What does music mean to you? Is it something that helps pass the time, something to relieve stress, something exciting, all of these, or perhaps it means nothing. Fortunately, I have to suppose you wouldn’t be reading this post if the latter was true. Coming from an audio engineering background in music, I’d like to share a new lens of perception through which you can conceptualize music creation, or the creation of sound for that matter. All of what I’m about to tell you can be summed up in one word- transducer. A transducer, by definition, is a device that converts one form of energy to another. Everything in the “chain of sound” (a set of speakers, a guitar, a piano, your fingers, your computer, your mouth, perhaps even your mind) deals with the conversion of some medium (electricity, magnetic frequency, mechanical energy, vibration, digital signals, etc) to finally arrive at the manipulation of sound waves within our own ears. Here’s an example of a microphone as a transducer:
You walk into a studio and sit in the live room. A microphone is placed in front of you and plugged into a set of speakers. Once you begin to sing, your diaphragm along with your vocal chords, create vibrations in the air that hit what is also called the diaphragm of the microphone. The microphone then takes the receipt of vibrations from your voice and converts that energy into an electrical signal. The transduction process continues as that signal is fed into an amp, which cycles and amplifies that weak electrical signal into a stronger one for use by the speaker. From there, the speaker converts that electrical signal into much larger sound waves that proceed to displace the air around you recreating your voice at a much higher volume (amplitude).
I’m not exactly sure how passing on my tidbits and knowledge from audio engineering will be received by you guys, but if you like it and you feel like you’re getting something out of it let me know and I’ll continue. Otherwise just tell me to shut it and feed you the music. Lets go.
Pick 1: Feist – I Feel It (Britt from Spoon Remix)
Pick 2: Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
And because I have been away for too long, I have no choice but to throw some bonuses at you.
**Bonus1: M83 – Midnight City
*Bonus2: Memory Tapes – Wait In The Dark