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Source Abbreviations
One of the most confusing things when starting out trading lossless audio is the source/transfer information that appears in the .txt file that accompanies each fileset. Each .txt file should have this information that lists the lineage of the recording. With a little practice, you can get a sense of what the recording will sound like even before listening to it. It just takes some experience.

Source information usually breaks into four parts: (1) the source and mics, (2) the recording method, (3) the transfer to a digital medium (if necessary) and (4) transformation into a CD and compression to a lossless format. Usually, the older a recording, the simpler the information, because no one remembers all of the details and recording rigs were simpler. Today, tapers keep track of everything down to the type of cables they use to plug in their mics. There’s no standard way to do things, and a lot gets abbreviated. (A list of common abbreviations appears below.) But, source listings usually look something like the examples that follow. Here’s a basic one:


Hardware:A Reel to Reel deck, model unknown
Playback:Reel to Reel to a DAT deck
Transfer:DAT to CDR, copied to a computer using EAC to .wav file format and then converted to .shn format

Here’s the same file information with a little more detail:

S:7” MR > D-5 > HHb CDR-800 > Plextor 16/10/40A > EAC > Soundforge (tracking) > mkwACT > SHN

Hardware:A Reel to Reel deck, model unknown, running a 7" reel tape
Playback:Reel to Reel to Fostex D-5 DAT deck
Transfer:D-5 DAT to HHb CD Burner, disc put in a Plextor CD Drive, copied to a computer using EAC to .wav file format, broken into tracks using Soundforge, and converted to .shn format with mwkACT

Finally, here’s the same file information with even more detail. Even if you can’t tell what everything means, you should be able to tell that the recording was made on a reel to reel deck, played back on another reel to reel to a DAT, and then played from another DAT machine to a CD burner and copied onto a computer:

S:MR Teac 2300 (7” 16-track); Uher 4000 > D-5 (w/Oade +15dB input gain mod); DA-P1 w/ master DAT > HHb CDR-800; Plextor 16/10/40A > EAC (secure mode) > Soundforge (48k > 44.1k, tracking) > mkwACT > SHN

Following is a list of common abbreviations, sorted by category. If you can't find what you're looking for, you can also look [here].

General Terms
PCMPulse Code Modulation (an early form of digital recording)
AD, A/D, A>DAnalog to Digital Converter
DA, D/A, D>ADigital to Analog Converter
WAVWindows file format for PCM data that can be written to an audio CD
AIFFMac file format for PCM data that can be written to an audio CD
SHNolder lossless compression format Shorten
FLACmodern lossless compression format Free Lossless Audio Codec
APEmodern but limited-platform lossless compression format (Monkey's Audio)
MKW, mkwACTmkwACT.exe, a program used to convert between WAV and SHN; rarely seen, experimental Win-only lossless compression format .mkw
OGG[Ogg Vorbis], an open source recording format, sometimes lossless, sometimes not
AACApple's proprietary recording format, sometimes lossless and sometimes not (even when it's supposed to be)

Terms Describing the Source of a Recording
DAUDDigital Audience
DSBDDigital Soundboard
FMRecording from an FM Broadcast
Pre-FMRecorded/copied from the source that was then broadcast on the radio (i.e., not a copy recorded from the FM airwaves)
Matrix, UltramatrixSBD feed mixed with live mic (AUD) source, mixed by the soundman at the show; sometimes homemade post-show in digital age. note that the proper technical term for post-show mixes should simply be “mix”
BBD“Betty Board.” Betty Cantor did sound for the Grateful Dead in the 1970s
FOBFront of Board -- recording location. Same as:
BTPBack to Paul (Languedoc), Phish's soundman. Usually the same as:
OTSOutside Taper Section -- OTS could mean hanging from the rafters, but it usually means FOB

Manufacturers and Types of Microphones
Note: many mics consist of a body and a capsule that contains the actual microphone. The capsule is designed to pick up sound in a particular pattern, e.g., cardioid, omnidirectional, etc. For some useful diagrams and explanation, click [here] or [here].

[ADK]Mic manufacturer
A51-TLswitchable pattern diaphragm mic
A51-Slarge diaphragm cardioid mic
A51-S-LEpaired cardioid mic

[AKG]Mic manufacturer
460 seriesolder mic shells
480 seriesnewer mic shells
ck61cardoid mic capsule
ck62omni-directional mic capsule
ck63hypercardioid mic capsule
46xSeries 460 mic w/ ck6x capsule
48xSeries 480 mic w/ ck6x capsule
390another series, aka "blue lines"
ck91, ck93capsules for the 390 mics
39x390 Series w/ ck9x capsule
c1000mic w/ cardioid/hypercardioid switch
c3000improved c1000 mic
c414 IImic w/ changeable capsule settings

AMSMic manufacturer

[Audio Technica]Mic manufacturer
4041cardioid mic
4051cardioid mic
D1000ec. 1974
D190ec. 1974
853stealth mic, also sold as Sound Professionals
933stealth mic, also sold as Sound Professionals
7000wireless mic series

B&K (Bruel & Kjaer) or [DPA (Danish Pro Audio)]Mic Manufacturer
40xxhigh end mics (4011, 4021, 4022, 4023)
4061stealth mics, also known as "high end binaurals" or HEB's

[Core Sounds]Mic manufacturer
CSB"low profile" mics
LCBomnidirectional "low profile" mics
LCSCdirectional "low profile" mics

[Marshall]Mic manufacturer
MXL 600cardioid mic
MXL V67Glarger capsule mic
MXL 2001cardioid diaphragm mic
MXL V2001-Plarger capsule mic

[Earthworks]Mic manufacturer
SR-69cardioid mic
SR-71cardioid mic
SR-77cardioid mic
SR-78hypercardioid mic
QTC-1omni-directional mic

[Microtech Gefell]Mic manufacturer

[Nakamichi]Mic manufacturer

[Neumann]Mic manufacturer
ak30omni-directional capsule
ak40cardioid capsule
ak43sub-cardioid capsule
ak50hypercardioid capsule
KM1xxKm100 body w/ akxx capsule
KM184cardioid condenser mic
KM100condenser mic body
M150tube microphone
TLM 170large-diaphragm, multi-setting mic
U87large-diaphragm, multi-setting mic
U89ilarge-diaphragm, multi-setting mic

[Oktava]Mic manufacturer
MC012condenser mic with cardioid/hypercardoid/omnidirectional capsules - also called MC012 or MK012-01
MC319large diaphragm condenser cardioid mic

[Rode]Mic manufacturer
NT2switchable cardioid/omnidirectional mic
NT2stereo xy cardioid mic

[Schoeps]Mic manufacturer
cmc_mic body (cmc3, cmc4, cmc6)
mk2omni-directional capsule
mk21sub-cardioid capsule
mk4cardioid capsule
mk4vvertical cardioid capsule
mk41hypercardioid capsule
mk41vvertical hypercardioid capsule
cmc_/mkxxcmc_ body w/ mkxx capsule
cmc_xxcmc_ body w/ mkxx capsule
m222tube-style mic

[Sennheiser]Mic manufacturer

[Shure]Mic manufacturer
KSMxxcapsule mics
KSM32cardioid condenser mic
KSM44mult-setting condenser mic

SonyMic manufacturer
ECM 270c. 1973
ECM 250mic(?) c. 1973
ECM MS-907single-body stereo mic
ECM MS-957pro version of the MS-907

Terms Describing Microphone Placement
ORTFMic placement technique originated by the Office de Radio Télévision Française
X-YMic placement technique
DINMic placement technique
M-SMid-Side - Mic placement technique
OTSOutside the Stacks - Mic placement technique
90 deg.Mic placement technique
BlumleinMic placement technique
FOBFront of Board ( Regarding Mic Placement)
DFCDead F*****g Center
BTPBack to Paul Languedoc, Phish’s soundman. Means FOB at a Phish show.

Terms Describing the Recording Medium
DATDigital Audio Tape recorder
R, RtR, R2R, RRReel to Reel tape recording
C(x)Cassette (xth generation copy)
MC, C(0)Master Cassette
VHSVHS or Betamax tape recorder
MDMinidisc recorder

Hard Disk / Solid State Recorders
NJB3 or JB3 or NJ3Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox 3 Hard Disk Recorder
FR-2Fostex FR-2 Hard Disk / Compact Flash Recorder
iHP-120iRiver iHP-120 Hard Disk Recorder
PMD-670Marantz Compact Flash / Microdrive Recorder
NeurosNueros Hard Disk Recorder
SD-7xxSound Devices 722/744 Hard Disk / Compact Flash Recorders

Analog Cassette Decks and Reel to Reel Decks
NakAbbreviation for Nakamichi, cassette deck manufacturer
DragonExpensive, top end Nakamichi cassette deck
CR-7ANakamichi cassette deck
F995Sony cassette deck c. 1970
TC-152Sony cassette deck c. 1974
Uher 4000Reel to Reel deck c. 1974
Teac 2300Reel to Reel deck c. 1974

DAT and CDR Recorders, Players and Manufacturers
D-100Sony D-100
M-1Sony M-1 DAT deck
DxSony DAT deck (D3, D7, D8, D10)
HHbDAT and CDR burner manufacturer
PDR-1000HHb "Portadat" portable DAT deck
CDR xxxHHb pro audio CD burner (CDR 850, CDR 830 BurnIt, CDR 800)
PCM-RxxSony DAT decks (R300, R500)
D-xFostex DAT decks (D-5, D-10)
DA-xxTascam DAT decks (DA-P1, DA-20, DA-30)
SV-3xxxPanasonic DAT decks (SV-3700, SV-3800, SV-3900)
DA-RxxCasio DAT decks (DA-R100)

A>D Converters
AD xxxxApogee 500e (20 bit), 1000 (24 bit) & 5000 (24 bit) A>D Converters(the 1000 also has preamp)
AD2kSonic/Benchmark 24 bit A>D Converter
ADC-20Graham Patten 20-bit A>D Converter
DMIC-20Graham Patten 20-bit A>D Converter
MMeApogee MiniMe AD converter (also Mic Preamp)
Lucid AD962424 bit A/D converter
SBM-1Sony “Super Bit Mapper” 20-bit AD Converter

Mic Preamps & Pre-amp/A>D Converter Combos
AD1000Apogee pre-amp and A>D converter
DM20 or DMIC20Graham Patten 20-bit A>D Converter
InboxZefiro/Denecke Inbox
MMeApogee MiniMe A>D converter
MP-2Sound Devices MP-2
mXXXOade pre-amp (m148, m248)
MV100Beyer pre-amp
PSP-2Rare pre-amp made by EAA
PSP-3AETA Audio Preamp
SX-M2Sonosax SX-M2 Pre-amp
mod UA-5Edirol UA-5 modified by Oade for standalone use - also W(arm) mod and P(resence) mod
V2Lunatec V2
V3Lunatec V3 (also has A>D Converter)
VMS-xxSchoeps VMS series preamp

Pre-amp / A>D Converter / Computer Interface
USB-PreSound Devices USB Pre
UA-5Edirol/Roland UA-5
Delta DIO 2496M-Audio 24 bit/96 kHz Digital Soundcard
Audiophile 2496M-Audio 24 bit/96 kHz Digital Soundcard
Audiophile USBM-Audio 24 bit/96 kHz Digital USB Soundcard
VXPocketDigigram VXPocket 24-bit/48 kHz Digital PCMCIA Soundcard

Cables and Connectors
[Oade]Manufacturer of high quality audio cables
[AudioMagic]Manufacturer of high quality audio cables
OpticalType of digital cable/connection
CoaxType of digital cable/connection
K5LU XLRSchoeps XLR cable

CD Mastering Software
[Soundforge], SFPopular and very versatile audio mastering program
[WaveLab]Popular and very versatile audio mastering program
[Samplitude]Another audio mastering program
CoolEdit, CE, CE ProCD mastering program, by Syntrillium, no longer made. Bought by Adobe and now called [Audition]
[EAC]Exact Audio Copy (software to copy CDs to a computer)
CDWAV[CD Wave] (software to cut your WAV into individual tracks)
[Audacity]Open Source audio mastering program
xACTMac OSX Audio Compression Tool
SHNToolsoftware to fix Sector Boundaries, convert and split audio files
[Cubase]Another high-powered audio mastering program
dbpowerampA program that converts among formats
DAWgeneric term "digital audio workstation"

Other Stuff
CO2Midiman CO2 Coaxial > Optical Converter
CO3Midiman CO3 Coaxial > Optical Converter
DAWDigital Audio Workstation
SCMSSerial Copy Management System (Determines if a digital copy, e.g., DAT or CD, can be copied)

See also: AcronymGlossary, [moelinks Source Guide], [Location Recording]

This Page Last Changed: Dec 16, 2004 07:16:57
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