Programming for audio and visual synthesis
The phrase ‘audio rate’ refers to the speed at which a computer has to work in order to generate soundwaves. Sound can be represented by numbers (details in Chapter 3) and thus can be stored and manipulated on a computer. Audio signals can only be faithfully reproduced by using many tens of thousands of sound ‘samples’ per second. Since it requires several computer instructions to create or manipulate each sound sample, a typical audio program needs to make hundreds of thousands (or perhaps even millions) of calculations per second. This is a considerable load for any computer system, and so audio-rate programs need to be written with this in mind.