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Articles Nov-Dec 2020

Effectron Reinforces Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam College Auditorium with Adamson Sound, Barco Projection and Effectron Lights and Furnishing

The 2000-seat multipurpose auditorium at the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Government College in Daman, in August 2020 was installed with an impressive audio architecture from Adamson..... read more

Soundframe Gives LOTD an Exclusive Harman Professional Audio System Finesse

SoundFrame recently outfitted Lord of the Drinks’ Kolkata location with a complete Harman Professional Audio System to provide exceptional audio quality and coverage for its patrons..... read more

Neumann Home Studio Academy India Edition - In Conversation with Meghdeep Bose

Meghdeep Bose is a noted arranger, composer and music producer. In this exclusive interview with PT, Meghdeep talks about his collaboration with Sennheiser and Neumann for the Indian edition..... read more

Acoustics In Auditorium Design - by Vijay Purandare

How a room sounds and feels depends heavily on the specific acoustic properties of the materials in the room. For example, the acoustics of a concert hall are designed..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms- Part 4 - by Rahul Sarma

In Part 3 of the series, Rahul spoke about the science behind absorption and diffusion..... read more


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Dummies Guide to Computers for Live Sound Recordings & Audio Applications Engineering

I am not a computer geek, computers interest me, because it really helps me understand how I can get the best of my software applications, be it Test & Measurement, Recording and a Control Command Centre of various applications made by manufacturers that are made to get the best of their sound systems.

To begin with, I prefer making my own machines for serious applications and for starters rack-mount servers with commercially available parts according to me are the best starting points to build good machines for your relevant applications.

The motto here is RELIABILITY, SPEED & MORE SPEED and to do so I am going backwards. Lets get to the genesis of making a good piece of well built gear, this includes even computers.

Power Supply

Having a good supply will give you great stability and reliability for the system; any compromises here will lead to shutdown and you wouldn’t want that especially if your computer was passing audio and serial part of the audio chain. There is a rule in electronics engineering and that rule is so true even till today that ‘A great design is always benchmarked by the construction and quality of its power supply’.

Cooling & Noise

Not many know that computers slow down if they overheat and cooling plays a vital role in keeping all the parts running at the same speed equilibrium, for audio based applications the noise levels of the cooling has to be extremely quiet especially with computers built for recording applications, there fans needs to be pretty silent enough to keep a low noise floor in the room. Nowadays even the memory like the SSD & the RAM have heat sinks designed for them to make sure the speeds are consistent, no matter how hard they are driven by the applications.

Chassis

Strength and cooling here make a big difference, weak inferior quality chassis causes problems with computers that travel and my advice is to never use a desktop machine for a professional application no matter how convenient it is to procure. Well-built rack mount chassis servers ensure that the parts of the computer are not flexed in transit and because all the parts are horizontally placed and not vertically the reliability of the machines are far much better.

Hard Disk

Don’t look below SSD’s out here and their speed cannot be matched by the HDD counterparts; whilst we all love SSD’s the new speedster on the block is M.2 pronounced as (M dot Two). It is the new speed king and this can really read and write at some amazing speeds and also the fact that it sits directly on your motherboard eliminating a cable. I can tell you it’s a bump in itself to invest in M.2. Off course you cannot ignore the price of regular hard disks and those come in use for archiving your recordings after the days work and backup.

RAM

RAM is expensive and good quality RAM with a high switching frequency is even costlier. It amazes me after all these years, the price of RAM is always so prohibitive and I can honestly tell you if you are not going to spend good money here then its pointless aiming for a speed demon computer, no matter how fast your processor is. Go for the best, the higher the RAM capacity the better, and if your motherboard supports higher switching frequencies then get that RAM to take your performance to the next level; you wont be disappointed.

Motherboard

No matter how expensive parts are, so many guys build machines with cheap motherboards and I don’t understand why or probably I do! Is it because they cannot market themselves like the processors do is probably the reason we ignore this element altogether. However the name suggests, “Motherboard” doesn’t that ring a bell that an i7 chip is so vulnerable to the abilities of its motherboard it sits on.

Chipset

Whilst AMD and Intel fight for supremacy the consumers benefit with more bang for the buck and now that we are in i7’s 8th Generation audio related tasks are such a breeze, speeds really matter with video related editing and hence people in the audio industry go with i5 machines, well here is the biggest mistake we make and the advantages of i7 are only realized when you are doing tasks in the field and the speed plays a very vital role. In roles of applications engineering an i7 just radically improves the speed.

GPU Graphics Board

We all generally use our onboard graphics cards to monitor our computers work, however we also run out of speed on our applications so often and we end up blaming our computers advanced abilities until we add a graphics board and a good quality graphics board can be the most expensive piece of hardware in your machine. This is very relevant with gaming applications and not much heed is paid to a graphics card for audio recording applications, however a graphics card added to the motherboard for running audio applications that have graphics intensive applications help a lot in relieving the on-board CPU’s processing horsepower to do other applications

Networking

Gigabit networking has changed how we control all our equipment in the field, however I always see audio companies resorting to cheap consumer grade network switches for controlling their loudspeakers or LAN based digital audio transport systems and very low quality cables for protocolling between the devices, you cannot even imagine how important the quality of your network switches should be in order to have robust networking across your system and especially if you have over 100 amplifiers on your network then the computers on-board LAN or your LAN card has to be top notch.

Benchmarking

Total system benchmarking of the machine is a evaluation of the machines total ability to handle all the tasks you have applied it too and I assure you if you followed this simple ready reckoner, your computer will give you amazing service in the field for yours to come.

Warren D’souza - Founder, Managing Director, & Working Member of Sound.Com

#SoundGuyForlife
#AudioEvangelist

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