List of noise topics

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This is a list of noise topics.


Engineering and physics


Noise reduction


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The decibel is a relative unit of measurement corresponding to one tenth of a bel (B). It is used to express the ratio of one value of a power or root-power quantity to another, on a logarithmic scale. A logarithmic quantity in decibels is called a level. Two signals whose levels differ by one decibel have a power ratio of 101/10 or root-power ratio of 10120.

Ambient noise level

In atmospheric sounding and noise pollution, ambient noise level is the background sound pressure level at a given location, normally specified as a reference level to study a new intrusive sound source.

Weighting filter

A weighting filter is used to emphasize or suppress some aspects of a phenomenon compared to others, for measurement or other purposes.

Noise An unwanted sound

Noise is unwanted sound considered unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from desired sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arises when the brain receives and perceives a sound.

Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of noise, i.e. the sum of the signal-independent (background) noise and the signal-dependent noise. SNR is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise.

Noise pollution Excessive, displeasing human, animal, or machine-created environmental noise

Noise pollution, also known as environmental noise or sound pollution, is the propagation of noise with ranging impacts on the activity of human or animal life, most of them harmful to a degree. The source of outdoor noise worldwide is mainly caused by machines, transport, and propagation systems. Poor urban planning may give rise to noise disintegration or pollution, side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential areas. Some of the main sources of noise in residential areas include loud music, transportation, lawn care maintenance, construction, electrical generators, explosions, and people.

Dynamic range compression Audio signal processing operation that reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds, thus reducing or compressing an audio signals dynamic range

Dynamic range compression (DRC) or simply compression is an audio signal processing operation that reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds, thus reducing or compressing an audio signal's dynamic range. Compression is commonly used in sound recording and reproduction, broadcasting, live sound reinforcement and in some instrument amplifiers.

Acoustical engineering

Acoustical engineering is the branch of engineering dealing with sound and vibration. It includes the application of acoustics, the science of sound and vibration, in technology. Acoustical engineers are typically concerned with the design, analysis and control of sound.

Audio system measurements

Audio system measurements are a means of quantifying system performance. These measurements are made for several purposes. Designers take measurements so that they can specify the performance of a piece of equipment. Maintenance engineers make them to ensure equipment is still working to specification, or to ensure that the cumulative defects of an audio path are within limits considered acceptable. Audio system measurements often accommodate psychoacoustic principles to measure the system in a way that relates to human hearing.

Colors of noise Power spectrum of a noise signal (a signal produced by a stochastic process)

In audio engineering, electronics, physics, and many other fields, the color of noise refers to the power spectrum of a noise signal. Different colors of noise have significantly different properties. For example, as audio signals they will sound different to human ears, and as images they will have a visibly different texture. Therefore, each application typically requires noise of a specific color. This sense of 'color' for noise signals is similar to the concept of timbre in music ; however, the latter is almost always used for sound, and may consider very detailed features of the spectrum.

Comfort noise is synthetic background noise used in radio and wireless communications to fill the artificial silence in a transmission resulting from voice activity detection or from the audio clarity of modern digital lines.

Background noise or ambient noise is any sound other than the sound being monitored. Background noise is a form of noise pollution or interference. Background noise is an important concept in setting noise levels.

In acoustics, noise measurement can be for the purpose of measuring environmental noise or measuring noise in the workplace. Applications include monitoring of construction sites, aircraft noise, road traffic noise, entertainment venues and neighborhood noise. One of the definitions of noise covers all "unwanted sounds". When sound levels reach a high enough intensity, the sound, whether it is wanted or unwanted, may be damaging to hearing. Environmental noise monitoring is the measurement of noise in an outdoor environment caused by transport, industry and recreational activities. The laws and limits governing environmental noise monitoring differ from country to country.

Noise (electronics) Random fluctuation in an electrical signal

In electronics, noise is an unwanted disturbance in an electrical signal. Noise generated by electronic devices varies greatly as it is produced by several different effects.

Sound level meter

A sound level meter is used for acoustic measurements. It is commonly a hand-held instrument with a microphone. The best type of microphone for sound level meters is the condenser microphone, which combines precision with stability and reliability. The diaphragm of the microphone responds to changes in air pressure caused by sound waves. That is why the instrument is sometimes referred to as a sound pressure level meter (SPL). This movement of the diaphragm, i.e. the sound pressure deviation, is converted into an electrical signal. While describing sound in terms of sound pressure metrics, such as Pascals, is possible a logarithmic conversion is usually applied and the sound pressure level is stated instead, with 0 dB SPL equal to 20 micropascals.

Audio noise measurement is carried out to assess the quality of audio equipment, such as is used in recording studios, broadcast engineering, and in-home high fidelity.

A-weighting Curves used to weigh sound pressure level

A-weighting is the most commonly used of a family of curves defined in the International standard IEC 61672:2003 and various national standards relating to the measurement of sound pressure level. A-weighting is applied to instrument-measured sound levels in an effort to account for the relative loudness perceived by the human ear, as the ear is less sensitive to low audio frequencies. It is employed by arithmetically adding a table of values, listed by octave or third-octave bands, to the measured sound pressure levels in dB. The resulting octave band measurements are usually added to provide a single A-weighted value describing the sound; the units are written as dB(A). Other weighting sets of values – B, C, D and now Z – are discussed below.

Audio analyzer

An Audio Analyzer is a test and measurement instrument used to objectively quantify the audio performance of electronic and electro-acoustical devices. Audio quality metrics cover a wide variety of parameters, including level, gain, noise, harmonic and intermodulation distortion, frequency response, relative phase of signals, interchannel crosstalk, and more. In addition, many manufacturers have requirements for behavior and connectivity of audio devices that require specific tests and confirmations.

In signal processing, noise is a general term for unwanted modifications that a signal may suffer during capture, storage, transmission, processing, or conversion.

Noise refers to many types of random or unwanted signals, most commonly acoustic noise, but also including the following: