converter

What is a converter and what is it used for?

To digitize audio signals in audio engineering, we first need a converter. In the case of digital converters, there is the A/D converter (A = analogue, D = digital), which generates digital signals (binary numbers) from an analogue oscillation (wave). These digital audio signals can now be saved, copied, modified, shaped into effects and, above all, converted back into analog vibrations. There is also the D/A converter. The analog vibrations can now be amplified again and converted into sound waves via a loudspeaker, headphones or other medium.

What does the converter do in digital audio systems?

A converter with processor can be found e.g. B. in a smartphone, car radio, in the home system or in an effect device. The principle is always the same. But there are also independent converters. These come in different qualities and should be at least 16-bit quality. Better converters work with 18 and even 20 or 24 bits. These bit numbers say something about the number of digits of the binary numbers with which the converter calculates. This means that the higher the number of bits, the more numbers are processed and the dynamics of the recording become greater. The number of bits that are so important to the dynamics is called resolution. Not to be confused with the Sample rate. The first samplers worked with a low resolution of 8 bits. The advent of the CD established 16-bit processing. In the age of streaming and streaming services the resolutions even go into the conversion in 24 bits by default. However, the majority of all digital systems today work with 24 bits. With AV/D and D/A converters it can be a bit more! We have all dealt with digital devices, e.g. B. with a digital alarm clock or a computer, smartphone or Bluetooth speaker. We also know that all digital microprocessors are essentially "calculators" that work with numbers (binary numbers).

How do AD/DA converters affect the quality of audio tracks?

The AD converters influence the quality of the analog recorded tracks. The DA conversion, on the other hand, only gives you the signal distorted or changed if necessary. However, this can only really be judged in a room that has been built and measured acoustically accurately.

Because whether, for example, a 38 Hertz increase that you may feel in your material really comes from the DA conversion or simply from a stimulus in the room can only be judged objectively if the room and the monitoring medium (monitors) do not influence the sound.

So as you can see, a number of factors affect the playback quality of your recorded tracks.

The quality of the processed tracks only affects the AD conversion if you record external signals in analog form in your DAW. With digital signals (eg AES EBU) only binary numbers are transmitted. As a rule, there is no change in the sound.