Digital audio


The introduction of the CD in 1980 changed the audio world as we know it today. Digital audio became widely available for consumers and everybody was able to enjoy music without the shortcomings of tapes or LPs. Although the CD was originally designed for audio purposes, a version that could store computer data became quickly available.

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Philips and Sony launched the SACD in 1999 and it had to be the successor of the CD. Super Audio CDs are able to offer multichannel audio at a higher audio quality compared to a standard CD. Instead of using PCM to encode the audio, Delta Sigma modulation is used to achieve a more analogue sound.

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Pulse Code Modulation

The PCM encoding and decoding standard is the most used standard in digital audio. Its origins are dating back from the world of telegraphy but it wasn’t until 1943 before PCM was used to encode sound. These days PCM is absolutely indispensable for digital audio.

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Pulse Width Modulation

On SACD’s and DSD, audio is encoded and decode through PWM. Instead of exact values, each sample is measured to the value of its predecessor. The density of the bits corresponds to the amplitude of the original signal. In terms of audio, PWM signals have a more analogue sound character when compared to PCM.

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