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The MPEG Handbook, 2nd Edition by John Watkinson

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2

Fundamentals

2.1 What is an audio signal?

Actual sounds are converted to electrical signals for convenience of handling, recording and conveying from one place to another. This is the job of the microphone. There are two basic types of microphone, those which measure the variations in air pressure due to sound, and those which measure the air velocity due to sound, although there are numerous practical types which are a combination of both.

The sound pressure or velocity varies with time and so does the output voltage of the microphone, in proportion. The output voltage of the microphone is thus an analog of the sound pressure or velocity.

As sound causes no overall air movement, the average velocity of all sounds is zero, which corresponds ...

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