## Role of Acoustics in Music Production

mewthree
KVRist

49 posts since 16 Nov, 2013, from Turkey
Do you think one would gain profit from learning basic acoustics as in the case of Acoustics 101?

There is a Coursera course which is live right now and I've just saw it. But the material is tough. So I decided to hear some opinions. Course syllabus is:

Week 1: Vibration & Waves

Video 1: String Vibration to Wave

Video 2: One-dimensional wave equation

Video 3: Specific Impedance (Reflection and Transmission)

Video 4: The Governing Equation of a String

Video 5: Driving Point Impedance

Video 6: Complex function of Wave

Quiz 1: Due date - May 19th

Week 2: Acoustics Wave Equation and Its Basic Physical Measures
(1D acoustic wave equation, Acoustic Intensity and Energy, Units of Sound)

Video 1: 1-D Acoustic Wave Equation (Part 1) – Euler’s Equation

Video 2: 1-D Acoustic Wave Equation (Part 2) – Conservation of mass

Video 3: 1-D Acoustic Wave Equation (Part 3) – State Equation

Video 4: 1-D Acoustic Wave Equation – Summary

Video 5: Acoustic Intensity and Energy

Video 6: Units of Sound (Sound Pressure Level, dB Scale)

Quiz 2: Due date - May 26th

Week 3: Acoustics Wave Equation and Its Basic Physical Measures
(Acoustic Intensity and Energy, Solutions of the Wave equation, Demonstration: hearing system)

Video 1: Acoustic Intensity and Energy (using Powerpoint)

Video 2: Acoustic Intensity and Energy (using Powerpoint)

Video 3: The Units of Sound (using Powerpoint – SPL, octave scale, loudness curve)

Video 4: Review: Acoustic Intensity & The Units of Sound (using Powerpoint)

Video 5: Demonstration (dB Scale, frequency sensitivity, loudness curve)

Video 6: Solutions of the Wave Equation & Chapter Summary

Quiz 3: Due date - June 2nd

Week 4: Waves on a Flat Surface of Discontinuity
(Normal incidence on a Flat Surface, The Mass Law)

Video 1: Normal Incidence on a Flat Surface of Discontinuity 1

Video 2: Normal Incidence on a Flat Surface of Discontinuity 2

Video 3: The Mass Law 1 (using Powerpoint)

Video 4: Review: Normal Incidence on a Flat Surface of Discontinuity

Video 5: The Mass Law 2

Video 6: The Mass Law 3 (demonstration)

Quiz 4: Due date - June 9th

Week 5: Waves on a Flat Surface of Discontinuity
(Transmission Loss, Snell’s Law, Transmission and Reflection of an Infinite Plate/Finite Structure)

Video 1: Review: The Mass Law

Video 2: Transmission Loss at a Partition

Video 3: Snell’s Law 1

Video 4: Snell’s Law 2 (using Powerpoint)

Video 5: Transmission and Reflection of an Infinite Plate

Video 6: Transmission and Reflection of a Finite Structure
V0RT3X
KVRAF

6939 posts since 3 Jul, 2012, from Canada
I could see how this stuff could come in handy for a recording engineer. I'm not so sure if it would really be that useful to your average artist who just wants to make music. I mean I"m not sure guys like Dave Grohl are using Snell’s Law and stuff when they are making their music.

However if you want to be a recording engineer and really want to make the very best recordings, i Imagine that learning this stuff would definitely come in handy!
liv
KVRian

1324 posts since 26 Feb, 2013, from Sweden
You don't mention what you want to achieve.
This sounds very theoretical and may be what you're after to understand the foundation of it all.

As for another angle, I attended a couple of lectures by a Swedish professor in acoustics where he described practical solutions together with theory. For example, he had a complex situation where he was to record a brass ensemble in a church, and gave an invaluable source of information in just one example.

Some food for thought.
mewthree
KVRist

49 posts since 16 Nov, 2013, from Turkey
I was interested in the producton side of things. Maybe knowing more about monitoring on dblevels. But i guess it's kind of a stretch for a producer.
engineer
KVRer

18 posts since 23 Jan, 2005, from Germany
There are quite a lot of things one could learn from basics like physics, accoustincs and also electronics when making music. The question is only is it worth the time for those where music is only a hobby.
Sendy
KVRAF

5233 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
I don't know, it seems a bit academic beyond week one, I think you might be better off with a good book. If you're just looking at writing and producing music, mostly in the box, you probably don't need that course, and things like digital/sampling theory and acoustics from a compositional angle (harmonics, timbre, etc) might be more appropriate.
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp! Now pay what you like!
Hink

26851 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from Downeast Maine
engineer wrote:There are quite a lot of things one could learn from basics like physics, accoustincs and also electronics when making music. The question is only is it worth the time for those where music is only a hobby.

whether you're a pro, an amateur, a gawd, completely ignorant or have been playing for decades (fwiw this does not just apply to music, it applies to pretty much everything you do)...when is learning not [iworth[/i] it?
got any good fish stories? Let minnow
Sendy
KVRAF

5233 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
Hink wrote:
engineer wrote:There are quite a lot of things one could learn from basics like physics, accoustincs and also electronics when making music. The question is only is it worth the time for those where music is only a hobby.

whether you're a pro, an amateur, a gawd, completely ignorant or have been playing for decades (fwiw this does not just apply to music, it applies to pretty much everything you do)...when is learning not [iworth[/i] it?

If you're going to be out of your depth and/or the information isn't going to be that relevant to what you do. The argument is, why learn that when you could learn something that can really boost what you're doing right now. Not anti learning, but learning the right things in the right order.
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp! Now pay what you like!
Hink

26851 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from Downeast Maine
Sendy wrote:
Hink wrote:
engineer wrote:There are quite a lot of things one could learn from basics like physics, accoustincs and also electronics when making music. The question is only is it worth the time for those where music is only a hobby.

whether you're a pro, an amateur, a gawd, completely ignorant or have been playing for decades (fwiw this does not just apply to music, it applies to pretty much everything you do)...when is learning not worth it?

If you're going to be out of your depth and/or the information isn't going to be that relevant to what you do. The argument is, why learn that when you could learn something that can really boost what you're doing right now. Not anti learning, but learning the right things in the right order.

I agree about learning in the right order but that did not answer the question, if I want to learn about music probably spending time learning about sewing is going to be pretty irrelevant. But everything mentioned in the course syllabus was indeed relevant to music and production. How can you know what is relevant to your own needs unless you have some understanding, in other words how are you going to know what in that list will be relevant?

I have learned a lot by accident, not from my mistakes (but I have learned even more from my mistakes thankfully) but by reading or studying on one thing only to find it wasn't what I expected yet it still greatly benefited me. Learning and understanding are two different things, sometimes what the uneducated (not an insult) does not think is relevant can be the biggest key to understanding later on down the road...your answer is somewhat like the high school kid asking "why do I need to learn trigonometry if I am never going to use it?" (no offense intended)

Now I am not supporting the course as there are many ways to learn these things, but Engineer made a distinction when Engineer said "The question is only is it worth the time for those where music is only a hobby."

I say it doesn't matter if it's a hobby or not, learning is growth, growth is my goal anyhow and not knowing could be a hindrance to growth. Personally I think the greatest gift on earth is knowledge, it doesn't matter what age I am or what the subject is...I love to learn.

got any good fish stories? Let minnow
Sendy
KVRAF

5233 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
Ugh, I could have sworn I posted a reply, but it's not here. So the short answer is: I agree, I didn't catch the bit about being "just a hobbyist". Hell, some of the best breakthroughs in maths and art have come from "just" hobbyists. A lot of the acoustics stuff goes over my head when it gets very academic (I can't read maths very well, for example), but it's a subject I got into myself by bumping into the book "On the Sensation of Tone".

There's a balance to be struck between "learning what you need to get stuff done" and "finding your own path and inspirations", which I guess comes from learning what brings you to music or whatever you do. Too many people I fear are all on the same path, with the same influences, making the same music for the same reasons. The world needs more physics professor musicians
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp! Now pay what you like!
Rah
KVRist

455 posts since 30 May, 2013, from Space is the Place
I took an acoustics module at college and it bored me senseless

I'd probably be a bit more interested now, but still, that looks like a heavy program you've listed. I wouldn't want to take that casually
camsr
KVRAF

6820 posts since 16 Feb, 2005
It sure wouldn't be a waste if you wanted to do acoustics!

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