The degree to which the SIGNAL received by a microphone or that stored on one CHANNEL of a STEREOPHONIC or QUADRAPHONIC recording or disc is kept separate from any other signal on the same recording. With analog tape, the physical distance between the recorded channels is maximized (see digram under MAGNETIC TAPE).
The amount of separation is measured in DECIBELs, and represents the degree to which signals have been kept separate during the recording or MIXING process. Quadraphonic disc recordings rarely achieve over 25 dB separation, whereas with tape, 50 dB can easily be achieved. Good separation is often called discrete channeling, but the degree of discreteness implied is uncertain unless a decibel measurement is also given.
Compare: CROSSTALK, DICHOTIC, PRINT-THROUGH, SPILL.