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P

PAN/PANNING To move an audio signal from one output to the other. Panning a sound between two speakers changes the apparent position of the sound.

PARALLEL INTERFACE A computer interface in which data is passed simultaneously over many wires. A Parallel Interface is usually much faster than a serial interface. The SCSI Interface is an example of a Parallel Interface.

PARAMETRIC EQ Equalisation circuit similar to a Sweep eq, but with the addition of an extra control to specify how wide the chosen frequency band will be...That is, suppose you select a sweep eq tuned to 1KHZ...When you cut or boost the chosen band (1K) it will also effect frequencies adjacent either side of the chosen 1K band, but with a sliding scale...So perhaps the circuit cut & boost will effect signals down from 1K to about 800 HZ, and up from 1K to about 3K, but the further away from the centre frequency, the less the frequencies are cut or boosted.

The additional control on a Parametric eq is known as the "Q"...This control adjusts how wide a band of frequencies will be, either side of the chosen level. By adjusting the Q on a Parametric to be very tight, you can tune in very tight to a buzz or hum, or an irritating frequency, and cut it out... Or tune into a sweet spot, and boost it.

PATCH Referring to a particular sound created on a synthesizer. Comes from the use of patch cords on the original modular synthesizers, where individual electrical circuits such as VCA's, VCO's etc were literally "Patched" together with cables in different series to create different sounds.

PHANTOM POWER Some microphones called condensers utilise a very fine diaphragm of foil to pick up the soundwaves, this makes the mic very sensitive, and thus able to pick up more of the finer detail of a sound...However, due to it's fineness, when vibrated it creates only a tiny amount of current...The phantom power source, sends a +48 volt signal up the mic' cable, passing a current to increase the sensitivity of the magnet.... This allows the diaphragm movement to be greatly amplified prior to reaching the mixer or microphone amp.

POLYPHONIC Coming from the Latin, Poly, meaning many...A synth that is Polyphonic can play many tones or notes simultaneously...The total amount of notes a synth can play at once is referred to as its Polyphony...Most modern synths & modules which often must play an entire production including drum notes, are 24 note Poly or more.

POLYPHONIC RINGTONES Mobile phone ringtones have been around for some time and owners of mobiles have become more discerning in their choice. In the early days ringtones were monophonic and consisted of simple musical notes played programmed into the phone using the ringtone composer. Time maches on and many phones are now able to play the more complex polytones with up to 16 individual notes with different instruments played simultaneously to give a more realistic musical sound. Mobile phone handsets manufacturers have taken advantage full advantage of new technologies to improve speakers in order to produce a more superior mobile phone sound quality. Todays poly ringtones are almost as good as the original records, the quality gets better all the time due to continuous improvement in mobile phone audio technology. Most modern mobile phones with play 16 track tunes. Whilst the early mobile phones that would only play monophonic sounds are still around it is only a matter of time before all mobile phone manufacturers produce handsets that play polyphonic tones. Polytones sound good and most hits are available to be transmitted in stereo to give up to 40 different notes playing at a time.

PORTAMENTO sometimes called Slide, (such as on a Roland TB303 Bassline), is the sliding of one note up in pitch to the pitch of the following note...The portamento switch, on/off, is midi controller number 64 for General Midi.

PORTAMENTO TIME Once Portamento is selected, you can define how fast it slurs from one note to the next with the Portamento Time...which is midi controller number 5 for General Midi.

PRESET a preprogrammed sound and control setup on a sampler or synthesizer. Presets can be made up in advance of a performance, stored in memory, and then recalled instantly when desired.

PRESSURE SENSITIVE The ability of an instrument to respond to pressure applied to the keyboard after the initial depression of a key. Sometimes called aftertouch.

PRINT To record something to a magnetic medium such as tape.

PROXIMITY EFFECT when cardioid microphones are placed very close to the sound source, a boosting of the bass frequencies occurs which is known as the proximity effect.

POP & POP SHIELDS All microphones work on the principle of sound waves hitting a diaphragm suspended in a magnetic field...as you should remember from school, when two opposing magnets are moved near each other it generates tiny electrical current...Now these diaphragms are very sensitive, when a singer pronounces a "B" or "P" or any other explosive bass loaded sound, this often causes a high pressure wave to strike the diaphragm...The resulting thud, of the air wave hitting the mic' diaphragm is known as POP.
A POP SHIELD, is ...no, not Brooke Shields dad...It's a fine gauze suspended on a wire frame, that is positioned between the singers mouth, and the mic'.........Nowadays there are several models on the market, but in the old days, you constructed them out of an old pair of tight or stockings and a wire coathanger...OH YES!!!...Try it...it will make a difference to any microphone, but especially condenser types.

PSU Power Supply Unit.........a box which accepts line voltage, and converts it to the correct electrical supply for the Instrument.

PUNCH - IN When recording, punching in over-writes a previously recorded track starting at the punch in point.

PUNCH - OUT when recording, punching out stops the recording process started by a punch in, thus preserving the previously recorded track starting at the punch out point.