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DAC digital to ANALOGUE CONVERTER A device that takes numerical digital data, and converts it into analogue electrical signals.... (See also ADC)

DB/OCTAVE The unit typically used to indicate the slope of a filter, or how fast the frequency response rolls off or deteriorates past the cutoff frequency. A 24 dB/octave filter would attenuate an input signal by 24 dB one octave above the cutoff frequency, by 48 dB two octaves above the cutoff frequency, and so on.

DCA DIGITAL CONTROL AMPLIFIER Performs the same task as the VCA, but utilises a digital circuit.

DCO DIGITAL CONTROL OSCILLATOR Does the same job as the VCO, but uses a digital circuit for greater tuning stability. DCO's were introduced in the late 70's on synths like the JX3P.

DECAY The second stage in an ADSR type envelope generator. See ADSR.

DEDECIBEL (db) A reference for the measurement of sound energy. The minimum change in volume that the human ear can perceive. Named after Alexander Graham Bell. A decibel is 1/10th of a Bel.

DEPTH The amount of modulation. Sometimes called Amount, Width, Intensity or Modulation Index.

DIGITAL Equipment that uses quantities represented as binary numbers. In a digital synthesizer every aspect of the sound generation is handled as a numeric calculation. The digital information is not audible and so must be converted to analogue form by a DAC before it is output.

DRUMMER Someone who hangs about with musicians... :-)

DSP simply means Digital Signal Processor.

DYNAMIC MIC a microphone in which the diaphragm moves a coil suspended in a magnetic field in order to generate an output voltage proportional to the sound pressure level and frequencies.

DYNAMIC RANGE The range from the softest to the loudest sound that can be produced by an instrument. Or the range of the low and high signal levels obtainable by a velocity sensitive keyboard. The greater the Dynamic Range, the more sensitive the keyboard.