Audio (sound) reproduction is an electrical or mechanical re-creation of sound waves, such as voice, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.
Band in a Box outputs digital audio, mixed from a number of sources, to your computers sound card. The sound card, and any amplifier connected to your sound card, is responsible for converting the digital signal from BiaB to an analog signal you can hear.
Audio Signal PathEdit
Nearly all PC sound cards will accept an analog signal in via the line-in or mic inputs. Some newer sound cards, or audio interfaces, will also accept digital input. In the more common case of an analog signal the sound card will digitize (sample) the incoming signal. Either way the audio signal is sent from the sound card to Band in a Box (or other software) in digital format.
The software is responsible for any processing and/or mixing the user indicates. The processed audio signal is then passed on to an output. The output can be the sound card, where it is converted back to an analog signal for amplification, another software package or a storage medium.
An audio file is a file for storing audio data on a computer system. It can be a raw bitstream, but it is usually a container format or an audio data format.
There is one major uncompressed audio format, PCM, which is usually stored as a *.WAV on Windows or as *.AIFF on Mac OS. WAV and AIFF are flexible file formats designed to store more or less any combination of sampling rates or bitrates. This makes them suitable file formats for storing and archiving an original recording.
There are many compressed file formats. The most popular is mp3. Others include WMA, RA, m4p etc. These audio files are smaller (sometimes much smaller) than the uncompressed format. However, many of these formats lose fidelity compared to the original.
The format a user chooses is a balancing act between fidelity and file size. many factors will influence the choice such as whether the file is to be archived, shared or copied to another medium.