like Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Cubase and Logic.
Decibels Full Scale. This is a measurement of signal level relative to a maximum known value, always calibrated to 0dBFS. dBFS is commonly used in digital audio systems where 0dBFS is the clipping point of the system. Measurements in dBFS will always be negative values.
Decibel Unit - A measurement of signal level relative to a reference level (0.775 Volts with an unloaded, open-circuit source). dBu is commonly used to measure signal level in the analogue domain.
On interfaces and audio equipment, this button is found on the front panel of interfaces and in control software. Pressing this will reduce the signal going to your monitors/headphones by a set amount (for example, -10dB).
Firmware is software that is stored in a read-only format on a hardware device. Just like software, firmware should be updated when improvements have been made.
Graphical User Interface - This can be a plugin window or any graphical control interface presented to a user on a computer screen or graphical display
In digital and analogue audio, headroom refers to the amount by which the signal-handling capabilities of an audio system exceed a designated nominal level. You can think of this as "breathing room" between the level of the signal you are inputting and the max level that is acceptable by the sound engine before you reach any form of distortion.
- Input gain
On a mic pre, input gain varies the amount of amplification of the (very low level) microphone. The gain knob for your individual channels on your interface will control the level of input coming into the interface
The IRQ is a number set in the computer for the interrupt request. The interrupt request is assigned to devices to allow it to "interrupt", or send a signal, to the computer when it is finished processing.
Audio Latency is the transit time through a process, from input to output.
- Latency (DPC)
Deferred Procedure Call latency, different to audio latency (above) which can cause audio issues on some Windows systems such as glitches and dropouts in audio.
- Line Level (Line Input/Line Output
Line Level is the highest signal level that travels through a 1/4" TRS connection. This is the standard type of signal and should be used when connecting any non-instrument pieces of hardware to your interface (i.e. an outboard preamp or processor) or instruments that output line level (synths, keyboards, drum machines etc)
Abbreviation of 'optical semiconductor' - a component which will switch or generate electric current when illuminated.
PACE Anti-Piracy develops and licenses technology that allows software and media publishers to enforce their product licensing terms.
Real-Time Audio Suite (RTAS) is a plug-in format created by Digidesign for Pro Tools. Unlike the hardware powered TDM ProTools plugins, RTAS uses host-based processing. RTAS is limited by the available CPU processing power. RTAS offers similar performance to TDM in that each plug-in is fully automatable.
Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format. A consumer digital interface standard, similar to the professional AES/EBU standard, (IEC-958) for encoding digital audio.
Auxiliary input to a device which is generally used for a control purpose e.g. the side chain input to a compressor controls the gain-reduction.
The difference in the electrical potential of two points in a circuit.
(Virtual Studio Technology): A plugin architecture developed by Steinberg.
A signal that is shared by a group of devices that require sampling frequency synchronisation