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Microphone Month 4


A frequently used word these days. In music/audio production a sample is a digitally recorded piece of audio. To sample (sampling) is the act of recording said samples. In order to take (record) a sample, a device known as an A/D converter measures the instantaneous amplitude (voltage) of an analog waveform at periodic intervals known as the sample rate. Each of these samples is converted into a digital “word” that is represented by some number of digital bits (ones and zeros), with the number of bits per sample (known as bit depth) determining the resolution of the sample, or how closely it matches the exact voltage value of the waveform at the time of the sample. The bit depth also determines the theoretical dynamic range that can be captured per sample (with more bits allowing greater dynamic range). The sample rate, however, determines the frequency range that can be captured per sample. Both bit depth and sample rate have a significant impact on the overall accuracy of the sample as compared to the analog waveform.

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