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Exam revision questions
Note: The exam lasts for TWO HOURS and consists of 5 questions, of which you choose 3 to answer. Since this tutorial sheet has 55 parts of questions it is roughly equivalent to 11 exam questions. Thus, not all material covered here can possibly appear in any one exam. Each question typically consists of 3 or 4 related sub-parts. The questions below are examples of subparts of questions. As such, each section will be worth only a fraction of the mark of the question – and hence typically no more than 10% of the whole paper Therefore, in the exam you should aim to spend NO MORE THAN 10-15 minutes on each question sub-part Examples of ‘parts’ of exam questions (in an exam the wording would typically be more formal, but would convey the same sense): 1.What is the maximum and minimum sound frequencies that humans can hear? 2. If the speed of sound (V) in air is 344m/s, calculate the wavelength (!) in air of a sound whose frequency is:(i) 1KHz (ii) 100Hz (iii) 12KHz (Formula: ! = V/f) 3. Describe how sound waves travel through air, - for example, how the air molecules move as the sound waves pass and how that movement gives rise to pressure changes. 4. Explain how any complex sound wave can be built up by combining pure tones. What is the relationship between the frequencies of these pure tones? How might their relative phases affect both the wave shape and how it sounds? 5.What is the approximate maximum sound pressure level (SPL), (in Pascals) that the average human can hear as sound rather than pain, and how many dB does this equate to on the acoustic scale? 6. What approximate sound pressure level (SPL), (in Pascals) is taken to be the maximum ‘everyday’ loudest level? 7. Humans can usually distinguish between sounds produced by different musical instruments even when they are playing a single sustained note of the same pitch. Explain how this happens. Note: this refers to sustained notes, not ‘attack’ and ‘decay’ effects. 8. What is the ‘basilar membrane’ and in which part of the ear is it located? 9. Outline how the ‘basilar membrane’ splits up complex sounds into their constituent ‘pure tones’ (use sketches as well as text description) 10. The Bark ‘scale’ divides the basilar membrane up into sections, each of 1.3 mm length, each length responding to a specific small range of frequencies. Answer the following questions about this scale, giving brief explanations : (ii) (iii) (iii) How many ‘sections’ or ‘frequency bands’ are there in this scale? Does each ‘section’ cover an equal range of frequencies? What is its importance in digital audio file compression?
11 Sketch of the overall structure of the human ear and auditory system., showing the positions of: the Pinna, auditory canal, eardrum, middle ear, cochlea 12. What is the function of each of the following parts of the ear with regard to particular frequencies (eg resonance), amplitudes, detection of sound direction etc. the Pinna, auditory canal, bones in the middle ear
13. What is the maximum signal level normally associated with Line inputs and outputs. showing each frequency as a separate block. or a digital audio surround system? How many ‘surround’ channels does ‘Prologic’ have? How many loudspeakers are generally required to play ‘Prologic’ surround sound? 23. showing the approximate maximum and minimum sensitivities (in dB) at appropriate places on the diagrams: (i) Omni-directional (ii) Cardiod (iii) ‘Figure of eight’ . in (i) dB and (ii) in Volts? 16. One type of microphone is called a ‘dynamic’ microphone. (i) (ii) (iii) Is Dolby Prologic an analogue. does ‘0dB’ equate to? 15. ‘0dB’ on the acoustical scale is defined as the minimum sound intensity that humans can hear. 21. (iii) 1250Hz. with a vertical scale labelled in dB and a linear horizontal scale labelled in Hz: (i) 250Hz. What would the above frequency spectrum look like if generated by a real software analysis programme like Adobe Audition? 18. 19. Sketch the shape of the microphone ‘polar diagram’ that is associated with the following names. -15dB. These can be shown as a closed area on the Fletcher Munsen curves. 14. Sketch a frequency spectrum diagram for the following. -6dB. Sketch a graph of how the threshold of human hearing varies with frequency over the range 30Hz to 20KHz. Sketch an area which shows the range of speech and one which shows the range of typical music. (iv) 1750Hz. -20dB (here’s an example – but remember that typically most marks are for putting in the axes and labels!) 17. (ii) 750Hz. measured in Pascals. What are two other types of microphone and how do they each work? 22. (ie the ‘Fletcher Munsen’ curves) 20. ‘Everyday sounds’ have frequencies and amplitudes which lie between the extremes drawn as threshold of hearing and threshold of pain in the Fletcher Munsen curves. Sketch a typical set of at least four curves which describe the perception of loudness with frequency. -12dB. What approximate sound pressure level (SPL). What is the structure contained within the cochlea that enables us to convert sound vibrations into nerve impulses? Using a sketch describe how this structure functions in order to make this conversion.
What is the fundamental difference between an analogue audio signal and an uncompressed ‘raw’ digitised signal? 39. what is meant by the terms ‘sampling rate’ and ‘bit depth’ and how does each alter the quality of the sound when it is reproduced? 41 What is the approximate maximum dynamic range for (i) an 8 bit digital audio signal (ii) a 16 bit digital analogue signal? 42 What is the approximate dynamic range of each of the traditional audio technologies? (Vinyl. Name two advantages of converting analogue signals into digital audio signals 40.1 named in this way. ‘threshold of pain’ and hence ‘dynamic range’.1 Have? 31 Explain what is meant by ‘masking’ in the context of audio and hearing. expressed in (i) Volts per Pascal? (ii) dB relative to 1V? 25. 32. Sketch the vibration pattern of the basilar membrane. What sensitivity would an ‘ideal’ microphone have. in dB. Dolby Prologic II surround audio and Dolby 5. and use this to outline the process by which high amplitude tones cause ‘masking’ of low amplitude tones of similar frequency. 37. In connection with digital audio. microphone and amplifier etc)? 43 What is the maximum signal frequency that can be preserved by digitally sampling at 44. 50Hz. Dolby Prologic can be readily distributed and stored using existing stereo audio installations.) noise limits the dynamic range of an audio signal when heard from that system 38. rather than the more obvious ‘Dolby 6’? 28 What do the initials ‘LFE’ stand for in the context of surround sound. The dynamic range of audio equipment is often limited by noise.1 surround audio? 27 Why is Dolby 5. Dolby Prologic II and Dolby 5. cassette tape. Draw a graph of how the masking effect of a loud tone varies with time when that tone is suddenly switched on and then switched off.1KHz? 44. What is meant by the term ‘dynamic range’ in the context of human hearing? 36. What is the approximate ‘threshold of hearing’. 35. How does the encoding system used for Prologic make this possible? 26.24. 33. recorder etc. Sketch what noise would look like on an Adobe Audition screen when superimposed on a pure tone sine wave. Dolby Prologic II and Dolby 5.What are the fundamental differences between Dolby Prologic surround audio. of human hearing at the following frequencies: 1KHz. Explain briefly how system (eg amplifier.1 Have? 30 How many channels do Dolby Prologic. 3KHz . and why is it called ‘LFE’? 29 How many loudspeakers do Dolby Prologic. Why is sound masking useful in perceptual encoding such as ‘mp3’? 34.
What aspect of sound direction location does the ‘Head related transfer function’ (HRTF) help us with (eg ‘left/right’. Give three reasons why large diameter. Explain why it helps. ‘long movement’ loudspeakers are required to adequately generate low frequency sounds. and why are most ‘subwoofers’ designed as ‘active systems’? 53. 51. ‘up/down’ ‘front/back’). Explain how a bass reflex enclosure improves the low frequency response of a loudspeaker system. What is an ‘active’ loudspeaker. How does the shape and size of the human head give rise to both ITD and IAD? Over what approximate range of frequencies does ITD and IAD operate? Why does ITD operate only at low frequency? Why does IAD operate only at high frequency? 47 Explain why real ‘everyday’ sounds produce a mixture of ITD’s and IAD’s. and how this helps us when distinguishing the direction of real sounds. (use sketches – including a ‘frequency response’ sketch) 54 What type of loudspeaker enclosure is referred to as an ‘infinite baffle’ enclosure. and why does it help low frequency response? 55 What are relative advantages and disadvantages of bass reflex and infinite baffle loudspeaker enclosures? . Explain each. 49. Describe how a typical loudspeaker works (use sketches as well as text) 50. What are the two main effects which enable us to distinguish the location of sounds which originate from the front? What does each mean? 46. What does a ‘crossover network’ do? (usually built into multiple element loudspeaker enclosures)? 52. 48.45.
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