Acoustics Group: Keith, Caroline, Ruby, Michael

In this group you are really laying the foundation for our understanding of sound as a physical phenomenon.  Since much of this was covered in the MSP ‘How Digital Audio Works,’ reading for today, see what you can define together, in your own words, without doing any research.  Then check your work against the MSP reading and/or the web, generally.  Once you are satisfied with your definitions, post them to the ‘Glossary’ page.  Include the following:

  1.  A brief definition in your own words – what is it?
  2. Practical applications – why does it matter? (If relevant)
  3. Where can we find out more? Include links to useful text, video or images that contributed to your understanding of the term. (If relevant)

Each of you should be prepared to explain these terms to your classmates independently.  We will be dividing into mixed-groups for a jargon drill in part 2 of the exercise.

List of Terms to Define (Feel free to add any terms if other questions come up – they may be in others’ lists as well.)

  • Soundwaves
  • Rarefaction
  • Compression (soundwaves) <– please specify in glossary, as this has more than one meaning, depending on the context)
  • Waveform
  • Periodic waveform
  • Cycle
  • Period
  • Frequency
  • Relationship between period and frequency?
  • Hertz
  • Range of human hearing
  • Amplitude
  • Phase
  • Phase cancellation
  • Beating
  • Simple harmonic motion vs complex tones
  • Overtones, Harmonics, Partials
  • Sine, sawtooth, square, triangle waves (for the square wave: what harmonics are present in the tone that give it its characteristic timbre?)

Once you have finished defining these terms in the glossary, spend a bit of time thinking about the quickest way to clearly describe the meaning of, or the concept behind each term.  When you’re satisfied with your explanations, if there is time remaining before part 2, join Lazae, Mitsuko, and Miles.  If they are still defining terms in the glossary, help them.  If they are quickly describing the meaning of, or the concept behind each term, take notes.


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