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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.

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

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    $\begingroup$ 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". $\endgroup$ Jul 18 '14 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ @robertbristow-johnson Thanks, good point that's right, "vocal sample", "sample packs", "sampling a song", etc. $\endgroup$ Jul 18 '14 at 1:13
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Yes, the confusion comes from sampling theory. Thus, when you sample a signal, you get ... samples. If you want to be clear you can call the other one a statistical sample.

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