Sunday, 16 March 2014

More Physics is Effectstastic!

On Wednesday we continued where we left on Tuesday: sound propagation in air, especially in a diffuse sound field. Four very distinct possibilities exist here:
1. reflection (Reflexion)
For a surface to reflect sound it has to be acoustically hard (smooth and hard) and the angle of incidence is the same as the angle of reflection.

2. absorption (Absorption)
Absorption takes away sound energy, either by converting it to warmth (absorbers made from foam), by converting it to kinetic energy and warmth (bass traps/Membran- und Plattenschwinger) or through so-called "Helmholtz-Resonatoren".

3. diffraction (Beugung)
Sound waves can travel around obstacles, but it depends on the wave length and the size of the obstacle.

4. rebounding (Brechung)
Sound waves change the direction of propagation if they transition into another medium, i.e. air to metal.

Welcome to SAE Zurich! You are here: Lobby.

 Next up was sound localisation, which can be differentiated into:
1. left/right localisation
This type of localisation is very accurate. You can hear deviations of approx. 3° from the centre. Because the sound waves don't hit both ears simultaneously, there are differences for both ears in level, phase and timbre.

2. up/down & front/back localisation
Levels and phases don't have any impact here, since the sound waves reach both ears at the same time. However, two factors are relevant: the form of the outer ear and experience/expectation.

3. perception of distance
Perceiving distance solely by sound is nigh impossible and is described as "very inaccurate". It works better in rooms (through reflection).

After that we took a quick look at what rooms a recording studio would ideally have and what is important in those rooms. Just to mention to rooms: control room, recording room (live 1), drum booth, vocal booth, control room just for editing, computer/machine room.

Wednesday is, of course, also "aural trainig day" and since I finished the first two CDs I was excited to start with the third one which introduced "A/B drills". In an A/B drill you have to listen to the original example A and the changed example B and then you have to find out what the change is. The third CD deals with effects and to train recognising different effects the effects got divided in 6 categories (amplitude, distortion, compression, equalisation, stereo and time delay/reverb) with 31 possible changes. Oh boy, the fun I'll have mastering this... =)

Be vewy, vewy quite. We're hunting effect.

Rise and shine! Thursday was effects day. Our lecturer Michael introduced us to effects and outlined the 4 main categories and its most important effects.
1. time processing effects
As the name suggests these effects manipulate the time element. Examples of such effects would be delay, reverb, hall, chorus, flanger, phaser and stereo enhancer.

2. dynamics processing effects
This kind of effects have a big impact on the dynamics (difference between the loudest and the softest sound) and can either extend or reduce the dynamic range. Typical dynamics processing effects are complressor, gate, limiter, expander or de-esser.

3. frequency processing effects
Effects of this category bring changes in the frequencies, i.e. filter, EQ or audio crossover (Frequenzweiche).

4. special effects
Effects that can't be lumped together in any other category end up here. Only the biggest, the baddest and the most notorious effects are part of this group, like distortion, tune pitch, frequency shifter or harmonizer.

Lastly we started learning about mixer consoles and what the console itself and all the knobs, buttons and faders are for. But I'll elaborate this at a later date.

Well, that's all for today. Cheers!

Artist Spin2Win featuring Carpet Floor!

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