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A & R (Artist & Repertoire) The A & R man of the 1 950's and the 1 960's used to be responsible for finding a repertoire for artistes to record. Nowadays, however, this is usually handled by producers, while A & R departments tend, for the most part, to be involved with talent spotting and record, release/promotion.
A Capello Music sung without instrumental accompaniment.
A/D converters Device which converts analogue wave forms into binary language for storage in digital form on tape or disc.
Acetate Reference or demo disc, usually cut for technical evaluation purposes.
Action The ability of a musical instrument to respond to a player's technique, which depends on many different factors according to the instrument. Guitar action is largely determined by the height of the strings from the finger board and may therefore be 'high' or 'low'. Keyboard action refers to the degree of sensitivity of the keyboard to the player's touch; touch-sensitive synthesizers, for example, react to the velocity and pressure of a player's hands for different effects such as crescendo and vibrato . Piano action describes the reaction of the mechanical parts of the piano to the player's touch.
Active circuitry A powered circuit such as a synthesizer electronic piano or studio mixer. Also a component included in some electrical guitars and basses enabling wider frequency control and boosting facilities than are available in passive instruments.
Ad libbing Improvisation.
ADSR(envelope generator) (Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release)Module which is present in all synthesizers, enabling them to simulate the manner in which instruments make their sound. It can, for example, set up an attack like a piano's (short, sharp), and appropriate decay time sustain and release switch, which fixes the end of the notes.
ADT (Artificial Double Tracking) An electronic studio device for simulating the effect of a double tracked voice or instrument from only one track of source.
Ambience The acoustic characteristics of a room or area with regard to reverberation. A room with a lot of reverberation is said to be'live', one without is 'deed'.
Analogue delay An electronic device for delaying a signal by using bucket brigade, integrated circuitry. Can also be obtained by using a tape machine. See Tape echo.
Assigning (also known as routing) Switching technique used with multitrack mixers whereby the engineer directs any input to any or all output channels. Normally all circuits are wired to a routing, or assigning, switch on the desk .
Attack The way in which a musical note begins.'Fast attack' is very sharp, like the sound of a snare drum or piano being struck hard;'slow attacks on the other hand is best achieved with sustaining instruments such as the violin and flute.
Attenuator A level control which may be switched or smoothly varied to reduce the gain of an electronic circuit. {SeePotentiometer).
Audio range (also known as audio spectrum) Range within which human beings can detect sound (roughly 20 Hz-20 kHz). The audio range diminishes with age; average range is about 40Hz-15 KHz.
Backbeat The second and fourth beats in music written in even time (i.e. 2/4, 4/4 etc), in 3/4 time or other more complex time signatures; the last beat of the bar.
Backing track (also known as backing rhythm) Recorded instrumental track which forms the basis of the accompaniment for vocals or lead instruments.
Backline The amplifiers used for individual rhythm instruments on stage; they are usually placed behind the players.
Baffles (also known as gobos) Studio screen - usually on wheels - which are used to reduce leakage . They can have either sound proofed or reflecting surfaces, to suit different ambiences .
Band pass filter An electronic filter which limits the effect of frequencies either side of a desired frequency range.
Baroque Originally meaning 'bizarre' or 'highly ornate', this term is novv used to refer to an era in European music from 1 650 A D to 1 7 50 A D when counterpoint and harmony were of great importance. Nowadays a 'Baroque arrangement' may be either similar to Bach or Handel in style or heavily contrapuntal, as in Quincy Jones' arrangements or counterpoint.
Bins Term for bass speakers on a PA rig; large, acoustically designed speaker cabinets.
Blowing see Jamming.
Bluegrass A type of country music from the south of the United States, usually played without any percussion instruments. All instruments in this type of music are string, and include the fiddle (violin), guitar and the obligatory five-stringed banjo.
Board see console.
Bop (also known as Be-bop) Mid-'40s to mid-'50s style of jazz. Epitomized by such legendary figures as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and the younger Miles Davis. Generally performed by small groups, this jazz form stretched the boundaries of the 20th century rhythmic music more than any other music of the time.
Bottleneck guitar (also known as slide guitar ) A technique originally used by the old blues guitarists who would tune the guitar to an open chord (usually D major or C major), place the neck of a bottle over one finger of the left hand, and slide this over the frets while playing to produce a crude lapsteel or Hawaiian guitar effect. Now the bottleneck itself is usually a steel or glass tube. Bottom: The lower end of the audio range with regard to response or bass presence.
Bouncing (also known as ping pang) A technique used in multi-track recording. Extra tracks are obtained by sending two or more pre-recorded tracks to be recorded onto one spare track.
Brass The term for those instruments which are made of brass and played with a metal tube mouthpiece, such as the trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba. Term.often used to describe the horn section of a group which frequently includes saxophonesnot technically brass instruments, because they have a reed mouthpiece, although they are usually made of brass.
Break An instrumental passage in a song, for example, 'horn break' or Guitar break'. Term used by music businessmen to make an artiste successful and wellknown in a given territory, normally achieved with a hit record.
Bridge That part of a stringed instrument which stops the sounding length of the strings. It is placed somewhere between the nut and the tailpiece at the point where most accurate tuning is found. The middle of a song, or the link passage between, say, a verse and chorus.
Bug Jargon for contact mike or pickup used on acoustic guitars, violins, saxophones etc.
Bus/Buss Jargon for the routing of an input signal to one or more output channels. The bus control Is used to assign an instrument to a particular track; for example, a harmonica coming into a desk on, input 1 may be bussed to track 4 on the tape recorder.
Busking See Jamming.
Calibration The process of lining up tape recorders or any equipment in terms of frequency response and level.
Chart Published ranking of records in terms of sales. Jargon for written music part, or chord symbols (-) as opposed to printed music.
Chops Jazz vernacular for skill, as in "That horn player has great chops."
Chord symbols Symbols in letter form which are a short-hand method of indicating the chords which are to determine the harmonic structure of a piece. G7 for example, means a G major triad with a minor 7th (dominant 7th), the notes being G. B. D and F natural. Chord symbols are used mostly in rhythm section music, for the piano, guitar and bass.
Chorus Main body of a choir; Refrain of song, (3) Jargon for sequence of chords in an instrumental piece, as in, "Take two choruses"; (4) Electronic device which creates the effects of more than one sound from a single source by combining a short delay usually between 5 and 30 milliseconds, with slight deviations in pitch.
Chromatic scale A scale taking in all 12 semi-tones of the octave.
Clavinet A stringed keyboard instrument with a bright cutting sound, similar to the harpsichord but with a hammer rather than a plucking action.
Clef A sign often found at the beginning of each line of written music, and used to fix the position of middle C on the staff . The common forms are the treble and the bass clef. To avoid using too many ledger lines, the clefs are often adjusted to suit the range of particular instruments. In general the higher the range of the instrument, the lower the position of middle C on the staff. Hence the alto clef, where middle C is the centre line, is used for the viola because the middle of its range is from around middle C to the octave above. The range of the cello is lower, so the tenor clef where middle C is higher on the staff is used. Conversely, the violin's middle range is from G above middle C to an octave above that, so middle C is placed below the treble staff.
Click track A rhythmic guide track consisting of a series of clicks (usually semi-quavers) used to assist in time-keeping during recording. Clicks recorded in order to start or cue synthesizers sequences or electronic drums. The click can be used to trigger a number of different sequences recorded at different times while still keeping them all in synchronization.
Compressor An electronic device for reducing the range of dynamics of an audio signal.
Concept album An album with an overall thread running through it, which may be musical, lyrical or thematic. Examples are 'Desperado' by the Eagles and 'War of the Worlds' by Jeff Wayne.
Concert pitch The internationally agreed tuning of a particular note. This is determined by the frequency of its sound waves - which is measured in cycles per second or Hertz (Hz). Concert A above middle C is 440 Hz.
Console (also known as board, desk, mixing console) The piece of equipment through which inputs and outputs are routed either to or from a tape recorder and with which adjustments in tone, level and balance are made.
Course A part of strings struck together and considered as one, a characteristic of certain stringed instruments, notably the mandolin (each pair in unison) and the 1 2-stringed guitar (each pair may be in unison but the lower four pairs of strings are usually in octaves).
Cover (also known as cover version) Subsequent recorded version of an original song; there are, for example, over 1,000 covers of the Lennon-McCartney song 'Yesterday'.
Crescendo Growing in force; getting louder.
Crossover (l)An electronic splitting device used between amplifiers and speakers to divide the sound into two frequency bands. The 'highs' will be sent to the horns and the 'lows' to the bin . Term used to denote that an artiste's style is a blend of two main streams of music. For example, Afro-Cuban crossover is soul music mixed with West Indian and Latin American rhythms.
Cue (also as foldback, talkback) Part of the circuitry of the mixing console which enables (a) the engineer in the control room and the musicians in the studio to communicate via headphones; (b) previously recorded material to be fed to the musicians so that they can play in sync when doing over dubs ; (c) direct injection instruments to be monitored via headphones while recording is in progress.
Cut Making a master disc from which finished records can be pressed. So called because the master tape sounds are transferred onto a lacquered disc by a cutting machine which uses a needle to draw the sound patterns into the acetate.
Cutaway The spaces left when portions of the electric guitar body have been cut away to allow better access to the frets. A guitar with a chunk removed both above and below the neck is known as a 'double cutaway'.
D/A converter A device which converts digital binary number back into continuous analogue wave forms, see also A/D converter.
Da Capo Term used in written music, meaning back to the beginning (literally, "frond the heady.
dbx The trademark of a popular noise reduction system used with multitrack tape machines.
DDL See Digital delay line.
Decay The dying away of a note. In synthesizer's part of the ADSR. Decay time: The time (in seconds) which it takes for a sound to decay to a level 60 decibels below its original level. It is normally known as RT 60.
Decibel (dB) The unit of sound measurement. O dB is taken to be the threshold of hearing, while 130 dB is the threshold of pain. A normal speaking voice is about 65-70 dB.
Delay To slow down the arrival of a signal by electronic means. See analogue delay and digital delay line.
Demo Abbreviation for 'demonstration', usually referring to tapes or records used for marketing or testing. See Acetate.
Desk See Console.
Digital delay Tape echo.
Digital Delay Line (DDL) Similar to analogue delay except that the effect is achieved by means of digital circuitry. This involves converting signals to digital impulses, which can be recreated any number of times to produce the delay.
Direct injection (Dl) System by which the sound produced by electronic instruments can bypass microphones and go direct to a mixing desk thus eliminating the risk of leakage.
Divisi Literally meaning 'divided', the term is usually used in string writing to indicate a subdivision of a single sanction. For example, first violins playing three separate parts.
Dolby The first, and still the most widely used, tape noise and reduction system, invented by Or Ray Dolby. During recording, this device raises the high frequencies (where most background hiss is present) above normal. On playback these are reduced to normal perspective once more and the hiss is greatly reduced.
Double Repeat the same instrumental or vocal part on another track when recording (see double-tracking). Term for a musician performing on more than one instrument. For example, a wind player may be hired to play on saxophone and double on flute.
Double-tracking Recording the same musical part twice on separate tracks to produce a fuller sound, brought about by the slight variation and mismatch between the performances.
Downbeat The first beat of the bar; the opposite of backbeat and upbeat.
Drawbars Tone controls on Hammond organs which take the forms of bars with numbers along their lengths. They allow the player to mix fundamental tones with harmonics , thus enabling greater control while mixing complex timbres.
Drop in See Punch in.
Drop out Loss of tape signal due to a faulty tape or poor contact with the tape recorder heads.
Dry (also known as dead) Term applied to sound which has no added reverb or echo. See ambience.
Dub ( 1 ) Abbreviation for overdub . To add sound to film or video. (3) A style of vocal delivery associated with reggae music, involving extensive use of echo.
Echo Distinct repetition of a sound until it dies away naturally. Distinct or indistinct repetition of a sound produced and controlled in the studio for effect, mechanically or by means of electronic processors. See delay, DDL, analogue delay.
Echo chamber A live room containing speakers and microphones used to stimulate natural reverberation.
Echo plate An electromechanical studio device which produces simulated reverberation (but not delay echo) by means of a large metal vibrating plate.
Echoplex A tape device which uses a tape loop and five recording heads to create echo effects. The recording heads are movable to enable echoes to be produced with any desired delay.
EMT Brand name of a well-known echo plate device.
Envelope generator See ADSR.
Equalization (EQ) The adjustment of the frequency response of an audio signal to obtain a desirable sound. Equalizer: An electronic device for cutting or boosting selected frequencies - simply a sophisticated tone control.
Expander An electronic device for increasing the range of dynamics of an audio signal.
Fade (also known as fade-out) Jargon for gradual fading of a signal. Usually used at the end of a number or recording as an alternative to an abrupt end.
Fader Term for the volume control on a mixing console which is usually a sliding control rather than a knob.
Feedback Howl or squeal produced when a microphone or pickup is too near its speaker, thus picking up its own output and reamplifying it. Correctly called acoustic feedback. Used in electronic circuit to return parts of the output signal to the input in order to cancel out some of the circuit's deficiencies.
Filter Electronic device which boosts or cuts certain frequencies, one of the main parts of an equalizer.
Finger pick A plectrum which fits over the player's fing en It is used a great deal in country and bluegrass music.
Fixer ( 1 ) A contractor who 'fixes' or books people for recordings or concerts. American production jargon for a re-recording of a poor performance.
Flange Outer rim of tape spool.
Flanging A similar effect to phasing except that a wider variation in tape speed is used, giving the effect of a slight pitch deviation.
Flat ( 1 ) The lowering of a pitch by a semi-tone. Sound which has not been equalized.
Flat pick Plectrum held between the player's thumb and forefinger.
Flutter Small rapid variation in tape speed, causing pitch variation. They are often due to a faulty tape transport or turntable mechanism.
Foldback See cue.
Forte Loud.
Fortissimo As loud as possible.
Fundamental The lowest frequency of a note In a.complex wave form or chord.
Fuzz box A device which breaks up the sound passing through it, causing a distorted sound simulating that of a valve amplifier being overdrives. It is particularly favoured by guitarists.
Gain Amount of increase or decrease of volume.
Glissando Sliding quickly between one note and another without any perceptible pitches in between. A true glissando is best obtained on instruments like the violin, trombone or timps, where the production of continuous sound is not impeded by keys or frets.
Gobos See Baffles.
Graphic equalizer Equalizer using small linear faders which permit manual control over a wide range of selectable frequencies.
Great stave See staff.
Harmonics Vibrations of frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental .
Harmonizer A device which electronically changes the pitch of a signal without affecting tempo.
Headroom Technical jargon for the safety margin allowed for peaks in volume without distortion.
Headstock The section at the top end of the neck of a guitar which incorporates the machine heads.
Hertz (Hz} Unit of measurement denoting frequency. Originally measured in cycles per second (CPS), 1 Hz = 1 cycle of a sound wave per second. See Kilo Hertz (KHz).
High.end Term denoting sounds with a frequency higher than 5 KHz.
Hook A musical phrase - vocal or instrumental - which is repeated a number of times in a song to literally 'hook' the listener.
Horns Abbreviation for French horns. General term in musical jargon for the brass and/or wind section of a band or orchestra. (3) The treble or high frequency portion of a PA speaker system. The horns work in conjunction with mid-range and bass bins to give high-quality response over the entire audio range.
Hum Low-pitched drone coming from electronic equipment. It usually derives from the mains supply.
Image Jargon for the stereo panorama of a recording.
Inboard equipment The term for modules and devices that are a built-in feature of a recording/mixing console : the opposite of outboard equipment .
Input The point at which an audio signal enters a recorder, mixer or signal processor; the opposite of output A signal received by a recorder, mixer or signal processor.
Ips Inches per second.
Jack plug A signet connector used on electric instruments to connect them to an amplifier via a lead, referred to as the 'jacklead'.
Jamming also known as blowing, husking): Playing along with other musicians without the aid of written music.
Joystick A controller for modulating sounds, mostly used on synthesizers in place of pitch and modulation wheels; but can also be used as a pan-pot for multiphonic sound systems.
Kepex A type of noise gate . Kilo Hertz (KHz}: Hertz measured in multiples of 1,000; for example, 5 KHz = 5,000 Hz. In studio jargon they are usually referred to simple as K, e g, 5K rather than 5 KHz.
Layering Synonym for overdubbing or recording one track at a time. Adding layers of sound or having one part doubled by several instruments to create a fuller sound.
Leadertape Coloured PVC tape used at the beginning and end of magnetic tape or between tracks for the master tape of an album.
Leakage Pickup of the sound of one instrument on other mikes in the studio at random. When the sound of one track spills on another on recorded tape. This usually occurs between adjacent tracks on low quality recording machiries.
LED (light-emitting diodes): These are incorporated into VU meters to reflect transient peaks of volume.
Legato Sustaned, controlled, or joined together the opposite of staccato.
Level The amplitude or volume of a signal.
Lick Jargon used to describe a musical phrase, usually with reference to a particular instrument, as in, for example "guitar lick" See Riff.
Limiter A signal-processing device that reduces volume peaks without colouring the overall dynamic range as much as a compressor does.
Lipsync Mime the words of a song on a TV show or film.
Low end Frequencies below 1 OOHz; the opposite of High end.
Machine heads (also known as tuning heads):Geared mechanisms on the headstock of a guitar around which the strings are wound, they are used for tuning.
Manual keyboard A theatre organ may have as many as four manuals or keyboards.
Master disc see Cut.
Master mix The final. mixdown, the one that will be used in cutting the disc.
Master tape The final multitrack recording or the twotrack stereo 1/4 inch tape which carries the final mixdown from the multitrack tape and from which the master record is cut.
Microprocessor The control section of an IC (integrated circuit) chip- a small computer. It is used in sophlsticated digital outboard equipment and units such as sequences and drum machines; also in automated or computer mixing desks.
Middle 8 Synonymous with bridge (> 2). Originally always eight bars in length, it was a section of a song which contrasted with the verse and chorus. Nowadays, it is used, like bridge, to mean a linking passage, not necessarily eight bars long.
Mixer A device which mixes signals in terms of level and/or tone during recording or playback.
Mixing (also known as meltdown): The process of ba lancing and adjusting existing tracks on a multitrack machine and transferring them on a two-track tape.
Modulation Changing from one key, or tonal centre, to another.
Monitor Loudspeaker used in studio control rooms to determine quality or balance. To monitor is to listen to such a speaker in order to make appropriate adjustments, or to listen through headphones while playing overdubs Loudspeakers used by performers on stage so that they can hear themselves.
Monitor level The volume of speakers in a studio.
Monitor select A set of switches which enables a recording engineer to monitor certain sounds in isolation or together.
Multicove A single cable containing a number of separately insulated wires. When used with a stage box it keeps the routing of microphones tidy and easy to locate, especially over long distances.
Multitrack tape Tape on which music is recorded on several tracks and from which the engineer or producer mixes down the 1/4 inch master. Multitrack tape usually contains between 4 and 24 tracks according to the format of the machine and the width of the tape.
Multitracking Recording on to more than one track of tape.
Mute 1 Any device which reduces the level (and usually alters the tone in some way) of an acoustic instrument, such as a trumpet or a cello. A switch found on some recording console which reduces the overall monitor level by more than half.
Noise generator A device used in synthesizers for producing high frequency sound effects.
Noise reduction The use of a compressing or expanding device which reduces unwanted tape hiss (see Dolby).
Noisegate An electronic device which cuts out audio signals below a threshold selected by the engineer.
Notch filter An electronic device which can remove unwanted frequencies with only minimal disturbance to those on either side:
Nut The plate at the top end of the guitar finger-board usually made from plastic or brass, over which the strings pass before being inserted into the machine heads.
Octave divider An electronic device which produces higher and/or lower octave of a given signal. It is used by guitarists and, occasionally, by horn players - such as the Brecker Brothers - while playing electric sax and trumpet via a bug.
Ostinato Persistent repeated pattern of notes or musical figures creating an effect or structure on which to build. See Rffl.
Out of phase Two signals are 'out of phase' when certain frequencies are cancelled due to the reversal of polarity of one signal relative to another.
Outboard equipment (also known as toys): Effects devices and signal processors which are not part of a mixing console's inherent features. For example: flangers, harmonisersand chorus pedals.
Output 1 The point from which an audio signal leaves a recorder, mixer or signal processor. Signal sent out by a recorder, mixer or signal processor.
Overdubbing Adding new sound to previously recorded material on a spare track, or tracks, of multitrack tape.
PA System Abbreviation for Public Address system, the loudspeakers directed at concert audiences.
Pan-pot (panoramic potentiometer): Control knob on a studio desk used for placing tracks within the stereo panorama (left/right).
Panning Positioning sound's source within a stereo panorama to left and right. This is done with a pan pot (potentiometer) or a joy stick.
Parametric equaliser Equaliser which differs from a graphic equaliser in that the frequency bands selected can be continuously varied (narrowed or widened) instead of falling into predetermined steps or sections.
Passive circuitry A non-powered circuit. Standard electric guitars and basses usually have passive circuitry, although in recent years active circuitry has been introduced in several models.
Patching Connecting two elements in a circuit by external w~nng.
Phase shift devices Devices in which the input signal divides and recombines to produce phasing.
Phasing An effect produced by feeding a signal into two tape recorders and recording the combined outputs on to another machine. The effect produced is a swishy tonal sweep achieved by varying the speed of one of the input tape recorders.
Pianissimo As softly as possible.
Ping-Pong See Bouncing.
Pink noise Noise containing all frequencies in equal proportions.
Pitchbend A device which enables a player to bend the pitch of a note on a synthesizer, usually with a pitch wheel, strip or lever.
Polyrhythmic Several rhythms occurring simultaneously.
Potentiometer Continuously variable level control for varying the signal in an electronic circuit. Can be rotary or linear (fader). See Attenuator, Pan-Pot.
Preamplifier Amplifier used to boost signals before they reach a main amplifier so that 'low level signals can be brought up to a volume that can be handled by the main amp.
Presence A control on many amplifiers which boosts mid-range frequencies.
Punch in (also known as drop in): The system whereby a fresh part is added to existing material on tape by switching from 'play'to'record'while the tape is moving.
Quadraphonic sound Sound which reaches the listener from every side with instruments positioned all around the panorama (see Panning). It is used most successfully in live concerts, by bands such as Pink Floyd, where sound travailing effects are used with great imagination.
R T 60 The normal abbreviated form of decay time.
Rap Rhythmic speech. The term refers to a technique first used by disc jockeys on black radio stations in the USA whereby they record fast, rhythmically spoken Iyrics over an existing backing track. Hits include'Rapper's Delight', to the backing tracks of 'Chic's Good Times', 'Blondies', 'Rapture' and the highly successful Don't Push Me ('Cause I'm Close to the Edge') by Grand Master Flash.
Reed Instruments Those wind instruments whose sound is produced by a vibrating reed, such as the clarinet, saxophone, harmonica and harmonium The 'double-reed' instruments - such as the oboe, cor anglais and bassoon - are so called because the mouthpiece is formed from two reeds stuck together.
Reeds Generic term in musical Jargon for reed instrumentals, including the saxophone. See Brass 2.
Release The last in the four parameters of an envelope generator, or ADSR . It governs how much a note rings on after a key has been released.
Reverb/Reverberation The sound characteristic of a room; a 'live' room has a lot of reverb, usually from highly reflective surfaces; a idead'room has less. Reverb devices are used to simulate ambience.
Ride Move a fader up and down to find the optimum level.
Riff A musical phrase, usually repeated for a whole section of a song, which gives the song its flavour and sometimes its hook . Rifts are most frequently played on guitar and/or bass, occasionally on other instruments.
Rimshot A dnumming technique which involves hitting the skin and rim of the drum simultaneously, thus producing distinctive sound.
Roll off Technical jargon for reduced high frequencies.
Rough mix Any mix of a song or piece which is used for reference purposes, but is not the final or master mind.
Routing See Assigning.
Royalty A small percentage of the whole sale or retail price of a record, tape or sheet of music paid to an artiste, writer or producer on each copy sold.
Saddle Strip of hard material - usually metal - in the bridge assembly of a guitar, over which the strings pass. It is usually adjustable for string clearance and intonation. See Action.
Scat singing Vocal improvisation without words (usually in jazz). Commonly known as scatting.
Scratplate Plastic or metal plate attached to the front of a guitar body to prevent pick scratches.
Sely-sync Abbreviation of selective synchronization. A recording process whereby monitoring comes from the record head itself, enabling overdubs to be'synced' with tracks already recorded.
Separation The effect of minimising leakage when recording.
Sequencer A digital or analogue device similar to a recorder. It uses control voltage and gate pulses, recorded on tape, to play a series of pre-programmed notes and impulses on a synthesiser or several synthesizers. Shell: The body of a drum, without heads and fittings. Ska: Early bluebeat (pre-reggae) Jamaica music.
Spillage See leakage.
Splice Join two pieces of tape usually when editing.
Staccato Short, sharp individual notes, not played in a linked or sustained way, the opposite of legato.
Staff (also known as stave): The five ledger lines on which musical notation is written. In the case of music for instruments such as the piano, harp and organ, two staffs (treble and bass) are used, known collectively as the'great stave'.
Stage-box A shielded box into which several microphones can be plugged and connected to a multicore.
Stave See Staff.
Strobe tuner An electronic instrument tuner which uti rises stroboscopic light.
Sustain Elongation of a note, either by playing techniquo or by electronics.
Sync-lock The use of a synchronization signal to connect two or more tape recorders.
Synthesisers Instrument which produces a wide range of sounds electronically, using voltage controlled oscillators, filters and amplifiers and an envelope generator, or ADSR .
Tailpiece The piece on a semiacoustic guitar or any instrument of the violin family through which the strings are threaded and held in place at the lower end of the instrument. Talkback: See Cue.
Tape echo (also known as tape slap): A means of delaying the repeat of a sound by adjusting the time lapse or delay between the record and playback heads of tape recorders.
Tape transport The motorised mechanism which moves the tapes evenly across the records and play heads. Recorders with high speed tape transport play at 15 ips or more.
Thumb pick Pick which slips over the player's thumb.
Tine A Slim steel rod forming the tone bar in a Rhodes electric piano. Tines acts like the strings in an acoustic piano, and are struck by felt covered hammers.
Toys Musical jargon for extra instruments used to enhance an arrangement which are not essential to the structure of a piece of music; for example, tambourine glockenspiel Synonym for outboard studio equipment.
Transducer Device This converts energy from one form to another. For example, a microphone turns sound energy into electrical signals which can be boosted and turned back into sound via an amplifier and speaker.
Transient Instaneous changes in dynamics producing steep wave fronts.
Transposing Alter the key of a song or a piece of music. For example, song written for female singers will often have to be transposed to a lower key for a man.
Transposing instruments Instruments which play in a different pitch from that of the music written for them. Instruments have usually been transposed to bring about a standard system of fingering for instruments of the same family, such as saxophones or clarinets, whic differ widely in range. If none of the saxophones, for example, were transposed, players would have to learn several different fingerings in order to play different instruments within the family and would have to concentrate hard to remember which saxophone they were playing at any one time. Transposing certain members of a family of instruments enables players to play any member of the family and to switch from one to another with ease. Clarinets, flutes, double reeds and all brass have at least one transposing instrument within their ranges. The double bass, piccolo and certain turned percussion instruments such as the Glockenspiel, will sound either an octave lower or higher than the music written for them; and in some cases, the difference may be as much as two octaves. These are also transposed but simply to save the use of ledger lines. See staff.
Tremob Fast repetition of the same note with no pitch change.
Tremolo arm Strictly speaking, a vibrato arm, a level which fits on to the bridge of an electric guitar and is employed to instantly raise or lower the pitch.
Trill Rapid alternation of two notes.
Trim See Attenuator.
Tuning head See Machine head.
Una Corda Literally "one string", means direction found n written piano music indicating use of the softlpedal.
Up heat Second or last beat in a bar. The last beat of the bar in an introduction to a piece of music, before the downbeat of the first full bar.
VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier. See Voltage control.
VCF Voltage controlled filter. See Voltage control.
VCO Voltage controlled oscillator. See Voltage control.
Vibrato The up and down oscillation of the pitch of a note by use of the diaphragm for singers and players of wind instruments, or the fingers for players of bowed and other stringed instrument.
Vocal Jargon forvoice part.
Voice box Device which sends the output of an instrument through a tube which fits into a player's mouth. The sound can be altered by movements of the player's mouth movements and then reamplified.
Voicing The-way in which a musical chord is structured.
Voltage control The basis of musical synthesis first discovered by Or Robert Moog. Each note on a synthesiser keyboard produces a different voltage, so that the pitch is said to be 'Voltage controlled". Other parameters of sound such as tone attack envelope (see ADSR) can also be affected by voltage control.
VU meter ( VolumeUnit meter): A,devicetwhich indicates volume. Each channel of a mixing desk, recording console or multitrack machine has its own VU meter.
Wah-wah-pedal A pedal which produces a 'way' effect by sweeping the tone from bass to treble and back.
Wall of sound An amplifier,.or amplifiers, stacked on top of two or more speaker cabinets.
Washed out Term used to describe sound which lacks definite sound which lacks definition owing to too much reverberation.
Wet reverberant sounding See ambience and Dry.
White Noiae Noise containing all frequencies rising in level by 6 dB every Octave.
Wow Slow deviation in tape speed causing long slurring alteration in pitch (see flutter).
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