The Art & Science of Audio & Video

Balanced Input or Stereo Input? Mic Input or Line Input?

I want to discuss a topic that I get asked about constantly. It’s the confusion surrounding balanced inputs verses stereo inputs and the true differences between mic and line inputs. First and most obvious are the balanced and stereo. This is something that has become a more prevalent problem in recent years because of the popularity of portable MP3 players and the use of laptops running special software for athletic programs and multimedia presentations. So here’s where the problem usually starts, someone takes the convenient 1/8″ stereo mini and assumes that the fact that it has a Tip, Ring and Sleeve translates into a balanced input of pin 1(G), 2(+) and 3(-). Well as you’ve probably figured by now this is not the case. Continue reading


June 22, 2008 Posted by | Class: E=MC2(+/-3db), FAQ's | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharp, Sony & Pioneer Join Forces; Flat Panel Mega-Team!

Sharp (Osaka, Japan) is forming alliances with some of the industries most formidable manufacturers. This could result in an onslaught of new technologies coming to market at unprecedented price points. Sharp of course is one of the original manufacturers to lead the flat panel revolution with the introduction of the Aquos. Now they have joined forces with Sony (Tokyo, Japan) to manufacture and sell large size LCD panels using the first 10th generation glass substrates. The new panels will be distributed according to each company’s respective investment which equates to Sharp 66% and Sony 34%. Initial production numbers are anticipated to reach 36,000 per month and increase to 72,000 units per month and scheduled to begin April 2009. Continue reading

June 22, 2008 Posted by | A/V News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Sound?

Physiologically, sound is a vibration in a medium once received by the ear. To achieve this you need three key elements.
1. a sound source
2. a medium for the sound to travel through
3. an ear to detect the sound

In the physical realm sound is a disturbance that creates the sensation of sound. By definition sound is a simple form of energy. When there is a series of disturbances in a medium, such as variations in pressure and alternations in direction of molecular movement the ear interprets that as sound. Sound is objective and therefore exists by definition regardless if there is any living thing to interpret it or be affected by it. So the answer to the old adage, “If a tree fell in the forest and no one was there to hear it would it make a sound?” is yes it would make a sound. Continue reading

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Class: E=MC2(+/-3db) | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The FCC Moderates as White Spaces Coalition & Wireless Microphones Battle for Air Superiority

“After February17th, 2009 wireless microphones operating above 698MHz should no longer be used.”

Therefore time is of the essence and should the government decide to make a select few UHF channels available we know without a doubt it will not be enough. Manufacturers have been working diligently since the FCC made these announcements six years ago and I believe we may see a resurgence of manufacturers that have played a less prominent roll the last ten years or so. At least this seems to be the consensus for now. Before delving into the political bull pin the FCC should be commended for fending off the wolves and has maintained a neutral position despite the pressure from the “white spaces coalition” whose backbone is made up of some of the largest companies around the globe. Continue reading

June 9, 2008 Posted by | A/V News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweetwater’s Gear Fest ’08

The first annual Gear Fest took place on May 31st at Sweetwater’s new facility in Ft. Wayne, IN. I must say that for a first time event they were more than successful with approximately four thousand attendees. True to form Chuck Surack (President of Sweetwater) kicked off the event by personally introducing the first guest speaker for the day and who better to start with than Bruce Swedien! Continue reading

June 6, 2008 Posted by | A/V News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Critical Distance & Microphone Placement

A microphone is the first component in any speech recording or transmission system. Its function is to convert acoustic sound waves into an equivalent electrical signal. This signal can then be recorded, transmitted, amplified, or modified. Continue reading

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Class: E=MC2(+/-3db) | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bruce Swedien; the man, the engineer, the legend.

Four days ago I attended the Sweetwater first annual Gear Fest ’08. I was lucky enough to be accompanied by my wife who I convinced to come through a rather impressive sales tactic otherwise known as begging. We arrived about forty-five minutes prior to the doors opening because I was determined to see the first speaker of the day, Bruce Swedien. To say that Gear Fest was a great event would be an understatement and I cover that in greater detail in another story for those that are interested in learning more. But me, I was not going to miss the opportunity to see Bruce Swedien and I knew seats would fill up fast. Continue reading

June 4, 2008 Posted by | A/V News, Pioneers in Audio | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Blu-Ray Ever Have It’s Day?

Ever since Blu-Ray put an end to the Hi-Def DVD format war (if you want to call it that, it was more like a skirmish) the new question has been will it succeed? And by succeed I mean achieve the same level of market saturation that DVD did. It my humble opinion I think not.

With the introduction of DVD we not only saw quantum leap forward in video quality but it could be appreciated on a culmination of fifty years worth of TV’s. DVD’s looked better on every TV, to varying degrees of course. With Blu-Ray we’ve made the same quantum leap forward in video quality but it is dependent on a number of variables. Continue reading

May 26, 2008 Posted by | A/V News | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moore’s Law evolving to encompass audio/video?

It’s no secret that audio video technology is advancing at a dizzying pace. As the lines continue to blur between all technological industries from computers, gaming, security, networking and of course audio/video the shared technologies and epic production numbers have allowed all of the participants to make leaps forward at an exponential rate. For those not familiar with “Moore’s Law” it is the documented phenomenon that available computing power doubles every 18 months but remains at the same relative cost to the consumer. Continue reading

May 19, 2008 Posted by | A/V News | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll see your HDTV and raise you 4K!!!

Don’t shoot the messenger but your 1080p display is already playing second fiddle to a new superior technology and we’re not talking about a moderate improvement we’re talking revolutionary. This new standard makes HDTV look like your trusty old console TV of antiquity. This phenomenon is known as 4K, a rather unassuming and modest moniker wouldn’t you say. Continue reading

April 17, 2008 Posted by | A/V News | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments