Audio-Visual Glossary



FADE, FADE OUT, FADE IN:     A gradual reduction or increase in the signal. One usually hears a song “fade out” at its end. A film or video’s picture can fade in (appear) or fade out (disappear) gradually on the screen. 


FADER:  A volume control. These may be slides or rotary controls. Usually refers to the volume controls on mixboards and other professional audio equipment as opposed to home audio equipment. Called a “fader” because the control can “fade” the volume up or down.


FAQ:       Frequently Asked Question. Acronym commonly seen on Internet computer sites and other places where data that answers people’s questions are provided.


FARAD:  Named after English physicist Michael Faraday, the “FARAD” is the basic unit of measurement for electrical capacitance (amount of electrical storage). The exact mathematical formula for a farad can be found in any dictionary or electronics manual.


FAR FIELD:   To listen to live sound or loudspeakers at a distance. “Far Field” as opposed to “Near Field” or “Mid Field”. (See NEAR FIELD for additional information.)


FAST:     In the field of sound and sound reproduction - means giving an impression of extremely rapid reaction time; the quality of a loudspeaker system and audio electronics to "keep up with" the sound signal fed to it. A "fast woofer" in a loudspeaker cabinet can produce bass sounds very accurately. The bass is distinct. Similar to "taut”, but “fast” refers to the entire audio frequency range - the highs as well as the bass. The word “taut” refers to a loudspeaker’s ability to reproduce specifically the bass sounds speedily.


FAST FOURIER TRANSFORM (FFT), FFT DSP (Digital Signal Processing), DFT (Discrete Fourier Transform):      

Named after French mathematician Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier (1768-1830). The mathematical formulas developed by Fourier are applied to digital audio. Digital audio equipment processes audio in one of two ways - as a series of samples or as a collection of frequencies. The series of samples method measures the amplitude of the sound signal, not differentiating the many separate frequencies contained within that sound. The collection of frequencies method measures each individual frequency that comprises the sound. Engineers refer to these two different methods as time domain and frequency domain. In the time domain, the audio signal is broken down into a sequence of samples. For example, when a CD is being recorded or played, the sound is sampled 44,100 times per second. In the frequency domain the sound is processed as a collection of individual frequencies. Both methods are used in digital audio systems, depending on the function required. Using time domain, digital audio equipment can easily duplicate the amplitude (loudness) of the entirety of the audio signal, taken as a composite whole. Time domain also facilitates mixing sounds together as is done on a mix board, and delaying sounds such as in a digital delay unit to create echo or other spatial effects.  These types of functions require that the sound is manipulated as a whole, as opposed to separating out individual frequencies. In the frequency domain, it’s easy to isolate specific parts (individual frequencies) of the sound. So frequency domain is used in processes that deal with isolating individual frequencies, such as in equalisation. Also, the frequency domain processes of DFT or FFT are used in digital audio equipment that removes hums, buzzes, hisses, snaps, pops and crackles from old recordings - as such noises tend to consist of specific frequencies instead of the entire spectrum of the audio signal. The purpose of Fourier Transform is to facilitate the manipulation of a sound’s frequencies. Fourier Transform measures how loud a single frequency is in relation to all the other frequencies comprising the sound as a whole. By repeating this measurement for each frequency, the computer builds up a complete picture of the sound. “Transform” means the computer programme doing the FFT programme converts (transforms) the audio into the frequency domain so that the individual frequencies can be processed (such as in an equaliser). Then the signal is converted (transformed) back into time domain samples - the original samples read by digital audio recording and playback equipment. Equipment that processes sound in the frequency domain uses “DFT” (Digital Fourier Transform”), also known as FFT DSP (“Fast Fourier Transform Digital Signal Processing”), or FIR DSP (“Finite Impulse Response” - meaning that each frequency is a precise, finite, measured “impulse” in “response” to the original sound’s vibration.) Note:      In the term “Fast” Fourier Transform, the word “fast” refers to the speed of the computer programme executing the Fourier Transform.


FAT1:      In audio, a sound that has a moderate exaggeration of the mid and upper-bass ranges. The sound or sounds are big, not thin.


FAT2:      An abbreviation for File Allocation Table. A “FAT” is like a table of contents for computer hard discs and floppy discs. Files on a computer’s discs are stored in fixed-size groups of bytes. A single file can be scattered in pieces over many separate storage areas on a hard disc or floppy disc. Therefore, in addition to serving as a table of contents, a File Allocation Table (FAT) marks available disc storage space. FAT software can rapidly find and link the pieces of a file stored in different areas so the file can be put together as one, and used. The FAT can also reject stored segments of a file that are flawed and should not be used - or minimally warn the computer operator that such exist.




FATIGUE, FATIGUING, LISTENER FATIGUE:      1) Prolonged listening the extent that it starts to tire one. A poor sounding audio system or badly recorded and-or mixed audio presentation played for a long period of time can actually be physically fatiguing. This is called “listener fatigue”. 2) Listener fatigue can occur to anyone listening to an audio programme for an extended period of time no matter how good the equipment is. The ears simply get fatigued - tired - and when this happens, one stops hearing accurately.


FAT16 (M0): This is a term used in the SADiE digital audio computer manual. An abbreviation for File Allocation Table 16-bit Magneto-Optical. FAT is a method commonly used by computers to store, locate and recall data. 16-bit refers to the amount of digital processing power of the computer equipment used. “MO” means this type of file is set up to be recorded onto and played from a magneto optical disc. NOTE:  The newer versions of SADiE don’t use the FAT16 MO format, but can be set to do so if ever required. (“FAT 16 MO files” were used in older digital audio equipment that operated with Microsoft computer systems such as Windows 95. The newer SADiE system can be set up to process older FAT16 MO files if required.)


FCC:       Stands for Federal Communications Commission. A regulatory agency of the US Government. This is the agency that assigns radio and TV broadcast stations the frequencies they are allowed to broadcast on. They monitor broadcasts for ethical content. They monitor for illegal broadcasting. They also dictate rulings and requirements of broadcasters and enforce that they meet certain quality standards.


F-CONNECTOR:   A connector used when making video hookups. The centre conductor for the connection is the centre conductor in the cable itself. The F-connector generally has a threaded collar which threads onto its mating connector.


FED:       A sound or video signal which is “fed” means that it is being sent to a certain location such as to a loudspeaker or to another piece of audiovisual equipment. In mixing, often sounds are fed to specific pieces of mixing equipment like a reverb unit and then back to the mixboard.


FEED:     The audio or video signal being sent to a given destination.



1) Some portion of an output signal which returns to the equipment’s input. In live audio situations (i.e. at an event) when microphone feedback occurs, the mic is picking up too much of its own sound coming out of the loudspeakers. This creates a repeating “loop” of sound that results in a howling screech. This screech has a technical name, “heterodyne.”

2) A very different definition of “feedback” is sometimes used by an electronics design technician. It is a circuit inside an audio amplifier, which assists to supply correct amplification. The circuit literally “feeds back” a tiny portion of its output to help the amplifier do its job.


FERRIC TAPE:     Cassette tapes are manufactured with various different particles used as their magnetic material. “Ferric tape” is the least expensive cassette tape and is the type used for many commercial cassette releases. The magnetic particles on ferric tape are made of iron oxide (rust). “Ferric” = “of iron” and “oxide” = that which has been acted upon by oxygen.


FERRITE:      An iron compound sometimes used to shield radio frequency and other interferences from entering an electronic circuit.


FERRO FLUID:     A type of coolant. This fluid is used inside loudspeakers, which can become quite hot when played loudly for long periods of time. The ferro fluid absorbs the heat and keeps the speaker from overheating. The fluid is actually located within the speaker itself, and cools the metal parts within the loudspeakers.


FERROMAGNETIC:     Ferromagnetic means that a substance behaves like iron in the presence of magnetic energy. In other words, it is easily magnetised. Other elements in this category are cobalt and nickel. The prefix “ferro” means “iron”.




FIBRE OPTICS:   Optical fibre. A flexible, hair-like, glass or plastic “wire” that conducts light. (The industry calls it a “conduit”, rather than a wire.) The light waves can be modulated by a television signal and sent great distances without experiencing many of the disadvantages of other point-to-point links. Fibre optics can carry tons of digital information at the speed of light. Companies that provide fibre optic services include Time Warner Cable, Vyvx, JCI Fireline and Medianet.


FIDELITY RESEARCH (FR):     The Fidelity Research company was a Japanese audio equipment manufacturer famous during the 70s and 80s. They are no longer in business. Their most influential products were phonograph tone arms, cartridges and related accessories.


FIELD:   Half of a video frame. With the current standard of TV video in the USA, TV video pictures are transmitted in two separate sections (fields) and combined to form 30 complete frames per second. Every 1 30th of a second, 2 “fields” create a single video frame.


FIFO:     Stands for First In First Out. This is a feature that detects what is played (a CD, DVD-Video disc or Video, or tape cassette) and automatically switches to the settings required to play that programme properly. For example, if the first thing one plays is a CD, then the equipment selects itself to “CD” and provides the sound for that. If it first sees a DVD-Video disc with Dolby Digital Surround Sound, the equipment will adjust itself to that. It’s a feature so that when the consumer turns off his receiver or processor and then turns it on the next day, he does not have to spend time selecting all the settings. The machine is preset to play what “first in and first out”.


50 Hz TEST TONE:     It is vital in producing an audio programme that the equipment used be tested and adjusted to meet the exact standards required to produce a high-quality product before it is used for the production of that product. Audio technicians and engineers use “test tones” to do these tests and adjustments. When the adjustments are done, the equipment is said to be calibrated. A “50 Hz test tone” is a principal test tone commonly used to calibrate the bass region of equipment (tape recorders, etc.)


FIGURE 8 PATTERN:  Another name for a bi-directional microphone pick-up pattern. (See BI-DIRECTIONAL PATTERN.)




FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL (FTP):      A way that computers move files from a distant computer to a local computer, or vice versa, using a network like the Internet. (See PROTOCOL.)


FILL SPEAKERS:  Additional loudspeakers in a hall or event location installed to provide additional coverage to “fill” the hall with sound in places where the main PA speakers don’t adequately reach the audience.


FILM:     A sheet, strip or roll of transparent material covered with a chemical layer that is sensitive to light which, once exposed and developed, permanently holds an image that can be projected or otherwise viewed. The film is usually perforated along one or both edges with small holes that the camera or projector use to grab the film and move it accurately through the camera’s or projector’s mechanisms. Film is used for the recording and reproduction of visual images, such as still photographs and motion pictures. The base material in most photographic and motion picture film is “cellulose acetate”. (Cellulose is a basic building material of living things that comprises the cell walls of all plants. An acetate is a compound made by combining acetic acid [vinegar] with alcohol.) To make film, the acetate is combined with cellulose. This final substance is what creates the actual strip of film. (Note:   Some films use a tough flexible plastic called “Mylar” - a brand name - as their base material). Upon the film, a chemical layer is added. This is called the emulsion. Emulsion is composed of a combination of elements; silver together with chlorine, bromine or iodine. It is sensitive to light and records images when exposed to light.




FILM ELEMENT:   1) The negative and-or print stock (the film to be printed) which is run through a film printer. It is simply a general term used to refer to any such items. 2) Any length of film (footage or shot) that will go into making the final film up.


FILM GATE:  The mechanism that guides the film stably and accurately as it passes in front of the light in a film projector. It is called a gate because it has a little door that closes, like a gate, over the film to hold it steady as it passes by the light source.


FILM History of Cine Films:    Thomas Edison originally envisioned “moving pictures” as a form of entertainment to provide people visual accompaniment for another of his famous inventions - the phonograph. He felt sound and images could be synchronised so they would play in perfect time together and he hoped to do this on cylinders made of wax. But his associates, led by William Kennedy and Laurie Dickson, had different ideas. As early as 1888, they were focusing on “celluloid roll film”, newly developed by George Eastman, as the key to making “movies” (pictures that move). Dickson, with Edison’s grudging approval, went on to perfect the “Kinetograph”, a camera capable of imprinting images on up to 50 feet of film at a speed of 40 frames per second. (“Kine” comes from Greek - meaning, “to move” or “motion”.) Then Dickson struggled to find some way of projecting those images onto large screens for mass public viewing.  At first, Edison was content using a version of the device to exhibit his own short “photoplays” - 30 second recordings of acrobatics, slapstick, etc. - in a peep-show viewing device known as the “Kinetoscope”. By 1894, Kinetoscope parlours were plentiful - and profitable - throughout the United States. But Edison dismissed them as a passing fancy the public would soon forget. Which is why, when he patented his devices, Edison refused to pay the extra $150 which would have extended his U.S. rights to England and Europe. Therefore, the French brothers Louis and August Lumiere were free to tinker with Edison’s invention after they attended a Kinetoscope demonstration in their native country. Within a year they had developed their own camera, the “Cinematographe”, which also printed and projected pictures. On Dec 28, 1895, the date generally accepted as the birthday of motion pictures, the Lumiere brothers presented their first programme of short movies to a paying audience in a Paris bistro. The films were just short glimpses of commonplace occurrences - the arrival of a passenger train, the departure of factory workers, the feeding of a baby - but viewers were astonished. Now seeing the commercial potential of big-screen film exhibition, Edison obtained the rights of a projector designed by another U.S. inventor, Thomas Armant, and began marketing the machine under the brand name “Vitascope”. Just as important, Edison continued to supervise the production of short films for Vitascope and Kinetoscope presentations. (On Edison’s staff of in-house film Directors was Edwin S. Porter, who would eventually direct the very first dramatic film, “The Great Train Robbery”, in 1903.) While the Lumieres and others in Europe specialised in documentaries and travelogues, the Edison Company emphasised vaudeville acts and snippets of legitimate theatre, which enjoyed tremendous popularity for a while. But, the novelty faded so drastically that, by the early 1900’s, some vaudeville act managers were including the showing of “flickers” (early films became known as “flickers” for their rapid flickering of light intensity on the screen, eventually giving the slang term “flick” for a motion picture) between their vaudeville shows primarily as “chasers”. (Literally, the films were used to “chase” the audience out of the house so a second live vaudeville show for the night could start with a fresh audience.) A year before Porter directed “The Great Train Robbery”, a French magician-turned-moviemaker named George Melies premiered “A Trip to the Moon”, an account of a lunar misadventure. But despite Melies’ trick photography, Porter’s 12-minute Robbery was more influential in establishing “cinema” as a storytelling format. Motion picture camera operators in the silent movie era controlled their film shooting rate with a crank they turned on their camera. Similarly, the early projectionists cranked their projectors. Both the early camera operators and early projectionists cranked film through their respective devices at 16 - 18 frames per second, much slower than today’s 24 frames per second (fps). Thus, this would explain why you see rapid actor motion when these early films are shown today. Recorded sound was added in the late 1920’s to film. The first “talkie” was Al Jolson’s, “The Jazz Singer”, in 1927, which also won a special Academy Award. (That year, 1927, was also the first in which Academy Awards were presented.)


FILM PRINTS, FILM COPY:      See NEGATIVES for description of film printing and what a film copy is. See FILM PRINTS NEGATIVE AND FILM PRINTS, TYPES OF for full listing of all types of negatives and film prints produced by Gold.


FILM PRINTS (Negative and Film prints, types of):       The following is a list of the different types of negatives and film prints produced by the Film Lab in the course of creating a film from start to its release and distribution. They are listed in the sequence of production - a sequence always followed to safely preserve the original negatives and to viably produce the film.





Definitions of each type of negative and print type

 listed below are given as separate entries

throughout this glossary.







Made by camera when shot is taken. It is called “film” until exposed in the camera and then developed by the Lab. Thereafter, the footage is called the “negatives” or “the negs”. The shot footage is delivered directly to the Lab, which develops the film and also prints one direct copy of each shot. These prints are called RUSHES PRINTS. The original negatives are then kept SAFE per Film Lab Production line.


RUSHES PRINT (Prints of orig negs.)    


Prints of all daily Cine shots filmed while shooting is in progress, viewed and okayed by Rushes Conference and then submitted to final QC.




While shooting is occurring, editing of the film commences using videoed copies of the Rushes Prints. The video edit is done on the AVID Editing line and is called the “AVID Edit”.


The AVID Edit is reviewed routinely by the film’s Director to ensure all shots required are in fact shot and that the edit is being done successfully according to earlier approved edit planning. The AVID Edit is submitted to final QC who gives OK. However, the final edit approval is reserved until after being able to see it on a real film screen, not just a video TV picture. Therefore, an actual film must be put together, exactly per the AVID Edit. To do this, the AVID computer prints out a precise list of every edit, giving the exact film frame upon which to cut every shot throughout the film.


      The Rushes Prints are collected together and cut, one by one, following the AVID computer’s printout, and spliced together until the entire film is fully assembled. It can then be played on the Rushes Theatre’s projector. This assembled film is called the…


WORK PRINT (Edit of film.)          


Viewable edit of the actual film, NOT a video, assembled, shot by shot, using each approved Rushes Print by splicing them together to create a complete version of the film. The Work Print is an exact duplicate of the approved Avid Edit and is submitted to final QC for approval.






Upon final QC approval on the Work Print giving the edit OK, the original negatives are cut and spliced in the Film Lab to match precisely the Editor’s approved Work Print.




A direct copy [print] done immediately of the now assembled original negatives. This print is seen by final QC, and is used hence for all further comparisons throughout remaining Film Lab production stages. The Answer Print has no splices, as it is a full copy of the film printed directly from the assembled negatives.




A negative element, made (Note:   See glossary def of this immediately by directly copying term if you have any confusions) the now assembled camera negatives. The “IP” is used, hence, instead of the original negatives, which are kept securely stored.


INTERNEGATIVE (“IN”)           


The final negative element, made   by directly copying the IP, which then used to print initial tests of the actual film so as to enable the Film Lab to test and ready their lines and finalise all equipment settings required to actually run the film for release. This INTERNEGATIVE is used to make all the Lab’s test prints, submitted or not. NOTE:  No final printing of release copies is authorised at this stage.                                    


Lab “CHECKPRINTS” (not submitted)


Test prints, not final, always made from the IN only. Done to establish correct colour settings for running final release copies of the film.                  


Rough “CHECKPRINT” (submitted)


When Lab has a checkprint that is okay, it is submitted to final QC for approval. This is made, as well, from the IN only.


A corrected rough “CHECKPRINT” (submitted)


Contains any corrections required by QC, still using the IN, never the original negs. Requires final approval before any further production stages may proceed.


                    After final QC approval is given on the rough “Checkprint” above, the following steps proceed to produce what should be the final correct-correct print for Final QC approval.


                    Once the rough “Checkprint” is okayed…






The “New Interpositive”, made from the original cut negatives after final QC approval is issued on the rough “Checkprint”. Original cut negs then securely vaulted.




The “New Internegative”, made from the “New Interpositive”. It is the actual negative element used to print the final test print.


NEW ANSWER PRINT               


Made from the New Interpositive, not, of course, from the original cut negatives. Should be approvable as the “Final Answer Print”. Must be approved by final QC in full.


When the Answer Print is approved, it becomes the…




Once final approval is gotten, the Film Lab proceeds with release prints.


No other additional negative or film copies, other than those listed above, are made by the Film Lab when preparing to release a film so as to protect the original negatives from any additional use.


Once the final Answer Print (approved Final Checkprint) exists, the Film Lab commences its final production steps to make Release Prints of the film…




An approved Final Checkprint now exists thus authorising the Film Lab to proceed into actual production of Release Prints to orgs. There are two types; a small number of 35mm prints and the many 16mm prints for release to orgs with extra copies of each put on the shelf. Film Lab Production Line documentation dictates exact number of copies to be made for both. Note:     The film is not allowed to be released unless full, approved, marketing steps required have been verifiably completed.


The final production steps in the Lab are…




To ensure original negative safety, only 2 final Interpositives are made directly from the original cut negatives.


The original cut negs are then securely vaulted. One of the two new final IPs is then used to run final Internegatives as covered below. The other remaining IP is securely vaulted.




The Film Lab is only authorised to make 5 final Internegatives from the one final Interpositive. The one Interpositive, used to make the 5 Internegatives, is then immediately securely vaulted per the Film Lab production line. Three of the five final Internegatives are then placed securely in storage as well, while the two remaining INs are kept and used by the Lab for the production steps that follow.     


35mm RELEASE PRINTS           


A small number of 35mm Release Prints are printed for use at Gold, Flag, the Ship and other areas set up for 35mm film projection, plus copies on the shelf per Film Lab production line.



(Abbr:    “16mm Redux Dup Neg”. This is the 16mm Internegative that will produce the film in 16mm.)


The process now starts to produce the film in a 16mm version for general org release The “Reduction Duplicate Negative” is the 16mm Internegative which will run the 16mm copies that are then sent to org’s. Note that all film production steps thus far have all dealt with 35mm printing sequences. Now, the 16mm versions must be made. The 16mm Reduction Duplicate Negative is a 16mm negative element, an Internegative, made       by directly copying the 35mm Interpositive that made the approved 35mm Answer Print above.


16mm CHECKPRINT       


The test print made of the 16mm IN above to confirm the 16mm IN is in perfect condition with correct colour timing. This is approved by local QC for OK to run final Release Prints.


16mm RELEASE PRINTS       


Copies run for orgs using OK’d IN.


16mm to 35mm BLOWUP            


Done when producing a film originally shot with a 16mm camera. The processing of an earlier film shot in 16mm (not 35mm) involves first turning it into the larger sized 35mm format, then doing all production steps, and finally reducing it back down to 16mm before producing 16mm Release Prints.


FILM PRINTING:        See NEGATIVES for brief description of film printing.


FILM ROOM VOLUME:       There is a precisely set volume for playing back our films which is set for every org film room in the world. For a 16mm film room, the volume is set to 91.5 dB SPL. This is done by using the Gold test film and a sound pressure level meter from Radio Shack set to C-weighting. For theatres that use large 35mm projectors and professional Dolby surround sound systems, the setting used is 85 dB SPL using Dolby test films.


FINAL MIX, FINAL MIXDOWN:       The completed, approved mix. This is an embracive term covering all types of mixes done at Gold. There can be a final film mix, lecture mix, music mix, video mix, TV ad mix, etc. There may be other special versions of the mix done for specific uses, such as foreign versions. But the “final mix” is the full mix, as approved, and includes all parts, instruments, dialog, sounds, etc. The final mix, once approved by QC, is then recorded by the studio’s master recording machine so as to preserve the mix.


FINAL MIX MASTER or “the Mix Master” or “the original master”:    The first copy made of the final approved mix directly from the mixboard or mix line in any studio. It is the copy of the approved, final audio product, perfectly run off and very carefully QC’ed to ensure it is an exact duplication of the final mix as heard and approved by QC. It is the main master and is kept safe and rarely used. It is logged and stored. A safety master is also run at the same time, directly after the master is run.  It is a copy in case anything ever were to happen to the actual master itself. The safety copy is also stored.  A production master is then produced and that is the tape that can be handed out for use in making further copies of the product for actual release. In CD music production, all the songs for a given CD are edited together to form one long tape. This is called a “compilation master”. It consists of tape recordings of each song recorded just like the original master was. The original master is not used to make up the compilation master. The compilation master has all the songs in sequence as they are to be heard on the CD. Each one of the above mentioned masters are essentially just the same as the “final master” but the final master is run first, marked as the final master, given the status of final master and safely stored.


FINAL SURROUND ENCODING:     Any surround mix, be it music or for film, when done in Dolby or DTS formats, is “encoded” prior to release. This encoding process takes all the channels of surround audio programme and processes it into the digital “language” required by the two companies. Each is a different process. When the programme is then played back at orgs or in homes, the Dolby, DTS process “decodes” the information creating the full surround programme over all intended loudspeakers. 




FIREWIRE:   “FireWire”, also known as i-link, is a brand of cable and computer related electronics used for interconnecting computers and computerised equipment. It was developed by Apple and Texas Instruments. FireWire is also known by a numbering system for connectors and wires. Its technical specification number is “IEEE-1394” and this is commonly heard spoken of in the audiovisual and computer industries.


FIRMWARE: “Firmware” is a computer term that describes the part of a computer’s operation instructions which, unlike data stored in random access memory (RAM), will not be erased even if the electrical power to the computer goes down. The data “stays firm”. Firmware includes data such as instructions the computer uses to start itself up, how it inputs and outputs data, etc. All these functions are computer instructions which are stored in such a way that they cannot be easily erased or changed.




FIRST MILE: The term, “first mile” refers to the distance between a consumer’s home, office or business and the telephone company’s, cable TV company’s or other provider’s main lines. The “first mile” is the term used to describe the wire and connection points required to get your signal from your home or office to the company’s main feeds (wires, cables, etc.). (Note:    When receiving signal from the main feeds, the term “LAST MILE” is usually used, though often “first mile” is used to describe both. Technically, the term “first mile” refers to when the consumer is sending to the company’s main feeds, such as an outgoing telephone call.) 




FIXED POINT:     A method of expressing numbers where the decimal point remains in the same position. For example, 3.79, 1.55 and 2144.66. In this example, the decimal point is fixed so that there are always tenths and hundredths to the right, no matter how big or small the whole numbers to the left of the point are. The fixed-point system is very much in everyday use, as in dollars and cents. $4.66, $10.99, $144.88 are each examples of the fixed-point numbering system. This is one of the number representation systems used by computer programmers. The other system used is called “floating point”, where the decimal point moves to the left or right according to an additional notation within the number. (Floating Point is defined separately.) Of note regarding computers, fixed-point and floating-point programme are each better suited to different functions. Fixed-point mathematics are more accurate for processing digital audio, while floating-point numbers are better for applications such as 3D computer graphics.


5C COPY PROTECTION:   Copy protection for Digital Television and HD TV broadcasts. See Dynamic Feedback Arrangement Scrambling Technique for full data and why it is called “5C”.


5.1, 5.1 SURROUND:

1) Multi-channel surround sound consisting of a front centre, front right, front left, rear right, and rear left channel loudspeakers. The “.1” channel is a low-frequency-effects (LFE) sub-woofer channel. “5.1” specifically refers to the original Dolby Digital or DTS system of surround sound. The newer digital surround from these companies uses six or seven channels for home theatre.

2) “5.1” can also refer to the direct outputs of a DVD-Audio player or Sony SACD player, which are not meant to be played through any film type surround electronics. (5 full range channels plus subwoofer = 6 channels total.) They are to be routed to a 6 input surround sound receiver, processor or surround sound pre-amp, amplifiers and then to loudspeakers.


5.1 ENTERTAINMENT:      A music company in LA that is specialising in bringing music releases out on the DVD-Audio disc format. Their discs include, on a second layer of the DVD-Audio disc, versions of the music in Dolby and DTS surround sound, as well as a stereo version so that the discs can play on DVD-Video players. But to get the actual DVD-Audio mix, one needs a DVD-Audio player.


5.1 INPUTS: On a digital A.V. surround sound receiver, there are usually several sets of inputs for audio. This is to accommodate the different audio formats used in producing films, music and-or other sound programmes. The “5.1 Inputs” are used to bypass the film surround electronics such units usually have (Dolby, DTS, etc.). The 5.1 inputs are to create surround sound from DVD-Audio discs or Sony SACD discs. 


5.1 MIX:        A mix specifically done in Dolby Digital, DTS or for the new DVD-Audio or Sony Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD). These mixes all have five main channels and one separate subwoofer (the “.1”). There are surround mixes with more channels (called 6.1, 7.1, 8.1 etc.) and surround mixes with fewer channels (called 4.1 and 3).


FLAG:     A digital “alert” is sometimes included in digital audio or video programming, such as that contained on a DVD-Video disc. A digital flag is just a brief coded message that the digital audiovisual equipment playing DVD sees, recognises, and performs some function as a result. It is a “flag” (an alert or sign) to the equipment to perform a function. It is actually a small bit of digital signal added (encoded) right into to the digital information and it can tell the equipment that something is about to happen or should happen.



1) The reels that hold film or magnetic tape are called flanges.

2) An effect that makes the audio sound like it is being played through an echoing tunnel The term comes from the early days of tape recording when delay effects were created by grabbing the flanges of the tape reels to change the tape speed with the hands or by pressing a finger against the flange as the sound played.    


FLASH, FLASH FILE:   Flash is a computer software used for creating sites on the Internet.  For more technical information, read on…Web site authoring tool from Macromedia. The application creates sound and graphics and animation for low-bandwidth, high-resolution presentations.  The latest versions allow designers to create event-based and streaming audio while keeping files small enough for efficient delivery. 




FLAT1:    In audio, a slang term used to indicate that a microphone, amplifier, loudspeaker, etc. responds evenly to all frequencies within a given range.


FLAT2:    A recorded or mixed sound or sound heard over loudspeakers is said to be “flat” when it lacks any spatial qualities. No imaging. The sounds do not reach out into the room. There is no depth, no dimension. The sounds appear to be flat and right around each loudspeaker, rather than filling up the room with sound.


FLAT3 (a flat):     A large image of a new product being released that is presented on stage at an event. Flats have wood frame backing and are often dropped from the ceiling above the stage and hang above the stage floor, suspended by ropes or cables. 



1) Newer TVs out on the market no longer have curved screens, but flat ones. They are said to be “flat screen” TV’s.

2) The name of a normal sized movie screen used to show films on in commercial theatres. It is a cine film projection screen with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 in size. It is the conventional, non-anamorphic widescreen format for motion pictures. Usually just called “flat”.


FLETCHER-MUNSON EFFECT (also called the Fletcher-Munson Curve):    Fletcher and Munson were two engineers employed by Bell Telephone Laboratories many years ago. They did much research into sound, its transmission and how the human ear perceives sound. As part of their work, they did extensive tests of human hearing and recorded the sensitivities of the ear to different frequencies at different volumes of sound. The datum of the Fletcher-Munson Effect starts with 1,000 Hertz as the point of reference. This is pretty near the “centre” of a human’s ability to hear from low bass to high treble. It is a middle area frequency. The phenomenon is that the lower the volume of the sound goes, the more difficult it is to hear low frequencies (compared to hearing 1000 Hz). In other words, the bass frequencies seem to drop away in volume faster than the midrange frequencies. Their studies also revealed that the high frequencies also drop away (go lower in volume) faster as well, though not as severely as the low bass frequencies. In summary, the Fletcher-Munson Effect is simply that as one listens to sound at decreasing (lower) volumes (turning the volume down), one hears less and less bass relative to the rest of the music - and a bit less treble as well. This is a very important datum for those producing audio products. The “Loudness” button, seen on many stereos and Hi-Fi equipment, is actually put there due to the Fletcher-Munson Effect. When listening to your home stereo, the Loudness Button can be pressed. It increases the bass frequencies (and, if well designed, some of the treble) specifically to compensate for the Fletcher-Munson Effect. As one turns up the volume, the Loudness Button should be pressed out (defeated), as too much bass will be present the louder the music plays. The Fletcher-Munson Effect also plays a big part in the mixing of audio products that combine music with voice, such as videos where a VO talks throughout the video and the music plays loudly as well.


FLEX FILE:    Short for Flexible file, which is a computer file that has its information on a floppy disc. (Another name for floppy disc is “flexible disc”).


FLICK:   Slang for a film (movie). See FILM HISTORY OF for derivation.


FLICKER:      Rapid unwanted fluctuations of light as seen on a film or TV screen.  The light intensity of the picture is rapidly pulsing - flickering like a candle flickers.


FLOATING:   In sound, a word to describe sounds within a mix, which appear to exist independent of the loudspeakers themselves. The sounds seem to “float” between or around where the loudspeakers are, giving the impression that the speakers are absent.


FLOATING GROUND: See GROUND to understand this term. A floating ground is one wherein the electron flow in audiovisual equipment does not actually go to earth but rather that ground signal flow is sent to specific locations in the equipment’s circuit itself intentionally, by design.


FLOATING POINT:     The term “Floating Point” is seen in ads and also as labels on some types of audiovisual equipment. This is a mathematics term pertaining to computers and computerised A.V. equipment. “Floating Point” notation is a method for writing down numbers, from very large ones to very small ones. The “point” that “floats” is simply the decimal point, and computer designers and programmers use this method for writing down numbers because it is easier than writing them out in full. Floating point numbers are written in two parts. The first part is the digits of the number and the second part is the magnitude of the number i.e. how many times it is multiplied by 10, which is what moves (“floats”) the decimal point.  The number of times something is multiplied by 10 is also called its “exponent”. (The word “exponent” means a person or thing that explains or interprets. In math it’s a number usually written just above and to the right of another number to note how many times that number is to be multiplied by itself. For example, in the notation 32, 3 is “that” number and 2 is the exponent.   It means 3 [once] times 3 [a second time] = 9. “Exponent” comes from Latin, meaning, “to put out, set forth, explain”.)  In floating point notation, the exponent indicates how many times the original number is to be multiplied by 10, not by itself. As mentioned above, the thing that “floats” in floating point numbers is the decimal point, and multiplying by 10 is what “floats” the decimal point. You could take the number 100 and write it as 102. Another way of writing this is 10 exponent 2, or 10e2 (where ‘e’ means “Exponent”). 10e2 is the floating point number for 100. Let’s take a large number like 261,400,000. In floating point notation this is written as 2614E5. The exponent (“e”) followed by the number (“5”) means that the decimal point “floats” 5 places to the right of the last number in the series. A very small number like .000002614 would be written 2614e-5, the “-5” means that the decimal point floats 5 places to the left of the first number in the series. The letter “e” (exponent) always designates that the following number is how much the decimal point moves (“floats”).  COMPARE FIXED-POINT.


FLOATING REFERENCE LEVEL:       The word “level” means volume of sound in audio. A Floating Reference Level is used for Digital TV broadcasts as well as on DVD players. It is a feature programmed into most digital TV receivers and DVD players. With the floating reference level feature, the audio stays at a consistent volume when you change from one TV station to another or one DVD to the next. It’s called a “floating” reference level because the playback volume is variable (it “floats”) from one broadcast to the next or one DVD to the next - changing the volume up or down as needed to keep a consistent loudness in the broadcast audio programme or DVD.


FLOPPY DISK, FLOPPY DISC: A thin portable magnetic tape disk used to store digital data.


FLUKE:   A brand of electronic test equipment.  


FLUTTER:      1) A rapid variation in pitch of an audio signal, generally caused by irregularities in the tape path in the tape recorder. 2) A wavering sound caused by abrupt changes in the speed of electromechanical components such as phonographs and tape machines. Flutter is technically expressed as a percentage of variation from the correct speed. Flutter measurements are usually combined with “wow” measurements.


FLUTTERY:   Pertains to a repeated echo recurring at a rate of about 10 repetitions per second, common to small, bare-walled acoustical spaces. In a room which is “fluttery”, if one claps his hands, the sound is not a clean, clear, single clap but there is such a loud immediate echo that the clap seems to have a flutter, caused by the echo of the clap.


FLUX:     The word “flux” means “a flowing”. It is the rate of flow of a fluid, particles or any energy. In audio, flux is…

1) The magnetic impulses generated by a record head, stored on magnetic tape and picked up by the playback head. Also the magnetic field that exists between the poles of a magnet.

2) In soldering, a material (usually rosin) that is used to assist the joining of the two metal pieces. (Rosin is a resin from pine trees that, when added to solder, helps it flow smoothly to connect electronic parts and wires.)





1) To add sounds into a mix or recording by listening to what already exists and having a performer perform the new part and recording that, adding it to the overall product. It is called “a fly in” as one does it “on the fly” (as it is happening - as the music is playing). 

2) An application of this where a performance from one part of a song is recorded and then recorded back into the recording at a different point of time in the recording. For example, the singers perform one chorus only and then this same performance is “flown in” at other points in the song.

3) When a large poster or part of a set is lowered from the ceiling above a stage so it becomes visible to the audience, it is said to be “flown in”.


FLYING FADER:   A brand name of an automated moving fader for professional mixboards.


FM (frequency modulation):   See FREQUENCY MODULATION.


FMD:      An abbreviation for Fluorescent Multilayered Disc. This is a digital storage medium that looks similar to a DVD. FMD discs have much more data storage capacity than a DVD, up to 100 Gigabytes - about 10X the capacity of a dual-layered DVD disc.


FOCUS, FOCUSED:      In A.V. reproduction, the greatest possible resolution of the recorded object or sound. It is sharp and well defined. The quality of being clearly defined. Focus has also been described as the enhanced ability to hear the brief moments of silence between the music in reproduced sound. Focus, in sound, also refers to the apparent precise location of an instrument or voice in a mix - if to the left, to the right, in the centre between the speakers, near or far in perspective. The images of the musical instruments and-or singers are easy to localise and pinpoint within the spatial area and boundaries of the music.


FOH and FOH MIXER:       Abbreviation for Front of House. At a live event or live music performance, the engineer mixing the show is called the Front of House Mixer. Front of House refers to the listening position out in the house with the audience as opposed to on stage, which is what the person(s) on the stage hear.




FOLDED (HORN, SUBWOOFER):    A speaker cabinet in which the speaker itself sends its sound through a cabinet cavity before allowing it to exit the box and be heard out in the room or hall.


FOLD-DOWN:      Another name for “downmixing”. Also called “to collapse down”. (See DOWNMIXING, see “SMART” FOLD-DOWN.)


FOLDING IN THE RESPECTIVE SURROUNDS TO THE LEFT AND RIGHT:   This is an audio mixing term concerning surround sound music and film mixing. After the Mixer has done his surround sound mix, he will often create a stereo (2 channel) version for playing on normal stereo audio systems. One of the steps which is done to create the stereo mix from the surround sound mix is that the sounds which were in the surround loudspeaker channels are re-routed to the front loudspeakers. The two front Left and Right speakers are the stereo speakers. So the Mixer takes the sounds which were in the rear left surround channel and puts them in the left front speaker and the sounds which were in the right surround speaker are routed to the right front speaker. This is “folding in the respective surrounds to the left and right”.


FOLEY:   Sound effects for films or videos which are recorded in precise synchronisation to the action seen on the screen.  Many of the sound effects heard on a film are actually added after the film has been shot and edited. For example, take a scene of an actor pouring a drink. When the scene was originally shot, a microphone was placed above the actor’s head (out of sight) to pick up his spoken words. The microphone was intended to ideally record the words not the sound of the drink pouring. So, when the full film’s soundtrack is later produced, a “Foley” (sound effect) of a drink being poured is added to the film in exact time with the liquid seen pouring into the glass. The Foley is “in synch” with the pictures. “Foley” is named after Jack Foley, the head of the sound effects department at Universal Studios for many years.



FOOTAGE:     A word used to generally refer to any indicated amount of film, video or recording tape used or available - either already shot, processed, recorded or available for such.




FOOT CANDLE:    A internationally agreed upon measurement unit to measure the amount of illumination (volume of light) received by a surface one foot from a lighted candle.


FOOT LAMBERT: (See FOOT CANDLE.) A measurement standard referenced to the amount of light striking a one square foot surface. Lambert = Johann Heinrich Lambert, a German scientist and mathematician. The foot lambert is used in film projection to measure the brightness of the projected image on the film screen. The industry standard for brightness is 16 foot lamberts, plus or minus 2. Gold’s projector that is used for quality control of films is set to 16 foot lamberts, plus or minus one. This gives a very exact standard with which to judge the lighting and exposure of our films. Any time a film projector is being set up, it should be done to this specification as well.


FOREIGN AUDIO MASTER:      Any final foreign version of an audio product, such as the soundtrack for a film or video, radio show, TV ad, etc. (See MASTERS, TYPES OF for a full listing of the audio and video masters used at Gold.)



1) Any specific method or style of audio and-or visual presentation. “We heard the film in a surround sound format.”

2) Any single type of mix for a given audio product, such as the stereo version, the surround sound version, etc. is said to be a “format”. “That mix was done in the stereo format after the surround format was completed.”

3) Said of recording tape or the type of recording machine used. “We recorded in a digital format.” “That machine takes the usual format - 24 tracks and 2 inches wide.” 

4) To prepare a digital storage medium (such as a floppy disc or digital recording tape) so that it will accept and store digital information bits. When a floppy disc is “formatted”, the computer puts little digital information “markers” at each section of the disc, noting its many storage sectors. The computer then uses these markers to determine where to store a given file and where to find a file once stored. It’s like putting labels on the drawers of a filing cabinet.  


FORWARD:   A quality of sound reproduction over loudspeakers that seem to place the sounds up too close to the listener or too far forward in the mix relative to its other sounds. Sometimes making an instrument sound “forward” is a plus, especially in more modern music styles.


FOUR PLANES:    In mixing surround music or film soundtracks, there are said to be four principal “planes” created by the loudspeakers placed around the room. When mixing in stereo there is said to be one “plane” - that being the plane of sound created between the two stereo loudspeakers. The Mixer works to get all the sounds of a mix well balanced, positioned, and able to be heard in that “plane” of sound created by the two loudspeakers. However, when one moves to mixing in surround sound, there are many more planes. The main four planes in surround mixing are the front, rear, left side and right side planes. These planes are created by the Left and Right front loudspeakers, the Left and Right rear loudspeakers, the speakers to the left of the listener(s) and the speakers to the right of the listener(s). One can also consider there are planes the Left Front and the Right Rear or the Right Front to the Left Rear. There are also planes created by the Centre Channel speaker relative to the Left Front and-or the Right Front. Often Mixers mixing in surround sound will establish a reverb setting for each plane of the main four planes. Sometimes even one overall 4 channel reverb will be used for sounds being placed in the four corner loudspeakers, which create the main four main planes, in addition to other reverb units and their settings being used to mix the other planes involved in the overall mix. One can see there are many more different planes when mixing in surround sound as compared to mixing with two speakers in stereo.


48k SAMPLING RATE:       This is the most common sampling rate for professional broadcast audio, such as Digital TV as well as DVD-Video.


FOSTEX:        Fostex is a Japanese professional audio equipment manufacturer.


4C GROUP:   The group that developed copy protection coding for the DVD. 4C stands for “4 companies” - reps from Toshiba, Matsushita (Panasonic-Technics), Intel and IBM.


480i:      See PROGRESSIVE SCAN.




400 Hz TEST TONE:   It is vital in producing an audio programme that the equipment used be tested and adjusted to meet the exact standards required to produce a high-quality product before it is used for the production of that product. Audio technicians and engineers use “test tones” to do these tests and adjustments. When the adjustments are done, the equipment is said to be calibrated. A “400 Hz test tone” is a principal test tone commonly used to calibrate any magnetic tape recorder and the standard level reference tone used to calibrate a professional cassette recorder. (It is the agreed-upon industry standard volume reference test tone for tape cassettes.)




468 TAPE:     See BASF.


4x3:       The size of a conventional TV screen as well the size of the screen used in org film rooms for 16mm film projection. 4x3 is often said as “Four to three”. Sometimes written “4:3”.


4x3 LETTERBOX FORMAT:       When a video of a film looks long and narrow on a TV, with black on the top and bottom, it is said to be in the “letterbox” format.  Such a picture is called “letterbox” because the rectangular area of the picture has a border of black top and bottom making the narrow rectangle of the picture itself looks like it is in the shape of, literally, a letterbox. The black portion below the actual screen is sometimes used for subtitles.

422P @ ML:  A specification found on several different brands of DVD players which shows that the player is a “4:2:2 Progressive Scanning” player that operates at (“@”) MPEG 2 Main Level 4:2:2 means a type of video compression in which for every 4 samples of the luminance signal taken, 2 samples of each of the two chrominance signals are taken.  MPEG 2 Main Level refers to the highest quality video compression of the MPEG 2 format. (Technical terms can be found as separate entries.)







1) In video, like film, there are individual frames, which make up the picture one sees. Usually there are 30 frames per second - “fps”.

2) In motion picture film:    a single picture on a segment of motion picture film. 24 frames are filmed by the camera and displayed by a projector each second. (Faster or slower frame rates can be used to create slow or speeded motion.)


FRAME-ACCURATE:    An accuracy of synchronisation where two audiovisual machines are playing together at the same exact time with their sound and-or pictures running perfectly together. They are accurate “to the frame”.


FRAME LOCKED: Describes how two or more audiovisual machines, with one being a video machine, are synchronised precisely to operate together. The machines first locate themselves to the proper video frame number and all pictures and audio are “frame locked” to that frame.


FRAME RATE:      How fast individual frames go by when shooting with film or video. Video is normally shot at 29.97 frames per second.  Film is normally shot at 24 frames per second. These are their “frame rates”. 


FRAMES PER SECOND (fps):   How many individual images are recorded and shown in one second of film or video.


FRAME STEP:       A feature on most DVD players that allows one to advance forward or backwards frame by frame by frame of a scene being watched. This allows one to see the screen very slowly.


FREE SPAN SOUND STAGE:     Film studios usually have (or rent) large buildings in which to shoot films. Such a building is called a “sound stage”. Ideally, they would have no upright supports inside so no upright vertical poles or building columns block any shots. An entirely open building would allow distant shots to be taken within the building as well as shots from any angle to the actor.  However, it takes a lot of engineering and expense to make a huge room with no supports other than its outside walls. Such a building is literally “free” of any such supports.  Thus it is called “free span”. The ceiling of the building spans the entire interior without any support, other than its actual walls. Golden Era Productions has one of the largest free span sound stages in the world.


FREQUENCY, FREQUENCIES:  Frequencies are vibrations. How often (how “frequent”) anything vibrates is its “frequency”. Light waves are actually vibrations of electrons. Sound is vibrating air molecules. A tuning fork’s prongs vibrate.  Each single vibration is called a frequency. How frequently the vibrations occur within a certain period of time is called “frequency”. Frequencies are measured in “Hertz”, after German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. One vibration per second is “one Hertz” (abbreviated “Hz”.) A sound that vibrates 100 times per second = “100 Hertz”. It is common to hear the word frequency used as follows.  “That sound has a frequency of 100 Hertz.” The sentence means the sound heard is made up of vibrations that occur 100 times every second. The word “frequency” can be used to mean just one vibration per second or to indicate how many per second exist for a given sound. Every note on a piano is comprised of a different number of vibrations per second. The big fat bass strings inside the piano vibrate slower and less frequently per second than the thinner treble strings. The range of human hearing is from the low bass notes down to 20 Hertz (20 vibrations per second) and high notes (treble) to 20,000 Hertz (20,000 vibrations per second). Such vibrations are often called “cycles”. How many vibrations per second and how many cycles per second mean the same thing.


FREQUENCY BALANCE:     The relative volumes of a sound’s individual different frequencies.  A mix or a loudspeaker system is said to have “good frequency balance” when the low bass, midrange, and treble frequencies are all present and in an agreeable proportion to each other.


FREQUENCY CONTENT:    Said of a mix or recording - the range of frequencies contained. “That orchestral recording sounds quite rich; it has excellent frequency content.”




FREQUENCY MODULATION:    (Abbreviated FM, as in FM Radio.) A radio or TV broadcast station will use its music, speech or TV picture’s signal to modulate a carrier wave. The wave then carries the modulations to one’s radio or TV set. When received, the radio or TV “looks” at the carrier wave. The radio or TV then reproduces just the modulations to create pictures and-or sound. If you were to think of a radio station sending out a communication, the carrier wave could be compared to the “intention” part of the Comm. Formula. AM differs from FM radio in two respects. First, each uses a different zone (band) of frequencies for their carrier waves. AM uses radio waves in the kilohertz band (thousands of Hertz, as in hundreds of thousands - way above human hearing). FM uses radio waves in the megahertz band (millions of Hertz). Secondly, AM uses a single frequency as its carrier wave and its strength (“amplitude”) is varied to carry the AM station’s programming. FM radio keeps the amplitude always the same (the strength of the signal is never varied) but, instead, the frequency of the wave is varied slightly to carry the FM station’s programming. 


FREQUENCY RANGE: A range of sound or visual frequencies stated without reference to volume (loudness) or intensity. For example. "The upper bass region covers the frequency range of 80-160 Hz."


FREQUENCY RESPONSE:  The term “frequency response” is a statement of a given audio electronics equipment’s range of sound frequencies that it can accept and-or produce. It can also be how “sensitive” an electronic device (microphone, amplifier, speaker, etc.) is to various frequencies. In other words, what its ability is to pick up and-or produce sound frequencies. 1) A range of frequencies stated with range limitations. "That woofer's frequency response is 20 to 160 Hz.” 2) The uniformity with which a loudspeaker, or any piece of audio equipment, reproduces the range of audible frequencies. Equal volumes at all frequencies should be reproduced by any audio system or equipment.


FREQUENCY RESPONSE STANDARD GENERATOR:   This is an electronic device used at Gold to create (generate) very accurate pink noise. (See PINK NOISE.) It was designed and built by John McCormick, who assisted LRH with technical information concerning audio. Unlike most pink noise used in the industry, McCormick’s generator was designed to give very precise bass, midrange, and treble tones all very exactly generated by a computer chip - and only those tones needed to very accurately adjust and test audio equipment are included in its sound.  It is far more accurate than pink noise generators commonly used in the audio industry.


FREQUENCY WAVER: 1) A test tone “wavering” (unwanted variations) when played back off of a pre-recorded tape. The tape used to record the tone was wavering, so one hears the waver of the tone over loudspeakers. 2) Any frequency that is wavering but should be stable is said to have “frequency waver”.


FRETLESS BASS: Any bass guitar or stand up bass fiddle that has no frets. Frets are narrow metal strips across the instrument’s fingerboard used for very precisely creating notes by pressing the strings between the areas of the frets. A fretless instrument has no frets and therefore, when the string is pressed, it is the player’s finger and his exact finger position that determine the note. Some fretless instruments have marks where the frets would normally be placed to help the player locate his fingers correctly so that he plays in tune.


FRONT, FRONTS:       1) The very start of an audiovisual product. “Go to the front of the song.” 2) Refers to the loudspeakers, in a surround sound audio system, located in front of the listener(s). “When mixing a film, the dialog is to be heard coming from the front.” 3) The fronts are the front loudspeakers.


FRONT CENTRE POSITION:    1) The prime listening or viewing position in a studio, theatre, listening room, etc. 2) The exact location in the studio control room where the Mixer sits and mixes at the mixboard. All the loudspeakers in the control room are optimised to direct their sound accurately to that location. In most control rooms, any loudspeakers located in front of the Mixer are angled a certain amount of degrees toward the Mixer and they are placed a certain amount of degrees apart, with the centre position of the Mixer being dead centre between the two loudspeakers.


FRONT END: 1) The start of any audiovisual product. “The front end of the mix starts off great.”  2) A piece of audio equipment that is capable of being the source of sound for a loudspeaker system is called “front end equipment” (tape players, CD players, phonographs, etc.).


FRONT L & R (loudspeakers):       The left and right loudspeakers located in front of the listener(s).


FRONT PAIR:      In a surround sound loudspeaker system, the front pair is the Left and Right front loudspeakers. They are always identical models and sizes. Therefore they are a “pair”. If the surround sound audio system is set to play only a stereo music programme, it is these two loudspeakers that will play the music - they are the stereo pair as well under such circumstances.


FRONT SPEAKER, FRONT SPEAKERS:   In a surround sound loudspeaker system, the front speakers are those that are positioned in front of the listener(s). This can be the left and right front speakers. If a single “front speaker” is referred to, it is in reference to the single front centre channel loudspeaker.


FS:   A symbol meaning Rate of Frequency Sampling or Sampling Rate.


FSD:       An abbreviation for Full Scale Digital. “Full” means occupying the entire area or range of. “Scale” in this case is the gradation of numbers seen on a sound volume meter, and “Digital” means of or concerning a recording-playback done using digital electronics equipment. Digital audio signals are usually measured in numbers of decibels below “Full Scale Digital”. The abbreviation “dBFS” (decibels below full scale) written after a number indicates the volume level of the audio signal. “That guitar solo came up to -2dBFS on the meter.” “The vocals distorted when they went up to +2dBFS.” “Full Scale Digital” is the maximum amount of volume that a given piece of digital audio equipment will handle before it begins to distort the sound. The volume level of the recorded programme, as shown on the equipment’s meters, occupies the entire range of loudness the machine is capable of (the “full scale” of the volume meter) - meaning that the sound could not have been recorded any louder without the likelihood of distortion.


F-STOP(s):   A scale of numbers that corresponds to the size of the aperture of a camera lens. A large aperture admits more light to expose the film than a smaller aperture. The various sizes of the aperture are called “f-stops”. These f-stops appear as f-numbers on a scale:     1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, etc. The smaller the number, the larger the aperture. “F” stands for “fraction”. Just as ½ is a larger part of a whole than 1/8, an f 2 aperture is larger than f 4, and f 8 is larger than f 16. A “stop” is a notch that you can feel as you move the aperture adjustment up and-or down - when you feel that notch you can be confident that the aperture setting is at the exact f-stop indicated by the number at the notch. (Compare T-STOP.)


FULL:     1) Used to describe sound that has all its parts, none missing. Big sounding with good low frequencies relative to high frequencies. “The orchestra sounds very full.”


FULL COAT:  The name for film, not used for shooting pictures, but which is “fully coated” with a magnetic coating upon which audio can be recorded. It is used at Gold to transfer the sound for Rushes. Hollywood has used full coat 35mm film for years to record their film soundtracks on while they are mixing. In the early 60’s 35mm full coat film was actually used to record some incredible sounding music performances.


FULL RANGE, FULL-RANGE, FULL RANGE MONITORS:    Said of any loudspeaker (also called monitors) or audio electronics, which can produce sound frequencies from low bass to high treble. Loudspeakers can be designed to produce all the lowest to all the highest frequencies. Some loudspeakers are intentionally made to not produce the lowest bass notes. Such a small speaker is not “full range”. If made to play such sounds, it may distort and even be damaged. One refers to such small loudspeakers as having “restricted low frequencies”.


FULL FRAME:       Seen on many DVD’s and their packaging. Indicates the DVD has a screen size that will fill a normal TV’s screen (4x3). (Related data at DVD SCREEN SIZES.)




FULL STEP, FULL TONE:   1) One whole step up or down in a musical octave. If you were to play two white keys on a piano, they are a “full tone” apart. A full tone is also called a “full step” or a “whole tone”. To play a white key and then a black key right next to it, is only moving up or down a half tone, also called a half step. 2) Said of any live instrument, recording or mix of the musical instrument in which is heard the full and complete sound of the instrument. Its “full tone” is present and audible.


FULL TRACK:       Describes a recording process to magnetic tape that utilises the entire width of the tape for a single channel of sound. This format utilises the maximum amount of the tape’s recording surface.


Fuse:      Ensures against danger of electrical power demands in excess of what a circuit is equipped to deliver. When a fuse “blows,” it stops the flow of AC current to the AC wall outlet. Audiovisual equipment always has fuses inside or accessible from the rear of the unit. It is vital that only fuses of the exact required size and rating are used at all times.


Fuzz, Fuzziness:

1) A very slight bit of muffled distortion on sound or sounds in a mix or induced by a loudspeaker system. Highly undesirable in any recording, mix or audio playback system.

2) In TV and Video, when the pictures are not perfectly clear with excellent definition on each image.


FX:  Phonetic writing and abbreviation of the word “effects.” In audio, this includes any special processing done to a sound when mixing. In video, it is any special trick or application done to the video’s pictures other than just the shot itself being used.