Analog and Digital


We will now talk about Digital to Analog conversion as well as Analog to digital conversion etc..

Analog Signal:

An analog signal is any variable signal continuous in both time and amplitude. It differs from a digital signal in that small fluctuations in the signal are meaningful. Analog is usually thought of in an electrical context, however mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and other systems may also convey analog signals.

An analog signal uses some property of the medium to convey the signal's information. For example, an aneroid barometer uses rotary position as the signal to convey pressure information. Electrically, the property most commonly used is voltage followed closely by frequency, current, and charge.

Any information may be conveyed by an analog signal, often such a signal is a measured response to changes in physical phenomena, such as sound, light, temperature, position, or pressure, and is achieved using a transducer.

For example, in an analog sound recording, the variation in pressure of a sound striking a microphone creates a corresponding variation in the voltage amplitude of a current passing through it. An increase in the volume of the sound causes the fluctuation of the current's voltage amplitude to increase while keeping the same rhythm.

Since most natural data is analog before the digital conversion required to get a digital signal, resolution of analog recording and transmitting technology has been higher until recent times. For practical reasons such as memory conservation and the cost of phasing out older digital recordings, the resolution of some digital signals may remain lower than most analog signals. For this reason, some audiophiles prefer analog technology. However, in many cases, the difference is too minimal to be noticed.

The primary disadvantage of analog signaling is that any system has noise – i.e., random variation. As the signal is copied and re-copied, or transmitted over long distances, these random variations become dominant. Electrically, these losses can be diminished by shielding, good connections, and several cable types such as coaxial or twisted pair.

The effects of noise make signal loss and distortion impossible to recover, since amplifying the signal to recover attenuated parts of the signal amplifies the noise as well. Even if the resolution of an analog signal is higher than a comparable digital signal, in many cases, the difference is overshadowed by the noise in the signal.