Sound & Audio
Basics of Acoustics:
Sound is a form of energy similar to heat and light. Sound is generated from vibrating objectsand can flow through a material medium from one place to another. During generation thekinetic energy of the vibrating body is converted to sound energy. Acoustic energy flowingoutwards from its point of generation can be compared to a spreading wave over the surfaceof water. When an object starts vibrating or oscillating rapidly, a part of their kinetic energyis imparted to the layer of the medium in contact with the object e.g. the air surrounding a bell. The particles of the medium on receiving the energy starts vibrating on their own, and inturn help to impart a portion of their energy to the next layer of air particles, which also startsvibrating. This process continues thereby propagating the acoustic energy throughout themedium. When it reaches our ears it sets the ear-drums into similar kind of vibration and our brain recognizes this as sound.
is the branch of science dealing with the study of sound and is concerned with thegeneration, transmission and reception of sound waves. the application of acoustics intechnology is called acoustical engineering. The main sub- disciplines of acoustics are :Aero-acoustics, bio-acoustics, biomedical-acoustics, psycho-acoustics, physical-acoustics,speech communication, ultrasonics, musical – acoustics.
psycho – acoustics
: psycho – acoustics, concerned with the hearing, perceptions andlocalization of sound related to human beings.
[taken from e-material]In harnessing sound for various musical instruments as well as for multimedia applications,the effects of sound on human hearing and the various factors involved needs to be analyzed.
is the branch of acoustics which deals with these effects.
Nature of Sound Waves
As the sound energy flows through the material medium, it sets the layers of the medium intooscillatory motion. This creates alternate regions of compression and expansion. This is pictorially represented as a wave, the upper part(i.e., the crest or positive peak) denoting acompression and the lower part(i.e., the trough or negative peak) denoting a rarefraction.Since a sound wave actually represents a disturbance of the medium particles from original position(i.e., before the wave started) it cannot exist in vacuum. Sound waves have twocharacteristics properties.
, they are said to be longitudinal waves, which means thatthe direction of propagation of sound is the same as the direction along which the medium particles oscillate.
sound waves are referred to as mechanical waves. This meansthat they are capable of being compressed and expand like springs. When they are