Audio-Visual Glossary



HALF-DUPLEX: Duplex comes from “twofold”. “Half-duplex” is the inability to send and receive data simultaneously which, in digital audio terms, translates to the inability to record and play audio at the same time. Many older computer sound cards are half-duplex. Most modern sound cards are capable of recording and playing audio simultaneously. This capability is called “full duplex”. The word duplex, in electronics, means able to transmit two messages simultaneously in the same or opposite directions over a single wire.  




HALF TRACK: A tape recording format for 6mm (¼ inch) and most 12mm (½ inch) analogue magnetic tape in professional studio applications where each track of stereo two track audio is slightly less than half the tape width. The tape can’t be flipped over and recorded in the other direction because the entire surface area of the tape was taken up by the two tracks already. This gives the highest possible stereo 2-track sound quality as the maximum area of the tape is used.


HALL PROGRAMME: 1) A setting on a digital delay,  reverb effects unit that approximates the sound qualities of concert halls.

2) Home consumer surround sound processors sometimes have a “hall programme” to make films or music sound like they are being played in such a hall. Such settings can even exist in car stereo units.


HAMMOND: Name of a very famous organ (musical instrument) manu­facturer. “Hammond” is most well known for its “B-3” organ. Produced years ago, the B-3 model is the classic organ sound heard on rock, jazz and blues records. A B-3 is located in the LRH Music Studio. It has been entirely refurbished, is very valuable and is often on many of Gold’s music productions.


HAND CLAP TEST: The use of handclaps to assess the reverberant properties of a room. One simply claps his hands in the room to be tested. One can hear the echo or “slap” bouncing off the walls and ceiling and floor.


HANDICAM: Sony’s name for hand held digital cameras sold to consumers. Sometimes used by news gatherers.


HANDSHAKING: The initial exchange between two communications systems prior to and during transmission to ensure proper data transfer. Used in regards to computers when they first attempt to communicate between themselves - they electronically acknowledge that they recognise each other and are ready for the communication process.


HANGOVER: A tendency for reproduced sounds to last longer than they should. Most noticeable at low frequencies where it obscures subtle sound qualities in other instruments also playing. A long reverb (echo) in a room can give hangover and it is usually the lower frequencies which are most prevalent. 


HARD1: In sound: Music or other audio programme that is uncomfortable and unpleasant to listen to because it hurts the ears a bit. Hard is a type of distortion. The music tends to have a blasting quality regardless of how loudly or quietly it is played. This is not to say that all music should sound “soft”. The terms “hard” and “soft” are really not opposites when describing sound qualities. Soft implies gentleness or lightness or low volume. Hard is an uncomfortableness about the music upon the ears. One does not want to listen to the sound due to peaky midrange and high treble sound frequencies firing at your ears in a way that is not likable. Poor quality audio equipment and loudspeakers can sound hard, especially at live concerts. Poor mixes can sound hard.


HARD2: All the way. To the furthest extreme. Only in one loudspeaker. “The Mixer put the flute hard left so it was only heard as coming out of the left loudspeaker.”


HARD DISC,  HARD DRIVE: 1) The large storage space within a computer where the operating system, programmes and files are held permanently.

2) In audio and video work, digital equipment can be recorded to with sound and-or pictures onto hard disc. Computers have permanently installed hard drives, but removable drives can be purchased. Once the data is recorded onto a removable hard disc, it can be unplugged and handed over to be plugged into and used in another computer. An example of using a removable hard disc is in creating a song.


HARDENING (“DIGITAL HARDENING”): Some poor quality digital recording and playback audio equipment - and even digital audio mixing equipment - can sometimes impart an unpleasant hardness to sounds. They do not sound natural and realistic but rather somewhat artificial and irritating to listen to. They are literally hard sounding, in a negative way.


HARD IMAGE, HARD LEFT, HARD RIGHT, HARD CENTRE, HARD REAR, HARD SUBWOOFER: 1) When mixing in stereo or surround sound, placing a given sound only in a specific loudspeaker and not any others.

2) To aim a loudspeaker all the way to the left or right of the audience.   




HARDWARE: The physical (mechanical, and electrical) devices that make up a computer system, as opposed to its software programming.


HARD WIRED: Connected with wires or cables where the wire ends are soldered to make a permanent connection as opposed to using detachable connectors. If something has been hard wired, it is meant to be a permanent installation.


HARMONIC DISTORTION: Fully named Total Harmonic Distortion, abbreviated THD. Unwanted harmonics to the original signal entering an electronic device or loudspeaker. The presence of harmonics in the output signal of audio equipment that were not present in the input. A measurement of the distortion in a signal that is measured as a percentage of the overall signal. It is the percentage of unwanted harmonic frequencies, in relation to a pure (non-distorted) sound signal, added into the pure signal recording and reproducing equipment (including loudspeakers) by faulty or poorly built electronics. THD is first audible as a blurring or deadening of the sound quality and in greater percentages becomes a fuzzy-sounding additive to the sound.  All of Gold’s audio production equipment, cables and connectors are tested with a Hewlett-Packard 339A Distortion Measurement Set before they are ever put on a line.


HARMONIC SERIES: In audio: A series of tones consisting of a fundamental tone and the overtones and undertones produced by it. (See OVERTONE and UNDERTONE.)


HARMONIC TECHNOLOGIES: A company outside San Diego that makes high quality audio wire for digital and analogue audio system hook-up 


HARMONISER: A model of a professional mixing device which has hundreds of different types of manipulations it can do to sound. It can create echoes, delay a sound, change the pitch of sounds, etc. Made by the Eventide company. The unit is most used for its ability to digitally create a harmony sound for any sound sent to it. But it does all kinds of sound effects as well.


HARMONY, HARMONIES: 1) A sung part of a song which supports the main vocalist’s lead singing. This may be recorded by the lead vocalist himself or by another or others. Often the same notes are not sung, but rather notes that agreeably (harmoniously) go along with the main melody. Usage Note: Harmonies in a song are usually not considered the same as “background vocals” or “chorus parts”. Background vocals more often repeat or answer back to what the lead singer sings and are decidedly less present (“background”) in the mix. Harmonies, on the other hand, are usually somewhat loud - usually as loud as the lead singer(s) main lead parts and directly sing along with the lead singer’s words. “Chorus parts” have many persons singing in a chorus. All such singing parts do sing in harmony, however, “the harmonies” are specific singing parts as per above.

2) When recording and mixing, any instrument or singer performing a part that is in harmony with another.

3) Harmonics.


HARSH: Gratingly unpleasant to the ear. Too much in the upper midrange and highs. Some distortion in the sound. Can also be said to be hard. (See HARD1.)


HASH: 1) Distortion of a sound or picture. 2) Rough sounding. 3) Any sound that is distorted and fuzzed up. 3) A mix that jumbles all the sounds together and does not have each sound nicely presented with good clarity and separation of individual sounds.


HAVi, HAVi SYSTEM CONTROL: Home Audio Video interactive system control. Allows consumer interaction with audio or video programming (CDs, DVD’s, and TV broadcasts). It is a feature on High Definition TVs. The “System Control” aspect deals with providing the consumer with a way to communicate and participate in the interactive programming using a device similar to a remote control or keyboard.


HBO: Home Box Office - a film company that specialises in making high quality films that play only over TV. HBO runs its own networked TV station, seen over cable TV and satellite upon which it plays all types of films as well as their own.


HDCAM:  Abbreviation for Sony’s High-Definition Camera. See HIGH-DEFINITION. The Sony HDCAM takes a ½ inch tape.


HDCD: 1) A specific trademark for a type of “High Definition” music compact disc. It stands for High Definition Compatible Digital - a digital music production method from the Pacific Microsonics company. HDCD's are often sold through music stores. The discs will play in most CD players, but to hear “HDCD”, the CD player must have a special chip inside made by Pacific Microsonics.  When the player has such, it is labelled “HDCD”. Note: Pacific Microsonics is now owned by Microsoft.

For a very technical description of HDCD, read on… HDCD is a trademark for the Pacific Microsonics encode, decode scheme that allows up to a 24 bit, 88.2 kHz digital audio mastering process, yet is compatible with normal 16 bit, 44.1 kHz and DAT formats. Claimed to sound superior, even when not decoded, and to be indistinguishable from the original if decoded. Some CD Players (more expensive versions) have the logo “HDCD” meaning they can play these types of CDs. The format now competes with Sony’s Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) and DVD-AUDIO discs currently released.

2) There is another type of CD developed for film, similar to DVD, called HDCD but the letters stand for “High Density Compact Disc”. The company pushing it is the Optical Disc Corporation. It uses MPEG compression. It is for storing movies, up to 135 minutes long. The DVD has been chosen over this type of digital disc. (See CD TYPES OF for full listing of current names and-or types of CDs and what they are.)


HDCP: An abbreviation for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. This is a copy protection protocol developed to keep high definition video properties from being pirated. HDCP uses an alternate interface format for high definition video, called Digital Visual Interface (DVI) - defined separately. This is an alternative to sending the HDTV signal on conventional cables where it can be easily intercepted and copied. The goal of HDCP is to securely transport content from a source device (i.e. set top box, DVD player, etc.) to a display device, and prevent interception and copying of the programme signal. Because the HDCP protected signal is formatted exclusively for display-only, it cannot be recorded by a VCR or other recording equipment. The HDCP process consists of three phases: authentication, encryption and renewal. Authentication is the process by which the source device (i.e. the DVD player or set-top box) and display device authenticate (verify the legitimacy of) each other. Once each verifies the other, the source device encrypts (scrambles) the content and transports it to the display. The display equipment (TV, monitor, etc.) then decrypts and displays the content. The final phase is renewal. While the HD stream is playing, the display device re-authenticates the source device every two to three seconds by exchanging encrypted information about the current video frame. Should either party fail during re-authentication, the HDCP session is abandoned and the stream immediately ceases playing.


HDMI: An abbreviation for High Definition Multimedia Interface. This is a type of connection and cable intended to be used to transmit high definition Digital Visual Interface (DVI) signals. (DVI is separately defined.) HDMI was developed by a working group formed of representatives from Hitachi, Matsushita, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson and Toshiba.


HD PROJECTOR: High Definition video projectors are capable of playing High Definition TV and video pictures from 480 to 1080 lines of resolution. Usually the label “HD” is added only if the projector can do at least 720 lines. (See HIGH DEFINITION for list of High Definition formats.)




HDTV, COMPUTER: High Definition TV inputs and outputs for computers have their own separate outputs on the backs of the digital audiovisual equipment that can handle HDTV signals.  These are multi-pin connections that have little screw-down ends to secure them to the equipment. (See HOME THEATRE PERSONAL COMPUTER-HTPC for more information on playing high quality video by way of personal computers.)


hDVD:  High Definition DVD. Some manufacturers use the DVD as a medium for storing and playing back High Definition TV programmes. An hDVD disc will store and play back standard definition TV, but it also can store and play a very limited length (running time) of high definition TV signals. As a DVD has just so much storage capacity, it is necessary to use compression to fit the large amount of data contained in a high definition programme onto a DVD disc. (See COMPRESSION3.) Even with compression, an hDVD will hold only 15 to 20 minutes of HDTV programme on a single layer, single-sided DVD disc, or 30 to 40 minutes on a dual layer, single-sided one. While a “dual-layer, dual-sided” disc could hold up to 70 minutes of programme, there are no current plans to produce any such discs.

For a technical description, read on… The hDVD disc format uses MPEG-2 compression to accomplish the storage and recording of both standard definition and high definition programmes, including 1080i and 720p scanning. (See DVD TYPES OF for a full listing of current names and-or types of DVD’s and what they are.)


HD VIDEO (consumer): High Definition Video. See DIGITAL VHS, D-VHS for full definition. (See HIGH DEFINITION for list of High Definition formats.)


HDW M2100: A Sony half-inch video cassette player put on the market in 2000 that can handle Betacam, Betacam SP, Betacam SX, Digital Betacam, MPEG IMX and HDCAM tapes. The unit costs about $45,000 and is a playback-only machine. It does not record. It plays back in Standard Definition quality - not at High-Definition rates.


HEAD: 1) The parts of a recording tape machine that touch the tape and record or playback or erase the sound.

2) An electric guitarist’s “head amp”. (See HEAD AMP.)

3) The very start of an audiovisual product, event or show…“the head”.


HEAD AMP: 1) An amplifier used by electric guitarists which has no speaker included. It is just an amplifier and it is placed on top of a speaker cabinet.

2) Sometimes a separate pre-amplifier made just for boosting the signal of a phonograph’s cartridge is called a “head amp” in an audio playback system. This specialised pre-amp always comes ahead (before) the systems normal pre-amp. Thus it is called a “head amp”.


HEAD ASSEMBLY, HEAD BLOCK or HEAD STACK: The block of metal upon which record, playback and erase heads for tape recorders are attached. These are often removable for adjustment, alignment and replacement of the heads. All professional analogue tape recorders have such head blocks.  


HEAD BALL, HEAD SYNCH: The small black “ball” one sometimes sees flash by on the film screen - if a film is improperly started so the audience sees the film’s leader pass by before the film itself starts. That black ball is called the “head ball”. It is at the head” (beginning) of the film. It is used to ensure the soundtrack of the film is exactly synchronised to the film itself as the ball is always an exact amount of frames away from the very start of the film, for all films.


HEADEND: Slang term for the distribution point (point of broadcast) of a television programme. Most often this term is used in reference to a cable TV company, but it can also be generically used for TV programmes sent via satellite, terrestrial TV (conventional television, using antennas to pick up local stations.) or over the Internet as well. It is called “headend” because the cable TV company is the source point of the programme feed - the “head”. It is also, therefore, the controlling point of the service (programme) being provided to the consumer. This controlling point can perform various manipulations and special treatments to the programme and these can change or affect how the consumer receives, views and-or hears the TV programme in the home. The “headend” is the source point of the programme. Therefore, the headend can perform subscriber management (control who is allowed to see and hear the programme and at what quality level). The headend also controls media aggregation and distribution of video services. Often a headend will receive its programme material from a satellite such as in the case of a local cable TV company picking up a national television show from a network then providing that show via its own cable lines to its subscribers. In such cases, the local cable TV provider is still considered to be the “headend” as it is the point that distributes the programme to consumers.


HEAD GAP: A head used for tape recording always has a gap in its magnetic material (its face) that is filled with non-magnetic material. Gaps are used to direct magnetic energy to the tape so sound can be recorded on the tape or played back from the tape. The gap is located right where the tape touches as it passes by the head.


HEADPHONES, HEADPHONE JACK: 1) A set of small speakers that are placed directly over the ears and worn on the head. Can be small “In-The-Ear” units as well.

2) The connector hole on any audio unit capably of sending a signal to headphones is called the “headphone jack”.


HEADROOM: 1) The level difference (in dB) between average volume levels and the first audible distortion heard as the volume is turned up to its peak amount.

2) The clipping (start of distortion) level any audio electronics equipment has. “Good headroom” means the equipment, or loudspeaker, can play soft volumes and very loud volumes entirely unrestrained, and without clipping. 


HEADROOM HEADPHONE AMP: A brand of small amplifier specifically made to supply music to higher quality headphones.


HEADS OUT: A way of rewinding tape or film so that it’s beginning (the start of the show or programme) is actually to the outside of the reel. Important Note: Analogue audio tapes are not stored “heads out.” Storing tapes heads out increases the audibility of print-through. All analogue audio tapes are properly stored “tails out”. 


HEADSTACK: All of the heads of the tape recorder as a unit. These are often mounted to the same plate and can be removed for service.


HEAT GLASS: A special type of heat resistant glass placed in front of cine film directly between the heat of a projector’s lamp and the film to help reduce the amount of heat reaching the film. This helps prevent film damage.


HEAT SINK: A device for dissipating heat from a transistor or amplifier. The metal “fins” one often sees on the back of audiovisual equipment are there to help dissipate heat away from the unit.


HEAVENLY JUKEBOX,  CELESTIAL JUKEBOX: The coined terms for the vast library of music available on the Internet.      


HEAVY: 1) In sound: Excessively bassy.

2) Too much of something - too many special effects, too much talking, too much guitar, too much bass, etc.


HEIGHT: The vertical positioning of a tape recorder’s heads with respect to their mounting plate on the machine, and to the motion of the tape.


HELICAL SCAN: The word “helical” means spiral. It comes from the Greek word “helix” which means “to turn, twist or roll.” In audiovisual equipment, “helical” describes the motion of a recorder’s heads in some types of recording machines. Used mostly in video recording and playback machines, but also some types of digital audio recorders too.  A helical scan head is a spinning metal drum that contains record and playback heads. The rotating drum moves at a slight angle in relationship to the motion of the tape. As the tape passes by the spinning drum, the drum’s fast rotating motion allows the audio and-or video signal from the heads to effectively contact more of the tape’s surface during the time that that exact portion of the tape is there, on the drum. The spinning allows the head to keep coming around to touch the tape, as it spins many times faster than the tape moving slowly by. Also, the rotating drum spins at an angle in relationship to the tape. So, instead of the head touching just the up and down width of the tape, the angled drum gives a longer diagonal line of contact. The result is that a larger surface area of the tape is contacted per unit of time. And, because of that, the quality of the recording is increased. This is as compared with a “stationary head” that depends solely on the speed of the tape as to how much tape surface the audio or video signal is recorded onto per unit of time. Helical scanning allows manufacturers to make their tape machines more compact, too. A small handheld video camera usually has a helical head inside. Larger professional recorders with stationary heads simply move the tape faster to record the signal onto a longer section of magnetic tape.


HELMHOLTZ, HERMANN LUDWIG FERDINAND VON: (1821-1894). His research on sound ranked as the outstanding work of his time in the subject of acoustics. Helmholtz’s principles are still used today in the design and construction of sound-absorbing materials.


HERTZ:  Abbreviated Hz. Cycles per second. A cycle that occurs once every second has a frequency of 1 Hertz.


HERTZ, HEINRICH RUDOLF: (1857 - 1894).  A German physicist.


HETERODYNE: A name for the screeching and howling feedback that occurs in P.A. systems caused by the interaction between the microphone, the room and the P.A. system. “Hetero”, as a prefix, means “different” or “the other of two” and “dyne” means “dynamic” or “power.” The technical meaning of Heterodyne is that different sound is being added to another sound and they vibrate, beat or fight against each other. One could say that another different power (sound) is being added and a conflict created (heard).   


HEWLETT-PACKARD: The name of a very respected company that makes high quality electronic testing equipment, computers, etc. The company was formed by William Hewlett and David Packard.


HEXADECIMAL: “Hexadecimal” means a number that uses base 16 as opposed to base 10 (decimal) or base 2 (binary). This word comes from the combination of the Greek prefix “hexa-” meaning “six” and the Latin word “decim” meaning “ten.” So it’s 6 + 10 = 16, thus the “hexadecimal” numbering system uses 16 as its base. Computer programmers often use hexadecimal numbers as a shortcut instead of writing out all the binary numbers (0’s and 1’s) needed to express digital information. The symbols used are 0 - 9 and A - F. This is used by computer programmers because four binary digits (“bits”) can be expressed by one hexadecimal symbol.


HF: Abbreviation for High Frequency(ies).


HHB: Brand of CD recorder used to produce high quality “one off” CDs. An HHB is located in the Gold main music studio.






HI DEF: Abbreviation for High Definition. (See HIGH DEFINITION.)    




HI DITHER 96: This is a term found in the SADiE manual. “Hi Dither 96” is an optional plug-in computer card available from SADiE for computerised audio processing. It has a type of dither optimised for audio recorded at a 96k sampling rate. (The sampling rate used by many DVD’s and some new music releases.) The Hi Dither 96 card also has settings, which can be switched to add the optimum dither to audio produced at 44.1, 48 or 96 kHz. (DITHER is defined as a separate entry.)




HIGH-DEFINITION (HD what it is and types): “HD” is a term heard often in audiovisual fields both at professional as well as consumer levels. The word “high” began to be used in 14th century English to mean “a large quantity”. And in 1889, the word “definition” started to be used as a noun describing “the degree of distinctness of an image.” Therefore, the term “High Definition” (“HD”) has come to mean any audio sound or visual picture having exceedingly high quality, well above normal. In most cases, for equipment and media, there are precise industry specifications established for “high definition”. For example, in television, it is generally agreed that anything over 720 lines of resolution on the TV screen is considered “high def”. (Normal TV has only about 330 lines!) However, some persons would consider anything better than normal TV “high definition”. The DVD is capable of 480 lines of resolution maximum. Technically it is not a high definition format, but many consider that because its look is so superior to normal TV or video that it should be considered to be a high definition format. Some audiovisual equipment manufacturers have used the term “high definition” for marketing purposes to communicate a general level of quality better than the average norm. At times such a label means nothing. Fortunately, indiscriminate use of the term “high definition” is growing less and less, keeping it reserved for equipment and media that truly meets specific standards. One will see the words “HIGH DEFINITION” on everything from brands of recording tape, to television sets. The term really has to do with how well one can see and-or hear reproduced images or sounds - how clearly one can perceive such. It describes a high amount of “definition” in the picture or sound. The term generally describes the very highest quality available.

Usage Note: “High definition” is similar to, but different than “high resolution”. Virtually any audiovisual equipment or media (tape, etc.) that has high quality can bear the label “high resolution” whereas “high definition” implies a specific industry standard and specifications are meet. “High Resolution” is a more general term, and often used in packaging, labelling and marking of audiovisual equipment, formats, etc.  A listing of the more common types of high definition audiovisual media is given below so you can become familiar with those that are considered to actually meet “high definition” standards.


Each format type listed below is fully defined as a separate entry in

this glossary as are any technical words used.


The following is a list of “High Definition” audiovisual formats. Several various TV, video rates may not be considered “High Definition” by some “industry standards”, but are often referred to as such as they are so superior to normal TV.  (Also See HD RATES for details on all HDTV lines of resolution rates.)






Super Audio Compact Disc. Super Audio CD (SACD) is a new, higher resolution type of music disc and player. It was developed by Sony and Philips. This is Sony’s direct competition to DVD-Audio. In fact, it actually uses a DVD disc, but its information is recorded with a proprietary digital method developed by Sony and Philips. Sony, Philips, Marantz and the Accuphase corporations are now putting out players which will play DVD-Audio as well as the SACD.


Advanced Resolution DVD-AUDIO discs

The major record companies have agreed to identify DVD-Audio discs with a label reading “Advanced Resolution” to make a point that DVD-Audio has better audio quality than a normal CD. The companies are coining the terms “Advanced Resolution Stereo” and “Advanced Resolution surround sound” to indicate that the DVD-Audio has the higher digital recording and playback fidelity over all other types of discs.


24 bit, 96k DVD discs

DVD-Video discs that contain music releases with 2 channel stereo only. These play on DVD-Video players and are produced by smaller audiophile music labels. (See DAD.) Such discs may sometimes have higher or lower digital rates (up to 24, 196). However, providing their rate is higher than that of a normal CD (16 bits,  44.1 k sampling rate), the term “high definition” is used to describe their audio quality.



A High Definition music CD, actually officially called High Definition Compatible Digital disc. See “CD TYPES OF” and HDCD in this glossary.



High Definition television sets. Requires special connectors on the TV to receive all types of HD broadcasts. Some HD TVs made over the last several years lack these connections, now just recently agreed upon. (The connector is called FireWire - see “FireWire” in this glossary.) HD TV’s have 16 x 9 screen size. Note: Not all Digital Television broadcasts (DTV) are actually at full High Definition rates, usually agreed upon as being 720 lines of resolution on up to 1080.



High Definition TV broadcasts over Digital TV (DTV). More correctly called DTV rather than HDTV as not all DTV broadcasts will be at HD rates. DTV requires a special television or projector as well as antenna to receive. This has higher quality pictures than normal satellite, DirecTV, etc. Generally agreed upon to be broadcasts starting at 720 lines of resolution, but many consider if the broadcast is at 480 progressive, it “qualifies” as High Definition as the picture quality is so much better than normal TV. However, technically, 480p is still within standard definition television rates. See DIGITAL TELEVISION, HDTV RATES, and PROGRESSIVE SCANNING for history and data on all HDTV line rates.



High Definition DVD. Just released in trial format. Can only hold 15 minutes of high definition video rates at this time. See hDVD for details.



High Definition video for consumers.  Uses a ½  inch Super VHS video cassette. Available from Panasonic and JVC. Unlike DVD’s, which only can hold 480 lines of resolution picture that has been compressed with MPEG2, the new Digital VHS format can have video pictures up to 1080 lines of resolution - true high definition. This format, Digital VHS, allows consumers to take full advantage of their HD TVs and HD video projectors in their homes as the consumer is able to record high definition broadcasts and will soon be able to purchase or rent movies on D-VHS at true high definition rates.





High Definition video projectors are capable of playing High Definition TV and video pictures from 480p to 1080 lines of resolution. Usually the label “HD” is added only if the projector can do at least 720 lines at progressive scanning rate.


HD VIDEO (consumer)

High Definition Video - a Panasonic video format which uses a normal 12mm (½ inch) Super VHS videocassette recorded in a rather normal Panasonic consumer video deck - only it has High Def video electronics inside. Can record all the way up to 1080 lines of resolution.



There are many professional High Definition video formats, cameras, video decks, etc. in use throughout the industry. These are to be found defined as separate entries in this glossary and include: D9 (JVC), D5 (Panasonic), DVCPRO HD (Panasonic) D1 (Sony), HDCAM (Sony), 24 fps (Frames Per Second) Progressive Hi Def (Sony’s new CineAlta product line). Every major TV camera maker has Hi Def equipment (Hitachi, Cannon, etc.) Others may also appear in the future.



There are many brands of audio and video recording tape that place upon their packaging the term “High Definition”. In earlier years, it may not have implied any specific specifications were met, only that it was good quality tape. More modernly, the term is used to label tape capable of recording the desired programme at industry established high definition rates. One sees “High Definition” tape for professional and home use, both audio and video.



HIGH DEFINITION TAPE: There are many brands of audio and video recording tape, which place upon their packaging the term “High Definition”.  It does not imply any specific specifications are met, only that is good quality tape and capable of recording the desired programme well. One sees High Definition tape for professional and home use, both audio and video.


HIGH-DEFINITION TELEVISION (HDTV) and VIDEO: For average home consumers, the most common use of the term “High Definition” deals with TV sets - “HDTV”. The term “HDTV” is heard often. It describes an advanced type of TV set which has been available to consumers for several years now. Similarly, one hears about “HDTV broadcasts” where TV stations shoot TV shows with High Definition cameras and broadcast the shows at high definition rates. (By rate is simply meant how many lines of resolution are displayed by the TV. A normal TV’s lines of resolution rate is about 330 lines that run across the screen - counted from top to bottom - while a “High Definition” TV can have well over 1000 lines of resolution.) But, there are confusions regarding “HDTV”. One hears questions like, “When will HDTV be more common?”, “Are stations really shifting over to HDTV?”, “Should we plan for HDTV?”. In reality, the term “HDTV” is really a consumer term used to promote and sell TV sets that are capable of playing higher resolution. The truth of the matter is that what the TV stations will be broadcasting is simply called “Digital TV” (DTV) and DTV can broadcast all kinds of different rates. Not all are “High Definition”. If one were to simply drop the letters “TV” from “HDTV”, leaving only “HD”, one would have a more accurate description of what HIGH DEFINITION really is. The term “HD” more correctly describes how films and TV, video products are made (produced) as opposed to how they may be broadcast or displayed to the consumer. For example, many of NBC’s major TV shows are produced in High Definition. However, they are not necessarily broadcast in high definition.  One could say that they are not being broadcast as “HDTV”, yet they are produced in “HD”. They may be broadcast at lower rates, for conventional television sets, or they may be broadcast on Digital TV at lower rates, or broadcast on Digital TV at full HD rates. “Digital TV” is the more correct term, and Digital TV is already being broadcast in most major cities throughout the USA, EU and Asia. Some DTV programmes are broadcast at the high definition rates. If DTV broadcasts a show produced at HD rates, and if the DTV station sends it out at HD rates, one could say they are receiving “HDTV”. However, the very next  DTV  programme  might  be  at  a  resolution lower than commonly accepted High Definition (usually held to be 720 or more lines of resolution). Aside from TV broadcasting, many studios and post production facilities are producing shows more and more in HD. Professionally, more and more Hollywood films are being shot on film, but transferred to 24 frame per second video at HD rates and put through post production as such. From there, the footage goes out at HD rates for commercial cinemas, who are converting from film to digital projection. The HD footage will also be converted down to the 480 line resolution accepted by DVD discs.  Eventually, movies will not even be shot on film, but instead special HD video cameras will be used with all footage shot directly to HD video at 24 frames per second. This is already being done by some cinematographers. In other words, “High-Definition”, in professional film, TV, video production terms, has to do with the quality of the source of the product - the original shooting and how the product was post produced. The term “HDTV” is really used for the marketing of consumer TV sets which will be able to receive Digital TV, at many different levels of lines of resolution quality.

For more information, read on… Some experts say that 720 lines of resolution on the screen starts “High Definition,” but others agree that 480 lines progressive could be said to start the “High Definition” level of picture quality on a TV screen or over a video projector. Some programmes will be “interactive”. Technically, a DVD is not considered “High Definition” - only when its playback has been put through electronics that increase its picture’s lines of resolution is it considered to start reaching into the zone of “High Definition”. Gold’s On-Line Bay is a fully digital video facility. The bay uses a format of video called “601 video”. (“601” is actually just the paragraph number in a technical book that lists the technical specifications for digital TV, video.) 601 video has 525 lines of resolution in the U.S. video standard and 625 lines in the UK and European standard. Many would consider that is suitable quality to call “High Definition”. Most major commercial studios are now generally operating with 601 video specifications. Some TV broadcasting stations are already broadcasting High Definition broadcasts at 720 lines on up to 1080. There is “Digital Television” (DTV) and not all programmes broadcast on DTV are at the same rates of resolution. Some can be at 480 and others way higher depending on how the programme was shot. Cable TV services, which deliver TV programmes over wires hooked up to consumers’ homes, carry DTV and therefore some HD level programming as well. HDTV is not played on a normal television. One needs the newer type TVs whose screen is wider than usual. Its image size is 16 x 9.

Note: Major motion pictures shown over DTV will often be limited to only 600 lines of resolution for all DTV airings over cable, satellite, Internet and terrestrial DTV. In this way the major film studios hope to prevent direct digital copying of their films at high definition rates. This treatment for movies shown over DTV is called “Dumb Down”. (DUMB DOWN is defined as a separate entry.)


HIGH-DEFINITION TELEVISION (HDTV) TV and MONITOR: HDTV Monitor refers to a monitor that can display an HDTV signal. Its picture screen is considerably wider than a normal TV’s. (A TV is called a monitor when it does not have the tuner needed to receive a TV broadcast signal.) HDTV’s have been being sold heavily to consumers for several years with no tuner to receive any programming inside because, at the time, no standards for Digital TV and HDTV broadcasting were established. The Cable TV industry had not finalised what they were going to do either to carry DTV with HDTV programming. This has all been resolved now and HDTV's will include the needed receivers to play such broadcasting. Consumers who already have the older units can purchase small receiver boxes for Cable TV feeds. The broadcasts are being given special digital coding for copy protection as well.   Note: Digital TV, High Definition TV is, in some cases, “interactive”.


HIGH DEFINITION TV, video RATES: While many technical experts and consumers attempt to rate High Definition TV, video starting at 720 lines on the screen, in truth, the High Definition exists in a great many different rates. Why are there are so many “versions” of High Definition for TV, Video?? To start at the very beginning… Normal TV broadcasts are interlaced, and have been since the 1940s. Why? Because it takes less broadcast power to transmit half the amount of lines at any given time. Broadcast TV has always been interlaced for this reason. But, in the early 90’s the question arose… what about doing a “High Definition” version of TV? More lines! Better resolution!! The US government asked six major companies to submit individual proposals and samples of what they felt “High Definition TV” should be. They did so, but each had technical bugs and problems. The government created an Advisory Committee over the six companies and this committee laid down the law. Either re-test and submit something that was workable, or all six get together and work together to come up with one solution for High Definition TV that would work. So, in May of 1993, a three day meeting took place. All six attended. The meeting was called the “Grand Alliance” and its purpose was to meet, sort out differences, agree to a format and method for High Definition TV and work together to give the government one workable proposal. Well, there was immediate conflict in the meeting. The “Grand Alliance” representatives who were affiliated with TV broadcasters insisted upon an interlaced format - and the companies allied to the computer industry, who well knew the improved picture progressive gives, wanted a progressive format. The outcome of that meeting was really a compromise - “eventually arrive at over 1000 lines of resolution, progressive”. It was the word “eventually” that all could “agree” upon. What really got worked out (“agreed”) was to have about 18 different formats,  progressive  and interlaced going up to 1080 lines interlaced - with the goal that “eventually” the 1080 lines interlaced would turn into progressive. It is now many years later, and the top rate is still 1080 lines interlaced. But there are many line rates below that, each of which does have a progressive version, as well as interlaced. So “everyone” is “happy”. And so, if you’ve ever wondered why there are so many different lines of resolution that “classify” as “High Definition” today - 480, 525, 720, 960 and 1080 - now you know! It was just a series of compromises and agreements that the “alliance” refused to sort out and the US government Advisory Committee let slide way back in 1993.  It should be noted that there is commonly a confusion between “Digital TV” and “High Definition TV” (HDTV). Digital TV (DTV) is a broadcast standard that all stations in the USA have been ordered to switch over to by the year 2006. Digital TV has the capability of playing High Definition signals. But much of Digital TV’s programming will not be at High Definition rates, meaning it will usually be 600 lines down to 480 lines (the amount on a DVD-Video disc).  Also, to prevent pirate copying of High Definition Hollywood films, when such are shown over Digital TV, they will be down-converted to only 600 lines, or even less. Many consumers have purchased High Definition TVs and High Definition video projectors and they are wondering when they will be able to receive more in the way of High Definition broadcasts (films, sporting events, TV shows, etc.). While a limited amount of such programming is beginning to become available, what they really will receive is Digital TV broadcasting, and the programming provided will, more often than not, not be High Definition (which is usually agreed within the industry to start at 720 lines of resolution).  Most Digital TV will be at 600 lines or less. As time advances, more High Definition programming will become available however.  One company, JVC, has now arranged to provide High Definition video copies of major films to consumers on a format called “Digital VHS” (D-VHS). (See DIGITAL VHS.) This format uses a normal 12mm (½ inch) Super VHS video cassette but plays in a special High Definition video player. It is planned to allow home consumers to purchase films in High Definition in this manner which, to some, will be preferable to DVD-Video discs due to the increased resolution made possible by the D-VHS format. 


The listing below includes those High Definition TV, video lines of resolution rates that are in significant use.




The technical words and terms occurring in the listing

below may be found as separate entries in this

glossary where considerably more information is given.


Note: The lines of resolution listed below for HD TV, Video can be recorded and displayed at different frame rates, including 30 fps, 24 fps and eventually 60 fps, depending upon the equipment used for recording and playback.


Non HD: 240 - 350 Interlaced: Normal Video and TV .


480 Interlaced: DVD-Video Digital TV (DTV) lowest rate broadcasts.


480 Progressive: DVD-Video players with progressive scanning feature. Digital TV (DTV) broadcasts. Videos,  DVD’s,  Broadcasts enhanced with an “Upconverter” (Doubler, Tripler, Quadrupler).


525 Interlaced: Gold’s On-Line Bay. Professional broadcast quality video of all types.


576:       The European PAL standard interlaced or progressive.


600: Much of Digital TV’s broadcasts at this rate or lower, especially Digital Cable TV providers.  Major Hollywood films that could be played at high definition rates will often be down-converted at the consumer’s set-top box to only 600 lines or less to prevent pirate copying of the films at HD rates, even though the consumer has an HDTV TV or video projector in his home.


720 Interlaced:  DTV broadcasts of HD programming. To be released  -  hDVD’s (High Definition DVD’s) and D-VHS (High Definition Digital VHS releases).


720 Progressive: DTV broadcasts of HD programming. To be released - hDVD’s (High Definition DVD’s) and D-VHS (High Definition Digital VHS releases). Some movie theatres, when they shift from film to digital playback, may use this rate.


960 Interlaced: DTV broadcasts of HD programming. To be released - hDVD’s (High Definition DVD’s) and D-VHS (High Definition Digital VHS releases). Some general cinema movie theatres, when they shift from film to digital playback, may use this rate.


960 Progressive: DTV broadcasts of HD programming. To be released – hDVD’s (High Definition DVD’s) and D-VHS (High Definition Digital VHS releases). Some commercial movie theatres, when they shift from film to digital playback, may use this rate.


1080 Interlaced: DTV broadcasts of HD programming. To be released - hDVD’s (High Definition DVD’s) and D-VHS (High Definition Digital VHS releases). Movie theatres, when they shift from film to digital playback, may use this rate.


1080 Progressive: Only some very expensive up-scalers will provide a 1080p picture. (See UPSCALER.) Possible future broadcasts to be done in 1080p. Possible some HD high resolution films may be shot and shown at 1080p in future. Some movie theatres, when they shift from film to digital playback, may use this rate.


1080 Progressive, 60fps: Predicted to be the highest HD TV, video rate to eventually be made universally available. This is 1080p at 60 frames per sec while all previous rates are at 30 frames per second. Some movie theatres, when they shift from film to digital playback, may use this rate.


Higher resolutions: Only available on high resolution scanners which can convert film to video at 2000 - 4000 lines for special applications. (See SCANNER.)




HI-8: A small video cassette tape used in portable cameras as well as in some types of digital audio tape recorders. The tape in the cassette shell is 8 millimetres wide. 


HIGH-END,  HIGH END: Pertains to:

1) Sound or video quality that closely approaches the real thing - how the sound would sound live, as opposed to reproduced. How the video picture would look in comparison to real objects seen with the eyes or by means of a high quality camera photograph or actual cine film.

2) Audiovisual equipment whose performance is near the top of the quality scale, and often the price scale.

3) A term used to refer to the high frequency (treble) signals. (Low-end refers to the bass frequencies.)       


HIGH-END AUDIO, VIDEO: The pursuit of and business of realistic sound reproduction and-or video reproduction. (See AUDIOPHILE, VIDEOPHILE.)


HIGH ENERGY EFFECTS: The loud sound effects heard in films.      


HIGH FIDELITY: A term used to describe audio equipment which can well produce the reality of a sound. Little of a sound’s natural qualities are lost when reproduced by such equipment. Fidelity comes from the word “truth” or “faithfulness”. Equipment that produces sound which is faithful to how the sound actually sounded when originally recorded is said to be “High Fidelity”.  


HI-FI:  High Fidelity. See HIGH FIDELITY.     


HI-FI PURIST: A person who practically refuses to listen to any music unless it has been produced and-or reproduced on the finest audio equipment. May be taken to extremes, such as not wishing to listen and enjoy music for the music’s sake.


HI-FI TRACKS: In a video system, it refers to the higher quality audio tracks which some video recorders can record and play back on the video tape. On a Betacam, these are also known as the AFM tracks (See AFM). Only video decks that specifically bear the word “Hi-Fi” or “Hi-Fi Audio” can record and playback using the Hi-Fi tracks.


HIGH-FREQUENCY RANGE: The audio range above 6,000 Hz. Sounds that are in the high frequency range or treble sounds such as cymbals, female soprano singers, tinkling small bells, whistling, etc.


HIGH-FREQUENCY LIMITER: A device, often used in phonograph recording, which prevents the high-frequency signals from exceeding a certain volume. The very high highs are reduced (limited) in volume if they suddenly get too loud. 


HIGH-FREQUENCY ROLL-OFF: The term “roll-off” is used to describe the drop (“roll-off”) in volume of low or high frequencies. A “high-frequency roll-off” is any electronic circuit that drops the volume of high frequencies, or the fact of a sound having high-frequency roll-off. You will find high-frequency roll-offs on most mix boards, one for each channel. They are usually activated by pressing a single button. Often, the frequency at which the roll-off activates can be adjusted by a separate knob. 


HIGH RESOLUTION: See HIGH DEFINITION for definition and usage note.


HIGHS: High frequencies. The treble sounds or the high frequency sounds in any instrument or singing voice. Even a bass guitar has its own “highs”.   


HI HAT: A double cymbal - literally two cymbals - on a stand which can be played with a foot pedal and-or the top cymbal being hit with a stick. Also called a sock cymbal. The stand allows one to press a pedal with the foot thereby bringing the two cymbals into contact to create sound. At the same time, the drummer will often tap or strike the top cymbal with his stick to create rhythm patterns.


HIGH IMPEDANCE: High impedances are those of 5,000 or more ohms. High-impedance microphones and lines are designed to be fed into high-impedance amplifier inputs only and will not work properly if fed into low-impedance inputs.


HIGH IMPEDANCE MIC: A microphone designed to be fed into an amplifier with an input impedance of greater than 20,000 ohms. These types of microphones are not usually used for professional recording.


HIGH-OUTPUT TAPE: Recording tape that can be recorded with higher magnetic levels than ”standard” tape. Note, except for cassettes this term is almost useless as “standard” tape refers to the tape manufactured in the early 1950’s. By the late 1960’s the vast majority of tape used in the industry was high output tape and remains so. Still, marketing and advertisements often state a tape, any tape, including tape cassettes, are “high output tape”. Because the tape could be recorded to louder, they would play back louder, and so sound better than earlier tape formulations.


HIGH-PASS FILTER: An electronic circuit on a mixboard or other mixing device that allows only high frequencies to pass. It filters out lower frequencies. A high-pass filter is helpful in controlling some sounds that may have a lot of unwanted lower frequency information that just needs to be gotten rid of, thus saving the EQ controls on the mixboard for creative use in shaping the tonal character of the sound.    


HIGH-SPEED DUPLICATION: The standard method of manufacturing commercial copies of cassette tapes, where a master recording is played many times its normal speed and many copies are made at great speed. Speeds of eight to sixty-four times normal speed are commonly used for cassette duplication. This allows a large amount of products to be made at high speed and lowers overall cost of production. The Gauss High Speed Cassette Copy Line in Manufacturing Gold runs at 32X speed.


HIGH REZ, HIGH RESOLUTION: 1) Any video picture that has excellent clarity and detail.

2) Any recorded or reproduced sound that has excellent clarity and detail.

3) A piece of audiovisual equipment or recording tape that can produce excellent clarity and detail of sound or images.


HISS: 1) Random audio noise, sounding similar to a leaky steam pipe.

2) Commonly heard as “tape hiss”. (Audio tape makes a low volume hissing sound when played, even though nothing may be recorded - it’s the tape itself rubbing on the tape machine’s heads and the sound picked up from the particles on the tape though nothing is recorded.)

3) Any unwanted hissing sound in sound such as a guitar amplifier “hissing” which is heard whenever there are no notes played. Some amplifiers give a slight hissing sound when hooked up to loudspeakers. This should not be audible at the listening position. 


HI-Z: Abbreviation for High Impedance. (The symbol for impedance is “Z”.)


HOLDBACK TENSION: A slight tension applied to magnetic tape when recording or playing back which serves to keep the tape pressed against the head. The tape is slightly “held back” (from going forward) to create this tension as the tape is being pulled across the heads.  The tension is applied to the reel motor supplying the tape. That’s what is holding the tape back against the power of the take up reel’s motor.


HOLE-IN-THE-MIDDLE: In stereo reproduction, weak or vague represent­ation of centre images between the loudspeakers. It can result from out-of-phase loudspeakers, excessively widely spaced stereo microphones, or no instruments or singer were correctly placed in the middle of the mix.


HOLLOW: 1) A sound or overall mix with too much reverberation, or an unwanted dip in the mid frequencies that is harming the presence and apparent substance of the sound.

2) No solidity of the sounds, no heft.

3) The sounds may slightly sound like they are emanating from a hollow cave.

4) Too much room ambience in a live mix, so the instruments have no presence.


HOLLYWOOD PLUS: A brand name for a computer sound card used to enable any personal computer to play audio. Is specifically designed to allow one to play DVD videos on a computer and to also hear surround sound. Note: A sound card is:

1)           Any computer circuit board that can plug into the back of a computer enabling it to process sound. Some sound cards can only let one listen to a CD while others can allow one to have full computerised mixing facilities right on the computer.

2)           Any small card that has digitally stored sound information. These cards can be plugged into a synthesiser or sound module and are similar to floppy discs but smaller.


HOLOGRAPHIC IMAGING: A holograph is a type of picture process that gives the impression of 3D dimensions - it’s a type of photograph which one can see depth and spatial relationships between the objects within the photo. In the field of audio, sound is said to be “holographic” when it plays over loudspeakers with a sense of 3 dimensions - like one would hear if the real sound (instruments) were playing right in the room, in which case one would hear the distance the sound is away from you, its relative position to other sounds in the room, the sound’s apparent “size” (an electric guitar sounds bigger than a piccolo), etc. Sounds appear real when presented with holographic imaging. Better equipment and loudspeakers reproduce this characteristic and the music is therefore more captivating to listen to.


HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM: Any stereo, home theatre or television set-up in a consumer’s home. Usually refers to a combination TV, stereo system or a full home theatre system. It’s the system that the consumers go to for their audiovisual entertainment. Can include video games, and now Internet as well.


HOME RECORDING RIGHTS ACT: During the Bush administration in the 1980s, this legal act was passed when the music industry was initially becoming concerned about the possibility that home consumers would make near perfect digital copies of music CD’s should the new (at the time) DAT recorders become popular. A special kind of copy protection was adopted due to this act which prevents widespread copying - called Serial Copy Management System. (See SCMS for further information.)


HOME STUDIO: Literally a studio (recording, mixing) in one’s home. This has become quite popular and affordable to do with the advent of high quality digital equipment. Many CDs sold in major stores were produced in home studios. The term is also used derogatorily, as a home studio is no match for a real, world-class, fully equipped studio facility. “That sounds like it was made in a home studio.”


HOME THEATRE,  HOME THEATRE SYSTEM: An audio-visual system in one’s home, designed to reproduce theatre type surround sound and a movie theatre viewing experience. Usually includes a fairly large to huge screen as well as an audio system to play surround soundtracks..


HOME THEATRE PERSONAL COMPUTER (HTPC) (DVD playback via computer rather than a DVD player): The very best quality picture from DVD’s will be had if one plays them using a personal computer. The computer must be configured for DVD playback as well as for providing surround sound. It gives a better quality picture than using a DVD player for the simple reason that the computer keeps the images digital and sends them to the video projector digitally over digital wire hook-up. A DVD video player, on the other hand, converts the digital information from the DVD disc to a video signal (not digital) and sends that to the TV or projector. There is some quality loss as a result in the latter’s processing of the picture signal. (Note: For copy protection purposes, DVD players do not have a digital output for picture content. This prevents direct digital copying of the DVD disc. Instead, DVD players only have analogue video outputs. This is why you will get a far better picture if you play a DVD video disc on a computer with a digital output and send that digital feed to a digital video projector or TV.) The technology for showing DVD’s over a computer is constantly advancing. When one is setting up such a system, it is recommended that PT research be done for best methods and latest computer hardware and software.


Technical note: For those needing more data on how to set up a PC to show DVD’s, a listing of Internet sites is included below.

www. guide to home (Pcinemapage website),,,,,,,, http:/,


HOME THX: THX-Certified equipment and theatre layout and construction specifications for home theatre applications. (See also THX)


HONK, HONKY: Pertaining to an unwanted “aw” coloration added to the audio. Just make the sound, “aaawww” and you have an apt description of what a honky sound is. The programme sounds the way your voice sounds when you cup your hands around your mouth. Speakers can sound honky. It’s an overemphasis in the frequency response around 500 to 700 Hz.


HORIZONTAL RESOLUTION: The amount of detail a TV picture delivers, measured in number of lines. The amount a viewer actually sees depends  both  on  the  source and  the TV. Conventional broadcast TV (not digital TV) signals deliver approximately 330 lines of horizontal resolution; VCR’s, 240 to 280; DVD players 480 lines. Also called “lines of resolution”. It’s how many lines of picture there are on one’s TV screen or displayed by a video projector.


HORN,  HORN SPEAKER: A type of audio loudspeaker, so-called because of its characteristic shape. The horn design helps push out and project the sound it makes into a listening space. 


HORN SECTION: In a band or orchestra, that section which has the trumpets, trombones, etc.


HOST: 1) In a digital cable TV system, a “host” is a piece of equipment that receives the digital television broadcast signal from the cable TV company and sends it to the consumer’s digital TV set top box. It is called a host because it receives the signal and provides the digital television broadcast service to the consumer’s equipment that displays the digital TV programmes being sent by the cable TV company.

2) In computers, a host is the main large computer in a system of computers that are hooked up together - as in a Local Area Network or a Wide Area Network. The host provides its data and speed of operation to the smaller computers that are connected within the system.


HOT1: 1) The mixboard is all set up with a mix and the mix is not yet done. “The board is hot.” 2) The state of any audiovisual equipment that is turned on and ready to perform. 3) The positive contact, wire, or pin on a connector as opposed to the negative. 4) Any wire or circuit that has electricity flowing.


HOT2: 1) Very emphasised high frequencies (treble sounds).

2) Excessive volume, the signal is too loud for the equipment to properly record.


HOT3: Any performance or other artistic presentation which is high energy.


HOTKEYS: This is a term used in the SADiE digital audio computer manual. “Hotkeys” are single computer keyboard buttons that activate entire functions. The user can set up a keyboard button to replace the use of a mouse for many different functions - for example, play, record, cut, paste, save, etc. When it is set up as such, the keyboard key is called a “hotkey”. The instructions for how to set up hotkeys are contained in the SADiE manual.


HOT PATCH, HOT PLUGGING: 1) A feature that allows equipment (computer) to be connected to another computer device while that device is powered on (“hot”).

2) The action of doing #1.

3) The connection made by hot patching.


HOTSPOT: This is a term used in the SADiE digital audio computer manual. A “hotspot” is the exact point for placing a sound in an audio programme when using the SADiE system. For example, if the impact of a car crash occurs at 1 hour, 33 minutes, 12 seconds and 5 frames (01:33:12.05), the “hotspot” is that exact frame. The “hotspot” is actually a marker on the SADiE’s computer screen that makes it easy to find the exact point. Hotspots can be installed at any point of the edit and can be shifted as needed by the operator to make certain that every sound is accurately placed as regards time.




HOUSE: 1) The hall or auditorium or other venue for a show or event. 2) The audience witnessing a performance. 3) All activities and concerns not dealing with the actual performance to occur on the stage. Usually there are separate hats - those who handle matters concerning the stage and the show’s production, and those who deal with the audience, their seating, etc. 4) Any audiovisual production studio is sometimes called “the house”.


HOUSE AUDIO: The audio team who is in the house at an event handling the sound and its quality for the audience present for the event. (As opposed to “Truck Audio” - the team in the truck dealing with the sound for broadcast.)


HOUSE MIX: The mixing of the live sound at an event or other performance for the audience viewing the show. It is the mix that is heard over the PA speakers set up in the venue itself.




HP: Harry Pearson. The man who founded and is still the principal writer for the audiophile magazine “The Absolute Sound”.


HTML: Abbreviation for Hypertext Mark-up Language. This abbreviation appears on virtually every Internet site and in most magazine articles that discuss Internet use. It is one of the computer languages used to created a site on the Internet. “Hypertext” literally means “below the text” (words) in a document. For example, if you are reading along in an “HTML” computer document and come across words which the author wants one to know more about, the words are highlighted in some way to set them apart from the rest of the text. One can mouse-click on the word and there will be a whole additional explanation or example. This additional data does not appear in the document itself. It is highlighted (marked up) in addition to or “underneath” the text (“Hypertext”).


HTPC: Abbreviation for Home Theatre Personal Computer. See HOME THEATRE PERSONAL COMPUTER.


http: An abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The abbreviation “http” is found at the start of every Internet address. A “protocol” enables computers to communicate with each other, transfer files, and operate together. Often “http” will not be found written out when you are shown or given a Web address in magazines or promo piece, but when you go to the address on the Internet, the letters “http” will be added or appear. For example, a Web address might read as “http.//”. “Transfer”, in this case, refers to the interchange of information among users and an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The word “Hypertext” means “below the text” (words) in a document. This simply means that on your computer there can be information you may need to look at “below the text” - meaning if you click on a word in a document, additional information may exist regarding that word or some related topic.  Internet sites allow the user to click on certain words or icons to obtain additional information they desire.




HUB: A central point around which things are received, revolve, and-or radiate from. The focal point of activity, commerce, authority, etc. More specifically a “hub” is…

1) The centre part of a reel onto which recording tape or cine film winds.

2) An electronic junction box in a computer network that receives and distributes data to the computer terminals it is connecting.  3) The junction point in a communications network that receives signals from many different locations and then routes them to a central controlling station where they can be recorded, processed and-or rerouted for distribution. For example, a major Cable TV provider with a technical operations headquarters in Denver would have a “hub” there to receive data coming via fibre optic cables from many different points in the USA. From that point the signals could be routed to a DTV satellite broadcast station and-or to other Cable TV lines for local distribution to home consumers.


HUM: An unwanted persistent low frequency sound in an audio system or heard in a recording or in a mix. A hum is usually caused by a grounding problem such as a bad ground connection or no ground connection at all.


HUMBUCKER: A type of electric guitar pickup that is really two pickups in one. Because there are two coils next to each other, hum is cancelled (bucked) thus the term “humbucker”. It is a common pickup used in Gibson type guitars as opposed to Stratocaster and Telecaster (Fender) instruments, though each manufacturer makes instruments with both types of pick-ups. Guitars used in country music usually have single coil pickups, not humbuckers.


H/V: A connector seen on the back of some DVD players, VCR’s and other video equipment. It stands for Horizontal,  Vertical and is an extra connection point for the picture synch signal put on some brands of video players, monitors and TV’s. Note that not all manufacturers include this connector and the extra H/V connection is not required to produce a stable picture. It is just an additional accessory that can be used to output a video reference signal. Uses a BNC connector.


HYBRID FIBRE COAXIAL LINES (HFC): This is the system of using a combination of fibre optic cable together with copper coaxial cables to deliver Cable Digital TV and various Interactive TV and Internet services all over one cable system. AOL Time Warner uses this type of system.


HYPE or HYPED: A particular sound or quality which is too excessive in a mix or as heard over a loudspeaker system. Can be at any frequency area - “hyped up bass”, “hyped up cymbals”, etc.


HYPER-CARDIOID MICROPHONE: The word “hyper” means excessive or to the largest extent. In this case, it is used to emphasise that this type of microphone very much concentrates on picking up sound from its very front, and very little from its sides. The word “cardioid” literally means, “heart shaped”. A cardioid microphone is one that picks up sound in a sort of heart shaped pattern with the tip of the heart shape most sensitive to the sound. If one were to draw out the mic’s pickup pattern of sound, it would be shaped somewhat like a heart. It is more sensitive to sound in front of the microphone, and less sensitive to sounds that come from the sides and back of the microphone.


HYPER DRAW: A feature built into MIDI systems. (MIDI is a computer signal that is used to hook up and control different musical instruments which are computer based - such as a synthesiser.) Using a computer, one can look at the MIDI data signal and draw it and edit it so it will change how it is controlling various musical instruments. Hyper Draw is a computer programme feature that can be applied to MIDI tracks whereby a graphic representation of control data can be drawn, seen and edited on a computer screen. It is used by performing musicians who use computerised instruments or controls for those instruments.




HYSTERESIS: 1) Hysteresis is the failure of a material that has been influenced by an external force or agent (such as magnetism) to fully return to its original state after the external force or agent is removed. It comes from the Greek word meaning, “to be behind, come later”. An example of something that exhibits hysteresis is a piece of iron. When a magnet is placed near it, it becomes magnetised. When the magnet is taken away, the iron does not return to its original state or value, it remains magnetised for some time.

2) In electronics and electronic devices, hysteresis is the tendency of a system, device or circuit to behave differently depending on what signal is fed into its input. For example, a household thermometer might turn on at 68 degrees when the house is cooling down, but turn off at 72 degrees when the house is warming up.

3) This is a term used in the SADiE digital audio computer manual. The limiter built into the SADiE audio computer has a “hysteresis” setting. This is basically the sensitivity of the limiter. When mixing or recording, the sound engineer may not want the limiter to act on very brief peaks that are low in volume compared to what the machine can handle without distorting. For example, he would not want the limiter to react on the low volume peaks present in the sound of a set of tiny chimes being played in a song. In this case the hysteresis setting would be increased - the higher the hysteresis setting, the less sensitive the limiter is.


HYSTERESIS LOSS: Hysteresis is the failure of a material which has been influenced by an external force or agent (such as magnetism) to fully return to its original state after the external force or agent is removed. It comes from the Greek word meaning, “to be behind, come later”. An example of something that exhibits hysteresis is a piece of iron. When a magnet is placed near it, it becomes magnetised. When the magnet is taken away, the iron does not return to its original state or value, it remains magnetised for some time. “Hysteresis Loss” is a measure of how much magnetism a material loses after the energy which magnetised it is taken away. In audio, this occurs when a programme is recorded onto a magnetic tape. The tape is magnetised in the recording process. When the recording is completed, the tape must retain the magnetism in order to play back the recorded programme. A tape that has a high amount of hysteresis loss may lose enough magnetism to audibly alter the accuracy of the recording. Magnetic audio recording tape usually has a manufacturer’s specification on how much magnetism it retains. This specification is called “reminance”. Reminance is just the other side of the coin from hysteresis loss.


Hz: Abbreviation for Hertz. (See Hertz.)