MUS 210 – INTRO TO MUSIC TECHNOLOGY FINAL REVIEW
What are the three components to defining a sound wave
- generation, propagation, reception
The difference between dBv, dB SPL and dBFS.
- dBv: electrical signal
- dB: unit of measure
- SPL: acoustic level
- dBFS: digital level
- can make changes to a copy of a file and recover the original file
The difference between “Mic Level”, “Instrument Level” and “Line Level”
- Instrument: unbalanced from guitar & bass, need DI to convert to mic signal and boost
- Mic: balanced signal, higher than instrument
- Line: from synths and gear, higher than mic, can be plugged into mixers directly
- Speaker: from output of amplifier, highest level
Parts of a moving coil design loudspeaker
- coil is wrapped around diaphragm suspended in a magnetic field that gets sound sent out to driver
“masking,” the two types
- freq masking: two tones are close in freq, loud one will mask softer
- temporal masking: two tones close in time, louder one will mask softer
What does it mean for a device to be “voltage-controlled” and how is it used?
- the filter will remove some of the partials from the waveform in a subtractive synthesis way
- use signal to change parameters of the synth chain
Know the important steps in creating a good mix.
- add EQ and compression to color the sound and its impact
- keep things simple
- listen to your mix in other ways over different speakers
How is the timbre of a note developed? How can timbre be affected acoustically? How can
timbre be affected electronically?
- acoustically by resonance (shape of instrument)
- electrically by EQ
Explain the difference between “Waveform View” and “Spectrum View”.
- waveform: waveform/time
- spectrum: frequency/time
Describe the following DAW elements: Transport Controls, Main Clock, Audio Tracks,
Regions, Edit View, Mix View.
- transport controls: move along timeline
- main clock: location on time (SMPTE)
- audio tracks: sounds on the project
- regions: piece of recorded info
- edit view: horizontal regions
- mix view: mixers and tracks, vertical
What is a “Control Surface”?
- acts like a mixer but sends and controls MIDI signals
Know the difference between “lossless” and “lossy” compression of a data file. Which one gives us
the greatest reduction in the file size?
- lossless: reduces file size so the original signal can be recovered VENDELIS 2
- lossy: reduces size by permanently eliminating some audio information (greatest reduction)
Know the difference between “Synthesis” and “Sampling”.
- sampling: uses stored digital audio triggered by MIDI messages to generate sound
- synthesis: any method that generates sound according to an algorithm
Explain what each section of the envelope generator (ADSR) controls.
- attack: causes amplitude to rise from zero to max level
- decay: reduces amplitude to % of max amplitude
- sustain: how long the level will stay the same
- release: amplitude falls from sustain level to zero
Be able to name the parts of the ear and tell what they do.
- pinna: flesh, locate sound
- ear canal: sends sound down
- eardrum: tympanic membrane
- ossicles: amplify sound energy (bones)
- oval window: ossicles connect to this, cochlea
- cochlea: fluid-filled tube, translates sound into neural impulses
- basilar membrane: hairlike membrane in cochlea, splits frequencies
- auditory nerve: send signals to brain
What happens when two sound waves meet out-of-phase?
- their amplitudes combine
What is the MAIN job of a mixer? What other functions may it have.
- route sound sources where we want to go, can raise gain, pan, add FX
Explain the difference in operation of a Dynamic mic, a Condenser mic and a Ribbon mic and the
characteristics of each one.
- dynamic mics: more durable
- condenser mics: more expensive
- ribbon mics: most sensitive
Explain the main difference between passive and active speakers.
- passive speakers do not require a power source
- active speakers have a built in amplifier and need a power source
How are “time-based” effects developed? Name one type.
- taking a signal and playing it back over itself at a later time, Delay, Reverb
Be able to draw a simple Synthesis chain. Know the primary jobs of the oscillator, filter and
amplifier. What are some parameters of each that can be “modulated”? What are three ways to
modulate the signal?
- primary jobs of…
- oscillator provides a basic waveform (timbre) at a particular frequency (pitch)
- filter modifies the spectrum (timbre) of the basic waveform
- amplifier applies an envelope to the amplitude of the audio (loudness, articulation)
- parameters to modulate
- pitch, cutoff frequency, resonance
- 3 ways to modulate
- direct control: wheels, sliders, knobs on a controller