Digital Audio - Overall outline of the sampling process

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In the light of what we have seen up until now, we are ready to analyze the sampling process in all its various phases. The following diagram graphically illustrates the whole process:

Digital Audio - Complete outline of the sampling process

Complete outline of the sampling process

Amplifier: the input signal is amplified and brought to the sampling circuit's internal SOL level [Standard Operating Level ]

Low-pass filter: this is the anti-aliasing filter

Sample & Hold-filter: The sampled voltage value is kept constant by a circuit called Sample & Hold-filter. This is done in order to give the quantization circuit enough time to perform the necessary calculations to convert the voltage into a binary number.

A/D conversion (quantization): the quantization circuit picks up each sample's voltage and returns it's equivalent binary number.

Storing: each sample that has been transformed into bits is stored in order so that it is available for reconversion into analogue or indeed for any other mathematical manipulation. One possible manipulation is digital oversampling, used for minimizing the quantization error.

D/A conversion: each binary-form sample gets converted into its equivalent voltage.

Hold-filter: this filter keeps each sample's voltage constant until the elaboration of the following sample, in order to reconstruct a continuous wave-form.

Low-pass filter: the wave-form that has been obtained this way is characterized by abrupt transitions due to the effects of the hold-filter. Seeing that these abrupt transitions are nothing but very high frequencies, a low-pass filter is used to resolve the problem and soften the wave-form.

Amplifier: the voltage-value is brought back to the SOL value required at the output stage.


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