Digital vs. analogue

The digital processing of audio signals offers many advantages over the analogue approach. With the right process, digital data can be compressed without compromising sound quality. This saves space on the transmission channel, creating the capacity for several stations to be broadcast together. Digital signals can also carry additional information to enrich listener benefit.

The term "analogue" comes from the Greek and means "in the same way" or "similar", i.e. sound is reproduced in the same way as it was created. Sound is recorded or broadcast as an analogue signal, and reproduced by the receiver in accordance with the analogue signal curve. The movements in the microphone membrane caused by the sound waves are sent just as they are to the receiver. At the other end, the speaker generates the same sound waves as were recorded by the microphone.

When sound is processed digitally, analogue variables such as frequency and volume are converted into numerical values. These numerical values are then converted back into the corresponding analogue signals so that the receiver can generate sound waves in the speaker.