Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Fundamentals of Digital Signal Processing

We take a look at some of the fundamentals of Digital Signal Processing.

What is DSP?

Digital Signal Processors (DSP) take real-world signals like audio, video, voice, temperature, position or pressures that are digitized and then accurately manoeuvre them. It is designed for performing mathematical functions like subtract, add, divide and multiply very quickly.

How they work

Signals from real world sources are converted by Digital Signal Processing into digital data that can then be analyzed. The signals will be usually in analog form. Study is performed in digital form because when we reduce a signal to numbers its mechanism can be manipulated in more detail than when they are from real world sources.

The digital data can be converted into an analog signal with enhanced quality when the DSP has completed its work. A DSP can intensify frequencies, sort noise from a signal, and hold back others.

Types of Audio Signal Processors

Signal processors can be single- or multi-functional, digital or analog, or incorporated with other components in a sound system. Most were unconnected devices, but became multi-functional over time with digital signal processors integrating a wide range of functions at a fraction of the cost of individual processors.

The problem-solving features in DSPs today are Gain Control and Volume, Equalization, Filters, Compressors, Dynamics Processor, Expanders and Noise Gates, Limiters, Delay, Speech Leveller, Gated Automatic Mixers, Automatic Microphone Mixers, and Feedback Reducers.

Although you can find it everywhere it is an extremely refined chip technology. DSP chips are used in fax machines, sound cards, modems, high-capacity hard disks, cellular phones, and digital TVs. In 65% of the world’s digital cellular phones, DSPs are used as the engine. This number will only increase with the increase in wireless applications. Digital signal processing is used in many fields including music processing, sonar, biomedicine, radar, speech, and seismology, communications and imaging.

What DSP Can Do

You need to consider some of the most common problems you face in sound reinforcement to determine whether DSP can help your sound system. The DSP tools can remedy many problems if you have reasonably good room acoustics. If you have poor tone quality by using graphic equalizer, a DSP tool, you can rectify the problem. Similarly, DSP tools like Downward Expander, Delay, Compressor, and Automatic Mixer can rectify problems like unwanted noise, frequency response problems, sound source too loud, and feedback, respectively.

Things You Need To Do To Record Good Audio

If you already have a pair of high quality studio monitoring speakers yet are still making crappy audio, then maybe you’re doing a few things wrong. Here are 8 things you can do to achieve the results you want:

Record with good-sounding instruments
Before you start recording, you need to make sure that none of the instruments are faulty or out of tune. If an instrument needs new strings or heads, replace and tune it before the session. Old guitar strings also sound bad, so you might want to restring your guitars as well.

Avoid recording your guitar with reverb
You should only record your guitar with reverb if it’s absolutely necessary and if you’re 100% sure that you’re not going to change it during mixdown. Otherwise, you should record it dry, especially if you don’t really think it’ll fit with the arrangement. If the guitarist can’t play without reverb, you can make up for it by adding some to his headphones from your software.

Avoid recording in the red
Digital clipping makes a recording sound bad, and once you do that you can no longer go back and fix it. This is why you should avoid recording in the red as much as possible. You can just record at a lower volume, and just raise the volume in your mix. Again, you can’t remove clipping, so you might as well just prevent it from happening.

Use the right microphone(s)
Not using the right microphone can result in an awful vocal track, so make sure you are actually using the right one. Condenser microphones are what you’d normally see in studios, and probably what you should be using. Dynamic microphones work for some vocals and styles, but obviously not everything. Compare the two and use the one that fits your recording needs.

Record with good-quality cables
If you want a high-quality recording, it’s ideal to invest in high-quality equipment. Cables do matter even though they may not matter as much as the microphone you’re using or the kind of pre-amp you have. They still have a say in the overall sound of the record, so don’t go cheap.

Take your time
Rushing is often a bad thing, and this also applies to recording audio. While some artists may work under pressure, the majority generally don’t. Don’t expect a vocalist to be able to produce all the vocal tracks to an album in just a short time. Perfection takes time.

Be in the correct position
A good-sounding room and some acoustic treatment are definitely necessary for recording a great audio, but so does the position of the microphone. You can’t just stand in the middle of your bedroom and sing into the microphone you’re holding and still expect to record a good audio. Not all positions are ideal for achieving a great vocal performance, so determine where you should properly position yourself in the room before you start recording. The position of your monitoring speakers also matter, as they will sound different depending on where they are in the room.

Technology Has Broadened Teaching Horizons

There is a race against time for classroom teachers to avail of the power of technology in delivering knowledge and all to their learners. If some of them are not adept at using technology in the classroom, chances are learners are in disadvantaged in learning against the ones who have been learning through the aid of technology.

This is why, during summer, teachers are trained to become knowledgeable in using technology in the classroom. In fact, just recently, selected teachers harnessed their skills in using Microsoft Mix, Sway,┬áPrezi, to mention just a few. Expected output from said trainings would be for teachers to create lessons– for effective and efficient delivery, learners will surely be motivated to learn and teachers themselves will be more inspired to teach with high impact, both through presentation and assessment purposes.

To ensure global education for their learners, a creative and would-be technology savvy classroom teacher must have the following prerequisite skills:

First, booting up and shutting down desktop computer or laptop.

Second, doing necessary navigation–from using the cursor or arrow up, down or what.

Third, setting up a projector.

Fourth, making slides for presentation purposes.

Fifth, recording voice or videos.

Sixth, writing an email.

Seventh, making an interesting lesson out of the competencies required for learners to master and by taking advantage of the tremendous sources of information around the net so as to create interesting, fun and meaningful lesson presentation..

Last, presenting lessons using technology with high impact. Here, how teachers present themselves, the lessons and all to their learners. could either inspire them to learn more or discourage to pursue. From standing in front, manner of speaking, manner of emphasizing a point or preparing learners to the highlights of their lesson, wrapping up and motivating them to do something for extension activities– such important showmanship could really spell the difference between success and failure in getting across the wisdom they wanted to get absorbed by their learners.

Artificial Intelligence in Industrial Automation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) probably means sci-fi movies with robots and computers performing inconceivable human tasks. While this is partly true, what AI truly brings to the table is enabling machines to carry out intelligent tasks. As the challenges faced by global decision makers skyrocket, there is an urgent need to propel businesses and societies forward using the most modern technology. With the world changing at an unprecedented speed, businesses need to revamp and restructure how machines and humans work. And AI is helping meet those goals. According to Forrester, Cognitive technologies such as robots, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation will replace 7% of US jobs by 2025.

The Changing Dynamics
The manufacturing sector is characterized by an environment full of uncertainties and evolving dynamics. With ever growing market volatility, manufacturers need to constantly innovate, adapt and respond to changes in the quickest time, without hampering the quality of products, and at the least possible cost. The efficiency of a manufacturing system closely depends on how well shop floor processes respond to changes. Critical shop floor functions such as production scheduling and maintenance have to be extremely responsiveness, and their integration is what will result in an optimal and robust decision making environment.

AI in Manufacturing
AI finds application in a host of industries including gaming, banking, retail, commercial, and government, and is slowly becoming pervasive in the manufacturing sector, facilitating the automation of industries. AI-driven machines are paving an easier path to the future by providing a host of benefits – offering new opportunities, improving production efficiencies, and bringing machine interaction closer to human interaction. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is being driven by the automation of knowledge-based work; by creating new ways to automate tasks, we can restructure the way humans and machines live and interact, to create a better, stronger digital economy.

Benefits
AI and industrial automation have progressed considerably in recent years. Development in machine learning techniques, advances in sensors and the growth of computing power have helped create a new generation of robots. AI helps enables machines to collect and extract knowledge, recognize patterns, and learn and adapt to new situations or environments through machine intelligence, learning and speech recognition

Improving Business Outcomes
The key driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the speed at which it is happening. With technology now at our fingertips, businesses (and even industries) can scale up with the blink of the eye, ultimately changing the way we live our daily lives (and in a fraction of the time). Using AI, industry leaders and technology pioneers can create the right platforms and solutions, ultimately improving business outcomes and driving success in today’s ever-growing digital economy.