1. An attenuator circuit used to reduce the signal from certain microphones to prevent clipping in the pre-amp. The circuit might be part of the microphone, a separate component, or built into the pre-amp. An electronic circuit designed to attenuate the output of a device by a given amount. For example, some microphones have so much output that they can overdrive the input stage of many mic preamps. To prevent this, mic designers will include a switchable “pad” on the output stage of the mic, attenuating, or reducing the mic’s output by 10 or 20 dB.
2. Sustained and harmonious background sound in a musical arrangement. This term typically describes strings or synthesizer tones playing chords or otherwise “filling” sounds—via reverb, doubling, etc.—that change smoothly and slowly, if at all. Pads are often used to add weight to an otherwise thin mix.
A timing signature where the note between beats is played much closer to the following beat rather than directly in the middle. Several sources have suggesting thinking of swing time as a virtual triplet where the main beat is played on 1 and the mid beat played on 3.
Ragtime is not a “time” (meter) in the same sense that march time is 2/4 meter and waltz time is 3/4 meter; it is rather a musical genre that uses an effect that can be applied to any meter. The defining characteristic of ragtime music is a specific type of syncopation in which melodic accents occur between metrical beats. This results in a melody that seems to be avoiding some metrical beats of the accompaniment by emphasizing notes that either anticipate or follow the beat (“a rhythmic base of metric affirmation, and a melody of metric denial”). The ultimate (and intended) effect on the listener is actually to accentuate the beat, thereby inducing the listener to move to the music.
Sources: http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/pad/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragtime