3 minutes read

On Resonance

In Physics there is a term called resonance: Resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at a greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others. In other words, if energy is applied to something, that something will vibrate more or less depending on the frequency applied to it. For example, consider a speaker. A speaker produces sound by oscillating air around it. It does this by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. The electrical signals cause something to vibrate, and that vibrating thing causes air to vibrate as well. Sound is the vibration of air back and forth…

3 minutes read

Facts about Sound you Probably didn’t Know

The other day I kept hearing this noise from my neighbor.  I couldn’t quite figure it out, and naturally it was annoying.  I didn’t do anything about it, but it got me thinking about some random facts about sound and noise. Sound travels faster through concrete than air Sound travels faster through most materials faster than air Below is a list of common materials and how fast sound travels through them (Values found at http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/sound-speed-solids-d_713.html) Medium Velocity (m/s) (ft/s) Aluminum 4877 16000 Brass 3475 11400 Brick 4176 13700 Concrete 3200 – 3600 10500 – 11800 Copper 3901 12800 Cork 366…

4 minutes read

Balanced Audio Connections

Someone once told me that a balanced audio connection works because of polarity. I wish I had a rolled up newspaper so I could swat him with it on the nose. Balanced systems are used to keep noise and interference out of systems. It is a common myth that balancing a system involves polarity. It does not. Polarity plays a part in keeping interference out, but the real reason balanced systems work has to do with impedance. This type of connection is known as an unbalanced system. There is only one connection leaving the Op-Amp in device A. The second…

8 minutes read

Proper Podcasting Equipment

I am not a podcaster.  I do not think I have the voice for continued listening.  However, I am a sound guy, and I am anal about it.  I did a search online to find out what equipment is necessary for podcasting and every time I came back with: Microphone Pre-amp Digital Recorder PC Editing Software For each item on this list I have heard some very disturbing suggestions for what type/brand to use.  I thought I would dispel some myths about each piece of hardware. Microphone Behringer is not a professional product line.  They say they are; they are…

3 minutes read

Zune Player

At first I was a little skeptical at the quality of the Zune Player, as it’s basically in direct competition with Windows Media Player.  In retrospect, that’s probably what made it what is today.  It’s designed to sync the Zune media player, and it works very well as an alternative to Media Player.  There are a couple problems that I have with it though: It’s a resource hog It requires a good video card to show effects It sorts things in weird ways when meta data is missing The Zune Player is built on .NET.  It has a very big…

7 minutes read

What Makes us Want to Program? Part 2

In my previous post I started talking about part of my personal history with software development, and when QBasic got me hooked.  I ended the post talking about the move to Canada.  We arrived in Canada literally a week (7 days exactly) before Grade 9 started.  After getting enrolled in school, I tried to find something to keep my mind occupied.  It was either that or contemplate what Grade 9 would be like for someone who used to live 3000 miles away in another country.  And winter.  Still 4 months away, but definitely something I didn’t want to think about. …

2 minutes read

The Tragically Hip Media Player

It’s not every day you come across a band that is willing to stream all of it’s songs free of charge.  Especially at a fairly high bit rate.  Well it seems the Tragically Hip have decided to do so.   It’s a little game changing actually.  The band has decided to let everyone and their mother listen to the music free, with no advertisements.  Mind you, you can’t take it with you.  But there is nothing technical stopping you from recording the stream.  That was always the fear with online streaming that the Record Labels and the RIAA had.  I don’t condone…