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pix Guitar Nine Glossary of Terms [E-F] pix
pix pix by Dan McAvinchey  

Page added in August, 1996 [Page: First A-B C-D E-F G-H I-K L-M N-O P-Q R-S T-V W-Z]

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Earth ground

A connection to the physical ground or 'earth'. This connection can be made either to a cold water pipe or a special copper rod driven into the soil.


A delayed repetition of a sound or signal, usually at least 50 milliseconds after the original sound.

Echo chamber

A hard-surfaced room or enclosed space containing a microphone placed at a distance from a loudspeaker. When sound is played through the speaker, the mic will pick up reverberation from the room.

Echo return

Also known as 'Echo receive' or 'Effects return', a control on the mixing console that adjusts the amount of signal received from an echo unit or reverb unit. The echo return signal is combined with the program buss signal.

Echo send

Also known as 'Effects send', similar to an auxiliary send, the control on a mixer that determines the level of channel signal sent to a dedicated echo unit or reverb device.


A sound or track with too many high frequencies resulting in a overly trebly sound. Also, a sound with harmonics which are too strong relative to the fundamentals, resulting in distortion and/or a raspy sound.


To modify, add, or delete sections or parts from a song, track, sample, MIDI track, etc.

Editing block

A metal block that secures the magnetic tape to assure accurate splicing/editing cuts.


Computer programs specializing in synthesizer sound editing and patch organization. The librarian retrieves sound parameter data from synthesizers, and the editor permits the altering of sounds in the computer.


An acronym for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. A computer chip that can be loaded with data (sound samples, program patches, etc.) and later erased (with an electrical voltage) and loaded with updated information.


A generic term for the enhancement or modification of sound by the use of signal processors such as delay, echo, chorus, reverberation, pitch shifting, etc.

Effects buss

A buss that feeds external or internal (to the mixing board) effects devices and signal processors.

Effects mixer

A submixer in a mixing console that combines signals from effects sends and directs the mixed signal to the input of another effects device.


In a loudspeaker, the ratio of acoustic power output to electrical power input.


An acronym for the Electrical Industries Association.

EIA rating

A specification of microphone sensitivity that states the microphone output level in dBm into a matched load for a given sound pressure level or SPL. The formula is SPL + dB (EIA rating) = dBm output into a matched load.

Electret condenser microphone

A type of condenser mic where the electrostatic field of the capacitor in generated by an electret, a substance which permanently stores an electrostatic charge.

Electrostatic field

The force field between two conductors charged with static electricity.

Electrostatic interference

The undesired presence of an electrostatic hum field in signal conductors.

Encoded tape

A tape having a signal compressed by noise reduction.


The rise and fall in amplitude (volume) of a note. The envelope of a note consists of the four stages: attack, decay, sustain, and release.

Envelope generator

Also known as a 'Contour generator', a device, circuit, or software algorithm that generates an ADSR envelope.


An acronym for Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. A computer chip that can be loaded with data (sound samples, program patches, etc.) and later erased (with an ultra-violet light) and loaded with updated information.


Often abbreviated to 'EQ', the adjustment of specific frequencies (bands) to alter the tonal balance or to remove unwanted frequencies.


A circuit with the ability to change the frequency response of a signal passed through it.


To remove an audio signal from magnetic tape by applying a varying magnetic field that randomizes the magnetization of the magnetic particles on the tape.

Erase head

A head in a tape recorder that erases the signal from tape.


A sound that is clear but very close to being edgy, with an emphasis in the frequency response around 100 kHz or higher.


A signal processor that increases the dynamic range of a signal.

Fade out

To slowly and smoothly reduce the level of the last few seconds of a track or recorded song, by gradually pulling down the fader.


A linear or sliding volume control, used to adjust audio level.


A sound which has been slightly distorted by means of analog tape saturation or tube distortion, yielding a warm, full sound. Also, a sound which is spatially diffuse, accomplished by panning a signal hard left in the stereo spectrum, then delaying the signal slightly and panning the delayed signal hard right.


An acronym for the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. government agency responsible for regulating and approving data communications devices, telecommunications devices and the public airwaves.


The act of sending a signal to some device, channel input or bus. A feed can also be an output signal send to a device, bus or input.


The return of a portion of the output signal to a device's input. A common source of feedback is sending the output of a guitar amp's speaker into a guitar's pickups, by stepping close to the amp.

Feed reel

The left-side reel on a cassette tape or tape recorder that unwinds during recording or playback.


A circuit that attenuates or removes frequencies from a sound or waveform above or below a certain frequency. Filters can be used to reduce unwanted noise above or below the frequency range of a voice or instrument. One type of filter, a bandpass filter, allows the frequencies within a specified range to pass, while a notch filter inhibits the frequencies in a specified range. Even MIDI data can be filtered, using a MIDI data filter, to remove specified messages (pitch bend, modulation) from the MIDI data stream.


An effect in which a delayed signal is varied between 0 and 20 milliseconds of delay and combined with the original signal. The resulting swishing, hollow sound is reminiscent of a jet passing overhead. Usually a variable comb filter is used to produce the flanging effect.

Fletcher-Munson effect

The psycho acoustical phenomenon in which the subjective frequency response of the human ear changes with the audio level. The result of this effect is that a sound played at a lower relative volume appears to lose both low and high frequency response.


To disconnect from ground.


A rapid and periodic variation in tape speed.

Flutter echoes

A rapid series of echoes occurring between two parallel walls.


Magnetic lines of force.


The measure of the flux density of a magnetic recording tape, per unit of track width.


A feature of a sync box that allows it continue to generating reliable MIDI sync even when a bad sync stripe is being read from tape.

FM synthesis

A type of synthesis based on complex combinations of sine waves.


A sound which is easy to locate in the stereo field, due to a small spatial spread.


Also known as 'FB' or 'Cue system', a monitor system that permits musicians to hear previously recorded tracks, along with their live performance, through headphones.


Film term used to describe the process of triggering the proper sound effect at the precise time. Usually the trigger time is specified as a SMPTE time given in hours, seconds, minutes, and frames.


A sound or track which sounds close to the listener, often described as an intimate sound. Also, a sound with a boost in the frequency response at about 2 to 5 kHz.


Measured in hertz (Hz), the number of cycles per second of a sound wave or audio signal. A high-frequency sound (example, 12,000 Hz) has a high pitch, and a low-frequency sound (example, 200 Hz) has a low pitch.

Frequency response

The range of frequencies that an audio device will reproduce at an equal level, within a tolerance, such as +/- 2dB.


An acronym for Frequency Shift Keying. FSK is an older method (pre-MIDI) of keeping drum machines and tape recorders in sync. An audio tone would be generated by a drum machine or sequencer and recorded onto one track of the multitrack tape recorder. The tone would alternate between two distinct frequencies and the rate of alteration would correspond to the tempo of the music.


When used to describe a sound's tonal balance, complete or near-complete reproduction of low or fundamental frequencies, with adequate level around 200 Hz. A sound with strong fundamental frequencies relative to harmonics. Female voices tend to sound full around 250 Hz, whereas male voices sound full around 125 Hz.


The lowest frequency in a complex sound wave.

Page: E-F Guitar Nine Glossary of Terms [E-F] [Page: First A-B C-D E-F G-H I-K L-M N-O P-Q R-S T-V W-Z]

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