How Analog Audio Works

We will begin this discussion by talking about how the term analog is used in its broadest sense. According to Wikipedia the term means “an object, concept or situation which in some way resembles a different situation.” (Wikipedia, 2012). When used in literature the term “analogue” refers to “a work which resembles another in terms of one or more motifs, characters, scenes, phrases or events,” or “an individual motif, character, scene, event or phrase which resembles one found in another work.” An example would be the story of Noah and the Flood from the Bible and the epic of Gilgamesh. In language an analog is a comparison between concepts.  Another literary analogy is: “Life is a road.”

According to PC Magazine, analog audio, “Refers to recording audio in a format of continuous vibrations that are analogous to the original sound waves.” (PC Magazine, 2012). You may be surprised to know how many devices we use today employ analog signals. These devices include:

  • Microphones and speakers
  • Standard audio connections, such as headphone jacks and RCA phono plugs on a stereo
  • Analog musical instruments, such as analog synthesizers and electric guitars
  • Analog audio processors



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