Category: Musings

Higher Ground: The Subtle Art of Giving A Shit

Higher Ground: The Subtle Art of Giving A Shit

In a recent post on this blog, I discussed what I refer to as The Magnitude Fallacy, which describes the human tendency to focus disproportionately on All The Small Things. In the weeks since, I’ve come to realize that this concept also readily describes my views on the general state of sound system engineering. Lately, …

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Deriving 6o6’s Lateral Aspect Ratio

Deriving 6o6’s Lateral Aspect Ratio

Those studying the third edition of Bob “6o6” McCarthy’s system design treatise, Sound Systems: Design and Optimization, are introduced to a mechanism coined the Lateral Aspect Ratio. The basic idea is as follows: The coverage angle of a loudspeaker is traditionally defined as the point as which, moving axially away from the on-axis reference, the high …

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The Magnitude Fallacy

The Magnitude Fallacy

Humans are worriers. It’s what we do. Some more than others, of course – my late Italian grandmother could have won an Olympic gold medal in it – but there are legitimate scientific underpinnings to this. Statistically speaking, humans are not good at estimating probabilities or risk. In his book Innumeracy, author John Allen Paulos …

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Impulse Response vs Transfer Function

Impulse Response vs Transfer Function

Q: Wondering if I could get a hand with using Impulse Response to tune PA as opposed to using TF with Pink Noise. I’m aware of the “Common way” blasting Pink noise, Finding the delay and then storing traces and averaging and making the adjustments. I’m just not familiar with using Impulse Responses. Is there …

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Conceptual Explanation of FIR Filters

Conceptual Explanation of FIR Filters

As technology marches on, FIR (Finite Impulse Response) loudspeaker presets are becoming increasingly common, and with good reason – they’re not just a marketing buzzword. FIR filters offer some real benefits in pro audio applications – and, like other tool – they come with their own drawbacks and considerations. I am often asked how FIR …

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System Processing and Control for Live and Touring: The Way Forward

System Processing and Control for Live and Touring: The Way Forward

I’ll be honest, I’m pretty jaded when it comes to DSPs (a technically-not-super-accurate blanket term that we often use as a catch-all for system processors, matrix mixers, and the like). FOH control racks in the live / touring world continue to be dominated by the venerable Lake with some Meyer Galileo thrown in for good …

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Why I Started the Signal To Noise Podcast

Why I Started the Signal To Noise Podcast

I was recently approached by an individual who runs an audio engineering website, and was offered a cross-promotion arrangement: I share a few of their links to my “audience” a few times a month, and they will share mine. We can both grow our audiences. I said no. Besides the fact that I don’t have …

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Measurement Microphone Comparison

Measurement Microphone Comparison

Audio and acoustics guru Ethan Winer has a lovely measurement mic comparison on his RealTraps website. Here are some of my own tests as an expansion of that idea. The mics used for these tests are the ones I happened to have in my kit at the time: two iSEMcon EMX-7150 (not sold as a matched pair) …

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