Audio Engineering

By Shariq Farooqui

During my research I looked at audio engineering, which involved understanding how sound is recorded, manipulated and reinforced. Speakers essentially just engineer sound for our listening. First I studied the seven characteristics of sound namely, frequency, phase, velocity, amplitude, harmonics, wavelength, envelope which are manipulated in order to produce sound. These characteristics are important building blocks of audio engineering.

The next aspect of sound engineering I looked at was equalization of sound. It involves adjusting the balance between frequency components within an electronic signal. Equalizers can correct problems posed by a room’s acoustics, rooms might have an uneven frequency response especially due to standing waves and acoustic dampening. The frequency response of a room may be analysed using a spectrum analyser and a pink noise generator for instance. Then a graphic equalizer can be easily adjusted to compensate for the room’s acoustics. Such compensation can also be applied to tweak the sound quality of a recording studio in addition to its use in live sound reinforcement systems and even home hi-fi systems.

Then I looked at sound production and manipulation through digital signal processing. Audio processing covers many diverse fields, all involved in presenting sound to human listeners. It is very useful in high fidelity music reproduction. It helps manipulate the characteristics of sound in order to reproduce sound. When designing a digital audio system there are two questions that need to be asked: (1) how good does it need to sound? and (2) what data rate can be tolerated?

References

  1. Audio Engineering 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Music Production By Tim Dittmar
  1. Equalization of Sound
  1.  Understanding the low pass and high pass filters in sound equalization
  1. Processing Audio Signals
  1. Audio Engineering Explained edited by Douglas Self
  1. Compositional models for signal processing – Perspectives from audio processing by Virtanen, T.
  2. Performance Analysis of Parallel Signal Processing Algorithms in Audio Mixing Systems By Jiri Schimmel Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication
  1. Introduction to Sound Processing by Davide Rocchesso
  1. Digital Audio Processing by Udo Zolzer
  1. Switched Capacitor Bandpass Filter for use in Home Audio Parametric Equalizer By John R. Ambrose, Douglas Cox, Cecil Solomon
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