Digital formats come in 3 main categories: uncompressed, lossless compressed, and lossy compressed. Matt explains how uncompressed files like WAV and AIFF and lossless compressed files like FLAC and ALAC contain the identical sample numbers & therefore sound identical. Lossy compressed formats using codecs (COmpressor/DECompressors) like MP3, WMA, AAC, and Ogg Vorbis trade off sound quality for much smaller file sizes. These codecs use a psychoacoustic model to minimize the audible quality loss.
- We've discussed most of what happens to audio on its way…into and out of the digital domain, but there's a little…more to the story of how those digital files are stored…and shared with others.…In general there's a trade off between audio quality…and file size depending on the file format.…Let's explore this a bit.…Digital audio can be saved in a variety of file formats…and these formats can be sorted into three groups:…uncompressed, losslessly compressed and lossy compressed.…
Now we're talking about data compression here…not dynamic range compression, which we'll cover later.…It's very important not to confuse those two concepts.…First, let's discuss uncompressed audio formats.…The most common uncompressed formats are WAV and AIFF.…Here the audio data is just a list of raw numbers…that represent samples.…Since numbers can be organized in different ways,…WAV and AIFF files also include a header with instructions…on how to interpret the audio data,…like the sample rate, the bit depth, which samples belong to…
The course starts with explanations of what sound really is and how we hear it, including discussions on frequency, amplitude, phase, and psychoacoustics. Matt explores analog audio signal path, explaining connections, gain staging, and metering. Next, he brings the audio signal into the digital domain, discussing analog to digital conversion, digital gain staging, file formats and compression, and dither.
Then the course digs into digital audio workstations (DAWs), explaining the concepts and misconceptions involved in digital recording systems. Matt describes how memory, CPU speed, and storage affect your DAW's performance, as well as how to manage computer resources and understand the plethora of file formats associated with digital recording. He follows with an overview of MIDI: how to generate, store, process, and communicate MIDI data. He wraps up with the audio processors that are often used for mixing in a DAW—including EQ, compressors, reverb, delay, and many others.
- What is sound?
- The three domains of sound: acoustic, analog, and digital
- The analog vs. digital signal paths
- Converting analog audio to digital
- Digital formats and data compression
- Understanding the five types of DAWs
- Recording performances with MIDI
- Mixing and processing audio with EQ, compression, and other effects