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MTA 254 Sound

Week 2

• Thanks to everyone who sent me their picture, cell number,

and email! If you haven’t, please do!

•1st assignment: record cool sound, edit out crap, upload to Due Feb 11. Start Today! Check out gear with
a partner.

• Tutorial on my website on how to upload to

• My website:
What not to do...
Technical Stuff
Some Basics: How Sound Works

• Sound starts with something vibrating back

and forth, which causes the air (or water,
wood, metal, etc.) molecules around it to
vibrate back and forth.
Range of Human Hearing

• The speed of sound vibrations that humans can

perceive is between 20 cycles per second (20Hz)
to 20,000 cycles per second (20kHz)

• Most people’s range is less than 20Hz to 20kHz

• Piano = 27.5Hz to 4kHz.

• Violin’s highest note is about 3.5 kHz

Fundamentals & Harmonics

• The basic vibration--a pure sine wave--is called the

“fundamental.” (Concert A is 440Hz)

• Different musical instruments playing Concert A

sound different. They are all vibrating at 440Hz, but
there are other vibrations ‘coloring’ the sound.
These other vibrations are called “harmonics.”
Un-pitched sounds & electronic

• Many sounds don’t have regularly repeating waves

at all (Rustling leaves, hissing, etc.)

• Most vowels “aaah” are pitched, and consonants

are unpitched. “T = Tuh; P = Puh”

• Telephones don’t carry any sound above 3.5kHz.

• Most Hollywood films made before the 70s carried

harmonics only up to 12.5kHz.
Filter switching in and out at:
18kHz / 15kHz / 12kHz / 9kHz / 6kHz

rock on!
Echoes & Coloration

• As sound waves bounce off walls, etc, its wave

cycle can add to or subtract from the original waves
in weird ways.

• Practical advice:

• Be three times closer to your speakers than

any reflecting walls.

• Place mics three times closer to the sound

source than any source of interference
Distance & Loudness

• What does this mean? If you want better (louder)

sound [to hear a voice over background noise]
move the mic closer! A little bit is huge!
• We don’t talk in words as separate
sounds. We. Don’t. Talk. Like. This.
• When we edit voices, we edit groups of
sounds called “envelopes.”
In Lab This Week:

We will start learning Pro Tools

see you in lab!