Introduction to Computer Music

Learning Digital Audio

Return to: MUSC 336

See also: Learning Synthesis


    Cycling '74, How Digital Audio Works {C74} (Cycling '74 2021)

Online Reference:

Jeffery Hass, Introduction to Computer Music (Hass 2021)

  1. Digital Audio Overview
  2. Binary Numbers
  3. Samples and Sampling
  4. The Nyquist Frequency and Aliasing
  5. Sampling Rates
  6. Quantizing, Approximation Errors and Sample Size
  7. Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs)
  8. Digital Audio File Formats
  9. References


Ballora, Mark. 2017. Digital Audio and Acoustics for the Creative Arts. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; TOC}

Burk, Phil, Larry Polansky, Douglas Repetto, Mary Roberts and Dan Rockmore. 2011. Music and Computers:  A Theoretical and Historical Approach, Archival Version. Available online at: <>.

Cycling '74. 2021. "How Digital Audio Works." Max 8 Documentation. Available online at: <>.

Hass, Jeffery. 2021. "Ch. 5 Digital Audio," in Introduction to Computer Music: An Electronic Textbook, 2nd ed. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University. Available online at: <>.

Roads, Curtis. 2023/1996. The Computer Music Tutorial, 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {2/e: GB; 1/e:GB}

Updated: October 11, 2021

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music