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DSP

Abbreviation for Digital Signal Processing. This term gets thrown around all over the place these days without much regard for what it actually means. Without getting into a lot of detail it basically just refers to a specific type of digital processing that is optimized for dealing with signals. In our case these are often audio signals, but they don’t always have to be. DSP can be thought of as sort of a subset to the old math coprocessor concept. Math coprocessors were chips that were included in computers to help the CPU do massive calculations more efficiently. DSP chips are designed and optimized to be able to do various (mathematical) calculations for processing audio or image data. For example, many of today’s effects processors use a special DSP chip made by Motorola that has been optimized for working with audio data. A surprising number of different processors use this exact same chip, but with different software instructions as written by the companies to have it do what they need for their product.

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