The Science of Wikidrummer

Video

We’re back from spring break with a new video!

Drummer Julien Audigier and Audio Zéro put together the Wikidrummer video, an exploration of different environments and the effect these spaces had on drum sounds.

In this video, we break down the science behind why all of these spaces sound different. We’ll also show you our own reverb experiment, and how you can incorporate physical spaces into your music, even if it was recorded somewhere else.

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Frequency Domain and EQ Basics

You see frequency domain all the time when you use audio equalizers, but how clear are you on what that is, exactly? Learn how to master any EQ/spectral analysis tool by watching this video on exactly what the frequency is, why it’s important in the music/audio field, and how—if you do any mixing whatsoever—you come across it all the time.

Once you’ve got this part down, you may be interested in learning about the actual method used to get a sound representation from the time domain to the frequency domain. If so, check out this link for more: http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/ph/p/i….

Credits:

  • Written and Directed by Travis Kaufman and Nick Dooley
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation

How to Use an SPL Meter

This video explains how to use an Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter.  This is an essential tool for measuring intensity (think amplitude or volume) of a sound.   This is different than our perception of loudness, thus a specialized instrument (the SPL meter) is needed.


Credits:

  • Written and Directed by Nick Dooley and Travis Kaufman
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation

Audio Interconnections: XLR, TRS and More

*Singing* The quarter inch tip is connected to the…positive! The sleeve is connected to the…ground wire!

Okay, we at the Science of Music are nerdy but we’re not quite that nerdy, we swear. But understanding cables and interconnections will help every musician who has to deal with gear. From XLR to RCA to the immortal midi cable (which has two unused pins…seriously, check it out), having an understanding of gear, mic, line, and insert cables will make your life infinitely easier.

Credits:

  • Written and Directed by Nick Dooley and Travis Kaufman
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation

Mixers Explained

Okay, we’ll admit it: the first time we saw a mixer were were a little freaked out by all the knobs. And then we kind of wanted to turn all of them all the time for no reason. Now using mixers are almost second nature. And while each company makes their mixers slightly differently, the basics are the same. This video explains one of the most important pieces of equipment in a recording studio or live sound reinforcement system.

Credits:

  • Written and Directed by Nick Dooley and Travis Kaufman
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation

Introduction to Transduction

Simply put, transduction is the process of converting one type of energy to another. For audio-specific purposes, if you’ve ever used a microphone or a speaker to record or amplify a sound, you’ve seen transduction in action.

A microphone works as a transducer by changing acoustic waves to electrical waves.  And a loudspeaker is also a transducer, even though it does the opposite: by changing electrical waves to acoustic waves.

Check out the video below for more:

Credits: