# Sample vs. sample values

Is there any difference between the terms sample and sample value in DSP? In statistics, those are very different concepts: a sample is a subset of a population: it is a set of random variables. A sample value is the realization (aka. observed value) of this set.

In DSP, I feel that sample is often used with the same meaning as sample value:

• in audio and music DSP, sometimes end users of the audio processing or music synthesis or sample-playback software use the term "sample" to mean the entire sound file (like a .wav or .aiff) of the note or sound event (all of $x[n]$ for $0 \le n < N$) and not just a single $x[n]$, which might be called a "sample value". as a DSP coder, i would use the semantic that a single $x[n]$ is a "sample". Jul 18 '14 at 0:58
• @robertbristow-johnson Thanks, good point that's right, "vocal sample", "sample packs", "sampling a song", etc. Jul 18 '14 at 1:13