Study Guide


To find out if you are ready for the final, ask yourself these questions:

Do I have a clear concept of how sound works, what a wavefront is, of wavelength?

What's an absorptive material, how can it absorb one sound but not another?

How does the room we are in affect the sound we hear?

Do I have a clear concept of electricity, including the relationship between current, voltage, and resistance?

What does frequency mean? How does a waveform drawn on paper relate to what is going on in the wire or in the air?

What is impedance? Is it like resistance? Different?

What is ground? What is a balanced line?

What does a transformer do to voltage? To Current?

What is an audio signal?

What makes an audio signal good or bad? What is noise, distortion, frequency response. Can I hear these things?

Even if I don't know quite how they work, can I name two kinds of microphones?

Can I also distinguish between microphones on the basis of directionality?

Once I have converted sound into electricity, how can it be changed, and what are some of the toys that do this?

Can I name two materials suitable for storing analog recordings? Could I describe how each is changed during the process?

What is the process of changing sound into numbers and back again. What's the point?

What is the Nyquist rule? What happens if I break it?

What are the advantages of using bigger numbers and faster sampling rates for digital audio?

What are the steps in making a recording? How does the choice of microphones affect the sound?

Where do they put the microphones? What are tracks? What is mastering?

What do I need to get a CD made?

What's in a PA system, and where do the parts go?


The Readings

I hope you have read most of the Davis and Jones by now. When you are studying for the final, you can skip sections:

The final is wednesday, Dec 12 at 8 in the morning in room 131.