Audio signal processing, sometimes referred to as audio processing, is the intentional alteration of auditory signals, or sound. As audio signals may be electronically represented in either digital or analog format, signal processing may occur in either domain. Analog processors operate directly on the electrical signal, while digital processors operate mathematically on the digital representation of that signal.
Audio processing was necessary for early radio broadcasting -- as there were many problems with studio to transmitter links.
An analog representation is usually a continuous, non-discrete, electrical; a voltage level represents the air pressure waveform of the sound.
A digital representation expresses the pressure wave-form as a sequence of symbols, usually binary numbers. This permits signal processing using digital circuits such as microprocessors and computers. Although such a conversion can be prone to loss, most modern audio systems use this approach as the techniques of digital signal processing are much more powerful and efficient than analog domain signal processing.
Processing methods and application areas include storage, level compression, data compression, transmission, enhancement (e.g., equalization, filtering, noise cancellation, echo or reverb removal or addition, etc.)
Audio broadcasting (be it for television or audio broadcasting) is perhaps the biggest market segment (and user area) for audio processing products—globally.
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