Audio-Visual Glossary

W

 

W: Symbol for watt or wattage. (See WATT.)

 

WADIA: A home audio equipment manufacturer that specialised in digital playback equipment (C.D. players, etc.).

 

WAH WAH: An electronic box, usually placed on the floor, that a guitarist operates with his foot to make his guitar go “wah-wah.” A classic example of this sound is on the theme song to the movie “SHAFT,” by Isaac Hayes.  

 

WALLA: Film industry slang term for the sound of a group of people talking. It sounds just like a “wall of people” talking - no particular sound or talking is distinguishable. Walla is put on the soundtrack in films when there are many people in the background. Sometimes called “group walla.”

 

WALL OF SOUND: A mixing technique developed in the 60’s by a famous mixing engineer, Eddie Kramer, who did most of Jimi Hendrix’s record albums and many other famous 60’s and 70’s bands. He would always try to create a huge “wall of sound” coming from the loudspeakers, much like one might hear attending a live rock concert. It rapidly became his “trademark sound,” and virtually all Mixers during that period were influenced to mix similarly. (After all, they did not want their mixes to sound “small” in comparison.)

 

WALL WART: See PLUG IN ADAPTOR.

 

WAM!NET: An abbreviation for Wide Area Media Network. This is a professional digital communications company that provides secure transmission of video and-or audio information using a combination of telephone company phone lines and their own equipment. Major studios use the Wam!Net service to send video pictures, audio and even film rushes (that have been transferred to video) to other locations. For example, a film being shot in Utah can have its daily rushes sent to New York and LA so producers, writers, etc. can see them. Unlike other similar services, Wam!Net users can send program material themselves, using their own e-mail which is hooked up to a special box provided by Wam!Net. (Most other companies require you bring the material to them to whereas Wam!Net allows you to send and receive at your own locations.) The Wam!Net box converts video and audio programme into a digital datastream that can be sent over telephone or DSL lines. One can send footage or audio across country or even to other countries. Film rushes are telecined (transferred from film to video) and then played into Wam!Net’s encoding box, transmitted to the receipt point and there a decoding box turns the signal into video and audio one can see and hear. The Wam!Net company runs their own cable to connect a studio, home or business up to the local telephone company’s nearest digital lines. Note: International transmissions done using services such as Wam!Net aren’t subject to customs delays. (Sending actual video cassettes or film via mail does involve customs clearance.)

 

WAN: An abbreviation for Wide Area Network. Some cable t.v. and satellite t.v. companies provide this service to expand the range (coverage) of a local area network (l.a.n.). A wide area network (w.a.n.), is a group of computers, computer terminals, workstations, printers, etc. that are connected so they can share information. A wan can use cable t.v. and-or satellite t.v. transmission lines to connect up distant computer devices into one networked system. Such a system is called a wan. Wan’s are distinguished from lan’s in that a wan connects computers that are geographically separated, such as in different cities or even different countries whereas lan's connect computers within a single building or group of buildings all in the same general location. For example, a l.a.n. type system connects up a company’s many individual offices inside a single building or several buildings near to each other. audiovisual studio complexes that have multiple studios on their lot can be connected up with a l.a.n. wan’s, on the other hand, can extend the computer terminal interconnection way beyond this by using communications satellites and-or cable television lines, thus the wan interconnection can extend across town, across a country or even around the world. A l.a.n. system is connected up locally using computer wire at the location where the linked computers are to be used. Some satellite companies, such as Echostar, specialise in providing wan link-ups for consumers and businesses.

 

WAP: Abbreviation for Wireless Applications Protocol. WAP is a standard for a computerised method of providing Internet access and other services such as e-mail, news, on-line purchasing and weather reports - all using wireless networks. These networks include digital mobile telephones and wireless Personal Digital Assistants.

 

WARING, HANK: A Los Angeles based long-time audio professional who is highly respected in the digital audio field. Hank has assisted us greatly in matters concerning audio restoration. In the field of audio for films, he developed a digital process, called “Extraction,” which takes older film soundtracks and music mixes that were never produced in surround sound and successfully synthesises a surround mix for them which is of high quality and will play on any surround system, including commercial theatres.

 

WARM or WARMTH: Warmth is a desirable quality in a sound, mix or audio playback system. Sounds that have “warmth” are pleasant and likable. They are enjoyable to listen to. An example for comparison is a violin. It has a lot of treble (high) frequencies and could easily be recorded and-or mixed so it screeches unpleasantly. In such a case, its sound would not have “warmth.” Properly recorded, one can hear the full range of the sound of the violin as natural as if one was in the room where it was being played. Warmth exists when there is a balanced amount of lower frequencies as well as highs; and the recording-playback system is free of distortion and accurately reproduces the entire range of the sound.

 

WARPING: See CELL.

 

WASH: In audio, a descriptive term meaning an unwanted hissing noise that is present on some recordings. Wash becomes especially evident when the volume of the original program needs to be raised during mixing - to get the correct range of loudness. One definition of “wash” is, “a surge of agitated water or air.” This is analogous to how the word is used in audio. “Wash” is a background noise similar to the sound a surge of agitated water or air would make. It is usually caused by tape hiss or a noisy microphone-preamp combination on the original recording. This is handled in mixing with the use of an expander and-or the CEDAR audio restoration computer. USAGE NOTE: A mis-set expander can make wash even more noticeable and distracting to the listener by causing the noise to rapidly surge and then diminish alternately and continually during the audio program. (This surging up and down is called “pumping.”)

 

WASHED OUT: 1) A mix, if it lacks presence and impact and the sounds are not very solid or defined can be said to be “washed out.” 2) A video or film picture that does not have good clarity and seems overexposed (too much light).

 

WATERMARKED, WATERMARKING: A type of digital code that is added to sound on DVD-AUDIO discs and played on the Internet to identify it. Watermarking gives digital information regarding a song’s title, the artist’s name and other copyright data. The information can be seen on a TV screen, on the display window of a DVD-Audio player, or on one’s computer screen or MP3 player’s screen. The term is a play on the word “watermark” - the indelible mark left by water on a piece of paper. It is a code for identification and for tracking illegal, unauthorised use and copying of music. It lets content owners - the record companies, artists and songwriters - identify where their music went for royalty purposes. Watermarking involves imbedding a digital signal into the audio information of the music itself. Also, the watermarking is there to protect the audio content from being copied. If an attempt is made to copy the music, the watermark vanishes on the copy, so no DVD player will play the copy - the copy is refused by the player itself.

For more information on watermarking, what it is and how it works, read on… There are two different watermarking approaches currently being implemented - “transactional” and “source.” “Transactional watermarking” tracks the audio by monitoring the number of times it was downloaded. The “source watermarking” identifies the audio as to its author and owner. Other codes may be added for copy protection specifically. Two companies have developed watermarking: Cognicity and Verance, with Verance’s version being chosen for DVD-Audio releases and many other uses, such as on the Internet. A warning however, Watermarking May Degrade Sound Quality. Initial listening tests by independent professional music companies have reported they could hear the watermarking code in the music. The process is therefore under considerable scrutiny and may therefore be refined or dropped altogether. The major music label “Telarc” has rejected using watermarking stating that the watermarking code put into the music’s digital information is audible. Another tester could pick the watermarked music from the non-watermarked music 10 out of 10 times. So, the latest data is that watermarking, despite millions spent to develop it, may not end up being used at all in the final analysis due to its potential audibility. It is not mandatory for a DVD-Audio release, but one must make sure that the duplication company does not automatically put watermarking and protection codes onto one’s disc unless full tests have been made as to their effects upon the audio quality. Note: Watermarking is not the only code applied to DVD’s. Another type of buried digital code is also put in the film or music information on all DVD’s called CPPM. (See Content Protection For Pre-Recorded Media, CPPM.) There are several different types of copy protection codes used throughout the industry and a list of the more common ones may be found at Copy Protection.

 

WATT: Abbreviated W. A unit for measuring how much current is being consumed by an electrical or electronic device or circuit, named after James Watt (1736-1819) - the English engineer and inventor who perfected the steam engine. A watt is the power expended when one ampere of direct current flows through a resistance of one ohm. An electrical device uses 1 watt when 1 volt of force drives 1 ampere of current through the device. For example, the number on a light bulb shows its power requirement in watts. A light bulb operating at 100 volts and using 1 ampere consumes 100 watts (100 volts X 1 ampere = 100 watts). In audio systems, watts are used to specify how many units of “power” an audio amplifier is capable of generating or how many units of amplifier power a loudspeaker is rated to operate within safely.

 

WATTAGE: The total amount of watts that an audio amplifier is capable of producing (the total number of units of power). Also used to rate any electronic device that converts electricity to some sort of energy or power, such as a light bulb. Wattage is simply how many watts. …“What is the wattage of the amplifier?”  

 

WATT PUPPY: The woofer that goes with the Wilson (brand) speaker called the “Watt.”      

 

WATT SPEAKER: A quality loudspeaker made by the Wilson Audio Specialties Company in Utah. It is a small speaker that is meant to be set on top of a woofer that Wilson calls the “Puppy.”             

 

WAVE: The pattern of motion of particles of light, radio signals and flowing electrons. They look like a wave when measured and displayed on electronic test equipment. You can see such a flow represented as a wave on an oscilloscope, which has a small TV screen that presents a picture of electronic signals as they flow. The signals are produced in a waveform on the TV screen. The up and down of the wave - the high points and low points as seen on the screen is the volume or strength of the signal, and how many ups and downs there are left to right on the screen - is the frequency.

 

WAVE FORM, WAVEFORM: The characteristic shape of a wave when graphed or displayed by audiovisual test equipment or on a chart. A waveform is actually a graph of a signal's frequency (its rate of vibration) and amplitude (its strength).

 

WAV FORMAT, WAV FILE: Pronounced “wave.” A Microsoft Windows computer file format. This is a common type of audio computer file. Microsoft calls this “WAV” because sound files are stored as waveforms. An example of its use at Gold is on the digital production masters made by Audio for the Gauss Line Digital Bin.

For more technical data, read on… Depending on the sampling frequency, on whether the sound is monaural, stereo or multitrack, and on the word size (8 bits, 16 bits, 24 bits, etc.), one minute of sound can occupy as little as 644 kilobytes, and it can occupy as much as 27 megabytes or more of storage capacity. WAV sound files are usually uncompressed. “.wav” is the computer designation that indicates a file is stored in the Microsoft Windows WAV format.

 

WAVELENGTH: The distance between one peak of a wave and the next corresponding peak. The wavelength of any frequency may be found by dividing the speed of sound (1130 feet per second) by the frequency.

 

WAVETEK: Brand name of a tone generator (oscillator) used as testing equipment on audio lines. This is a very important piece of equipment, as it produces the tones used to test and calibrate all equipment.

 

WAMM: (See WILSON LOUDSPEAKERS.)

 

W/Ch (watts per channel): An electronics technical specification that indicates how much power an audio amplifier or receiver will deliver to each of the loudspeakers being driven. (See WATT.)

 

WEAVE AND JITTER: Instability in a projected film image wherein the picture on the screen (which should be perfectly steady) is moving up and down (jittering) or moving side to side (weaving).

 

WEB: The interlinking of many different electronic or computer devices. Most commonly heard in terms of computers that are linked up all over the world via the Internet. A web is a network of interlinked stations, services, communications, etc. covering a region or country.

 

WEBBLOCK, WebBLOCK, WEB-BLOCK: Some internet web sites have a programme that literally blocks one from leaving the site. It defeats the icon one would click on to leave the site. A Webblock tries to force the Internet user to remain at the site to read or do what the site offers.

 

WEB BROWSER: “Browse” means to scan through the Internet or a computer’s data in order to locate a site or a specific computer file. For example, one may browse documents on one’s computer or just generally look for something of interest on the internet. A “browser” is a computer software programme feature that allows you to browse. It gives the ability to scan around looking without actually fully logging on or logging into a doc or file. Once the desired site or file is located, one can access using the browser programme. Examples of web browsers are Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape’s Navigator. 

 

WEBBYS: The Internet version of the Oscars. The “Webbys” have 27 categories, including commerce, politics, filmmaking, community interest, education and personal homepages. Both commercial and private entities are eligible to enter any of the applicable categories. The prize is publicity, validation and recognition for having won a “Webby” as an outstanding Internet site. 270 judges comprise the determining panel who vote on criteria such as content, structure, visual design, interactivity, functionality and the overall experience of having accessed the site. Web users also get to cast their votes in each category.

 

WEBCAM: Short for Web Camera. This is a small consumer camera that is actually a digital video camera. The Webcam takes moving picture shots digitally and can output them directly into your computer or onto the Web. Webcams can take digital still photos too. One of the first Webcams was made by the Logitech Company, and the camera is called “Quickcam.”

 

WEBCASTERS, WEBCAST: (See INTERNET RADIO.)

 

WEB EXTENSION: Some interactive t.v. shows and interactive dvd’s or interactive c.d.’s can have “web extensions” whereby one can log onto the internet and go to an internet site that has further information or selections or interest items concerning the t.v., d.v.d. or c.d. programme. In some cases, the internet site may be able to “link up” with the t.v. or dvd’s programme, if the t.v. or d.v.d. is being played on a computer or computer based system. In other words, a consumer who purchased an interactive d.v.d. could conceivably load the d.v.d. into his computer at home and then log onto the internet and go to a web extension for that interactive d.v.d.

 

WEB LINK: A computer’s access capability to the Internet. It can “link up.”

 

WEBMASTER: This is the person who is responsible for creating and maintaining a Web site. A Webmaster is also responsible for responding to e-mail, ensuring the site is operating properly, creating and updating Web pages and maintaining the overall structure and design of the site.

 

WEB TV NETWORK: This is a Microsoft company service that allows one to look at the web on their TV set, which usually will not play computer images. There are electronic boxes now that enable a normal TV to present web computer images. Also called Internet TV.

 

WEIGHT, WEIGHTY: The feeling of solidity and foundation in music which has extended, full bass. Good low-frequency response below about 50 Hz. Suggesting great weight or power.

 

WEIGHTING: In order to understand weighting, it’s required to know what the Fletcher-Munson Effect is. (See FLETCHER-MUNSON.) In general, “weighting” is an EQ curve that compensates for the FLETCHER-MUNSON Effect. The term “weighting” is used because these curves compensate for the “weight” (amount, prevalence, perceived loudness) of bass frequencies that changes depending upon what volume one listens at - as per the Fletcher-Munson Effect. On a sound pressure level meter one will see “A-Weighting.” “A-Weighting is the steepest - the most severe curve - having minus 45 dB at 25 Hz in the low bass frequencies. Then there is “C-Weighting” (essentially a flat curve down to 60 Hz where it starts to roll-off, ending up minus 6 dB at 20 Hz). Other types of test equipment use additional weighting curves. “B-Weighting” is 20 dB down at about 30 Hz and it starts rolling-off at 300 Hz. There are other curves, such as “N-Weighting” - used to take noise measurements of jet aircraft engines. Which weighting curve is used depends upon the loudness of sound to be measured. Anything measured at 85 dB SPL or above is to be measured with the C-Weighting curve. (Org. film rooms are set to 91.5 dB SPL when they use 16mm film and 85 dB SPL for those larger theatres, which play 35mm films in surround sound. C-Weighting is used for these readings.) Below 85 dB to 55 dB one is to use the B-Weighting curve. Below 55 dB, the A-Weighting curve is to be used. Anyone taking measurements should also write down the weighting curve used so that stable datum was known to have been used when the measurements and adjustments were done.

 

WET GATE (wet gate printer): Film printers in the Gold Film Lab that pass negatives, together with the film to be printed upon, through a liquid which helps to fill in any scratches in the film so they cannot be seen in the resultant print. The negatives and the film touch as they move through the liquid and are exposed by a bright light. The Schmitzer Printers (a German brand name) in the Gold Film Lab are wet gate printers. The Schmitzer wet gate printers produce the Rushes Prints. They are also used to make the Interpositives from the Original Camera Negatives as well as the 35mm Release Prints that are sent to orgs that have 35mm projection systems. There is a 16mm and a 35mm wet gate printer in the Film Lab.

     

WET or WET SOUND: Descriptive of a sound which has an audible amount of reverberation. Lack of reverb is said to be “dry.”

 

WGA: An abbreviation for Writers Guild of America, the professional union for scriptwriters in the U.S. film industry. WGA negotiates with production companies and establishes the minimum wage for a written screenplay (the completed product) as well as the various stages involved in the writing. Film credits (the displaying of the writer’s name at the beginning or end of a film) and working conditions are also negotiated. Additionally, the WGA represents writers for television and radio. Its main offices are in New York City and Los Angeles.

 

WG4: See WORKING GROUP 4.

 

WHIRLWIND: A company in New York that makes many different kinds of audio snakes, cables, connector boxes and accessories. Also a type of connector.

 

WHITE BOOK: First published in 1993, the White Book gives the technical specifications for the Video C.D. This type of C.D. is mainly used for video games that consumers buy to play on their computers. The Video C.D. will not play on a normal audio C.D. player. White book specifications include how the video and sound are compressed to fit into the storage space available in the C.D. medium, as well as how the audio, video, text and graphics are arranged on the disc.

 

WHITE NOISE: See PINK NOISE for definition.

 

WHIZZER (cone): A small cone (shaped like a cheerleader’s megaphone) that is added to the centre of a loudspeaker to help increase its treble (high frequency) output. It is sometimes done on cheap speakers to make them look impressive. Not as common now as several years ago.

 

WHOLE TONE: See FULL TONE.

 

WIDE BAND: Audio or sound that covers the full human range of hearing, generally described to be the frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

 

WIDEN THE CRITICAL LISTENING POSITION: In mixing, to mix in such a way that the sounds coming from the loudspeakers fill the room so that not just one person, sitting precisely in the middle between the loudspeakers, can hear a nice full presentation of the sound. When mixing in surround sound, by placing some of a given sound in other loudspeakers around the room, and not in one specific speaker only, others listening in the room will hear a nice panoramic mix as well.

 

WIDE MODE, WIDE SURROUND MODE: Consumer surround sound receivers often have a “Wide Mode.” It is for use if the speaker used for centre channel information is completely full-range and not the usual smaller type commonly designed to sit above the TV. Usually the left and right speakers are larger and are full range. The smaller size centre channel can’t handle the same amount of bass. (Compare NORMAL MODE.)

 

WIDE-SCREEN, WIDESCREEN: 1) Any film with an aspect ratio greater than 1.33:1. Films in the 1.33 format are rectangular on a screen, but look almost square. However, when you see a widescreen film, it looks somewhat narrow top to bottom and considerably wider than the top to bottom height. 2) Any High Definition TV set is specified as “widescreen” because it can present a 16x9 aspect ratio. It is considerably wider than it is tall, quite a bit more so than a conventional TV set.

 

WIDESCREEN ANAMORPHIC: A specification seen on some DVD-Video disc packaging. (See ANAMORPHIC LENS, ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN.)

 

WIDE TRANSMISSION PROTOCOL: See TRANSMISSION PROTOCOLS.

 

WIDTH: In sound, the lateral spatial spread of a stereo music soundstage when a mix is listened to on loudspeakers.

 

WIG-WAG: Hollywood slang term for the revolving lights outside studios that indicate when shooting is taking place (and to be quiet and not disturb the shot). “Wig-wags” look just like the type of rotating light that one might see on top of a police car or fire engine.

 

WILSON (loudspeakers): Brand name of high quality loudspeakers made by Wilson Audio Specialties in Utah. Models include:

 

WAMM - A speaker Wilson made for home theatre. It is about 1140mm tall.

      Watt - A small 2-way monitor to be used with a matching subwoofer called a “Puppy.”

      WITT - A speaker built mainly for home theatre.

      Puppy - The subwoofer that goes with the Watt.

      X1 Grand Slamm - A larger, full range speaker model.

X5 Subwoofer - A huge, over 2100mm tall, subwoofer to be used with the X1 speaker system.

 

WIMA CAPS, WIMA CAPACITORS: Brand name of a very high quality capacitor. WIMA capacitors are used frequently for top of the line audio electronic components. “WIMA” is the name of a German company that specialises in the manufacture of capacitors. It was founded in 1948 by Wilhelm Westermann and the name comes from Mr. Westermann (WIMA = Wilhelm Westermann). This company has 4 factories in Germany and worldwide distributors. WIMA produces an average of 3.5 million capacitors per day.

 

WIND INSTRUMENTS: Any musical instrument which produces sound when blown into (clarinet, trumpet, tuba, etc.) or across (such as flute).

 

WINDJAMMER: A brand name for a very effective microphone windscreen. When on location doing sound recording for film or video, one often has to protect a microphone from wind. To do this a windscreen is used. “Windjammer” windscreens are made of a synthetic furry material which is used to cover the “zeppelin” that houses the microphone. (A “zeppelin” is a tubular housing for a microphone that surrounds the microphone on all sides. It is usually made of a flexible plastic mesh frame covered with a porous fabric.) The zeppelin is a windscreen in its own right, but it is made much more effective when it is covered with a Windjammer. It is important that microphones be shielded from the wind, otherwise the wind will hit the microphone and produce an unwanted rumbling noise and distortion. Wind can even damage a microphone, so it’s important that they are protected.

 

WINDOWS MEDIA AUDIO: See WMA.

 

WINDOWS NT: A trademark of Microsoft Computers that describes the computer program. NT stands for New Technology.

 

WINDSCREEN: A device that reduces or eliminates wind noise from entering a microphone. It also can help reduce a singer or speaker’s breath from entering and so avoid loud pops and rumble sounds.

 

WINK-I, WINK ENHANCEMENT: “Wink-I” is an abbreviation for Wink interactive. Wink is the name of a digital communications company located in Alameda, California that has developed an easy-to-use system of interactive television for cable TV and satellite TV in consumer homes. Using a TV remote control, viewers can order a C.D., get a news and weather report, look at sports scores, etc. - all while watching a TV show on the same screen. Some commercials offer the “Wink enhancement,” allowing viewers to request more information. When a program is Wink-enhanced, a small icon shows up in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, and disappears after a short time (13 seconds) if the viewer doesn’t click on it. “Clicking” on the icon by pressing the “select” button on the TV remote gives the viewer a menu of options.

For more detailed information, read on… Wink-i is a software-based programme. It is authored with a Microsoft Windows authoring tool called Wink Studio. This authoring tool allows advertisers and-or show producers to include data from a Website or any database as well as adding live updates to a broadcast. This requires that the cable TV and-or satellite company is equipped with a Wink system as well. Local television network affiliates can use a Wink Broadcast Server to add interactivity for their local viewers. A Wink Response Server interfaced with the cable or satellite company’s billing system collects viewer response data, which the Wink system then sends to the advertiser or show producer. (Wink Communications makes money whenever a viewer requests more information, makes a purchase, etc.) A very high response rate is being reported for Wink-enhanced programs, i.e. 45% of the viewers who click on the Wink icon request whatever is offered there. Wink-i is free to cable and satellite customers, so no subscription is necessary. Viewers do have to register their name, address and credit card when making a purchase (this is done via the TV remote and shows up on the TV screen). The viewer is then given a PIN number so they never have to register again. 

For technical data on Wink-i, read on… There is no additional bandwidth required for a Wink-enhanced broadcast, as the Wink-i data stream travels to and from the viewer on the blanking signal. Wink supports Interactive Communicating Application Protocol (ICAP) and HTML. ICAP is a compact computer protocol developed by Wink for set-top boxes and televisions that lack the hardware for a full HTML browser.

 

WIPO: The United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organisation, which has worked to develop international treaties regarding the use of copyrighted material over the Internet.

 

WIREFRAME: A computer-generated drawing rapidly done using stick-like figures and objects to get a concept of what a final computerised special effect will look like and do on screen. It is called a wireframe because the objects in the frame (shot) sort of look like they are made up of wires.

 

WIRELESS APPLICATIONS PROTOCOL: See WAP.

 

WIRELESS MARK-UP LANGUAGE: See WML.      

 

WIRELESS MICROPHONE: A microphone that uses a radio transmitter either inside the case of the microphone or worn as a small body pack. This radio transmitter sends the signal from the microphone to a receiver a short distance away, so there aren’t any wires that tie down the user of the microphone, or cables visible to the camera. This type of microphone is commonly used on cine shots outdoors.

 

WIRELESS NETWORK: The term “wireless network” has become important in the field of computerised communications. As the name states, there is no wire connecting the sending equipment to the receiving equipment. For example, there are now cities and airports that offer wireless Internet services and they have a local antenna that beams out in their area. Some mobile phones have the capability for Internet access and to send and receive text messages. There are also the portable Personal Digital Assistants and Palm Tops which are miniature computers that one can carry anywhere and use them for Internet access. Another type of wireless network that has existed for quite some time now is the mobile telephone system or “cell phone.” Rather than the signals to the consumer being passed by wires, radio waves, microwaves, or infrared light are used.

 

WMA: An abbreviation for Windows Media Audio. Microsoft’s proprietary digital audio recording and playback format and recorder-player intended to replace, or at least significantly compete with, MP3. WMA devices store music in half the digital memory space as those used in MP3 devices. Examples of WMA players are the pocket-sized Intel “Pocket Concert Audio Player” and the Sonicube “Rio 800,” which can each hold up to 4 hours of music (at sub-C.D. quality, but reportedly better sounding than MP3). Microsoft also makes its own WMA player that can be purchased separately or “bundled” when you buy Microsoft software. (See Bundling.) When you copy a song from a C.D. into a WMA device, it automatically installs copyright-protecting “digital rights management” tools into the copied file. This limits or completely prevents additional copies from being made, depending on the copy protection instructions programmed into the original material.

 

WML: An abbreviation for Wireless Mark-up Language. A text-only version of HTML used for Internet-connected cellular phones. (HTML is defined separately.)

 

WOODWINDS: Instruments used by an orchestra which were originally categorised as any instrument made of wood and played by breathing into them. Today, some of these instruments are now made of metal or other materials. “Modern woodwinds” include the clarinet, the oboe, bassoon, flute, piccolo, English horn, and all saxophones.

 

WOOFER: A loudspeaker designed to reproduce low (bass) frequencies only. The response of these speakers generally ranges from about 60 Hz up to 200 Hz, depending on the construction of the woofer. Called a “woofer” after a dog’s bark that makes low bass sounds compared to a tweeter, which “tweets” (the high frequencies like a bird). Frequencies below 50 or 60 Hertz are usually reproduced by a “subwoofer” (the lowest bass notes). However, there are some very high-quality loudspeakers that have woofers, which can produce the very lowest frequencies without a subwoofer.

 

WOOLLY: In sound, pertains to muddy and ill-defined low frequencies (bass) as heard over loudspeakers or headphones.

 

WORD: 1) All computerised equipment processes digital information using “words.” A word is one group of bytes, which are, in turn, groups of bits. (A byte is made up of 8 bits.) (BIT and BYTE are defined separately.) More specifically, a word usually contains one or more bytes. The more powerful a computer, the bigger the word size it can process. The size of the word a computer can process determines its speed and its compatibility to work with other computers of similar capacity and quality. The larger the word (the more bits that make up an individual word), the more powerful the computer. Smaller or older computers cannot process a word length equal to a full byte; they can only process words that are smaller than a byte. Larger computers can process two bytes plus a few more additional bits, but not enough additional bits to make up a full additional byte - such as a “20 bit” tape recorder. (20 bits equal two full bytes plus another four bits, which is not enough to make up another full “byte.”) Some advanced computerised equipment processes words that are 24 bits, 32 bits or more. The computer industry tends to say that “words” are made up of “bits” rather than saying they are made up of “bytes.” One can just count up the individual number of bits the computer handles as “words.” That is it’s processing power rating, written as “16 bit,” “20 bit,” “24 bit,” etc. A C.D. player processes digital music information from a c.d. at 16 bits.

2) The word “Word” is often said to refer to “Microsoft Word” - the word processing software sold by the Microsoft Corporation. “She knows how to use Word.”

 

WORD CLOCK: Every computer, or computerised digital audiovisual device, 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. It is 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 could result. Sometimes a separate cable is advised to be used between audiovisual equipment just for the clocking signal to pass between them. There is also a term called “bit clock,” which is very similar to word clock - the difference being how some computer systems group their data.

 

WORD LENGTH: The number of bits in a word. Word length is indicated when digital equipment is labelled: “16 Bit,” “20 Bit,” “24 Bit,” etc. That is how long a word (of digital information) the machine can handle. Generally, the longer the word the machine can process, the higher the quality of digital processing. Therefore, a “24 Bit” digital audio recorder sounds better than a “16 Bit” machine.

 

WORKING GROUP 4 (WG4): A group that came together in 1995 consisting of representatives from Toshiba, Pioneer, Sony, Philips, JVC, Matsushita (Panasonic-Technics) and Thomson (RCA) to develop a higher quality audio format than the C.D.. Their solution - the DVD-Audio disc. Through many meetings with the “International Steering Committee” (ISC) - another group formed to literally steer the development of the future of digital audio to upgrade the original C.D. - the DVD-Audio concept was worked out.

 

WORKSTATION:

1) The first use in the audio-music field of the word “workstation” came about when musical synthesisers started including a built-in computer which could store music played on the synthesiser and build up (combine) different parts and sounds played. The musician playing could play a part and record, play another, play another, etc. building up the parts into a full song as he continued to do so. All the notes played each time would be stored in the synthesiser and could later all be recorded to an external tape recorder if desired. This type of synthesiser keyboard was, and still is, called a “workstation” because a musician could “work” at the keyboard, creating full songs and all the parts played.

2) See DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATION - DAW.

 

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO): See WIPO.

 

WORM: Acronym for Write Once Read Many. This is a type of digital disc that can be played (“read”) over and over again, but can be recorded onto (“written”) only once. Because they can’t be erased and rerecorded, “WORM’s” are well suited for storing information that one wishes to keep in its originally recorded form. A conventional music C.D. or a DVD that one gets with a movie on it are examples of WORM discs, though the term is not much used in PT, especially for home audio products. This is more commonly referred to as “ROM” (read-only memory).

 

W-O TECHNOLOGY: Write-Once Technology, started with WORM (Write Once, Read Many) computer digital storage discs. Philips developed the specifications for the implementation of Write-Once technology using the 12 cm C.D. Essentially a W-O drive, with appropriate software, “writes” the code onto the W-O disc until the disc is filled. From then on, the disc is read-only - and thus the “write-once” name. This is more commonly referred to as “ROM” (read-only memory).

 

WORK PRINT: At Gold, the editing of a film is actually done on a computer system called an AVID. Video copies of the film’s shots are made and loaded into the Avid computer. The Film Editor then edits the film, shot by shot, per an earlier approved edit plan. Once final QC approval is received on the video edit version (called the AVID Edit), an actual film version of the edit is prepared. To put together the Work Print, first the AVID computer provides an exact printout that lists, shot by shot, numerical readouts that tell one how to precisely prepare the film edit as exactly seen on the Avid’s video version. Using this printout a “Work Print” is created of the entire film, exactly per the approved video edit. Shot by shot, actual film is cut (not any negatives). The Work Print actually consists of the approved Rushes Prints. Each Rushes Print is spliced together creating the full length of the film that can now be projected on a film screen for the first time. The Work Print is the first time that the whole film can now be see AS A FILM. It was only watched prior to this point as an Avid edit (in video form). The term “Work Print” has been used in Hollywood for years. It has all the splices so it is called a “Work Print” Here at Gold, the Work Print is, specifically, the completed edit that matches the approved Avid Edit. One must look at a film’s edit on a real film screen, not on a t.v. Therefore the Work Print is always submitted to final QC - both the Avid Edit and the Work Print are always seen and okayed by QC.

 

WORLD WIDE WEB (www and-or W3): A network of computers used to present information - the Internet. Or, according to its inventor - European Laboratory for Particle Physics - the World Wide Web (W3) is the “universe of network-accessible information.” An Internet access link that provides access to homepages created by individuals, businesses, and other organisations.

 

WORLD WIDE RADIO: Another name for Internet Radio. (See INTERNET RADIO.)

 

WOROM: (Write-Once Read-Only Memory) Systems in which data may be written once, but not erased and rewritten. Usually refers to C.D.-ROM technology that can be recorded once only. A C.D. or DVD you purchase is a WOROM.

 

WRITE: To record computer data on a storage medium.

 

WRITE PROTECT: To protect computer data (either on a disk or in memory) from being written over or erased. The data can be read, but it is protected from being erased and rewritten.

 

WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA: See WGA.

 

WRAP: The shape formed by magnetic recording tape as it bends around a record or playback head.

 

WRE: Abbreviation for Wide Range Electronics. A brand name of magnetic film recorders. Gold in the past (1980 to 1986) had WRE machines to transfer film soundtracks onto super 8 millimetre film - when we were producing films in the super 8 format.

 

“WRING OUT A ROOM,” “WRING OUT A SYSTEM,” “WRING OUT A MICROPHONE,” “WRING OUT A NEW PRODUCTION LINE”:

1) To set up an audio loudspeaker system for a live event and get it tested so it is optimally performing within that room. If a microphone is being used with the system, the microphone is also set up, adjusted and tested for optimum sound. It’s like wringing all the water out of a wet towel - in this case, you are wringing out any bugs or problems, learning how to use the equipment and how to produce the product professionally.

2) To put a new production line, audio system or video system through full testing and a very thorough test production sequence to see if it can get a product of high quality consistently.

 

W3: An abbreviation for World Wide Web. (The three “w’s” - .www.)

 

WWW: See WORLD WIDE WEB.

 

 

 

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