Topic 18- Sound and music

Topic 18- Sound and music

Topic 18- Sound and music

Sound and music:

  • Sound is an essential part of ICT and most computers come with a sound card and speakers. 

The hardware, siftware and techniques used for sound:

MP3 players:

  • Play music files stored digitally in MP3 file format
  • Are small and portable
  • Can store thousands of music tracks
  • Are now part of many mobile phones

Input devices:

  • These devices are used to get music into a format that can be stored, processed and output by the computer


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Topic 18- Sound and music

  • A microphone allows sound to be converted into data. Here is what a microphone allows you to do:
  • You can tell the computer what to do
  • You can dictate letters and other documents into yout word-processor or email package. This is called voice recognition
  • You will need a microphone if you want to send voice mail or take part in video conferencing
  • You can record a live music performance

Sound cards:

  • Circuit boards containing chips and other components
  • Allows high quality music/sound to be produced

Speakers and headphones:

  • Are ouput devices
  • Used to output the sound/music after processing by the computer
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Topic 18- Sound and music


Musical Instrument Digital Interface

  • Allows musical instrument to transfer music to a computer
  • Where it can be edited and stored
  • MIDI can play back the stored music using the device used to create it
  • Keyboards use MIDI

Sound conversion (analogue to digital and digital to analogue):

  • Sound is an analogue signal 
  • Nearly all computer process digital data
  • The ananlogue sound needs to be converted
  • An analogue-to-digital converter is used
  • To play back the music, the digital data is converted to analogue using a digital-to-analogue converter
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Topic 18- Sound and music


  • Hardware or software used to manage music 
  • Drum machines are an example- they play a series of not in a set order automatically
  • Music workstations can also provide sequencers

Notators (music compositions software):

  • Software that allows you to compose your own music
  • Enter noted into the computer via the keyboard, a MIDI system or scanning a piece of music on paper using a scanner

Sound wave editors:

  • Allows sound waves to be altered
  • You can alter, cut, paste and have effects such as echo, amplification and noise reduction applied

File formats for music:

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Topic 18- Sound and music

  • WAV- retains every bit of audio information whihc means when you play it back it sounds exactly like it did when it was created. Perfect if you want the highest quality sound but this is obviously impacts upon the file size
  • MP3-best known and the most popular, uses compression so files are about a tenth the size of a WAV.Quality not as good and they need to be decoded which means they are not as fast to load
  • WMA- Windows Media Audio and this is the file format used for windows that offers high quality sound at a high compression. This enables music files to be decocted, stored and distributed at high speed

Downloading of music:

  • Downloads have become very popular owing to:
  • The ease with which the can be obtained 
  • The ability to just dowload tracks that you want- you do not ned to buy the whole album
  • You can still burn the tracks to a CD provided they are only for personal use
  • The ease with which they can be loaded onto portable players such as IPods, MP3 players and mobile phones
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Topic 18- Sound and music

Downloading of Music:

  • There are a number of problems associated with downloading: 
  • Many people use file sharing sites to avoid having to pay for downloading music tracks
  • People who download music or films from the Internet by their Internet service providers
  • You do not have a physical CD that can be sold at a car boot sale or on e-Bay

Copyright Problems:

  • There are copyright problems with sound and music as there is with text and images. The following is good advice:
  • You cannot use music on a webiste without copyright owner's permission
  • Do not copy samples of voice or sound without permission
  • Do not make copies of musoc tracks to share with your friends
  • Do not use illegal file sharing sited as your use if the Internet may be affected
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