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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Analog & Digital – Half II

At the moment’s electronics are based mostly on the transistor, which could be switched both on (a one) or off (a zero).  Amongst different issues, the sounds coming from musical devices are mainly clean variations, that are described as analog alerts.  To ensure that the alerts (digital representations of the sound waves) to be processed, there have to be a conversion from the analog wave to a digital illustration of the unique wave.  An analog to digital converter constantly transforms analog alerts into the binary (ones and zeros) equal at every instantaneous of measurement that may be processed by the digital gear.

Contemplate the piano and violin illustration of their frequencies between C and B (twelve notes) on a piano.  Determine 1 exhibits the 12 notes from C via B, with the A being the important thing frequency of 440 Hz.  [Re. 1] The purpose of this chart is to current the truth that the piano has fastened notes and is extra like digital info from a pc.  The violin, alternatively would supply a steady vary of the assorted frequencies.  (There’s additionally a slight variation of the piano key frequencies from a straight line for the violin.)

Determine 1

One fascinating merchandise is that because the piano has discrete frequencies related to the assorted keys, the precise sound is just not a clean ramp up and down like a sine wave. 

Determine Two depicts a violin and a piano word and exhibits the speedy drop-off of the word from the violin.  [Ref. 2]

Determine 2

The piano word is created by the important thing placing the stretched piano wire that has been correctly tuned.  The preliminary strike is filled with non-harmonic tones that dampen down quickly. [Ref. 3] This reverberation from the strike produces the wave kind.  The violin is completely different in that the vibrating string creates harmonics that create the multitude of peaks and valleys proven in Determine 3 [Ref. 4]. 

Determine 3

I’ll borrow some rationalization of harmonics from reference 5.  It explains that the instrument produces completely different wave shapes based mostly on the form of the instrument. that reveal comparability of wave form and harmonics.  One other issue is the way in which the word is performed.  “In case you press a piano key and launch it, the sound modifications quantity progressively over time. First, it rises rapidly (or “assaults”) to its most quantity. Subsequent, the sound “decays” to a decrease degree and stays there or “sustains.” Lastly, after we let go of the important thing, the sound “releases” and dies right down to silence.”

” There are different elements too. An instrument doesn’t simply produce a single sound wave at a single pitch (frequency). Even when it’s enjoying a gentle word, it’s making many alternative sound waves directly: it makes one word (known as a elementary frequency or first harmonic) and plenty of greater, associated notes known as harmonics or overtones. The frequency of every harmonic is a a number of of the elemental frequency. So, if the elemental frequency (additionally known as the primary harmonic) is 200Hz (which we are able to consider as merely 1 × 200Hz), the second harmonic is 400Hz (2 × 200Hz), the third is 600Hz (3 × 200Hz), the fourth is 800Hz (4 × 200Hz), and so forth. Enjoying collectively, the harmonics make a dense, complicated sound a bit like a barber’s store choir, with low voices and excessive voices all singing in tune. The extra harmonics there are, the richer the sound.”

Getting again to Analog and Digital, what the instrument is delivering is a continues collection of complicated waves that embrace small and smaller parts of the waves.  Taking these waves and “chopping” them up into discrete segments has to common out the variation in every of the measurement dimension chunks of sound waves.  So, irrespective of how advantageous one dissects the wave, there’s averaging with every bite-sized piece of the particular music.  It’s potential to take that measurement right down to a sufficiently small dimension that the everyday listener is not going to discover the delicate variations from the analog.  BUT, sound may also be subtly felt.  Irrespective of how small the averaging dimension, there might be a distinction from the unique analog sound wave.  Consequently, vinyl (information) is making a come again because of the superior replica of precise sounds attributable to vinyl being an analog supply of the sounds.


  1. https://www.intmath.com/trigonometric-graphs/music.php
  2. https://www.shaalaa.com/question-bank-solutions/two-musical-notes-of-the-same-pitch-and-same-loudness-are-played-on-two-different-instruments-their-wave-patterns-are-as-shown-in-following-figure-properties-of-sounds_36995
  3. https://dsp.stackexchange.com/questions/46598/mathematical-equation-for-the-sound-wave-that-a-piano-makes
  4. https://www.google.com/search?q=violinpercent20soundpercent20wave&tbm=isch&consumer=firefox-b-1-d&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCAQtI8BKAFqFwoTCMD74Mi9-YEDFQAAAAAdAAAAABAU&biw=1542&bih=994https://www.google.com/search?q=violinpercent20soundpercent20wave&tbm=isch&consumer=firefox-b-1-d&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCAQtI8BKAFqFwoTCMD74Mi9-YEDFQAAAAAdAAAAABAU&biw=1542&bih=994
  5. https://www.explainthatstuff.com/synthesizers.html

About Walt

I’ve been concerned in numerous facets of nanotechnology because the late Nineteen Seventies. My curiosity in selling nano-safety started in 2006 and produced a white paper in 2007 explaining the 4 pillars of nano-safety. I’m a expertise futurist and is at present centered on nanoelectronics, single digit nanomaterials, and 3D printing on the nanoscale. My expertise consists of three startups, two of which I based, 13 years at SEMATECH, the place I used to be a Senior Fellow of the technical employees after I left, and 12 years at Basic Electrical with 9 of them on company employees. I’ve a Ph.D. from the College of Texas at Austin, an MBA from James Madison College, and a B.S. in Physics from the Illinois Institute of Expertise.

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