Guide The Art of Sound Reproduction

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The sound recordist

Instrument makers luthiers have designed this group of instruments in a way that they compensate to some degree for this non-linearity in order for the human brain to recognize any of the fundamental tones of e. In other words; The tonal response of e. The figure below illustrates the frequency response of a violin in comparison to the human hearing response. As illustrated in the figure above, the frequency response of the violin light green line , compensates for the natural loss of frequency response in the region below 2 kHz.

In general, the human hearing ranges from very low frequencies at just 20 Hz, all the way up to very high frequencies at around 20 kHz. The individual hearing among humans varies between these two extremes. As the overall tone or timbre of an acoustic instrument depends on many factors, we have gathered some of the most commonly known. The composition of these resonances differs from instrument to instrument and forms a unique tonal fingerprint of the individual instrument.

This is e. Just like the differences in human voices, we all have our own unique set of resonances, which makes us able to distinguish one person from another. A mother can easily tell if it is her baby crying or not, simply because one specific tone of crying carries one unique set of resonances. The overall pattern of resonance levels and structure can easily be altered by change of playing technique e. Another way of changing the resonance pattern is by changing strings. Different brands, thickness of the strings and the composition of materials that the strings are made of changes the tension of the soundboard, which changes the resonance pattern, as well as different strings having their own sustain ring out pattern.

This is the reason that some artists use a mix of different brands of strings in order to achieve the desired tone or timbre. The musical reproduction of a black dance for examples in piano and guitar scores for domestic use, or its repeated mentions in legal court cases from the time went hand in hand with the fear of black contagion and the fear of miscegenation through interracial sex.

It is a discourse that precedes, and anticipates, the medicalization and scientific discourse around race in Brazil, but also, perhaps, a force that keeps the complex reproductive and racist mechanisms of Brazilian politics partly unspoken to this day. While Kim thinks of music as a pre-verbal disciplining discourse on race, Delia begins her inquiry precisely from the term reproduction and its late nineteenth-century slippages.

She investigates the English-speaking worlds of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and asks how sound recording itself and the language used to talk about sound recording intersects with notions about biological reproduction. Whichever microphone is selected for the complementary microphone, it will be in the sound shadow of the sphere for sources on the contralateral side.

Walter Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Although this might be acceptable or even desirable for focused applications, it may be unacceptable for omnidirectional or panoramic applications. Use the head-tracker output to select the microphone that is nearest the listener's nose. The head shadow for sources in back will to some degree substitute for the missing "pinna shadow.

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Disadvantages [] 1 No longer bandwidth efficient. Because there is no way to know which channel is being used for the complementary channel, all of the N channels will have to be transmitted or recorded at full audio bandwidth. However, bandwidth efficiency can be retained for a single-user application, such as surveillance, because the one full-bandwidth channel needed for that listener can be switched dynamically from microphone to microphone.

This option uses different complementary signals for the right ear and the left ear. For any given ear, the complementary signal is derived from the two microphones that are closest to that ear. This is very similar to the way in which the low-frequency signal is obtained. However, instead of panning between the two microphones which would introduce unacceptable comb-filter spectral coloration , we switch between them, always choosing the nearer microphone. In this way, the sphere automatically provides the correct interaural level difference. Advantages [] 1 Avoids the need for additional channels.


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Same as for Alternative C. If the signal is just suddenly switched, the listener will usually hear clicks produced by the signal discontinuity. This will be particularly annoying if the head position is essentially on a switching boundary and signals are rapidly switched back and forth as small tremors cause the head to move back and forth across the switching boundary.

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The resulting rapid series of switching transients can produce a very annoying "chattering" sound. The chattering problem is easily solved by the standard technique of introducing hysteresis; once a switching boundary is crossed, the switching circuitry should require some minimum angular motion back into the original region before switching back. The inevitable discontinuity that occurs when switching from one microphone to another can be reduced by a simple cross-fading technique.

Instead of switching instantly, the signal can be derived by adding a faded-out version of the first signal to a faded-in version of the second signal.

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These numbers are quite compatible with the data rate for the head tracker, which is typically approximately 10 ms to 20 ms between samples. However, it may still possible to hear the change in the spectrum as the virtual complementary microphone is changed, particularly when the source is close to the MTB array. As with Alternative D, this option uses different complementary signals for the right ear and the left ear, and for any given ear, the complementary signal is derived from the two microphones that are closest to that ear. Alternative E eliminates the perceptible spectral change of Alternative D by properly interpolating rather than switching between the two microphones that are closest to the ear.

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The problem is to smoothly combine the high-frequency part of the microphone signals without encountering phase cancellation effects. The basic solution, which exploits the ear's insensitivity to phase at high frequencies, involves three steps: a estimation of the short-time spectrum for the signals from each microphone, b interpolation between the spectra, and c resynthesis of the temporal waveform from the spectra.

The subject of signal processing by spectral analysis, modification, and resynthesis is well known in the signal- processing community. The classical methods include a Fast-Fourier Transform analysis and resynthesis, and b filter-bank analysis and resynthesis. There are two major ways in which this could produce an inadequate approximation: [] 1. Mismatched head size. If the sphere is smaller than the listener's head, the interaural differences produced will be smaller than what the listener normally experiences. Conversely, if the sphere is larger than the listener's head, the interaural differences produced will be larger than normal.

In addition to producing static localization errors, this leads to instability of the locations of the sound sources when the listener turns his or her head. If the sphere is smaller than the listener's head, the source will appear to rotate slightly with the listener, while if the sphere is larger the source will appear to rotate opposite to the listener's motion.

Absence , of pinna cues. It is well established that the outer ear or pinna modifies the spectrum of the sound that eventually reaches the ear drum, and that this modification varies with both azimuth and elevation. These spectral changes produce pinna cues that are particularly important for judging the elevation of a source. Their exact nature is complicated and varies significantly from person to person. However, a primary characteristic is an spectral notch whose center frequency changes systematically with elevation.

The spectral modifications are minimum when the source is overhead. Because the MTB surface does not include any pinnae, there is no corresponding spectral change. Because no change corresponds to high elevation, most listeners perceive the sources to be somewhat elevated, regardless of their actual elevations. However, there are useful methods for special but important situations.


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This simple correction works well for small angles of head rotation. In addition, it is not necessary to measure the listener's head radius to use this technique. In this case, a filter that approximates the pinna transfer function is introduced in the signal path to each ear, and the user is allowed to adjust the filter parameters until the sound images appear to be in the horizontal plane. This same general concept can be implemented and extended in a variety of alternative ways. The following are among the alternatives: [] 1. Use either a very small or a very large number of microphones.

A small number of microphones can be used if the cutoff frequency of the low- pass filter is adjusted appropriately. Even with only two microphones, it is possible to obtain the benefits of dynamic modification as long as the sources are not too close to the median plane for the microphones. Alternatively, if a large number of microphones can be economically employed, the low-pass filtering and high-frequency restoration steps can be eliminated.

With enough microphones, the interpolation procedure can be replaced by simple switching. Generalize the configuration shown in FIG. The nearest and next nearest microphones need no longer be in the horizontal plane, and arbitrary head rotations can be accommodated. Introduce an artificial torso below the head. Scattering of sound by the torso provides additional localization cues that may be helpful both for elevation and for externalization. Although including a torso would make the microphone array much larger and clumsier, it may be justified for particularly demanding applications.

Replace each microphone by a microphone array to reject or reduce unwanted sound pickup. This is particularly attractive when the unwanted sounds are at either rather high or rather low elevations and the MTB surface is a truncated cylinder. In this case, each microphone can be replaced by a vertical column of microphones, whose outputs can be combined to reduce the sensitivity outside the horizontal plane. To use MTB as an acoustic direction finder, employ two concentric.

MTB arrays, with, for example, the microphones for the smaller array being mounted on a head-size sphere , and the microphones for the larger array being mounted on rigid rods extending from the sphere as shown in FIG. The smaller MTB array is used as usual, and the listener turns to face the source.

The listener then switches to the larger MTB array. If the listener is pointing directly at the source, the source's image will appear to be centered. Small head motions will result in magnified motions of the image, which makes it easier to localize the source. It is desirable to be able to use our invention to reproduce existing spatial sound recordings over headphones. This has the advantage that it would provide the listener with the optimal listening experience.

On the other hand, past commercial experience has shown that it is undesirable to present the public with the same content in more than one format. In the simplest situation, a spherical-head model V. Algazi, R.

Sound recording and reproduction - Wikipedia

Duda and D. For greater realism, a room model could be used to simulate the effects of room reflections and reverberation D. This signal-processing procedure can be readily implemented in special real-time hardware that converts signals in the original recording format to signals in our MTB Motion-Tracked Binaural format. By routing the signals from a conventional playback unit through such a format converter, one or many listeners can listen to any CD or DVD through headphones and still enjoy the benefits of responsiveness to head motion.

All that is required is to compute the sounds that would be captured by a simulated MTB microphone array. The computed microphone signals can then be used in place of the signals from physical microphones so that one or many listeners can listen to the virtual sounds through headphones and still enjoy the benefits of responsiveness to head motion. To cover the use of live physical microphones, recorded physical microphones, and simulated microphones, in the Claims we refer to signals picked up by physical microphones, signals recorded from physical microphones, and signals computed for simulated microphones as signals "representative" of the microphone outputs.

The present invention further addresses the recording of live sounds.

With live sounds it is difficult or impossible to obtain separate signals for all of the sound sources, not to mention the perceptually important echoes and reverberation; and the locations of the sources are usually not known.