Jargon and lingo glossary - L to N.

Jargon and lingo glossary - L to N.

LFO = Low Frequency Oscillator
A sound generating oscillator that operates in the lower ranges of the audible range and in the regions beneath the audible range, typically from 0.001Hz to 100Hz. It is not usually used to generate audio signals but as a modulator for use in electronic circuits and music. An VCLFO is a LFO used in electronic music devices that can have the frequency and sometimes waveform shape as well controlled or modulated by a control voltage.

MADI = Multichannel Audio Digital Interface
A high speed asynchronous serial interface that multiplexes a host of 2 channel AES/EBU signals into one signal. Supports 32, 56 or 64 channels of audio at resolutions as high as 96kHz @ 24 bits, but note that not all implementations offer all bandwidths and channel counts and in addition many implementations are expensive and thus primarily seen on high end professional gear.

The standard does not have enough bandwidth to allow for the max number of channels and resolutions at the same time although some manufacturers have extended the standard to do so to a degree it means that those “extended MADI” devices will only work with products from the same manufacturer as anything but the basic MADI specs. At up to 48kHz the standard allows for multiplexing up to 32 EBU channels giving 64 channels of audio, at 96kHz there are only 16 channels multiplexed giving a max of 32 audio channels.

A sort of a homepage but done on paper, issued at regular interval such as monthly or quarterly (four times a year), outdated format but still mildly popular with geriatric audiophiles. The colloquial term Zine is sometimes used for a magazine but it is more often used as shortening for Fanzine but that is a privately funded and published mag with distribution via the mail only, that sort of publication usually caters to a niche viewpoint that is inappropriate for mainstream consumption, these sort of publications were also called by other names and phrases, "private magazines" and in the 80's USA they were often called "samizdat" after the home made dissident magazines of the USSR, but that word was also used to describe the act of publishing them

The term newsletter is used in most of the world to denote publication put out by organisations or companies that inform customers or members of happenings within each organisation, there was also the "professional newsletter" a highly target specific publication put out by someone with expert knowledge in the specific field that kept industry insiders aware of developments within the field or sub-genre, these were usually small at no more than 30 pages and very expensive to subscribe to, hence usually only bought by companies operating in around the field as they could be written off as expenses. These professional newsletters are often highly sought after by historians since they did not always make it to local national collection libraries and often contain information not to be found elsewhere.

A personal newsletter from the USA that was published in the latter half of the 90's, it was called Primyl Vinyl Exchange Newsletter and was much better than the average such.

But in the USA and to a lesser degree Canada there was a culture of what might be termed a "personal newsletter", but these were like fanzines privately funded and published periodicals that were primarily written by one person. However unlike fanzines which emulated the structure and layout of magazines to at the least some degree and aspired to become something more magazine like, the newsletter was mostly unstructured, i.e. one article followed another in a serial fashion, and was more often than not a vessel for someone's personal opinion pieces disguised as genre specific material. The vast bulk of these had and have no value except as curiosiata, and are sometimes highly entreating as such especially if they were written by someone who took themselves too seriously.

But there was occasionally a newsletter that catered to a viewpoint or niche that was so small that it made for an interesting reading and even more rarely there were publications that were so well written and/or researched that made for an almost compulsory read, a still published example of such would be Bound For Sound Report, but these were quite frankly as rare as hens teeth. To put it into a numerical perspective, in 1987 to 91 I distributed fanzines locally and a the time my best guess was that in the English speaking part of North America the were around fifty thousand periodicals of any sort published every year, with around ten thousand being magazines, journals and fanzines and the rest newsletters of any sort.

Those types of "personal newsletters" give rise to the classic internet forum response "Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter", which hopelessly confuses Europeans and people born after 1990, but the phrase is merely used to infer that the parent poster is a crank.

Magic box See --> black box

An obsessive collector or hoarder of old junk, as opposed to someone who collects vintage pieces systematically, although the end result has a tendency to look and smell similar. This is an English term but local variants of the language have other naturalistic idioms, in the USA the term Packrat is the most used one etc.

Masking See --> Psychoacoustic Masking

1024 kilobytes of data or 1024 * 1024 * 8 bits, see also Disk Megabyte.

Basically any gramophone type audio record with grooves smaller than 60µm. the original gramophone record had a groove that was 65µm+ and this soon standardised to 63µm and was not made smaller in the early parts of the century due to inertia, standards compliance and the wide usage of reclaimed materials as filler in shellac records, but that meant that sound quality would be compromised if it was made any smaller.

As soon as PVC became a commercial reality companies and individuals began experimenting with smaller grooves, in the 30's there were even microgroove transcription disks distributed commercially in Australia and the USA, belived to have been between 30 and 40µm. The 45 RPM 7" singles and 12" LP record introduced in the late 1940's had grooves around 25µm and modern stereo variant usually have grooves a little bit smaller or less than 20µm.

MIDI = Musical Instrument Digital Interface
A serial digital control interface for musical instruments, technically outdated even at the time it was introduced and very keyboard oriented but has proved to be very pervasive, not the least due to its encapsulation into standards such as VSTi..

German term that is used to mean small and medium sized companies in German speaking countries and in the rest of Europe is sometimes used to denote stable 3+ generation family run companies regardless of size, these are often noticibly more tenacious inside marketplaces than shareholder based companies. Term comes from the middle ages and could be translated as "middle class".

MLan See --> 1394

Mod-tro = Modern retro
Japanese slang for modern equipment with retro looks and asthetics.

Mono = Monophonic
In audio : Any audio system that gives out a single audio signal, this is regardless of the number of loudspeakers or amplifier channels used.
In music : An instrument that is only capable of producing one note at a time, this is slightly incorrect usage, the term should be: Monotonic.
Dual Mono : A design feature in 2 channel stereo audio systems were the 2 signal paths are kept completely separate from each other both electronically and mechanically, high end variants of this type of design also have a separate power supply and transformer for each channel.

MPX = Multiplex
Usually seen used for the Multiplex filter on analogue recorders, FM radio uses a 19KHz multiplex pilot tone to control the demodulation of the radio signal and 38kHz subcarrier signals, this is not properly filtered out by most tuners and is thus still present in the audio signal that you get from the tuner, this is mostly inaudible to grown ups although children and teenagers can often hear this, but creates problems when you use some noise reduction system that use de emphasis as the tone interferes with the tracking of the system and in older recorders in particular it also created problems with the bias circuit for similar reasons.

This filter used to be on almost every recorder until the advent of Dolby HX Pro, but that system more or less ensures that the pilot tone and similar HF sounds do not interfere with biasing, on some budget recorders it is still seen since it is cheaper to implement than HX and on higher end recorders since MPX signals can still interfere with the performance of Dolby NR circuits. An MPX filter is only useful while recording and is usually defeated automatically at playback, in any case it should only be used when recording off FM radio.

USA slang that refers to the practice of removing all parts and features not needed for a basic operation from an electronic design for cost saving purposes. Named after Earl Muntz who ran a a small consumer electronics empire in the southern USA in the 50's and 60' and was nicknamed "Mad Man Muntz" because of his colourful radio and TV advertising. His companies sold goods such as TV's and car radios that were designed down to a price, he was in particular fond of clipping out any capacitors used for smoothing purposes, all this resulting in TV's that where much cheaper than the competition but had a tendency to work only under ideal conditions.

Used for the 3 lower bass strings on a classsical guitar, in historical guitar literature this may be the lower 4 strings. Opposite term is Colour.

A metal alloy with dense magnetic field that unlike most other hard magnets with similar characteristics is neither outrageously expensive nor difficult to fabricate, using this material in a transducer such as a pickup or a headphone means higher efficiency and thus in most cases a more accurate sound. Neodyium is a popular Japanese variant on the spelling used by Furuyama Audio Lab (FAL) for instance in their local literature, but that company BTW claims to have invented the alloy in the early 1970's.

Neumann Curve
A variant of the RIAA curve introduced by Neumann for use with their cutting equipment, it is identical to the RIAA specifications up to 50 kHz but from then on it is filtered off by a fairly steep curve. This is needed since a high amount of energy in the audible range can generate harmonics well above it and in an audio system that has no filtering this can mean an energy build-up that can damage the system, the Neumann engineers decided that 50 kHz was safely out of any perceived audible range. And the threat of damage is no imaginary thing, at the least one experimental music record from the late 70's actually managed to shatter the cutting diamond on the lathe that was used to cut it (Throbbing Gristle).

Newsletter See --> magazine

NOS = New Old Stock
A new and unused example of a product that is no longer being manufactured and usually outdated. Typically unsold stock from a dealer, distributor or manufacturer. -- Be aware that with the proliferation of on-line sales outlets, auction sites and small ad portals in the last few years that the usage of this term has become so commonplace as to mean mint or little used, which is obviously a misnomer if not dishonest.

Norsorex See --> Polynorbornene rubber

Icelandic slang, a combination of the French word Nostaglia and the Icelandic word klígja which denotes the gall like taste you get in your mouth just before you throw up. Used were a overly romantic view of a bygone era transcends good taste and/or common sense.

Nowy Targ
A market town in lesser Poland founded in the early 14th century as Neumarkt (still known as Neumarkt am Dohnst in Germany), and incorporated in the middle of the century under the Magdeburger Recht laws which gave the town a degree of independance similar to a Hanseatic city. Became the center of classical musical instrument manufacture in Poland in the 19th century and is still the basis of most classical string instrument manufacture in the country. Makers based in the town include Bobak Violino.

NTSC = National Television System Committee
Better known under its initials, but NTSC is an USA based organisation that was involved in the early development of televison but this term is usually used to denote the analogue terrestrial broadcasting standard formulated by this committee rather then the organisation itself.

The NTSC system is only used in the USA and its dependencies, Tawain and Japan in addition to a couple of South American and Caribbean counties and in most of those places is falling rapidly out of circulation in favour of some form of HDTV, the rest of the world uses PAL or variants of that such as SECAM.

Nude = Unhoused/whole
This word is usually used to mean that a device or item has no housing or shielding of any sort as in Pickups : where it is used to indicate that the generator is either completely out in the open or only partially covered. However in some cases it actually means "whole" as in Stylus : but a nude stylus is when a whole diamond is glued to or thrust through the cantilever, but traditionally a diamond or Shappire is only glued on to the tip of the stylus which is usually made out of some hard metal which in turn is glued or otherwise fastened onto the cantilever.

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