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Term: Waveform (sound)

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Term: Waveform (sound)


The generic term waveform means a graphical representation of the shape and form of a signal moving in a gaseous, liquid, or solid medium. For sound, the term describes a depiction of the pattern of sound pressure variation (or amplitude) in the time domain. In colloquial speech, waveform audio is often used to mean the recorded sound itself (not the graphical representation) in order to distinguish it from structured audio, e.g., MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) data.

The temporal frequencies of sound waves are generally expressed in terms of cycles (or kilocycles) per second. The simplest waveform is the sine wave, since it has only one frequency associated with it. The sound waves associated with, say, music, are constantly varying.

See also:
Structured audio