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Test Logistics

  • Test 2 will be on Wednesday, October 17 and will cover Chapters 4 - 5.
  • The test will consist of a series of multiple choice and short-answer questions, including one or two math questions.
  • The test will be administered at the beginning of class. No make-ups will be given without an excused absence (please remember that traffic and job-related activities are not excused absences), so please be on time.
  • You may bring a pocket or graphing calculator and one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with handwritten notes only, front and back. No calculators with QWERTY keyboards allowed.
  • Most of the information in the study guide below was given in class lectures and are reinforced in the reading except where indicated. Any topics not covered in the reading are hyperlinked. (If you see something here that is not in the book, please let me know.) However, please don't hesitate to contact me if you're still confused about something.
  • The sound files that accompanied the Chapter 5 lecture are also available on D2L. Please use these for reference in your study.

Study Guide

  • Know the physical characteristics of sound, i.e. how it produces vibrations in the air which in turn vibrate the human ear drum, producing a sensation we perceive as sound.
  • Know the definition of Hertz for frequency and for sampling rate.
  • Know the definition of a decibel and how many decibels louder the sound needs to be to double the relative sound intensity (loudness). (You can ignore any mention of electric voltages.)
  • Know how to read an amplitude vs. time sound graph (i.e. what you see in Audacity). You may be asked to match such a graph to its most likely sound.
  • Know the definition of
    • sample rate
    • quantization levels
    • Nyquist Rate
  • Be prepared to apply the Nyquist rate in different situations. For instance, if given a sound of frequency x, what sampling rate do you need to capture that frequency? Or, given a sound of frequency x and a sampling rate of y, is that sampling rate sufficient to capture that sound?
  • Know what the Nyquist rate is for CD-quality sound and why we use that rate.
  • Know what a dynamic range is, how it affects quantization levels and why it causes clipping.
  • Know the difference between mono and stereo.
  • Know different ways to reduce an audio file size.
  • Know what a sound card is.
  • Know the difference between a unidirectional and omnidirectional microphone.
  • Know what MIDI sound is, how it's created and why it produces smaller file sizes than sampled audio.
  • Know the difference between multitrack and spectral view.
  • Know how the following sound effects work (you may be asked to identify one of these effects by sight on an Audacity sound graph):
  • Know what psychoacoustics is and how it's important in our understanding of sound
    • Know what characteristics a sound wave needs to have for a human to determine its point of origin
  • Know how lossy audio compression works.
  • Know the definitions of the following terms:
    • Podcast
    • RSS feed
    • Aggregator
  • Given an audio file of a certain size and a network bandwidth, calculate how long it would take to download that file over that network.

Additional Resources

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