Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Montana State University

EELE 491 and MUST 382: Audio Electronics Workshop

Spring Semester 2014
EELE 491:  Section 1 (CRN 34341)
MUST 382:  Section 1 (CRN 32280)
Tu Th 9:25-10:40AM,  HowH 184 (and lab, CobH 621)

Prof. Robert C. Maher

610 Cobleigh Hall (northeast corner of 6th floor inside main ECE office)


Office:  994-7759
Mobile:  599-5830


Class Page: (also linked from D2L)

Office hours:

Tuesday and Wednesday 11AM-noon, or by appointment.
Drop-in questions at other times are always OK if my office door is open.

For EE students:  EELE 317
For Music Tech students:  consent of Music Technology coordinator
Textbooks and Materials:
  • Lab kit (contents to be determined)
  • Class notes and handouts
  • Lab notebook
    Class Objective:
    The students learn the principles of audio electronics through a series of small projects, culminating in a cross-disciplinary design project involving students from the Electrical Engineering program and the Music Technology program.
    Course Outcomes:
    At the conclusion of EELE 491 / MUST 382, students will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate a practical understanding of the circuit-level design of analog audio amplifiers, filters, and signal processing devices.
    2. Express and knowledgeable discuss the electronic design principles of common audio components, such as mixing consoles, microphones, loudspeakers, and recording devices.
    3. Exhibit laboratory measurement, documentation, and communication skills appropriate for a senior-level electrical and computer engineering student.
    4. Explain and appreciate the advantages and challenges of cross-disciplinary projects, including both opportunities for synergy and for potential misunderstandings.
    Class Outline (subject to change):
    1. Introduction and review of basic electronics principles (2 weeks)
    2. Workshop part 1:  pre-amps (2 weeks)
      1. Op-amp types and principles.
      2. Basic op-amp circuits.
      3. Single-ended and differential amplifiers.
    3. Workshop part 2:  filters and equalizers (2 weeks)
      1. Fixed analog filters: LP, HP, BP
      2. Adjustable filters
      3. Equalizing filters
    4. Workshop part 3:  signal processing and effects (2 weeks)
      1. Envelope-based circuits
      2. Summing/mixing circuits
      3. Clipping/fuzz and distortion circuits
      4. Modulation
    5. Workshop part 4:  transducers (microphones and speakers) (2 weeks)
      1. Transducer specifications
      2. Measurement and calibration
      3. Loudspeaker design principles
      4. Microphone circuits and phantom power
    6. Project:  group work on a custom design (5 weeks)
      1. Select projects and design teams
      2. Prepare preliminary specifications and design blocks
      3. Implement breadboard design (or another appropriate deliverable)
      4. Produce documentation of design and performance measurements
      5. Demonstration
    Course Grading:

    Weekly lab write-ups:


    → Lab notebook, lab attendance, and short assessment reports.

    Homework and papers:


    → Homework and essay papers will be required periodically.

    Group design project:


    → Presentation and demonstration of a group design project and prototype.




    Grade guarantee:  course letter grades may be higher (but will not be lower) than indicated by the following scale:

    A- = 90%
    B- = 80%
    C- = 70%
    D = 60%
    F = 59%