The Piano

The notes and sounds made by a piano are the result of strings vibrating. The strings vibrate when they are hit by a hammer within the piano. The piano has 88 keys all of which play a different note. Multiple keys can be played at the same time to create chords and harmonies. What happens…

Decibels; The Power of Sound

What we perceive as sound is longitudinal oscillations of pressure waves travelling through the air and the decibel rating of the sound is dictated by the how big those waves are – their amplitude. Decibels are logarithmic so the decibel scale can seem confusing at first, but if we consider the sound of a jet…

How Speaker Material Affects Your Sound

Which material is best when making a speaker? Making speakers that sound exceptional and retain stable performance is a mixture of art and science. When shopping around for speakers, you are sure to find all kinds of materials used to make the enclosure (the part that holds it all together). While many modern speakers are…

What is Spotify Connect?

What is Spotify Connect? Spotify has a tonne of features, though some of the fancier ones, such as Spotify Connect, are limited to users who pay up. Spotify Connect is a relatively new feature (or rather a new button in the Spotify app) that enables you to play tunes from Spotify’s catalogue – but through Wi-Fi-connected speakers, TVs, laptops, and other…

Internet Radio

Internet Radio: Broadcasting on the World Wide Web From the 1920s to the early 1990s, the only way to listen to radio shows was to tune your radio in to whatever was being broadcast in the air around you. Your radio would receive a signal being transmitted through the atmosphere from a large broadcasting tower…

A History of Headphones

The History of Headphones We often take the process of evolution for granted. It is in everything, ourselves as a race and individuals included. Everything on this Earth has evolved from something, a tree from a seed, an empire from an idea, a headphone from arm strain. By 1881, speakers had been around for some…

Sound Pressure & Volume

Sound Pressure and Volume The human ear hears pressure – not volume. The difference between the two is that the closer to the source of the sound you are, the more pressure you will hear, and conversely the further away you get from the source of sound, the lower the pressure. As you increase the…

Wireless: Choosing the System for You

What you need to know about wireless speakers, and how to choose the system that suits you best. Selecting a new speaker system to purchase has become an increasingly complex and sometimes confusing process. There are a lot of decisions to me made when it comes to finding the right combination of features and connectivity….

The Tinnitus Effect

It’s easy these days to get lost in music. A lot of us use it as an opportunity to drown out the noises that surround us. Regardless of what the sounds around us are, be it construction work, an annoying co-worker, the voices in your head even, we often seek refuge in the bliss of music….

Dynamic Music Composition

What is Dynamic Music Composition? Try watching a film with the sound switched off. Not only will you have no clue what anyone’s saying (unless you’re a talented lip-reader), but so much of the impactful emotional content is lost. You can watch the introduction to “Saving Private Ryan” and experience the visceral brutality of war…

Why KBPS and MP3 encoding matters

96, 128, 160, 256, 320? These may seem like arbitrary numbers plucked from the air but in fact they are common “bit rates” for MP3 encoded music. Most often you will see a bit rate expressed as a number followed by “kbps”, meaning kilobytes per second. Essentially this is the amount of information stored in…

Listening to Music

Many articles have been written describing the process of how to listen to music – they tend to focus on how to understand the music. I’m not going to go over these things again (or at least not in the same context of trying to understand the technicality of how the music is created by…