ET 106 Science of Sound

I. CATALOG DESCRIPTION:

ET106-N1 or N2 Science of Sound C 3, P 2, CR 4

Basic concepts of sound and human hearing are introduced. Topics include the history and development of basic acoustics and electricity, microphones, loudspeakers, signal processing, monitoring and recording systems, and an introduction to current digital audio. This course is not applicable as an electrical elective for Electrical majors.

Pre-requisites: An appropriate math placement test score, MA045 Basic Math Skills, or MA050 Introductory Mathematics.

II. MATERIALS:

Text: The Science of Sound 3E, Rossing, Moore, & Wheeler, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-8053-8565-7

Web: Supporting materials may be found at the Acoustical Society of America (asa.aip.org) and the Audio Engineering Society (aes.org).

 III. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of acoustics and audio, the methodology of its measurement, and its scope and relation to other disciplines.

The student will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the fundamental nature of acoustics and human hearing, including an understanding of basic audio testing and audio electronics.

The student will use algebraic and graphical techniques to solve basic problems involving acoustics and audio.

The student will demonstrate skills in the application of audio test equipment and experimental techniques through the laboratory via individual and/or group exercises and demonstrations, to observe, measure, document, and evaluate acoustical and audio phenomena.

The student will effectively gather experimental data via the laboratory exercises, analyze data using mathematical techniques explored in the lecture, and communicate their conclusions via presentations and/or written reports.

The student will demonstrate the ability to work effectively as part of a team in the laboratory, to investigate, document, and analyze natural phenomena in the area of acoustics and audio.

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the application of basic audio and acoustic principles in everyday life, including the areas of music, speech, and the variance of human hearing across populations.

Course Assessment Standards

Syllabus

Background

Basic concepts of sound and human hearing are introduced. Topics include the history and development of basic acoustics and electricity, microphones, loudspeakers, signal processing, monitoring and recording systems, and an introduction to current digital audio. Success in this course requires a good working knowledge of algebra. Also, it is helpful if you have taken at least one lab course in high school or college. A basic $10 scientific calculator will be handy. Some lab work will be performed using digital audio software. A portion of the lab exercises require a technical report due no later than one week after the exercise. Late penalty is one letter grade for the first half week, two letter grades for the second half week. Reports are not accepted beyond two weeks and receive a grade of 0. Remember, plagiarism is grounds for failure.

Week-by-week progress and assignments (please note that we will not be covering every topic in the chapters listed)

1

Introduction to course. History, development, relations to other disciplines. Explanation of scientific method. Theory vs. hypothesis vs. conjecture.We introduce systems of units and basic physical quantities and relations.

2

This week we begin our study of vibrating systems and waves.

3

We finish off the first section with resonance and look at musical instrument examples. 

  • Reading: Finish chapter three and read chapter four (skip 4.6). 
  • Lab: Acoustic delay and measurement of the speed of sound.
4

We begin section two on the perception of sound. 

5

We continue with hearing and examine sound pressure and loudness.

6

We look at acoustic spaces and consider topics such as reverberation time. Here is a nice on-line room mode calculator: http://www.hunecke.de/en/calculators/room-eigenmodes.html  You might also wish to download this free graphical room mode calculator (Windows only): http://www.realtraps.com/modecalc.htm

  • Reading: Chapter 23 through section 7, chapter 25 through sections 25.1, 25.2, and 25.7 through 25.10.
  • Lab: Resonant pipes.
7

We finish off acoustic spaces. Take a look at the photo links at the bottom of the page. By week's end we will have our first test

  • Reading: Chapter 32, the first eight sections. The first two sections of chapter 18.
  • Lab: A hands-on exploration of the human voice: frequency range and timbre.
8

We start electroacoustics with a short introduction to basic electrical quantities (commonly associated with acoustical and audio measurements).We examine output transducers (e.g., loudspeakers). You may wish to download this free loudspeaker CAD software (Windows only): http://www.linearteam.dk/default.aspx?download=winisd

  • Reading: Chapter 19, sections 19.1 through 19.3. Also start sections 19.10 through 19.15.
  • Lab: Loudness perception.
9

This week we finish loudspeakers and look at input transducers such as micrphones.

10

This week we begin discussion of signal processing. This is a wide-ranging topic and covers a lot of ground. We begin with the basics such as equalization, dynamic range compression, and limiting.

11

We pick up artificial ambience, namely reverb and echo, and finish this segment. By week's end we begin discussion of digital audio.

  • Reading: Finish chapter 21, sections 21.11 through 21.15.
  • Lab: Loudspeakers.
12

We discuss concepts such as quantization and quality versus storage/streaming bandwidth requirements.

13

We continue with digital audio.

14

We finish digital audio with MIDI and Internet audio including perceptual coding, MP3, and copyright issues. Time for our second test.

15

We finish the course with a discussion of the mathematics behind musical scale construction.

  • Reading: Chapter 9, sections 9.1 through 9.6.
  • Lab: Special effects: Modulation, transfer functions, etc.

Resources

Notes and Problem Sets

Metric System Essay
Science Intro Notes
Sine Wave Notes
Pitch, Overtones, and All That Suff
Acoustics and Hearing Notes
Waves Problem Set
Loudness Problem Set
Mics and Loudspeakers Problem Set
Digital Audio Problem Set

 

Labs

Force and Pressure
Speed of Sound
Simple Harmonic Motion
Tensioned String
Resonant Pipes
Human Voice
Loudness Perception
Basic Electricity
Loudspeaker Impedance Magnitude
Sample Wrench Intro
Equalization and Spectral Analysis
Time Delay Effects
Special Effects

 

Imagery: Acoustics

MVCC Theater
MVCC Pool
MVCC Field House
MVCC Field House Close Up
MVCC AB265

Studio Double Wall
Studio Window
Studio Wall Ceiling
Studio Ceiling
Studio Floor
Studio Outlet
Studio Window Insert
Studio Sonex

Garage Studio Claps

Guitar Bass

I490 Wall


Sounds

PianoSnare
PianoSnare 1 msec
PianoSnare 2 msec
PianoSnare 5 msec
PianoSnare 10 msec
PianoSnare 20 msec
PianoSnare 35 msec
PianoSnare 50 msec
PianoSnare 100 msec

Garage Clap
Garage Clap Minus 100ms
Studio Clap Single Sonex
Studio Clap Double Sonex

TimmyUmbwebweSegment CD Original
TimmyUmbwebweSegment 320 kbps
TimmyUmbwebweSegment 96 kbps
TimmyUmbwebweSegment 32 kbps
TimmyUmbwebweSegment 8 kbps

Roundabout Reverse 
Fire On High Reverse 
Strange Magic Snip
Expresso Snip

Pythagorean-ET 3rd
Pythagorean-ET 5th
Pythagorean-ET Major Chord

Links

On-line Room Mode Calculator

ISO 226:2003 Equal Loudness Graph

Velocity and Attenuation Data for Various Materials

Alternate Equal Loudness Data

Absorption and Attenuation Data

Absorption and Attenuation Data (Alternate)

Musical Pitches and Scales Data

Medical Ultrasound Data

Noise Level Data

Perceived Noise Reduction Data

Reducing Noise in a Classroom

 

Suggested References:
Music, Physics, and Engineering 2E, H. F. Olson, Dover, ISBN 0-486-21769-8
Audio Engineer's Reference Book 2E, M. Talbot-Smith, Ed., Focal Press, ISBN 0-240-516850
Sound System Engineering 2E, D. & C. Davis, Sams, ISBN 0-672-21857-7

[Home] [MVCC Home]

2014 Jim Fiore