The most striking characteristic of digital audio, and possibly the most controversial, is its intrinsically high sonic quality. However, this may not be the most significant benefit in terms of commercial applications. Characteristics such as archivability, flexible processing techniques, time base independence and rapid accessibility offer efficient and powerful capabilities. This paper discusses the implementation of one unique feature: random access editing. Through the use of large capacity rotating magnetic media and a smoothing buffer, it is possible to create and/or modify splices rapidly, audition them, then play the various cuts in one continuous stream. Such a system also enables various forms of processing (including such standard functions as fading, mixing and equalization) to be imposed on the signal, as well as enabling different forms of interaction including display of audio waveforms.
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