Thursday, January 1, 2015

Analog and Digital Signals

Two types of signal are able to carry information, namely, analog signal and digital signal. The difference between mainly lies in that analog signal is continuous while the digital signal is non-continuous.

An analog signal is continuous, which means that it won’t be broken or interrupted. For example, sound is an analog signal b y nature. One moment just follows another moment naturally without any interruption or breaking. For example, if you were to hum a descending note, then you may be able to detect the change of pitch, nut you can not point the particular moments when the pitch change.

In comparison, digital signals are non-continuous. Specific values are used to represent different information. To put make it easier for you to understand, here is an example. If you record a descending note you have hummed into a primitive digital signal, then you will get a collection of shorter sounds which makes up a single long sound.

Analog recording methods are continuous, which makes some people believe that such methods will be better choice in capturing sounds for digital recording methods may lead to the miss of some subtle nuances. However, as the digital recording process is developing at a rapid speed, digital recordings can achieve greater precision thanks to its higher sampling rates. Event though the signal is non-continuous, the captured sounds is still similar to the original ones because of the high sampling rate.

One of the drawbacks of analog format is that the analog recording is likely to wear down, which influence the sound quality greatly. On the other hand, digital media is able to capture sound indefinitely. As a result, audio engineers also convert analog waves into digital signals with digital recording devices or use special equipment to record directly to digital. Another advantage digital media has over analog is that you are free to copy the original sound as many time as you like without any damage.