Term: Amplitude

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The displacement of a wave. For example, the loudness of a sound is proportional to its amplitude. In analog audio, we typically measure the amplitude of a signal’s voltage. 

RMS amplitude refers to the working average voltage level of an audio signal. In professional audio devices, line level (+4 dBu) is defined as 1.228 volts RMS.  VU meters display RMS measurements.

Peak amplitude refers to the maximum positive or negative level. A line-level sine wave peak voltage is 1.73 volts (RMS x 1.414).

Peak-to-peak amplitude measures the difference between the most positive peak and the most negative peak. A line-level sine wave peak-to-peak voltage is 3.46 volts (2 x Peak RMS).