AE 282: Spring 2005

INSTRUCTOR: Eddie Ciletti

WEEK-2:  Homework, Notes, Reference Material, Links and Guerilla Recording


  • Plan your final exam.  I need to see weekly progress.  Remember, you must be able to submit a rough mix for the mid term.  You should be able to submit a demo version of a song no later than week-4.
  • BUDGET: Right now, you've "paid for studio time" in advance (your tuition).  But in the future, how will you realistically budget your time and money?  HINT: This is your term paper theme.  Get prices at locals studios.  Especially for those of you who mix outside of the box, how will you manage money and time?
  • Reference Material and Links
  • Download the image below.  Print and complete the request to name the switches / modes as indicated by the PEACH colored arrows.

CLICK on this image to download (and print) the assignment for Week-3


From a design perspective, distortion in audio gear is a negative.  The impulse is to minimize it and yet, as an artistic tool, many "sonic color options" are needed.  It wasn't until the introduction of each new technology that the differences between any two became obvious.  In the sixties, it was the transistor.  By the mid-seventies, multitrack tape and consoles were purged of their transformers in an attempt to recover impact (punch).  In the late-seventies, the SSL console was introduced.  While essentially a "neutral" audio device in that it is transformerless and opamp based, the SSL was initially perceived to be starck and not particulalry complimentary, albeit an essential production tool due to is Total Recall feature. 

When first purchased by The Power Station (NYC) circa 1977, Chief Engineer Tony Bongiovi normalled Pultec Equalizers to the SSL's insert points in order "warm up" the signal.  This parallels the reaction to early digital audio, a mad dash to embrace the vintage classics and determine the difference between what had been and what now is.  In a word, DISTORTION!

Distortion in audio gear varies from low values (below 0.01%) for Neutral Gear to high values (above 0.1%) for gear that has a "sonic signature," be it tubes or transistors, with or without transformers.   Vacuum tube gear has a substantial 2nd order (octave) component that is complimentary.

The link to Article-2 details the evaluation of the 12A?7 series of dual-triodes, common to all vacuum tube audio gear.  To evaluate, a reference circuit was created with two modes, Low Gain and High Gain, representing a typical conservative preamp design and a more aggressive guitar preamp design, respectively.  Results ranged from a low of 0.3% distortion to a high of 2% distortion in the nominal region for these two circuit variations.


Guerilla Recording in Retro
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