Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering: Part 1 Musical Sound & Electronics

University of Rochester

In Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering: Part 1, students will explore the basic concepts of acoustics and electronics and their practical applications in understanding musical sound and creating music with electronic instruments.

Through a comprehensive curriculum, learners will gain a deep understanding of sound waves, musical sound, basic electronics, and the utilization of these principles in amplifiers and speaker design. The course also covers topics such as electrical circuits, impedance matching, spectral analysis, loudspeaker design, and guitar amplifier construction.

Throughout the course, students will be equipped with the knowledge to explain fundamental acoustics concepts and apply these principles to the creation of music and sound. They will develop the skills to analyze and design electronic systems for musical applications, expanding their proficiency in this specialized field.

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Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering: Part 1 Musical Sound & Electronics
Course Modules

This comprehensive course covers a wide array of topics including sound waves, electrical circuits, spectral analysis, and the design of amplifiers and speakers for musical applications.

Week 1 - Introduction RC & Introduction to Electrical Circuits MB

The first module introduces students to the fundamental concepts of acoustics and electronics. Topics covered include oscillations, auditory perception, electrical circuits, and volume control.

  • Understanding of sound waves and musical sound
  • Basic principles of electrical circuits
  • Application of electrical circuits in amplifier and speaker design

Week 2 - Acoustic Resonance RC & Electrical Circuits MB

Module 2 delves into the exploration of acoustic resonance and electrical circuits. Students will learn about resonant modes of a string, reverberation, power and energy, and the application of filters to frequency spectra.

  • Resonant modes in different mediums
  • Power and energy dissipation in circuits
  • Design and analysis of guitar pickups

Week 3 - Some Necessary Mathematics MB & AC Circuit Analysis

In Module 3, students will study essential mathematical concepts and their application in AC circuit analysis. The module covers derivatives, complex numbers, phasors, and impedance analysis of RL circuits.

  • Application of derivatives in simple harmonic oscillators
  • Analysis of capacitors and inductors
  • Frequency response of RC circuits

Week 4 - AC Signals & Loudspeakers and Radiation RC

Module 4 focuses on AC signals and the design of loudspeakers. Students will explore Fourier series, overtone spectrums, spectral analysis, and the electromechanical model of a loudspeaker.

  • Construction and analysis of guitar pickups
  • Design of closed box and ported loudspeakers
  • Analysis of loudspeaker radiation and directionality

Week 5 - Closed Box Loudspeaker Design RC & Ported Loudspeaker Design

Module 5 entails the design of closed box and ported loudspeakers. Students will learn about the considerations and tradeoffs involved in loudspeaker design, as well as the parameters for ported loudspeakers.

  • Design guidelines for closed box and ported loudspeakers
  • Analysis of loudspeaker port design
  • Comparative study of closed box and ported designs

Week 6 - Guitar Pickup and Effects Analysis MB & Design and Construction of a Guitar Amplifier MB

The final module explores the analysis and design of guitar pickups and amplifiers. Topics include volume and tone control, RLC bandpass filters, distortion stage analysis, and practical considerations in constructing the amplifier.

  • Analysis of tone control and pickup designs
  • Simulation of graphic equalizers and octave filter banks
  • Construction and considerations for guitar amplifier design
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