Studio Glossary



  • A capella – ususally describes performing a song without instrumental accompaniment
  • Ableton Live – DAW for producing a mostly live performing music; visit Ableton for more info
  • Absorber (Absorption) – is a device that takes in soundenergy, thus controlling modes and echoes. This can be achieved by materials or structures
  • Acoustic Guitar –  is a guitar that produces sound acoustically by transmitting the vibration of the strings to the air [1]
  • Acoustic Treatment – measures in a room to control the sound. Usually absorption and reflection are used to get the best result
  • ADAT – Alesis Digital Audio Tape is a magnetic tape format used to record eight track to a Super VHS casette
  • Adlibs – vocals, words or phrases that are placed in specific part of a songot enhance the lead vocals
  • Amp / Amplifier – a device that amplifies the weak signals from a guitar or bass pick up; most have additional features like distortion and overdrive
  • Analog (Signal) – is any continuous signal for which the time-varying feature (variable) of the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity [5]
  • Apogee – manufacturer of high end audio equipment; visit Apogee Digital for more info
  • Apple Logic – DAW for producing music solely for macOS; visit Apple for more info
  • Avid ProTools – DAW for producing music, considered state of the art when it comes to editing and mixing at top level; visit Avid for more info 


  • Backing Vocals – vocals that support the lead vocals, mostly mixed subtle
  • Bi Directional – also Figure 8, is a characteristic of a microphone which is able to pick up sound from the front and the back but none from the side
  • Binaural (Recording) – aims to reproduce a 3D image of a room using multiple microphones
  • Bit Rate – amount of bits used to record or reproduce an audio file. The higher the bit rate the more dynamic range you have in a song. The most common are 16 Bit, 24 Bit and 32 Bit
  • Bounce – another word for exporting audiofiles
  • Brass – is a part of an orchestra including trumpets, horns, tubas, horns, trombones and cornets
  • Bus – a channel so to speak to which either audio tracks, effects or groups are routed for further processing


  • Cardioid – is a characteristic of a microphone which is able to pick up sound from the front and the side
  • Chorus (effect) – occurs when individual sounds with approximately the same time, and very similar pitches converge and are perceived as one [7]
  • Chorus (song) – also refrain is the main part of the song where ususally all instruments set in
  • Cinch, RCA Connector –  a type of connector used for audio and video signals; commonly found in consumer electronics
  • Close Miking – recording technique where each instrument is miked closely to get as much direct sound as possible while reduding ambience and crosstalk
  • Compressor – device or plug in that reduces the dymnamic range of an audiofile; either by lowering loud parts or by boosting low parts
  • Condenser Mic – is a microphone that picks up sounds on the basis of a capacitor
  • Cubase, Steinberg – DAW for producing music; visit Steinberg for more info
  • Cutoff Frequency – the point where frequencies above or below that point are cut
  • Cycle Marker – an area you can define in which the audio files are looped infinetely


  • DAW – Digital Audio Workstation is programm to produce, record and edit audio files of any kind
  • Delay (audio) – is the time between the original and repeated sound
  • Delay (effect) – repeats the original audio by our setting creating depth and additional rythm
  • DI- Box / Unit – is an electronic device typically used in recording studios to connect a high-output impedance, unbalanced output signal to a low-impedance, balanced input [8]
  • Digital – signals like audio or video are defined by a discrete (ending) amount of points 
  • Distortion – is achieved by boosting the gain resulting in a rough, gritty sound especially knowns from electric guitars
  • Doubling – is the recording of an audio track trying to play as identical as possible. By layering these tracks you can make vocals for e.g. sound fuller
  • Dreadnought Guitar – is a type of an acoustic guitar with steel strings
  • Dynamic Mic – is a microphone that picks up sounds using an electric coil


  • EQ, Equalizer – device or plug in for treating specific frequencies
  • Export – rendering or “saving” an audio project for further processing


  • Figure 8 – also Bi Directional, is a characteristic of a microphone which is able to pick up sound from the front and the back but none from the side
  • Filter – device or plugin for removing specific frequencies
  • FL Studio – DAW for producing music; visit Image Line for more info
  • Flanger – effect created by copying the original audio and shifting it in time and/or phase; often found on pedal boards
  • Fret – is a thin metal rod placed on finger boards of guitars and basses dividing it chromatically


  • Gate – device or plug in that only lets signal above a specific threshold through
  • Group – channel or bus to which seperate channels are routed for processing like compression or eqing


  • Hertz – is a unit for frequency, defined by cycles per second and named after the German physicist Heinrich Hertz
  • High Pass – also low cut, is a filter that cuts low freqencies; in analogue environment this is achieved by using a capacitor
  • High Cut – also low pass, is a filter that cuts high freqencies; in analogue environment this is achieved by using a capacitor
  • Hyper Cardioid – is a characteristic of a microphone which is able to pick up sound from the front, some from the back but none from the side


  • Interface – also audio interface is the port between the analog signal and the DAW, both in- and output


  •  Jete – a bowing technique in which the player is instructed to let the bow bounce or jump off the strings [3]


  •  Klangfarbe [Ger.] – tone color; distribution of pitch or melody among instruments, varying timbre [4]


  • Lead Vocal – vocal that is the most prominent in a musical piece
  • Lemon Oil Polishspecial oil for cleaning and polishing wooden instruments, especially guitars. Not to be confused with Essential Lemon Oil!
  • Low Cut – also high pass, is device of plug in that cuts low frequencies
  • Low Pass – also high cut, is a device or plug in that cuts high frequencies


  • Marker(s) – are tags set througout a song indicating diffrerent parts like intro, verse or for making notes for future references
  • Mastering – Final process in audio production. This is mostly sweetening of the audio file and/or arranging the songs of an album in proper order
  • Merge – making one track out of many; makes it easier for mixing. Also your hardrive will have to do less as it only needs access to one file instead of many different ones
  • Microphone – is a device used to pick up sounds of all sort. Read more
  • Mid Side Technique – is a miking technique for creating a 3D sound cape by using a bi directional and a omni directional microphone
  • Mineral wool – is any fibrous material formed by spinning or drawing molten mineral or rock materials such as slag and ceramics [9]
  • Mixdown – is simply speaking the reduction of a certain amount of recorded tracks to a single stereo file which is provided to the mastering engineer
  • Mixer – is either a device used for mixing tracks or short for an audio mixing engineer
  • Mixing – is finding and adjusting the right balance between provided audio tracks to get the audio experience desired
  • Monitor – specially designed speakers that reproduce sound as unbiased as possible
  • Mono – describes a single channel setup


  • Neve – manufacturer of high end audio equipment, founded by legendary Rupert Neve; visit AMS Neve for more info


  • Omni Directional – characteristic of a microphone which is able to pick up sound from any direction
  • Overdub – is the additional recording of vocals or instruments to correct either mistakes or creating doubles for bigger sounds
  • Overhead Microphone – are used in audio production to pick up ambient sounds and overall blend of instruments. Mostly used to capture a whole drum kit


  • Parallel Compression – technique where the a track is doubled, compressed heavily and then mixed to the original track; that gives the impression of a compressed audio while maintaing desirable transients
  • Patch Bay – is a board where ususally the mixing desk’s or audio interface’s and outboard gear’s in- and outputs are connected. Using telephone patch cords you can easily insert an compressor or EQ for e.g.
  • Phase – is the position of a point in time (an instant) on a waveform cycle [10]
  • Pultec – former producer of audio equipment and especially known for the first passive EQ, the EQP-1A
  • Punch In – is deliberately pressing record in specific parts without having to record the whole part again


  • Quarter Tone – dividing a half tone into two; commonly used in eastern not so much in western music. Read more


  • ReAmping – is the process of sending an audio signal out of your DAW to an amp. This way you can try multiple amps and catch the analogue feel of tubes and transistors
  • Reverb (audio) – is the sum of all reflections (delayed copies) of a sound
  • Reverb (effect) – is a device or a plug in that emulates a reverb to get a spatial listeing experience
  • Ribbon Mic – is a microphone that picks up sounds using the principle of electromagnetic induction
  • Rockwool – manufacturer for mineral wool, often used in studios for acoustic treatment; visit Rockwool for more info
  • Room Mic – microphone that picks up ambient sound of a room while recording


  • S/PDIF – Sony/Philips Digital Interface, is a type of digital audio interconnect used in consumer audio equipment to output audio over reasonably short distances [11]
  • Steinberg Cubase – DAW for producing music; visit Steinberg for more info
  • Stem – ususally premixed audio tracks, like drums, guitars or backing vocals
  • Stereo – describes a single channel setup
  • Strings – are a part of an orchestra including violins, vioals, chelli and contrabasses
  • Super Cardiod – is a characteristic of a microphone which is able to pick up sound from the front, some from the back but none from the side
  • Sweetspot – spot in the room where an individual is fully capable of hearing the stereo audio mix the way it was intended to be heard by the mixer. [2]
  • Synthesizer – is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals that may be converted to sound


  • Tape – is an analouge recording medium which was superseded by the digital tape
  • Thomann – largest music store in Europe with a huge online shop; visit Thomann for more info
  • Transient –  a high amplitude, short-duration sound at the beginning of a waveform [12]
  • Transient Designer – is a dynamic device or plug in that enhances or removes transients in an audio signal
  • TRS – Tip Ring Sleeve, is a balanced connector type for audio singals
  • TS – is an unbalanced connector type for audio singals
  • Tube – is a device that controls electric current flow in a high vacuum between electrodes [13] Ususally these are found in compressors. amps or equalizers


  • Universal Audio –  manufacturer of high end audio equipment and plug ins; vist Universal Audio for more info



  • Wah Wah Effect – is a type of electric guitar effects pedal that alters the tone and frequencies of the guitar signal to create a distinctive sound, mimicking the human voice [14]
  • Western Guitar – is an acoustic guitar with steel strings thus producing a more bright and attacky sound, often found in pop production of any kind
  • Widener – stereo effect that widens an audio track to make it appear bigger


  • XLR – is a balanced connector mostly used in studio and live audio applications


  • Y- Adapter – is a connector that splits a signal into two seprate cables