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Audio 2 (Back to the Basics series)

Chapter: Audio

Topic: Basic Audio Technology

Just as a computer thinks of video as a set of images, it thinks as audio as a whole lot of “snapshots” of this sound wave – tens of thousands of snapshots every second. Each of those tiny little snapshots reflects the energy of the sound wave at that point. Now, the human ear is capable of hearing frequencies that repeat up to about 20,000 times per second (20,000 Hertz). Because of some fancy math, we have a rule of thumb: if the computer taps in to the sound wave twice as many times as the highest frequency we want to represent, it will describe the sound fully for us. That’s where the most common full-quality sample rates – 44,100Hz and 48,000Hz – come from.

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