AAX: (Avid Audio eXtension) Plugin format developed by Avid, which can be used exclusively inside Pro Tools.
Attack: Envelope parameter that describes how long it takes for the volume of a sound to go from silence to peak. When found in effects/sound processors (such as compressors), it determines the amount of time it takes for the processor to affect the signal.
AU: (Audio Units) Plugin format, exclusive for Core Audio under macOS systems.
Audio file: Resource to store digital audio data. Can be found in several compressed and uncompressed container formats (WAV, FLAC, MP3, AAC, etc.).
Buffer size: Indicates the number of samples per batch of audio that’s processed by your system. Lower buffer sizes are usually associated to lower latency numbers, at the cost of more CPU usage. At 128 or 64 samples, the latency is negligible. The duration or length of each sample is dictated by the sample rate, which means that a buffer size of 128 at 48kHz will be shorter than a buffer size of 128 at 44.1kHz.
DAW: (Digital Audio Workstation) Type of software used for record, edit, and mix audio files through audio tracks. It also serves as host for different Plugin formats.
Decay: Parameter that specifies the amount of time it takes the sound to drop from the peak to the sustain. When found in effects like reverbs, it determines the time it takes for the reverberations to fade out.
Distortion: In audio processing, distortion is any form of modification that alters the shape of the signal. There are types of distortion that can be desirable (such as the saturation applied by tape machines), and some others that need to be avoided (such as digital clipping).
Envelope: Set of parameters that describe how the sound changes over time. It's composed of four parameters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. It can be interpreted as the "shape" of the sound.
High-pass filter: In audio processing, it's a filter that let's pass the signal over a certain frequency, cutting or attenuating the frequencies below the filter point.
Impulse response (IR): The response of a dynamic system obtained after reacting to an external change (generally a short input signal). This information can be stored as a file to simulate the response of a cabinet, speaker, room, etc. Most amp simulators need impulse responses to replicate the cab and speakers.
Low-pass filter: In audio processing, it's a filter that let's pass the signal below a certain frequency, cutting or attenuating the frequencies above the filter point. It can be seen as the opposite of a high-pass filter. Both filters can be commonly found in equalizers.
Release: The amount of time it takes to the sound to drop from the sustain to zero. When found in dynamic processors, like compressors, it determines the amount of time it takes for the signal to go from compressed to non-compressed.
Sample rate: Indicates how many times per second the audio is being sampled to be transformed into a digital signal. As a rule of thumb, to accurately reproduce the original audio, you need a sample rate twice as high as the highest frequency you want to reproduce. This means that 44.100 Hz is more than enough to accurately represent audio signals between 1 and 20.000 Hz.
Sustain: This parameter indicates the constant volume of the sound after the decay.
Tone: This term can be used to describe various things, such as the timbre of a specific sound, the characteristic sonority of a specific signal chain (ex: guitar tone), or a major second interval in music theory.
VST2: Plugin format developed by Steinberg. Widely used by multiple DAWs in both Windows and macOS systems.
VST3: Update of the Plugin format made by Steinberg. It makes it possible to incorporate some improvements, such as more accurate automatization parameters, Plug-In categorization, automation parameters grouping inside folders, and a few others.
XML file: files written in Extensible Markup Language, which are commonly used to store and share presets in plug-ins.