N is for Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem

Every day we deal with the problem of squeezing more of our world into smaller containers. How many books can you fit on your shelf? How many hours of sleep can you fit into your busy schedule? How many clothes can you cram into your suitcase as you pack for a trip? As time goes by, we gradually become crazier with this, always trying to squeeze a little more into a little less: we squeeze the books a bit closer, fold the shirts a bit tighter ... you get the idea.

When it comes to audio, we do exactly the same thing, though you wouldn’t know it. If the world of physical sound (that is, vibrations in the air) is one shore and the world of digital audio (that is, the way we represent those vibrations numerically) is the other, we need some sort of boat or bridge to shuttle between them, otherwise we’re in for a mean soaking.

Read the rest here.