Acoustic, Analog and Digital Signals Explained

Understand how to set up digital audio via a basic knowledge of the theory of acoustic, analog and digital signals.
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  • Lectures 25
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 1/2015 English

Course Description

Audio Enthusiast: Make Better Music With Sound Card Mastery!

What an analog signal? How does the analog to digital conversion process work? What about digital fundamentals? And what is the digital to analog audio converter? And the quantization? With this course, you will be able to answer all these questions and more!

At the end of this course, you will be able to understand:

  • the differences between acoustic, analog and digital signals;
  • what is an analog signal;
  • the sampling process;
  • the quantization process;
  • bit depth and dithering;
  • the quantization noise;
  • the analog to digital conversion;
  • the digital to analog converter;
  • driver and buffer setup.

To achieve this goal, the course will start from the very beginning: we will talk about what an acoustic signal is and how it can be properly transformed, recorded and played back in a digital system through the analog to digital audio converter. I will also give you some quizzes to do to confirm what you have learned during the various sections of the course. And, if you want to go into more depth in some particular topics, a couple of external resources are also included in the course lectures.

Starting as it does from scratch, this course is intended for everybody. No requirements are needed except your musical passion and curiosity. It aims to introduce all the basic theory to understand the sampling process, the playback or mixdown of digital audio material through your digital audio card.

If you are a producer, a DJ or a musician or if you use a so called DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, Fruity Loops or a DJ software like Traktor, Serato or Virtual DJ, this course will explain how and why some setting could or should be applied to your audio card or software configuration. However, if you are already an audio engineer, this course is not for you.

It is the very first module of all the music and DJing courses I teach so it starts from the very beginning and you don’t need to know anything about the topic to start . Basically, it introduces a conscious management of audio signals through digital devices regardless of the brand or software used. Even your smartphone is based on the theory here explained.

Generally speaking, it’s a good thing to know how an audio card works if an audio card is used during the management of digital audio content. Whether you are an audio newbie or an enthusiast or if you want a conscious knowledge of your audio card, this course is for you.

Also remember: Udemy's lifetime free access to the course and full 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Enrol Now!

What are the requirements?

  • No requirements are needed except your musical passion and curiosity.
  • A computer, a tablet or Smartphone with Internet

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Comprehensive Presentation Lectures
  • Understand the Differences between Acoustic, Analog and Digital Signals
  • Analog to Digital Conversion
  • Recording and Playback in a Digital System
  • Conversions and Dithering
  • Audio Driver and Buffer
  • Audio Card Setup

Who is the target audience?

  • Producers
  • DJs or Musicians
  • Audio and Video Creators
  • Podcasters & Broadcasters
  • DAW Users (Cubase, Logic, Fruity Loops... )
  • Audio Editor Users (Audacity, Wavelab, SoundForge... )

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Fundamentals of Acoustics Signals

In this lecture we will define:

  • Acoustic Sound Definition
  • Little Note
  • Propagation Media
  • Classic Example
In this lecture we will talk about some Basic Parameters:
  • The Cartesian Coordinate System
  • Period and Wavelength
  • Periodic Waveform
  • Peak and Peak-to-Peak Value
  • The Mean Value and RMS
  • Crest Factor

In this lecture we will talk about:

  • Frequency with some examples
  • Note about frequency
  • Human Hearing Range
  • Phase
  • Fletcher–Munson curves

In this lecture we will talk about:

  • Simple and Complex Sound
  • Sound Characteristics
  • Pitch
  • Loudness
  • Tone
  • Fletcher–Munson curves

I also include this link ( to a free tutorial on Fletcher–Munson curves.

Complete Acoustics Session Script Pdf
5 pages
Acoustics Signals Quiz
9 questions
Section 2: Fundamentals of Analog Signals

In this lecture we will talk about:

  • What is an analog signal?
  • Transduction and examples:
  • Microphone and Speakers
  • Turntable
  • Tape


In this lecture we will talk about:

  • Noise
  • Signal to Noise Ratio
  • Dynamic range
  • Distortion
Complete Analog Session Script Pdf
2 pages
Analog Signals Quiz
8 questions
Section 3: Fundamentals of Digital Signals - Sampling

In this lecture we will talk about:

  • Digital Representation
  • Pros and Cons of Digitizing.

In this lecture we will talk about:

  • Sampling and Quantization
  • Recording and Playback in a Digital System

In this lecture we will talk about the Sample and Hold (time dicretization).

I also include this YouTube link ( to Wikipedia Sample and Hold description.


In this lecture we will talk about the Nyquist/Shannon theorem (or sampling) that is the base of digitizing.


In this lecture we will talk about:

  • Antialiasing Filter
  • Aliasing

I also include this Wikipedia link ( to Moiré pattern

Complete Digital Session A - Sampling Script Pdf
6 pages
Section 4: Fundamentals of Digital Signals - Quantization

In this lecture we will talk about Quantization where the amplitude of the original signal is discretized into discrete numeric values (amplitude discretization).


There are many different types of quantization but for this course we will deal with linear quantization.


During the quantization process, a great deal of information is lost due to the Quantization Error.


When the analogue signal is sampled, it may sometimes happen that the signal itself is unable to cross regions. A dither generator is used to mitigate problems.


Let’s have an overall look at everything we have dealt with during this section.

Complete Digital Session B - Quantization Script Pdf
4 pages
Digital Signals Quiz
15 questions
Section 5: Driver and Buffer

In this lecture we will talk about:

  • What is a Driver
  • Latency
  • Audio Driver Types
  • A.s.i.o. Driver

I also include this external stie link ( to Asio 4 All page.


In this lecture we will talk about:

  • The Buffer
  • Buffer Size
  • Transfer Rate
  • USB vs Firewire

let’s have an overall look at everything we have dealt with during this course

2 pages

Just a little additional lecture to talk a little more about audio and digital processing.

I also include this external stie link ( to Universal Audio Plugins.

Complete Driver and Buffer Session Script Pdf
4 pages

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Instructor Biography

Max Porcelli, Steinberg Certified Trainer - 989 Records A&R - HGD Resident

Max Porcelli is a Steinberg Certified Trainer, DJ, Producer and Remixer with a degree in multimedia and technological sciences. Since 2007 he's been running the Educational Division of 989Records, an independent electronic record label producing a variety of electronic music genres and working with many artists from around the globe. The aim of the division is to develop electronic music culture and all its related technologies.

Having followed more than 200 students during his educational activities, Max has become a point of reference for many musicians, DJs, producers and enthusiasts in the north east of Italy. 989Records head honcho, he started his musical career in 1989 and is currently one of the most active and chameleonic producers of the Italian electronic scene, with almost 70 singles, EP, albums and remixes already produced and published. Over the years, he has worked with Pacha Records and several important Italian labels such Rise, Absolutely, Airplane, Molto Rec, remixing artists like Inaya Day, Angie Brown (Incognito), Jocelyn Brown, Cheryl Porter, Oliver Cheatham (Room 5) and many others.

Since December 2016, Max is one of the HeavensGate Deep Session Resident DJs, Showcasing everything from Deep House, Tech & Techno - Syndicated Worldwide.

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