Jargon and lingo glossary - I to K.

Jargon and lingo glossary - I to K.

IBOC = In-Band, On-Channel
A technology were additional information/energy is broadcast on the same frequency band as the main carrier. The term is usually used for a form of IBOC technology that was developed by iBiquity Digital Corp. that was chosen as the USA digital terrestrial radio standard instead of the international DAB standard simply because the broadcasting behemoth Clear Channel refused to share carousels.

The system also known as HD Radio actually has a number of issues, one of the more perplexing one is the use of an proprietary codec that offers nothing over even the legacy MP2 codec used in the DAB system although they later relented and switched to another proprietary codec this time based on AAC, another problem is the issue of interference during night-time broadcasts, this means that in the northernmost parts of the USA the system will never be implemented since daylight is only limited during winter.

A newer IBOC system called Digital Radio Mondiale is much saner.

IC = Integrated Circuit
An electronic circuit consisting of more than one active or passive component that is packaged and sold as one unit. Historically the term was used for any small piece of electronic circuits that where manufactured and sold off as a single component but is today exclusively used to mean an electronic circuit fabricated on a part of a silicon wafer and then packaged in a small plastic or ceramic container, i.e. what is commonly referred to as a "chip".

The IKEA effect
A form of cognitive distortion more than pure irrationality, the IKEA effect is the tendency of people to appreciate the functions of the objects they build, contributed to build or design in any way or imagine they built, designed or contributed ideas to in any way, more than they appreciate the functions of similar objects made by second or third parties. Note that this is above and beyond simply pride in creation or participation but rather a steadfast belief that the object they contributed to or made is inherently a more functional or in other way a superior object even though there is nothing to support that.

This phenomenon was originally noted in a more complex manner by Karl Marx in 1844 as part of his “Entfremdung” or “the theory of alienation” but as it is now politically incorrect to mention Karl Marx especially in the English speaking world, this term is used.

i-Link See --> 1394

The combined effect of resistance and reactance in a device, the reactance can be inductive or capacitive. While impedance is measured in ohms like resistance on it's own, the impedance characteristics of a device have a tendency to vary somewhat depending on the frequency that the device is operating with unlike resistance.

Integrated Amplifier See --> integrated amplifier

IP = Intellectual Property
Basically any idea that you can legally claim ownership of, either by registering it as in case of Trademarks and Patents, by automatic grant of rights as in Copyright or by taking matters into your own hands by making it a "trade secret" (i.e. hiding it under your bed).

This word has a somewhat different meaning in the technical world than it has in the real one, it is used for any technique whereby a visual or audio signal is split up into smaller constituents, this is helpful where bandwidth is more limited than throughput. For instance most television signals are sent out "interlaced", the PAL standard has 625 lines at 25 frames a second but it is actually sent out 50 times a second with every other frame having the 313 even numbered lines and every other having 312 odd numbered lines, the eyes assemble this into a single moving picture with 625 lines due to the memory effect. It should be noted that non-interlaced systems look considerably better than interlaced ones when showing pictures at the same resolution and frame rate.

A technique where a signal is reordered so as to sync up 2 devices of different operating speeds. For instance a 2:1 interleave run of numbers would end up as 1 6 2 7 3 8 4 9 5 so that each number is the second number from the preceding one, a 3:1 interleave would be 1 6 11 2 7 12 3 8 13 4 9 14 5 10 and so on.

I/O = Input/Output
A units collective interfaces to other devices.

IPS See --> Tape Speeds

German slang for mixers with docking facilities for smartphones or tablets.

IR = Infra-Red
A spectrum of light waves just outside of what is visible to humans. It is frequently used for wireless control applications and other low data rate communications, particularly for consumer control applications such as remote controls since the required hardware is much cheaper to fabricate than radio wave hardware, will not interfere with other wireless communication thus not needing regulatory approval and has no harmful effects on humans. The main pros and cons of infrared communications are the same thing, it's light even if it is light you cannot see, and is therefore mostly a line of sight way of communication. This is a plus as far as interference issues are concerned since there is no way that your remote will interfere with your neighbours equipment, but by the same token using IR equipment between rooms and in cluttered environments can be difficult.

I2S = Inter-IC Sound
A high speed serial bus standard for use with digital audio and/or video communications developed by Philips in 1986 and based around their I2C chip-to-chip communication standard (aka 12S), were it differs from most such serial systems is that high resolution clocking signal is sent alongside the data itself to ensure synchronisation and thus reduce or eliminate problems such as Jitter.

It was originally designed for on board communications between electronic parts as can be seen from the name and is used as such on everything from high end digital televisions to mobile phones, but has more recently been seen used on high end audio as an external interconnect standard in the form of I2S Enhanced. Basically an IS2 bus consists of 3 signal paths, one has 2 channels of audio or video data multiplexed onto it using TDM, the second channel has clock info and the third is a word select line. Get more info from NXP here (PDF file) or information on the I2s Enhanced here.

A a digital multichannel expansion connector originally introduced by RME. At this point in time apart from RME only DirectOut GmbH and AuviTran are companies that make I64 cards as far as we know.

KEMAR See --> Kunstkopf

1024 bytes of data or 1024 * 8 bits.

K. K. = Kabushiki Kaisha
A formal Japanese term for a limited company.

Klavierfest is German audiophile slang, it directly translates as "piano steady", it is used to indicate that an analogue music player is relatively free from flutter, tuned percussive sounds like those of a piano appear to show more phase errors than longer sounds. Please note that the term can also mean "Piano festival".


A large evergreen conifer tree that is native to New Zealand's North Island, sub-genus of Agathis and one of the oldest trees in the world, but the species first appeared in the Jurassic period. As they grow straight and large and they were very popular as building materials after Europeans started to settle NZ in the 18th century and were also the wood type most favoured by local musical instrument builders, not just for the qualities of the wood but also for the beauty of the grain and colour.

However as the Kauri trees are fairly slow growers, they take 300 years to mature and can up 2000 years old, the popularity meant that by the beginning of the 20th century the tree was only to be found in areas where loggers could not easily transport them from and since that time trade in the trees has been restricted and you do require a license from the New Zealand government if you want to mill them. This alongside a slowdown in the local manufacture of instruments due to imports means that it is seen less in modern instruments than historical ones.

In more upmarket NZ built instruments it is however getting more common to see the use of Swamp Kauri but these are trees that fell in into peat bogs between 2 and 50 thousand years ago that have been dug up and milled. While the topmost parts of the trees tended to rot away before they became enveloped by the peat, the trunks were so big that the root and base escaped fairly unscathed and sank into the peat where the lack of oxygen kept it intact. In addition to being an alternative source of Kauri, the aging process actually enhances the colour of the wood and the parts that are partly rotted get white, almost iridescent streaks in the grain that make Swamp Kauri one of the most visually striking woods out there, the high cost of extraction does on the other hand keep the wood fairly expensive . Note that one of the mills that specialises in digging up swamp Kauri's differentiates between Swamp Kauri that can have been in the ground for only 2000 years, and their own products that they refer to as "Ancient Kauri" that is said to be wood from trees that have been submerged for at the least 45 thousand years, what truth there is to those claims is not known.

Kunstharz See --> Bakelite

An interesting and technically sophisticated recording system for making Binaural recordings. Recordings are created using a microphone called Kunstkopf (or dummy head) that is actually modelled on reasonably anatomically correct in shape and external density, has microphones located in the ear cavities were the eardrum would be and sits on a resonating chamber that simulates the chest cavity of a human.

This produces a recording that has an uncannily lifelike quality when listened to on headphones but has a somewhat limited compatibility with normal loudspeaker systems, the recordings are normally slightly equalised to enhance that compatibility. This technique has got something of a bad rap due to a number of recordings made and distributed in the early 80's that were done with home-made kunstkopf systems that were so amateurishly done that the binaural effect was severely limited, this gave rise to the myth that recordings made with the system are "head dependent", i.e. that the binaural effect was dependant on the shape of the listeners head.

There are loads of such imitations of the original system that usually simplify the head structure too much to be fully functional, skipping the resonating chamber is fine for scientific and technical purposes such as noise monitoring and analysis, but almost absolutely necessary for audio related recordings, the head needs to have a nose and a reasonable emulation of the back of a head, the outer ear and ear canal, without those its usefulness is limited.

This is the correct name for both the technique and the microphone, the technique is sometimes referred to as "dummy head recording" but it was also known for a time in the USA as KEMAR or “Knowles Electronics Manikin for Acoustic Research” but that was a clone of a German model built by Knowles Electronics and sold to research labs in NA.

K7 = kah + sept = Cassette
Common French shortening for a Compact Cassette, also commonly used in other languages by the mail art/tape networks that florished between the latter half of the 1970's and early 1990's.

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am