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DIY Audio

Last updated: January 28, 2013

Links | Fundamentals of Audio | Critical Listening and Science of Sound | Vacuum Tubes | Audio Media and Comparisons | Hardware and Modifications | The Music Library | Recording Techniques | Studio | Studio Logic Pro | Science of Audio | Codecs

This page is not only for the digital audiophile, but for those who enjoy working with computers and electronicsc. Only in the past few years has it become affordable for the average consumer to build high-quality hi-fi systems that use either analog or digital media. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of compiled information out there that will help the consumer build, or even buy, a high-quality analog/digital audio system and it is our intent to help fill the void. The primary difference between analog and digital, besides the media itselsf is the addition of DAC's in the output phase. DAC's, like all technologies, are rather complex components and come in many different 'flavors.' The challenge today is understanding both the analog side (tubes, vinyl, etc.) and the digital side (CD's, codecs, computers, etc.) Having over 30 years of experience working with computers has given me definite advantage, and it is this experience that I will draw upon in building a system that is both affordable and of hi-quality.

Links

TEWM DIY Links
DIY Electronics is for the beginner as well as the advanced DIYer. Here is where you will learn how to solder not only basic circuits, but also SMD's and IC's. Almost all aspects of DIY electronics are covered, as well as the audiophile components and construction.
DIY Audio Here we address only audio. Almost all pages here are original TEWM pages.
DIY Guitar A lot of links and some original TEWM pages.
Fundamentals of Audio The nuts-and-bolts of audio. A total of 38 pages, with a lot of great illustrations.
DIY Audiophile Links This is the most comprehensive link index for DIY audiophile kits, instructions, schematics, computer audiophiles, and more.
DIY Synthesizers A lot of links and some original TEWM pages.
DIY Recording To help keep things organized I had to break the recording from the audio index.
Links Home Recording
Multimedia Articles a list of PDFs that will familiarize you on codecs for audio and video, XML, multimedia coding standards, etc.
Acoustics, Music, and Science an extensive list of PDFs that address the research on modern acoustics, music, or the physics of music.

Optimize Your Existing Mac for Audio
Build an Affordable Music/Audio Server with the all NEW NM24 Tube DAC

The Fundamentals of Audio

The pages below are the courtesy of UC Santa Cruz. If these pages excite you, then you may want to consider attending UCSC and majoring in Digital Arts/New Media MFA, Film and Digital Media PhD, or Visual Studies PhD. Besides getting some excellent academic training, the Bay Area is one of the finest places in the world. USSC also has undergraduate degrees in digital media. If you are a resident of any of the western states, then you should definitely checkout Western Undergraduate Exchange where you can often times attend an out-of-state college for less than it would be to attend an instate college. For example, it is cheaper to attend many California colleges and universities under WUE than it is to pay instate Colorado tuition.

Critical Listening and The Science of Sound

Audio Basics
Improve Your Mixes With This Critical Listening Exercise
Critical Listening - Basic Exercises
Using Poetry as a Method of Creating Musical Vocals
Resonance and Radiation of Acoustic Instruments
Strings, Standing Waves and Harmonics
What is a Sound Spectrum?
Impedance 101
Why is Impedance Important
Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) Audio Interchange File Format (or AIFF) is a lossless file format for storing digital audio (waveform) data. AIFF is the Apple equivalent of WAV.

Hardware Components, File Management, and Media

If you want to learn the fundamentals of soldering, reading schematics, building your own circuits then visit the DIY Index page.

Home Audio
DIY Teflon Tube Dampers
Improve Your Existing Audio System with These Free Tips
Optimize an Existing PC for Audio

Build an Audio HDD Server
An Introduction to Modifying Hi-Fi Components
Hi-Fi Modifications
Links: DIY Kits for the Audiophile

Vacuum Tubes
How Vacuum Tubes Work
Theory of and Types of Vacuum Tubes
How Vacuum Tubes in Linears Work
Vacuum Tube Amplifiers
Vacuum Tubes Vs. Transistors
Vacuum Tubes Vs Transistors in Electric Guitar Amplifiers
Vacuum Tubes: Buying
Audio Tube Maintenance
Amplification Primer: The Sound of Vacuum Tubes

Hardware, Modifications and DIY
If you want to learn the fundamentals of soldering, reading schematics, building your own circuits then visit the DIY Index page.
High-End Capacitors, Inductors, and Resistors
Replacing Passive Components to Improve Sound Quality
Design and Construction of Vacuum Tube Amplifiers
Power Supplies and Voltage Regulators
How to Pick an Audio Capacitor
Capacitor Distortion Mechanisms
How To Test A Capacitor
DIY Audio Modifications Pre-amps, Amps, Speakers, etc.
Vibration Isolation and Damping
A Guide to Optimizing Speaker Performance
Everything You Wanted To Know About Speakers
Power Amplifier Set-up Tips
What is a Digital Analog Converter (DAC)?
ADC and DAC Glossary
Everything you were afraid to ask about Cables
Balanced Cables and Audio
Audio Cables
Wire Specifications
Working with the SPDIF Connection
Digital First Aid: Quick and easy solutions to some of the problems encountered when connecting digital audio equipment
The Basic Process of Recording Tracks on a Computer

Audio Media/Format/Codecs
16 vs 24 Bit
Everything you Wanted to Know About CDs
MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD
Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) Audio Interchange File Format (or AIFF) is a lossless file format for storing digital audio (waveform) data. AIFF is the Apple equivalent of WAV. iTunes allows for error checking when going from CD to AIFF.
An Introduction to DVD Recordable (DVD-R)
Audio Quality of MP3s versus CDs
MPEG1 and MPEG2 Compression PDF
Audio Coding Standards PDF
Speech Coding Standards PDF

Software

Converting Analog into Digital (IIR) Filter

Using iTune's and MP3's
Defining Audio Quality in iTunes
Importing Music Using iTunes
How to burn a CD in iTunes
Equalizers and Advanced iTunes Features
Saving MP3 Files with Windows Media Player and iTunes: Convert WMA to MP3
The Complete Guide to Backing Up your iTunes Library
Transferring your iTunes Library
Decrypting iTunes

Converting Audio Files in iTunes
Join Tracks in iTunes
Managing Duplicate Songs in Your iTunes Library
How-To: Backup Your DVDs and Watch Them in iTunes

The Music Library

Audio conversion, building and maintaining a music library, and the necessary hardware. All that is needed for both analog and digital!

The pages below will help you move both analog and digital audio to the computer. We are taking a DIY approach here, and we want the finest audio quality possible. I am currently using the below techniques to convert my entire audio library over to m4a and AIFF .

Turntables, cartridges, preamps, and all that is needed to convert from vinyl to digital
Converting Vinyl to Digital: Interface Turntable to Computer via USB
Converting Vinyl to Digital: Connect Turntable to Computer via Existing Preamp
Converting Vinyl to Digital: Various Configurations Used to Connect a Turntable to a Computer
Converting Vinyl to Digital: All About The Phono Preamp
Converting Vinyl to Digital: All About Turntables and Cartridges
Converting Vinyl to Digital: Tune-up a Turntable
Converting Vinyl to Digital: How to Clean Your Vinyl

Creating and Maintaining a Music Library
Digital Audiophile: Defining Audio Quality in iTunes
Digital Audiophile: Importing a CD Using iTunes
Digital Audiophile: Moving Your iTunes Library Between Computers

Recording Techniques

Creating Effects With Established Techniques
Microphone Preamplifier Technology
Reorganized Sound: Effects by Established Techniques
Practical Acoustics for Technicians
Making Tracks: Intelligent Harmonization
Create an environment for your MIDI hardware
How to Filter Your Audio 10 Different Ways November 17, 2008
Creating Effect Via Established Techniques
Bias Voltages and Tube Amp Maintenance
The Technical Features of Monitoring
MIDI In Session
Freakin' the Faders
High Fidelity
Phantom Power and Microphone Interconnect Basics
Resonance and Radiation
Recording the Electric Guitar
Good Reference Monitors
Plug-ins
Mic-mix
MySpace for Musicians
Sonic Mayhem
Mic Specs
Samplers
Audacity Tutorial for High School PDF January 24, 2009
Audacity Tutorial for High School Power Point January 24, 200
How to Create Background Game Music Loops with Audacity

Studio

Granted, a lot of this addresses the recording studio but if you want a kick-ass listening room then this is where to look.
Creative Commons Licensing and Copyright
Guide to Buying Pro-Audio Equipment

Installation Basics for Studio Wiring
Recording Electric Guitar November 17, 2008
Audio Room Acoustics
Reducing Studio Noise
Speaker Impedance
Differences Between CD-R/CD-RW Discs and Standard CD
What to Do With Extra Computers
Audio Gear Modification
Build a Budget Studio
Sound Design Workshop: On the Bus November 17, 2008
Good Reference Monitors November 17, 2008
Improve Your Mixes With This Critical Listening Exercise November 17, 2008
How to Filter Your Audio 10 Different Ways November 17, 2008
How to Process and Improve Home Recorded Vocals November 17, 2008
How to Process Vocals for an Amazing Professional Sound November 17, 2008

Science of Audio

The Electronic Century: A Historical Perspective
Mastering Vinyl
Strings, Standing Waves and Harmonics

What is a Sound Spectrum?
What is a Decibel?
Protein Storage
Introduction to the acoustics of brass instruments
MUS150: Musical Acoustics (Stanford Univ)
Acoustical Data on Clarinets
The Acoustical Evolution of Wind Instruments
Diagrams and Slides on the Acoustics of Various Clarinets
Summary Notes on the Mathematical Theory of Fingerholes, as Applicable to Clarinets
Resonance Between Reed and Pipe Resonance Frequencies and the Playing Frequency of a Reed-Pipe Combination
Studies in the Physical Acoustics of Musical Instruments
Brass Wind Instrument Impulse Response Measurements
Calculating the Spectrum of a Struck Piano String
Thirty Transcendent Studies for Trumpet, Cornet, and Flugel Horn In Bb
Interactions Between the Player's Windway and the Air Column of a Musical Instrument
Oscillations in Clarinet Like Systems
On Radiation From a Fiddle-box As It Is Influenced By the Main Air Resonance
Perturbation Theory and Its Application to Musical Air Column Adjustment
Register Hole Design For Cone Woodwinds
The NX Clarinet
The Subject of Mutes
The Coprion Bell
Instrument Metals
General Chemical and Physical Properties
Introduction to Saxophone Acoustics
Flute Acoustics
Acoustics of Reed Woodwinds
Didjeridu acoustics
Violin Acoustics
Guitar Acoustics
Vocal Tract Acoustics
Pipes and Harmonics
How Do Woodwind Instruments Work?
Flutes vs Clarinets
Helmholtz Resonance
Note names, MIDI numbers and frequencies
Interference beats and Tartini tones
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the musician's uncertainty principle
Acoustical investigation of the cornetto
Bore reconstruction by pulse reflectometry and its potential for the taxonomy of brass instruments
Input impedance measurements on wind instruments using pulse reflectometry
Measuring the human voice: Analyzing pitch, timing and voice quality in mother/infant communication
Using pulse reflectometry to compare the evolution of the cornet and the trumpet in the 19th and 20th centuries
Acoustical comparison of bassoon crooks
Acoustic pulse reflectometry in musical wind instrument research
Thesis: Acoustic pulse reflectometry for the measurement of musical wind instruments
Wall vibrations in wind instruments
Have you ever found an oboe and wondered where it came from?
The development of a modular paradigm for the physical modeling of musical instruments 

Codecs

MPEG1 and MPEG2 Compression PDF
Audio Coding Standards PDF
Speech Coding Standards PDF
Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) Audio Interchange File Format (or AIFF) is a lossless file format for storing digital audio (waveform) data. AIFF is the Apple equivalent of WAV.

 

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