Audio-Visual Glossary



R:    Symbol for resistance or resistor.


RACK:    Short for equipment rack. A cabinet with rails that have holes to accept screws at standard spaces and used to house electronic and audiovisual equipment. All equipment made for professional use is made to fit into a standard rack, which is 19 inches wide. (It is highly uncommon to find any piece of audio or video equipment that is wider than 19 inches.)


RACK EARS: Mounting brackets that can be attached to equipment to make the equipment able to be housed in a standard equipment rack. 


RACK MOUNT, RACK MOUNTABLE:       To be mounted in an equipment rack or able to be so mounted.


RACK RAILS:       Any cabinet that has a 19 inch wide opening can be converted to house professional equipment (which is usually 19 inches wide) by installing “rack rails”. These are metal strips with holes drilled so as to accommodate electronic and audiovisual equipment.


RACK SHELF:       Some electronic and audiovisual equipment is just too heavy to screw into a rack. For such, shelves are available and the shelf screws into the rack and the equipment sits upon the shelf.


RACK SPACE:       A standardised height for equipment designed to also to be installed in a rack. This is an industry standard. The smallest (shortest) rack space is 1¾ inches tall. That is called a “UNIT.” 1¾ inches equals 1 Unit. A piece of equipment that is 1¾ inches tall is called “1 Unit tall” or “1 U” (U is short for unit). A piece of equipment that is “2 U” is 3½ inches tall (1¾ x 2 = 3½). 3 U = 5¼ inches tall (1¾ x 3 = 5¼). All racks are 19 inches wide to accommodate the equipment which is always 19 inches wide.

USAGE NOTE:      In designing a cabinet to house professional AV equipment, the cabinet opening must actually be 19 1/8th inches wide to give some clearance and the height of the opening is critical as well because you don’t want to end up with an opening (space) less than 1¾ inches tall at the bottom or top. You have to think in increments of 1¾ inches when dealing with racks or you will end up, after loading all the equipment in, with an opening too small or too big to fit any sized last piece of equipment because the equipment is always sized in increments of 1¾ inches tall. If your opening height is made wrong, you will have to fill it in with a specially cut piece of metal or wood and not be able to use a normal panel which can be purchased already cut to a 1¾ inch increment height.


RACK UNIT: Abbreviated RU. Often called simply “U” (for unit). A description of the dimensions of a piece of gear that is able to be mounted in a standard equipment rack. 1 RU = 1¾” H x 19” W. Standard racks are all 19” wide, so the “RU” spec only refers to the equipment’s height. For example, a 3RU piece of equipment is 5¼ inches tall.


RADAR: 1) Abbreviation for Radio Detection and Ranging. This is defined in a standard English dictionary. 2) Abbreviation for Random Access Digital Audio Recorder. A 24 track digital sound recorder that records onto both its internal memory and-or a removable hard drive cartridge. In addition to being a recorder, it is also a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), as it also has editing capabilities. The RADAR used to be distributed by Otari, but is now distributed by its original manufacturer, iZ Technology.


RADIA:  This is a term found in the SADiE digital audio computer manual. The “Radia” is a model of SADiE digital audio computer. The Radia models are usually installed in areas of a studio where full mixing facilities are not required. For example, if one were using the SADiE system to only record narration, not all of the facilities contained in the larger more expensive SADiE models are needed, and the Radia model can be used instead.


RADIATION:        The angle and pattern of coverage of a loudspeaker.


RADIO:  Short for “radiotelegraph” (modern radio developed from the communications technology of sending telegraph messages without the use of wires). “Radio” is derived from the Latin word “radius”, meaning “ray” or “beam”. 


RADIO FREQUENCY: (RF) A frequency within the range of radio transmission, from about 15,000 Hz to 100,000,000,000 Hz. A form of high-frequency electrical energy. An RF signal is capable of transmitting information over short or long distances without wires.  Radio and television signals, as well as other forms of voice and data communications, use RF to transmit and receive signals. RF signals also are transmitted by electronic devices such as computers, which must be shielded to prevent interference with other equipment.


RADIO FREQUENCY INTERFERENCE:   (RFI) The radio noise generated by computers and other electronic and electromechanical devices. Excessive RFI generated by computers can disrupt the reception of radio and television signals.


RAID:     (Redundant Array of Independent Discs) is a storage method for computer digital information which allows rapid access of the information and is highly reliable. It uses multiple computer discs and disc drives.


RAIL:     A part (circuit) inside an audio power amplifier that stores and provides the electrical power required to run other parts of the amplifier. (See RAIL STIFFNESS for full definition.)


RAIL STIFFNESS:       One reads about “rails” and “rail stiffness” a lot in regards to audio power amplifiers and other audio equipment. It is often in advertisements and specification sheets. A “rail” is one of two conductors in a power supply which provides the electrical current that electronic equipment requires to operate. A rail is actually inside the equipment. Such equipment does not utilise the electricity which comes directly from a wall outlet. That wall current is converted to smaller amounts and specially processed so that all the small parts and circuits in the equipment have the type and amount of electricity they require to do their work. The word “rail” means a “bar of metal”. A rail in electronics is a thick heavy length of metal which can conduct electricity or a wide strip of metal on a circuit board. It needs to be a substantial channel for the electrical current to flow through so there is no restriction to that current. Inside such equipment, there is a positive rail and a negative rail. These rails carry the electrical power that the circuits inside a piece of electronic equipment need to operate. The word “stiffness” means rigid, difficult to bend, firm, unwavering. “Rail Stiffness” is a desired quality, as it describes the stability of the power supply - the steadiness and quality of the supplied current to the electronic circuits. For example, in a loudspeaker amplifier, if the power supply wavered or weakened every time a very loud and powerful bass sound was played, the amplifier would not accurately reproduce the sound. Or if it were susceptible to every momentary and sudden peak (“spike”) in electricity from the power company, it wouldn’t be very reliable either. So, the designers and technicians who make high quality audio amplifiers ensure that there is an adequate amount of “rail stiffness” designed and built into the amp so that its power supply will stand up to the audio signals it is meant to handle.  


RAKE:    Rake means angle. In the field of audio, specifically loudspeaker design and installation, the “rake” is the angle of the speaker relative to the floor. It is the loudspeaker’s tilt front to back. Often a loudspeaker sounds best when it is not perfectly perpendicular to the floor. Sometimes its angle must be “raked” back or forward. Screw threads usually exist on the speaker’s feet so this adjustment can be made. The frequency response and imaging of the speaker as heard at the listener’s height is greatly affected by this adjustment. A tall person may require a different rake than a shorter person.


RAM:      Acronym for Random Access Memory. Memory stored in the computer and immediately available for use and updating. It is the memory in a computer that stores data temporarily while you are working. Information in RAM is usually lost when a computer is turned off. RAM holds all of the active information that the computer is using for the current operation. Each open computer file and-or program uses up part of the RAM. Also, as the computers central processing unit (CPU) does its calculations, it stores the short-term data in RAM, reading and writing data as instructed by the user and-or the computer’s software. As there’s so much data shifting between the CPU and RAM, they are connected via a high-speed link specially built into the computer’s main electronic circuit board. Data stored in RAM is lost forever when power to the machine is interrupted, unless it has been saved to another medium, such as a floppy disc or hard drive. 


RANDOM ACCESS:      The ability of digital audiovisual equipment to go directly to the beginning of a song, track, or program without having to scan the intervening material. Access to any part of the sound or pictures is instant. Examples: The SADiE and ProTools digital audio workstations provide random access. Also, Personal Video Recorders (PVR’s) in homes, which record TV programs constantly, allow random access of any program in any order instantly. One does not have to scroll, or fast forward to get to a program. This type of digital feature is called “random access”.


RANDOM PLAYBACK: Most CD players, especially multi-disc CD changers, have a “random playback” button. When pressed, it will play the CD(s) and their songs in a totally random order. DVD players often have this feature as they are designed to also play CDs.


RANGE: A control on a gate or expander that limits how much the signal gets reduced when the input signal drops below the threshold. For example, if the RANGE is set for 10 dB, a signal that drops below the threshold (thereby activating the gate) will be reduced by 10 dB. The RANGE could be set for infinity, in which case the signal would totally cut off once the incoming volume level went below the threshold. (See GATE, THRESHOLD, EXPANDER.)


RANK RANK CINTEL: A manufacturer of high quality telecine machines which copy film to video. Rank’s models include the “Ursa”, the “Ursa Gold” and “Ursa Diamond”.


RASPY or RASPINESS:     Harsh, like a rasp (the rough file-like tool a carpenter uses to shave and shape wood). One hears the distortion or electronic type sound quality in the recording or mix too much, resulting in a reduction of the naturalness and enjoyableness of the sound. Peaks in the frequency response around 6 kHz, which make vocals sound too sibilant, edgy or piercing.


RASTER:       In a television, a “raster” is the set of parallel horizontal lines that are reproduced (“scanned”) many times per second to form an image. This is the video signal on the face of a picture tube that constitutes the pattern of lines scanned across the screen. The raster does not include the picture information that will be superimposed on it, it’s just the pattern of scanning lines that accept and display the video image signal. 




RATED LOAD IMPEDANCE:      The input impedance (opposition to current flow by an input of a device) that a piece of equipment is designed to feed.


RATTLES MICROPHONE RATTLES:        An unwanted sound that can sometimes be produced by an inferior or inoperational microphone. There is a sort of rattling distortion imparted in addition to the sound one is trying to mic up, almost like that of a rattle shaking in the background. Rattles can occur if a microphone’s very delicate sound pick-up diaphragm is broken or loose in its mounting, or it can be something as simple as a screw loose on the microphone’s body that is vibrating around. Also, low quality microphones having weakly constructed and poorly mounted diaphragms are prone to “rattle”. Note: Sometimes the actual thing one is trying to record has a rattle in it, such as drums with loose mechanical parts.     


R A.V. or RAV:     LRH’s Audio-Visio Unit.


RCA:       Abbreviation for Radio Corporation of America. This is one of the first corporations in the audio industry.

1) A set of 16mm magnetic film playbacks and a magnetic film recorder. These machines ran in sync and were used for film soundtrack final mixdowns and sound transfers from the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s. Today RCA manufactures many types of home audiovisual equipment.


3) Historical note: RCA manufactured the state-of-the-art tape recorder and microphone used to record LRH’s Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures - those given in Philadelphia in December 1952.


RCA CONNECTOR:     The common connector used in interconnecting normal consumer audio gear and some professional equipment as well. You see them on the back of a Nakamichi cassette deck. Also called a phono plug.


RCA LIVING STEREO:       The Radio Corporation of America, during the late 50s and 60s, made many famous recordings of the best orchestras and classical music. The label was called RCA LIVING STEREO. The recordings are quite rare and very expensive among collectors today.


R-DAT OR DAT:   Rotary Head Digital Audio Tape Recorder. A digital audio recorder utilising a rotating head to record and play back sound. It’s mechanism is similar to that of a video recorder.


REACTION:  A counterforce imparted to a speaker cabinet in response to the motion of the moving loudspeakers mounted in the cabinet as they move back and forth to produce sound. It is vital that a loudspeaker be firmly seated on the floor. Often sharp spikes are used. These are screwed to the bottom of the speaker, points down, so they can pierce through carpet and give firm footing. (On a thick carpet, a speaker that can rock back and forth will do so due to its own internal loudspeaker drivers moving within the cabinet. This harms low frequency reproduction and overall clarity of the loudspeaker’s sound.)

Note:     spikes are also used on hard floor surfaces to isolate a loudspeaker from the floor or other surface to prevent the surface from vibrating and adding its own (unwanted) sound.


READ:    The transferring of information bits from a storage device; equivalent to reproduction of digital signals. “The CD player will read the data off the disc.”


READER (Dolby Reader, Sony Reader, DTS Reader):     A device that mounts on a professional theatre projector for reading the digital audio information, which is printed onto the film. The digital audio signal that is read off the film is then fed into Dolby, Sony, or DTS boxes to create surround sound in the theatre. It is possible to have all three manufacturers’ readers installed on one projector and to work concurrently. Many films released from Hollywood have all three of the manufacturers codes on the film.


READ ERROR:     An error in a CD or DVD or CD ROM playback machine’s ability to read the information on the disc.


READ MODE:        An operating function of a computer automated mixboard where data from the computer is controlling the automated controls completely. 


READ ONLY MEMORY:      Abbreviated ROM. A computer memory chip that has digital data on it that cannot be erased or rewritten over by the user. 


REAL AUDIO, REAL VIDEO:     RealAudio and RealVideo are noted for being the pioneer in streaming audio and video on the Internet. The version released in July, 2000 is called G2. This version of RealAudio supports both audio and video. It is similar to MPEG compression. Real Video reached version 8 in March 2001.


REAL ESTATE:     1) How much digital storage space is available on a CD or DVD of any type. 2) The total number of channels on a mixboard or multi-track recorder - those already occupied by a signal as well as the ones free and available.


REALISM:     In audio, the degree to which the sound from an audio system approaches that of the actual voice, instrument or other sound as heard in the physical universe.


REALITY TV:        This is a “style” of TV show which places everyday people in uncomfortable situations and broadcasts the results. The TV show “Survivor” was the first of such shows in America. Now people are being locked up in houses, made to live with possible 2D choices, etc. all while being shot on TV cameras and recorded with microphones for TV airing. A popular type of programming in England and EU as well.


REAL TIME:  1) Actually happening live, not pre-recorded. It is happening in “real time”. 2) To perform an action manually rather than having a computer doing the action stored in memory. 3) See the definition of REAL-TIME VS. NON-REAL-TIME OPERATION.


REAL TIME ANALYSER:     (Abbreviated RTA.) A type of audio or video signal analyser. A device that indicates the level of the various frequency components of a signal. It is called “Real-Time” because it displays the information instantly, as it is reading it, while the sound is actually happening.


REALTIME CONTROLS:     Occurring in actual time or live.


REAL-TIME:  A recording or playing speed in which the speed of motion or sound in the recording is the same as that which would occur naturally. A videotape playing at 30 frames per second is playing in real time. If a tape is played at any other speed, then it is not considered real time.


REAL-TIME OPERATION: No delay when one makes an adjustment on audiovisual equipment. Some computerised equipment can have a delay - one does not hear or see instantly what one has done when making an adjustment.


REAL-TIME vs. NON-REAL-TIME OPERATION:  This is a term used in the SADiE digital audio computer manual but applicable to much other computerised audiovisual equipment. “Real-Time” operations are those functions of a computer that occur or are performed at the speed of the agreed upon physical universe time (not faster or slower than “real” time). For example, if you have a one-hour TV program to make a video copy of, using a normal video recorder, it would take a full hour to make the recording. That is “real time”. And if you then wanted to take that videotape recording and copy it into a computerised video editing system, you would play the tape from a video deck into the computer. The amount of time it would take, in this case, is still one hour (real time). Some computers, such as SADiE, can do certain processes faster than real time. This is called “non-real-time operation”. However, though real time operation is slower, it has the benefit of allowing one to actually hear the changes being made to the sound instantly as the changes are being made.  Non-real time operations are faster, but don’t allow you to hear (or see) what is being done.  The computer must first complete doing all the work, then it can be viewed (or listened to).  For an example of “non-real-time operation”, one may have an film soundtrack in a computer file that he wishes to transfer to another computer. Though the film’s entire soundtrack may be 2 hours long, it may only take a few minutes to transfer the entire file. That is non-real time operation. However, while this transfer is occurring, one cannot hear the audio signal. There are some non-real time operations which can take longer than real-time, depending on how much computer power and speed the computer is capable of. Sometimes this is an issue (slower than real time) when two or more computers are not compatible or properly connected.  They can’t share their information or process the data together rapidly. Usually, computerised non-real time functions are faster than real-time.






REAR PROJECTION TV:    Abbreviated RPTV. Such TVs always used to be called “Big Screen TVs” but that name has largely been dropped. These are the large TV units that have huge screens - some up to 62 inches diagonal. The screens are flat. The image is actually projected on the screen by an internal video projector. The projector aims its image to a mirror inside the unit and the mirror reflects the TV or Video image onto the screen (from the rear - onto the inside of the screen). High Definition versions of these TVs are now widely available.


REARS:  The surround loudspeakers in a surround sound audio system. These loudspeakers are located out around the audience, often behind them or to the sides, left and right.


RECEIVER:   A home consumer audio electronic component which has:  a) built-in AM, FM radio, b) amplification, and c) all controls needed to control audio functions (volume, tone controls, etc.). Modern receivers still can receive radio programs, but they also fully process and play all formats of surround sound and switch video signals as well. Receivers are the most common type of audio amplification component used by home consumers. They are now called “Audio Video Receivers” (AVR’s). The “Stereo Receiver”, so popular during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, is rarely found today. One of their main purposes is to create a complete “control centre” which has total remote control and can switch between any format; CD, DVD, DVD-AUDIO, Dolby Surround, DTS Surround and many others.


RECESSED:   Very laid-back or pushed back in the mix or as heard over loudspeakers. “The vocals are very recessed.” Opposite to “forward” or “in your face”.


RECLOCKING:     Every computer has a crystal oscillator inside its circuitry. It is somewhat similar to the type of quartz crystal used in the digital (crystal) watch you wear on your wrist. The watch’s crystal vibrates very precisely - so precise and accurately that exact time can be kept after you set your watch to the correct time. The crystal’s vibrations are used to compute seconds, minutes, hours, etc. So many vibrations = so many seconds. The same inside the computer. The crystal vibrations in a computer are used as a reference signal, just like your watch uses the vibrations as a reference signal. In the computer, the vibrations are the evenly paced pulses which determine the computer’s speed. During each clock “tick”, the computer actually does something. In between clock “ticks” the computer does nothing. The more clock ticks per second, the faster the computer will run (do its work). The term “Word Clock” refers to this clocking action computers do. It allows the computer to determine where the start of each digital word is. Clocking is important as well when hooking one digital device up to another digital device. In passing digital data between them, the receiving device must know where each word starts and stops so it can process it. A “clocking signal” is sent with the digital data so this can be determined by the receiving device. If not for this feature in digital audiovisual equipment, dropout or distortion may result. Sometimes a separate cable is advised to be used between audiovisual equipment just for the clocking signal to pass between them. Good quality digital equipment will usually have the ability to receive faulty clocking data from another device and “reclock” it (correct it) so it can go ahead and perform its duties regardless. Simply stated, the receiving piece of equipment may need to “reclock” so as to accept and process the other unit’s digital data.


RECORD:      (Noun) A 12-inch vinyl disc, also known as an LP or long-playing record, with intricate grooves which contain analogue audio information. By vibrating in these grooves, a phonograph needle converts mechanical information into a usable audio signal that can be amplified and sent to a pair of speakers. Seven-inch vinyl discs are called 45-rpm records, or singles.


RECORDED ON A PIECEMEAL BASIS:   Studio recording technique where each individual instrument and vocal part that make up a song are recorded one by one, each separately and individually, rather than having the whole band or parts of it play together at the same time. Most pop type music releases are produced in this manner.


RECORD EQUALISATION:        See Pre-emphasis and Post-Emphasis.






RECORDING LAYER:  (This is a technical term regarding the various types of recordable CD’s and DVD’s. See DVD LAYERS if you are interested specifically in DVD production and playback.) A recording layer is the light-sensitive coating of CD or DVD disc that reacts in a specific way when a laser beam is focused on it. Each disc recording technology uses a recording layer - which can be photoresist, a special dye, special alloy, or a sandwich of sensitive films. The initial glass disc or master usually has a photoresist recording layer. 




RECTIFICATION:       “Rectification” as it is used in the fields of electronics means to turn alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC). This is done by an electronic circuit. Most audiovisual equipment’s internal circuitry uses direct current (DC), so rectification is very commonly used.  There is another form of rectification in A.V. that is very undesirable, which is the rectification caused by a corroded connector. Very corroded connectors can actually turn the signal going through them into DC. In the case of an audio or video signal this is very unwanted because these signals are AC.


RECTIFY:      To change alternating current into direct current.


RECTIFIER:  A simple electronic circuit that is used to turn alternating current into direct current.


RED BOOK:   A specifications book published by Philips and Sony in 1980 giving the exact specs for the audio CD. The Red Book gives the exact specifications for cd’s, including their size (12 cm), track layout, how the data is stored and what the sampling and bit rates are. The Red Book was key in establishing the sound quality of the CD medium and became an industry standard for many years to come.

For more technical data, read on… “Red Book” is another name for the Compact Disc Digital Audio (CDDA) format introduced by Sony and Philips. The Red Book standard defines the exact method for recording audio data onto the principal sectors of the disc. Sub-code sectors are also specified, as well as what exactly is recorded on these - track numbers, running time, etc. The format allows for a total of 74 minutes of digital sound to be transferred at a rate of 150 kilobytes per second (Kbps). The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) adopted the Red Book and also published it as IEC Document 908. Copies of this publication in its entirety are available only on specifically signed contracts with Sony and Phillips, such contracts being available to those facilities which create the glass masters used in CD replication. (See PQ for more information on CD sub-codes and what they contain.)


REEDS (reed instruments):    A reed is a flexible thin strip of cane (a slender woody stem, from such plants as bamboo) or metal set into the mouthpiece of a musical instrument which vibrates and causes sound to go forth into the body of the instrument where it is fully developed and changed through the use of keys and playing technique. Reed instruments include saxophones, clarinets, and others.


REED-SOLOMON CODE:    (This is a technical term regarding codes which are used to help detect errors in digital information on digital discs and other digital storage media.) Digital recording and playback equipment sometimes needs to correct errors in the information it is recording or playing back. Such errors can be caused by missing data bits, damaged tape or discs, computer glitches, etc. Without the capacity for detecting and correcting these errors, the sound can be distorted or even be completely missing in parts. To handle this, Reed and Solomon devised a special digital code of bits that is recorded right along with the audio program. These bits do not in any way interfere with the sound, as they have their own section of the tape or disc. The Reed-Solomon Code uses specifically designated called parity bits to help the recorder, CD player, etc. detect and correct the missing or faulty data and thus have the sound play back uninterrupted by distortion or missing parts.  (PARITY BIT is defined separately.)


REEL:     The hub and flanges that hold tape and which tape can be spooled onto or off of. Reels are used to hold magnetic recording tape or cinema film.


“REEL TO REEL”:        Any analogue tape recorder that uses reels of magnetic tape upon which to record or playback audio. The tape goes “reel to reel” (from a supply reel to a take-up reel) so the term “reel to reel” came about.




REFERENCE FLUXIVITY:  “Fluxivity” means magnetic force. The word flux comes from a Latin word meaning “to flow”. The term “reference fluxivity” has to do with how much magnetic force is applied to an analogue audio magnetic recording tape. Magnetic force determines volume of sound when dealing with recording tape.  Magnetic recording tape has tiny metal particles on it which respond to changes in magnetic force. Before using a tape recording machine in a professional studio, this amount of magnetic force must be exactly adjusted and set so that a tape machine can optimally record and play back sound. The word “reference” means an exact standard or amount which can be relied upon and used to compare or adjust other things. In the operation of an audio studio, there are standard audio “test tapes” made by professional laboratories having equipment and procedures of verified accuracy.  Test tones are recorded on these tapes at an exact volume using an exact amount of magnetic force. The amount of magnetic force used was set by the lab using a unit of measurement called “nanowebers”.  A nanoweber is a unit of measurement for magnetic strength (“fluxivity”).  (NANOWEBER is defined separately.) The volume of the recording is based upon how many nanowebers (units of magnetism) are used when the recording was made. “200 nanowebers” is an empirically tested amount for optimum tape recording quality. It is a standard reference. “Reference fluxivity” is the agreed upon standard amount of magnetic force used to set a tape recorder so that it records with the optimum amount of magnetic force. The test tapes used at Gold for analogue audio tape recorders have a reference fluxivity of 200 nanowebers.


REFERENCE RECORDINGS:     1) A company that produced many excellent recordings of great classical and other music. These were released throughout the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It has recently been revived under new ownership - the “Allegro Corporation”. The recording’s trade name remains the same. The principal engineer for the company is Professor Johnson who developed a great deal of tech in recording and producing the music accurately. The company’s selections were put out on high quality phonograph records for many years and are collected avidly by audiophiles. They also produce excellent CDs. 2) A reference recording is one you personally know well and use as an Art Series 8 when listening to audio equipment or producing an audio product.


REFERENCE SIGNAL: 1) Any sound signal sent to another to use for testing or to refer to so as to ensure equipment and-or procedures are performing correctly. Usually a test tone of some sort. 2) See VIDEO REFERENCE.


REFERENCE SPEAKER:      A loudspeaker you know well and therefore use to judge qualities of sound. Speakers in an audio studio, used for recording and mixing, are “reference speakers” as they are a stable datum one uses to ensure a quality product is achieved with no errors or flaws.


REFERENCE TONE:    A single frequency tone, recorded at the head of a tape and used for alignment purposes when the tape is played back.


REFERENCE STANDARD:  Equipment (audio or visual) that is of the very best and against which other equipment can be compared. It is high quality gear you know well so can judge what something sounds or looks like with certainty. Often manufacturers put the label of “Reference Standard” on expensive equipment or to signify it is their very best. 


REFLECTION, REFLECTIONS: The sounds heard within a room or hall or auditorium or stadium that are echoes of the actual sound source. Such come from the walls, the ceilings, the floor, from the stage area itself, etc. Reflections are any sound heard, not the direct sound source itself.


REFLECTIVITY:   1) A measurable property of a surface regarding its action of reflecting sound, such as by a wall in a room. 2) In optical disc technology (CD’s, DVD’s, etc. are “optical” because they are read by a laser, which is an optical device), reflectivity refers to how much light the “lands” - the flat areas between the pits - bounce back into a reader (receiver or collector of the reflected light). The pits have lower reflectivity. In optical discs, the changes in reflectivity are detected and decoded, and then converted to audio or video you can hear and see.


REFRESH, REFRESHING A SCREEN:      To give a simple description of refreshing a TV, projector or computer screen, imagine the screen of a TV set and its picture. That picture is actually made up of very small lines. These lines are created so fast that they look like they are there all the time, but really they are being created by a back and forth motion - a signal is creating them by moving across the screen. A TV or video picture’s image is created by electronic beams that travel (“scan”) very rapidly from left to right and from top to bottom of a screen. The screen shows a picture because it is coated with little particles (called “phosphors”) that glow when they are hit by the beams. In order for these phosphors to continue to create an image on the screen, they need to be “refreshed”. Every time the travelling (scanning) electronic beams hit the phosphors, they are refreshed so they glow again. The number of times per second that this is done varies depending on what type of video screen is being used. For example, a common television is refreshed at a rate of 60 times per second. Most computer screens have a refresh rate of anywhere from 25 to 30 times per second. For more technical data and specifications, read on…NTSC interlaced video screens have a refresh rate of 60 Hz to match each picture field.  Progressive scan video screens usually have a refresh rate of 24 Hz or 30 Hz, depending on their frame rate. High Definition TV refresh rates can vary from 24 Hz to over 60 Hz, depending on the format they are displaying.


REGENERATION (of Time Code):  The creation of a new SMPTE time code signal according to the input SMPTE signal, giving an identical SMPTE signal out as came in.


REGION:       This is a term used in the SADiE digital audio computer manual. In computerised digital audio recording, mixing, copying and editing, a “region” is a specifically designated section of the audio track. For example, in mixing and editing a film soundtrack one could have a one minute section of a battle scene. In this case the battle scene and all of its accompanying sounds would be a specific “region” of the film’s soundtrack. The SADiE computer can designate that portion of the soundtrack as an exact region with a start and end time point. It can thereafter rapidly access that region. 




REGULATED POWER SUPPLY: A device that supplies an exactly controlled amount of electricity. Its output voltage does not fluctuate when more equipment is turned on, or if there is a change in voltage of the power line - within a specified range. (It won’t work if there is so much equipment turned on that a circuit breaker is tripped, or if the voltage varies too much up or down - as in a nearly black “brown-out”.)


RELAPPING: To reshape and polish the face of a tape head, removing just enough surface so that ruts caused by thousands of hours of tape moving over the head are no longer present.  


RELATIVE LEVEL(S): 1) The general, expected volume or the volume at which something has been being heard and the listener is now used to. It is “relative” as it gives the basis upon which to judge at what volume to play a new sound about to be presented, such as during an event or live broadcast. “Make sure that the next video plays at relative level.” “The bass guitar came in way above relative level.” 2) The top-most safe volume or volume range for recording or broadcasting. “What is your relative level?”


RELAY:  An electric switch, such that when an outside signal (voltage) is received, the switch opens or closes, and current can flow or not flow through the switch. The switch is able to send on (“relay”) the current.


RELEASE:      On a keyboard instrument, the rate the volume drops to no sound once the key is released (finger lifted).


RELEASE PRINT: A film copy of a motion picture made from an internegative and intended for distribution to consumers. Release prints are the final prints of the film which are QC’ed and sent to theatres (or in our case, orgs). The release prints produced by the Gold Film Lab are: 1) 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 documentation. Each copy is fully QC’ed per the Film Lab production line. 2) 16mm RELEASE PRINTS - Copies run for orgs and QC’ed per Film Lab QC production line.


RELEASE TIME:   The time it takes for an audio mixing device, such as a compressor or expander, to return to normal gain (volume) once the sound signal it is processing ceases or drops below the device’s set threshold (i.e. the point where it becomes active).


REMASTERING:   Often, older music releases are upgraded for digital disc release (e.g. CD or DVD). The original mix may or may not be remixed in the studio, but the music is “remastered”, meaning it is sent to a Mastering Engineer who prepares it for the CD or DVD format. Usually the remastering is done to improve the original release’s sound quality and the term “Remastered” or “Remastered for Digital” is then used to promote the product for increased sales.


REMINANCE:       The amount of magnetism left in a magnetic material after its original magnetisation. For example, the “reminance” of a magnetic audio tape is the amount of magnetic force the tape retains after the recording is completed.  


REMOTE CONTROL, HAND HELD REMOTE, REMOTES:     Any controlling device which is not directly attached to the unit to be controlled, but is at some distance from it in order to make it easier to operate. Most hand held remote controls use infrared light or radio waves to send controlling signals to the unit they wish to control. Some remote controls use wire to connect the controlling unit.


REMOTE (e.g. “Remote Recording”):  A remote recording is one done not in one’s studio, but on location at a distant location, as in on tour. A remote truck is a truck that allows a studio (on wheels) to be taken to a remote location. A remote shot is a video or film shot done at a distant location - not at the studio.


RENDERING:       The process of completing a computer animated sequence after the lighting, colour, model and other information has been designed. This gives you the final graphic.


RENEW INTEREST:    The action of causing audience attention to increase or renew during a performance, mix, film, video, event, etc. by changing pace, changing tone, changing rhythm or tempo, changing emotion, changing scenes, changing music, etc. See Art Series 4 for full information.


REPEAT, TIMER, AUTO REPEAT, PLAY, RECORD, OFF:   A switch found on some models of Nakamichi cassette decks. Older Nakamichi decks had this same switch, only labelled “TIMER”. In the “AUTO REPEAT” position, the Naka will automatically rewind and replay the same side of a cassette once it reaches the end of a side. The “PLAY” and “RECORD” settings of this switch require an external timer unit. (See NAKAMICHI CASSETTE DECK FRONT PANEL CONTROLS - WHAT THEY ARE AND DO for listing of all Naka controls and settings.)


REPLAY TV:  This is a brand name of PVR (Personal Video Recorder.) See PVR for full definition and description.


REPLICATION:    Duplication in mass quantities of CD’s and DVD’s. Also called “duplication”, but “replication” is the preferred term while “duplication” is usually reserved for cassette tape manufacturing. 


REPRISE:      To repeat a portion of a song or jingle.


REPRO: Short for Reproduce.


REPRODUCE:       1) The playback of a tape recording (audio or video) using the reproduce head. The changing of the magnetic energy stored on recording tape to an electrical audio signal. 2) To take an original audio recording, and send it through a production line for release to the public. This includes mixing, editing, mastering and copying onto its final release format. “Reproduced by Golden Era Productions.”


REPRO HEAD:      Another name for “playback head” on an analogue tape recorder.


REPURPOSED:     Audiovisual material that has been updated or re-released in some form of new format is said to be “repurposed”.  “There are 10 famous albums that are being repurposed. They will be re-released in surround sound as well as an upgraded stereo mix.”




RESET (COUNTER):   The “RESET” button, when pushed, sends the tape counter back to “000”. It doesn’t move the tape, it just resets the counter numbers. (See NAKAMICHI CASSETTE DECK FRONT PANEL CONTROLS - WHAT THEY ARE AND DO for full listing of all Naka controls and buttons.)


RESIDUAL NOISE:     The noise level left on recording tape after it has been erased. Usually there is some very very faint part of the sound remaining and-or an increase in tape noise as the tape has been recorded on before. 


RESISTOR:   An electronic device that reduces, holds back or impedes the flow of electricity. These are usually made to exact specifications and marked so electronics designers and engineers can use them on circuit boards. Sometimes they are adjustable - a “variable resistor” - and can be turned up and down to adjust the flow of current. Resistors are used in virtually all electronic equipment.


RESOLUTION:     How much detail is in a reproduced picture or sound. How much of the fine details you can see or hear.


RESONATE, RESONANCE, RESONANT FREQUENCIES:    1) Objects in the vicinity of a sound source can “resonate”, which means the objects can vibrate in response to different sounds impacting upon them. These responses are called “resonance” or resonant frequencies. To better describe this phenomenon, get the idea of holding up many different sized tuning forks in front of a loudspeaker. As you know, tuning forks have two prongs that vibrate to create an exact tone. Different sized forks produce different tones when you tap them. A big fork makes low (bass) tones and a small fork creates high-pitched (treble) tones. By holding a tuning fork in front of a loudspeaker, you don’t have to tap the fork’s prongs to get them to vibrate. They will respond (start vibrating) when certain sounds are received. Of course, the sounds must be similar to those which the fork was designed to produce. In other words, just by being influenced by a similar external sound, the fork can start vibrating. This is what is meant by resonating. The word “resonate” actually comes from the Latin word meaning “echo”. The fork is “echoing” the external tone received. Other tones, those not similar to the tone the fork itself is designed to produce, will not cause the fork’s prongs to vibrate. However, these other sounds (the other tones coming from the loudspeaker) will vibrate forks of other sizes. When an object resonates, it then contributes to the original sound. It imposes some additional qualities to the sound and often makes the original sound a bit louder. A wooden guitar body resonates when the guitar’s strings are strummed. The body of the guitar contributes a great deal to the tonal quality of the instrument, and it increases the volume (loudness) of the instrument.  Any physical universe object can be made to resonate to a greater or lesser degree. A room will resonate certain frequencies more so than others. Even a whole building can resonate or example, if a loud band is playing inside!  A large ship, its hull and bulkheads, resonate to the sounds of its motors and generators. “Resonant frequencies” are those audio frequencies emphasised (added to, amplified) within a room or by an object.

2) Technical electronics definition…Some types of electronics (circuit boards, etc.) can impart electronic resonances. For example, an electronic filter circuit, such as inside an equaliser, may have resonances that can cause a sound signal to be accentuated at some EQ settings.


RESPONSE 1S:    A small, but high quality loudspeaker made in England by the Pro-Ac company. 


RESPONSE 2S:    Similar to the Response 1S, but the next size up in the Pro-Ac line.


RESUME PLAY FROM STOP POINT:      A feature on many DVD players that allows one to stop the DVD and go to another part or feature on the DVD disc, such as the Director’s commentary, and then return to the film’s stop point and resume playing.


RESTRICTED:      1) Said of sound in regards to loudspeakers which cannot produce the very low bass frequencies or the very top treble frequencies. 2) Also if the loudspeaker makes the sounds appear small and not open sounding. 3) A mix can sound “restricted” if it has no dynamics; no punch - or if the sounds appear small with no dimensionality.


RETICENT:   1) Said of sounds in a mix or music heard over loudspeakers where they are moderately laid-back and slightly recessed. The sound seems as though it is slightly pushed back. Describes the sound of a loudspeaker system whose frequency response is lacking in the midrange area so the treble and bass frequencies stand out, but the bulk of the sound (in the midrange area) is not so present. 2) Can be said of a performance, musical or acting or speaking where the person is unsure about what to do or say. He or she has not drilled the part sufficiently.


RETRIEVAL: To go back at a later time to obtain information that was once stored. One can “retrieve” a mix by resetting all the equipment used for the mix back to its settings and positions. This is why every mix is “logged” with all the settings very exactly noted and kept on file. If one is going to do a remix or a later surround sound mix, the Mixer will need to refer to the original settings used.


RETURN:       The name of the feature on a mixboard that allows sounds to be returned to it after having been sent from it to be mixed, processed or recorded.


REVEALING: Pertaining to a loudspeaker or an audio electronics system as a whole:     Presents a very real, alive, very clear sound - one on which a listener can hear all the small details and nuances of a performance.


REVERB, REVERBERATION:    Reverberation is the persistence of a sound after the source stops emitting it. It is caused by many individual echoes arriving at the ears so closely in time that one cannot distinguish the individual echoes from each other. Electronic mixing devices, now using digital circuitry, emulate the sound of halls, rooms, auditoriums, etc. by creating the room’s reflective qualities electronically. If a sound does not have reverb, it is said to be dry. If it does have reverb, it is said to be “wet”. 


REVERBS:     See REVERB UNIT. It’s the same thing, just more than one.      


REVERB BOX:      See REVERB UNIT. It’s the same thing.


REVERBERANT FIELD:      The area away from the original direct source of a sound where the reverberation is heard as louder than the original sound because one is so far away in the hall from the sound source. A person is closer to reflected sounds so hears the reflected sound (reverb) more than the original sound directly from the source.


REVERBERANT SOUND:    See Reverberation.




REVERBERATION TIME (RT): The amount of time it takes reverberation to die down to where it can no longer be heard. It is measured in seconds or milliseconds (1,000th of a second). For more technical information, read on…The time it takes for a sound generated in a room to drop to 60 dB below its original level. The time for reverb to die down is influenced by the size and reflectivity of a room’s boundary surfaces. A typical listening room will have a Reverberation Time (RT) of about 0.4 seconds. Major concert halls have a far longer RT - in the region of 1.5 to 2.5 seconds.


REVERB RETURNS:    On a mixboard, the connection points and controls which enable reverberation to be added to the sounds being mixed.


REVERB UNIT:    An electronic device that is used to make sound seem like it came from a larger, more reverberant (echoic) room.


REVERSE PHASE:       See Phase Reversal.


REVOX:  Brand name of a tape recorder. A division of the Studer Company, but REVOX was the brand more used by home audiophiles.


RF:  See Radio Frequency.


RFI:        See Radio-Frequency Interference.


RF MICROPHONE:      See Wireless Microphone.


RGB:      Red Green Blue”. These are the connectors that are for the colour signals of a picture. The RGB signal is the highest quality type of analogue component video signal. (See COMPONENT VIDEO.) It separately carries each of the 3 primary colours with the full information of each of these carried over a separate wire. RGB signals are always on separate wires from the luminance (Y) signal which is carried over a fourth wire in the RGB component colour system.


RHEOSTAT:  A rheostat is large variable control for controlling the amount of electrical current passing through it. The word comes from two Greek words - “rheos” = “current stream” and the suffix “stat” = “making stationary, causes to stand”. The rheostat controls electricity so it can flow more or less.


RIAA:     The Recording Industry Association of America, which is the agency that sets recording standards and rules and enforces such. They deal with the various situations involved with music releases, royalty payments, etc. They have also set the technical standards and specifications for many aspects of recording over the years.


RIAJ:     Recording Industry Association of Japan. This organisation is the Japanese equivalent of the Recording Industry Association of America. It works to advance the music industry, set standards, enforce rules, and to protect artists and music companies. They are very influential both in Japan and around the world.      


RIBBON SPEAKER:    A form of loudspeaker using a light metallic ribbon suspended in a magnetic field that generates sound when current is passed through it. Often the ribbon is made from very thin metal foil - a “ribbon” of metal.


RIBBON TWEETER:    (See Ribbon Speaker.) A ribbon speaker that exclusively produces the high (treble) frequencies.


RICH:     Having a fullness and presence of sound that encompasses a wide range of frequencies. Plenty of lower midrange and bass frequency content. High frequencies sound natural and pleasant to listen to.


RIDING FADERS:       Keeping one’s fingers on the volume control all the time as a recording or mix is being done. Sometimes this is needful, especially under live mixing circumstances. It can be overdone, in which case there will be volume jumps up and down in the presentation. Ideally the levels are set and left alone.


RIGHT:  The right channel of an audio system. The right front loudspeaker in a stereo or surround audio system.  The audio heard on the right (channel or loudspeaker) in a studio.


RIGHT BALANCE:       The correct amount of sound in one loudspeaker or the other so the sound is “balanced.” It’s a correct volume of sound in each.


RIGHT SURROUND:   The right hand surround loudspeaker in a surround sound audio system, placed to the right of the listening area.


RINGING:     When one hears “ringing” he is hearing a type of distortion added to a sound.

1) One example is when an instrument’s sound reflects off a nearby hard wall very loudly. “The room is sort of ringing when he plays that.” Any room tends to amplify certain frequencies more than others. One can go into a room and start to sing. He will hear some notes coming back louder than others. That is the room’s resonant frequency. Those notes are said to be “ringing”. There can be many of these in a room and they can change depending upon where one stands when he sings. They can muddy up the sound, so acoustical handlings are done to reduce their influence when critical listening is required. 2) Loose parts on an instrument, especially drums, can rattle and ring. A snare drum’s metal parts can have a “ring” to them.

3) A loudspeaker can have a ringing sound when it is poorly designed and the sound it makes is resonating in its own internal parts.

4) When there is too much treble coming from a loudspeaker system, those high frequencies may reflect powerfully off walls, ceilings and floors and one hears a sort of “ringing” (which is really the reverb or echo).

5) Any loudspeaker cabinet has a “resonant frequency”. Rap a knuckle on a speaker cabinet and the sound one hears is the main frequency that the cabinet box itself will resonate at. When the speaker is not well made and tries to play that frequency band of sound loudly, the cabinet’s own resonances will “ring” and be mixed into the sound one hears coming out of the loudspeaker. (See RINGING SPEAKER CABLES below.)


RINGING (SPEAKER CABLES):       If one took a long piece of thin metal and hit it with a hammer, it would “ring” at a certain frequency. It is resonating at that frequency. That is its “resonating frequency”. Any piece of MEST will resonate when vibrated. Even a piece of wire, when electricity is sent through it, has some very slight degree of resonance vibration at certain frequency. Wire used in hooking up audio systems has resonances and therefore it can “ring” and this “ringing” can induce distortions into the flow of signal going through the wire. Wire designers go to great lengths to work out ways to reduce or prevent such ringing. 


“RING OUT”:       (See WRING OUT.)


RioPort: Name of a major Internet service provider. “RioPort” has teamed up with two other major Internet service providers, Yahoo and RealNetworks, to establish websites for the major music companies to sell their artists’ music to subscribers on the Internet. 


RIPPING:     Making an illegal CD or DVD copy of music or visual content.


RISE TIME:  How fast an audio signal makes a sudden increase to a higher volume level.


RIZZ:     An onomatopoeic, unwanted, persistent mid to high frequency buzzing kind of sound heard in an incorrectly grounded audio system.




ROADIE:       1) See ELECTROHOME ROADIE. 2) A person who moves musician’s musical equipment and sets it up for performances. They are “on the road” (on tour).


ROAD RUNNER:  AOL Time Warner’s Internet service which allows ultra-fast access to the Internet in conjunction with their digital cable TV service.


ROBUST:       Extremely full bodied. Said to describe sound (a mix, sound equipment, loudspeakers, etc.). More power and authority than simply “rich” but with the same rich characteristics. Big and enjoyably impacting.


ROLAND:      A manufacturer of musical instruments and audio recording equipment. Makes some mixing electronic gear and loudspeakers as well. Best known for making very high quality music synthesisers.


ROLL-IN:      An audio, video, or audiovisual property that is played (“rolled in”) live at an event. A roll-in is cued up in the production truck or control room and is played into the house during rehearsals and during the event.


ROLL-OFF:    This term is used to describe the drop or reduction in volume of low or high frequencies.


ROLL OUT:   1) To bring the band on-stage when their musical instruments are set up on rolling platforms that are kept hidden from sight from the audience until their performance is to be done. One “rolls out” the band. Anything that is rolled out to perform or be shown. 2) To introduce a new product or promotional item into the market.




ROOM EQUALISATION:    The process in which a speaker system is adjusted and optimised by playing pink noise into a room and adjusting an equaliser to obtain the desired response.


ROOM TONE:       The background noise in a room aside from any people speaking or music playing. Said when mixing films and videos. Sometimes one has to add in the sound of the “room” such as a very low volume air conditioner noise. etc. “Please add some room tone to that scene.”


ROOMY: 1) When a room’s sound reflections (coming from walls, ceiling, floor, etc.) are heard and interjecting themselves into the sound to be heard over an audio system, the room is said to be “roomy”. “His living room was too roomy so he moved the audio system to the bedroom.”  2) Sometimes a room is just too big for the size speakers one has for an audio system. It makes an otherwise great sounding system appear wimpy and insubstantial. The room is “too roomy for the system”.


ROOT MEAN SQUARE (rms):  One often encounters the term “root mean square” or its abbreviation “rms” when audio electronics are being discussed. There is a somewhat involved math definition for this term, but let’s start out on a gradient! “Root mean square” simply means “the average of a given set of quantities”. When loudspeaker amplifiers are being described, their average power output is how much power the amp can deliver continuously. The “rms” specification names how much power an amplifier can continuously deliver to a loudspeaker with no distortion, as opposed to its peak power should it receive a sudden loud sound signal to reproduce. An amplifier has a certain capability to reproduce a loud continuous sound without distorting. That is its rms rating. The term “rms” is usually used with “watts” (a unit that measures the quantity of power) to designate the continuous power capability of a loudspeaker amplifier. “That amplifier has a rating of 100 watts per channel rms.” “It’s 100 watts rms and 150 watts peak” Root Mean Square” is the square root of the mean (arithmetical average) of the squares (each number in a group multiplied by itself) of the numbers in a given set of numbers. For example, take the set of numbers {2, 2, 3, 2, 3} and now square each one of them = {4, 4, 9, 4, 9} and average them = (4+4+9+4+9 = 30 divided by 5 = 6) then take the square root of 6 = 2.45 and that’s the root mean square (rms). That’s how the average power of an amplifier or any other electrical component can be figured out. If you took an amplifier and played music or other audio program through it and measured its power output in a sequence of measurements done over a period of time, you could take those measurements and use the above formula to work out the rms output of the amplifier. It would show the average output of the amplifier as it is used in real life, as opposed to plugging one single test tone into it and measuring the absolute highest amount of power the amp could put out before the test tone is distorted.


ROTARY EQUALISER:       An equaliser as seen on a mixboard using “rotary” control knobs that turn in a circular pattern as opposed to the slide volume controls on a graphic equaliser.


ROTARY HEAD:   This is the same thing as the type of head assembly used in videotape recording called “helical scan” (defined fully below). The term “rotary head” refers to a digital audio tape recorder with a helical scan head. 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 hand held 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.


ROTATED:     Said of a sound that has a frequency response that is “tilted”. This means that the bass or the treble is elevated in volume so the normal “flat line” one could envision as being the frequency response from lows to highs is now leaning (“rotated”) one way or the other, up or down. “That loudspeaker has a rotated response; it’s very much lacking bass frequencies.”


ROTATION:  CDs and DVD’s use clockwise rotation, as do phonograph records. All single layer discs are read from the inside out. In double-layer discs, a DVD player reads both layers from the same side, and there are two ways of doing so. Opposite track reading is when the top or outside layer (layer 0) is read from the inside out, and the inside layer (layer 1) is read outside in - after transferring at the transition area (the mid point in the program). That is why the tracks are “running” in opposite directions. This is used to provide for reading continuity which is important for video applications. “Parallel track reading” is when the layers can be read at random access. For text and data applications, the parallel track layout is preferred, because it allows random (and nearly instant) access to data anywhere in the tracks for such things as computer data storage and retrieval.


ROUGH: 1) A sound quality of moderate grittiness and roughness. The sound is not smooth. Slight distortion. 2) Hard on the ears - unpleasant. Irritating or fatiguing. 3) Also said of recordings made to test how to best produce a song or when a demo recording or mix is quickly done. “We did a rough demo mix of the first song on the album.” 


ROUND: A slight reduction in high treble frequencies will sometimes make a rich sounding musical instrument or singer’s voice seem “round”. Because the lower midrange and upper bass frequencies are slightly increased, the sound sounds “round”.   


ROUNDING, ROUNDING-OFF:        The gentle reducing of sharp peaks in volume, such as with a compressor or limiter, or very high (treble) frequencies by reducing them with EQ. Can be said of gently reducing excessive bass frequencies too.


ROUTER:       A switching device that takes one or more signals in and sends them to many different locations. It “routes” the signals to where you want them to go. There are video routers and audio routers. There are TV antenna routers and satellite signal routers. They can have built-in amplifiers and electronics so that when the signal is split up and sent down long distances, the signal is kept strong.


ROW “A” SOUND:      Sound which is up-front, forward. Like one is sitting in “ROW A” in a theatre or hall listening to the music on the stage. He is very close (up-front) to the sound.


ROW “M” SOUND:      Sound which is laid-back, distant. Like one is sitting in the middle of the theatre or hall (at “ROW M”). The music from the stage is more distant from the listener’s perspective. 


ROYALTIES: Royalties are shares in the earnings of a work paid to the owner and-or author of that work as an exchange of a valuable for his or her creation. Originally this word applied to the right or prerogative of a monarch to personally receive a percentage of the proceeds from mines in his or her domain. The Latin origin of the word “royalties” means “king”.


RP40:     An abbreviation for Recommended Practice #40. An “RP40” is a test film for 35mm projectors. It is manufactured to the exact specifications of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). A similar type of test film exists for 16mm projectors - the RP82. An RP40 film is used to precisely set the size of a projector screen to its exact aspect ratio. It is also used to set the focus of the projector and to test the stability of the projector’s image on the screen. The RP40 standard is used throughout the film industry to give an exact reference for aspect ratio, focus and stability for 35mm film projection.


RP82:     An abbreviation for Recommended Practice #82. An “RP82” is a test film for 16mm projectors. It is manufactured to the exact specifications of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). A similar type of test film exists for 35mm projectors - the RP40. An RP82 film is used to precisely set the size of a projector screen to its exact aspect ratio. (It is also used to set the focus of the projector and to test the stability of the projector’s image on the screen. The RP82 standard is used throughout the film industry to give an exact reference for aspect ratio, focus and stability for 16mm film projection.


RPG:      The initials of a company in Upper Marlboro, Maryland that manufactures sound diffusers. (A diffuser is an architectural device that breaks up - diffuses - sounds in a room as they reflect upon its surface - see DIFFUSER.) The RPG company goes by “RPG” instead of the full name of what the initials stand for. What the initials mean are technical terms in the field of acoustics. For more technical information, read on…RPG stands for Reflection Phase Grading. This is the type of diffuser originally manufactured by RPG. “Reflection” refers to a sound hitting the diffuser and reflecting. “Phase” refers to the fact that once a sound hits the diffuser, the phase of its vibrations is changed so that the sound reflected is different than the sound that hit the diffuser. (This reduces the amount of sound resonance build-up). “Grading” refers to the physical surface of the diffuser - its grade, like the grade of a road or the grading done on a landscape. The shape and physical structure of the diffuser’s surface is what changes the phase of the sound vibrations that hit it and thus the sound that is reflected is different in phase. When positioned correctly in a room, RPG diffusers will help make the sound clearer and more distinct. Diffusers are used in conjunction with absorbers and can greatly improve the sound quality in a studio or any listening environment.




rpm:       Revolutions (or rotations) per minute.


RSA:       A major computer firm, specialising in providing methods of secure cryptography for use by private individuals and groups sending information via computer networks. The initials stand for the last names of the founders of the company.


RS:  1) Right Surround. As opposed to the Left Surround speaker in a surround sound system (LS). 2) Also an abbreviation for Reference Standard. Said or written commonly in electronic or audiovisual materials when speaking of specifications, etc.


RS-232, RS232:  RS = Reference Standard. The EIA (Electronics Industry Association) standard serial interface used on most personal computers. A format widely supported for bi-directional data transfer at low to moderate digital data rates. The most common interface method used to connect personal computers with peripheral hardware and instruments. Use is restricted to one peripheral at a time and short cable lengths. The standard originally called for DB-25 connectors, but now allows the smaller DB-9 version. (DB is an abbreviation for Data Bus, 25 and 9 refer to the number of connecting points.)

RS-422, RS422:  The standard adopted in 1978 by the Electronics Industry Association as:  EIA-422-A. A balanced line twisted-pair standard for all long distance (up to 3300 ft) computer interconnections. A high-speed serial communication port which allows data to be transferred to and from an external computer at a very high rate (500K baud).






RTAS:     An abbreviation for Real Time Audio Suite. This is a brand of plug-in sound card manufactured by DigiDesign for their ProTools digital audio workstations.  RTAS cards are designed for use in ProTools, AVID and other digital audio workstations and non-linear editing computers that support Protools. Equipment manuals for DAWs usually state which formats their system will support.


RTS:       The name of a company that makes intercom systems. One type of RTS system is used at some live events by the production crews. Minimally, these units have a headset including a microphone and earphones and a “talk” button that one pushes to talk to another member of the crew. Some versions of the RTS units are wireless. Another company that manufactures similar equipment is Clearcom. Generally, these types of intercom systems are called “PLs” - phone lines. 


RUMBLE:       1) Very low frequency sounds, such as those made by earthquakes, distant thunder, etc.  2) A measurement of how much motor noise is transmitted through into sound from a piece of audio equipment.


RUN OFF, RUNOFF:    The action of copying a mix onto its master tape or final storage medium. Making any copy of anything can be called a runoff - video or audio. The name came about because the machines are “run” to make the recording.


RUSHES:       “Dailies” is the word most commonly used in Hollywood, but “RUSHES” is the word at Gold. It refers to the fact that the film is literally rushed to the Film Lab for processing and back so the day’s shooting can be seen as rapidly as possible. The whole cycle is “RUSH”.


RUSHES LINE:     The Cine production line at Gold that deals with obtaining a print made of the original camera negatives when they are first developed by the Film Lab and then preparing the prints for showing to Rushes Conference and final QC, then keeping the footage in excellent condition for later use in assembling the Work Print. The Rushes Line includes the large 35mm projector and theatre in Cine Editing - called the Rushes Theatre.


RUSHES PRINT:  The first copy of the original camera negatives which is then viewed and okayed by Rushes Conference, then submitted to final QC.




RUSHES SOUND TRANSFER LINE: This is the Gold production line that is used to provide sound for Rushes. At the end of the production day, after film shooting has finished, the sound recordist makes a transfer of every take of every shot done for the day. This is done by taking the DAT (Digital Audio Tape) of the day’s shots (DAT’s are used as a secondary recording and are made right along with the main Studer analogue recording for each and every film take) and transferring the sound from the DAT onto 16mm magnetic film. Once completed the magnetic film is turned over to Cine Editing so it can be assembled along with the Rushes film print, and shown at Rushes Conference. The DAT tape is turned over to the telecine operator in the Gold Film Lab so it can be used to put sound onto the telecine videotape.