In particular, audio signal processing deals with electronic manipulation of audio signals, which are electronic representations of sound waves.
They come in either analog or digital format. Firstly, analog signal processors work directly on the electrical signal, whereas digital ones work on the digital representation. We measure the energy contained in audio signals in decibels.
Audio Signal Processing: Analog
An analog audio signal is a continuous signal that experts represent by an electrical analogous current to the sound waves that fly through the air. Analog signal processing alters the continuous signal by modifying the current via electrical circuits. Note that analog technology is widely common in music applications because it produces nonlinear responses that are not easy to reproduce with digital filters.
A digital audio signal shows the audio waveform as a sequence of symbols. Most modern audio systems use digital signal processing since it turns to be quite powerful and efficient.
Digital signal processing encodes live signals, including audio. It allows you to store, alter, edit, replay, and transfer live signals in a more accurate way. Of course, it is a much more modern feature in audio equipment and music gear. The reason is that it allows the user to handle the audio signal.
It is present in most modern audio equipment since it has many advantages and hardly few disadvantages. Digital storage is better, cheaper, faster, more accurate, long-lasting, accessible, easy to transfer, and easy to duplicate. With digital signal processing, you can transmit signals quickly and efficiently. In addition, you can enhance and alter them to improve their quality.
As a downside, analog signals can’t transmit easily over long distances. You cannot store them easily. The storage gets damaged over time organically. Editing analog audio files is quite difficult.
Where to Use Audio Signal Processing
You can apply audio signal processing to several areas, including speech processing, localization, acoustic detection, music information retrieval, data compression, sound recognition, storage, noise cancellation, level compression, transmission, noise cancellation, acoustic fingerprinting, enhancement, and synthesis. Moreover, you can apply to audio effects, audio synthesis, audio broadcasting, as well as active noise control.
Overall, many audiophiles and recording enthusiasts still prefer analog techniques.