The Art & Science of Audio & Video

Inverse Square Law

The inverse square law is probably one of the most widely used fundamental of physics used in the field of audio. As you advance through your career you will continue to use this particular formulation on an increasingly frequent basis. You will use it at the very beginning of your system designs when trying to determine what speakers to select and what amplifiers will be required to power them. It can also be used to assist in the setting of delays speakers and much more. It will be a very valuable tool to have in your audio knowledge toolbox. Simply stated the definition of the inverse square law is as such. Continue reading


June 28, 2008 Posted by | Class: E=MC2(+/-3db) | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Power amps with & without controls…..what gives!

How do power amps work that have no volume controls on them?

Actually no amplifiers have “volume” controls. The power amp it self is fixed at a given output, let’s say 100W for example. If the amp does have a “volume knob” it is actually a control associated with the pre-amp stage of the unit. When turning that knob you are actually adjusting the input sensitivity. So in a scenario where you have a separate pre-amp and amplifier the pre-amp will take the signal from the source component and allow you to manipulate the signal with the use of maybe tone controls, attenuation, etc. The signal then is passed along to the amplifier, which is once again fixed at a given output. So controlling the amount of attenuation on the pre-amp will have a direct effect on the amplitude of the signal at the input of the amplifier. So the amp will amplify whatever signal is at it’s input by the same amount regardless of amplitude.

So simply put the amplifier is only capable of 100W of amplification. How “loud” it plays (or the resulting amplitude at the output) depends on the level of the signal you present to it at the input stage. Fort the units that do have attenuation controls you have the luxury of controlling it sensitivity to the input signal.

by Jason Levert

March 29, 2008 Posted by | Class: E=MC2(+/-3db), FAQ's | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Convenience vs. Quality (finally getting the attention it deserves)

I have long be an advocate that MP3’s and all other heavily compressed audio formats have been the downfall of quality audio. I have been pleasantly surprised to see that some of the mainstream magazines both published and online have joined the crusade and are speaking out on their concerns as well. I recall back when we chose our CD players depending on whether or not it had Burr Brown DAC’s and Continue reading

March 23, 2008 Posted by | A/V News, Class: E=MC2(+/-3db) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lifting the Shroud on Graphic EQ’s

Q: I have been told many times that graphic EQ’s are detrimental to the sound quality of your system and can actually be counter productive. If this is true why do they remain so popular?

A: This often a misunderstood topic. Before starting let’s lay a little groundwork to build from. Graphic equalizers have a fixed number of filters set at pre-determined center frequencies. Now earlier graphic EQ’s and some current lower quality units were and are variable “Q”. This is where the problems originate. A Continue reading

March 23, 2008 Posted by | FAQ's | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paul W. Klipsch

Courtesy of: Klipsch Audio Technologies

Paul W. Klipsch (PWK) is one of America’s most celebrated audio pioneers because he revolutionized the way the world listens to recorded music. Unsatisfied with the sound quality of phonographs and early speaker systems, Mr. Klipsch used scientific principles to develop a corner horn speaker that sounded more lifelike than its predecessors.

The Klipschorn®, which today is still manufactured and sold worldwide, proved that it was possible to reproduce the sound of a live orchestra inside a home. The resulting Continue reading

March 5, 2008 Posted by | Pioneers in Audio | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Siegfried Linkwitz

Siegfried Linkwitz

By Shannon Dickson • April, 1996

Siegfried Linkwitz was born in Germany in 1935. He received his electrical engineering degree from Darmstadt Technical University prior to moving to California in 1961 to work for Hewlett-Packard. During his early years in the USA, he did postgraduate work at Stanford University. For over 30 years Mr. Linkwitz has developed electronic test equipment ranging from signal generators, to network and spectrum analyzers, to microwave sweepers and instrumentation for evaluating electromagnetic compatibility. Continue reading

March 2, 2008 Posted by | Pioneers in Audio | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russ Berger

Russ Berger’s Summary

Courtesy of:

While I started out as a physicist (lasers, optics, plasmas, PhD 1993), I have become a computer technologist. More recently, I have been building some web technology to anonymize a user’s footprints on the Web, using Linux/Apache servers, Perl and MySQL I am an expert Unix/Linux system administrator, but want something meatier to bite into next.

I have over twenty years of experience programming, maintaining, servicing, or administering numerous computer platforms (PC, workstation, server, cluster, and supercomputer). Skilled in various operating systems, and programming Continue reading

March 2, 2008 Posted by | Pioneers in Audio | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Oram


Courtesty of:
John Oram now puts his name to his own range of mixers and studio outboard, after a varied career including many years of design experience with some of the big names in British audio. PAUL WHITE enjoys a slice of sonic history.

John Oram’s life is a bit like Dr. Who’s TARDIS — it doesn’t seem big enough to hold everything he’s managed to cram into it! He’s played drums for Marianne Faithfull, helped Stan Cutler develop the first wah-wah pedal, created Reflex active guitar pickups (and still makes active electronics for electro-acoustic guitars), Continue reading

March 2, 2008 Posted by | Pioneers in Audio | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

James B. Lansing (Altec & JBL)

James B. Lansing

From the 1920s to the 1950s, James B. Lansing was at the forefront of creating leading speaker systems used in motion-picture theaters. In the 1930’s, Lansing named his company James B. Lansing Sound Corp. (JBL).

JBL has a long history of building speakers for recording studios as well as movie theaters. In fact, the speakers developed for use with the first ”talkie”, ”The Jazz Singer,” in 1928, were from JBL. Historically, the main challenge for JBL was to make speakers that could fill a theater using only the few watts available from the amplifiers of the day, and still be intelligible when playing from behind a screen. The same speakers were used in the studios where movie sound was mixed so the producers could hear what the moviegoers would hear. Continue reading

March 2, 2008 Posted by | Pioneers in Audio | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eugene Patronis

Eugene Patronis; Not only one of the most influential but intriguing men in audio.

Sound Master

Eugene Patronis’ life-long passion for audio and acoustics was born in the projectionist booth at a movie theater.
Publication date: January 1, 2008
By Mark Mayfield

DR. EUGENE PATRONIS IS A PROFESSOR Emeritus in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He continues to enjoy a long a distinguished career as an educator, author, and inventor in the fields of audio and acoustics. In 2000, he was honored with the TEF Heyser Award, Continue reading

March 2, 2008 Posted by | Pioneers in Audio | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment