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Glossary of CD Terminology N-Z

Oversampling
Digital samples must be at least double the frequency of the analog signal in order for the digital sample to accurately represent the analog signal. The human ear cannot hear frequencies over 20kHz, therefore 44.1 kHz is the industry standard for digital sampling, since all frequencies over the 20kHz digital sample would be inaudible. Oversampling is a digital filter that boosts the frequency of the digital sample. Two reasons for this: 1) boosting the frequency helps the digital sample to be converted to analog more faithfully during playback, and 2) the leftover digital frequencies are filtered out so that the signals do not interfere with other electronics.

 

PCM (Pulse Code Modulation)
The analog-to-digital converter used for recording traditional CDs.

 

Record
Records are releases that include all collections of recorded material, including albums, compilations and singles. Also refers to a vinyl-format recording.

 

Sample Rate
The number of samples of a sound per second.

 

Single
A record containing only a few songs, usually the album version of a song plus remixes of the same song. A single may also contain songs not included on the album, known as B-sides.

 

SACD (Super Audio CD)
It is now possible to play music in your home that sounds markedly better than a CD, and also makes full use of your multi-channel, multi-speaker home theater system. It's called Super Audio CD or SACD.
For more see: What is Super Audio CD?

 

Vinyl
AKA: "records." These are large plastic discs, often black, where the audio information is heard by using a needle to "translate" the tiny grooves embedded in the plastic into sound.  The Analogue equivalent of CD Audio.

 

XRCD (Extended Resolution CD)
A JVC invention and trademark, XRCDs are regular CDs with higher sound quality. The encoding of the disc itself is not what produces the higher sound quality. Instead, attention is put into the mastering and manufacturing process. Mastering is done with 20-bit analog-to-digital conversion with 128 times oversampling, which is then converted to 16 bits during manufacturing while still maintaining its sonic integrity. All of this is done on special JVC equipment. The recording is pressed onto a CD where the readable side is coated in aluminum. No special equipment is required to play an XRCD. All that is needed is a normal CD player.

 

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