Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Montana State University

EELE 217: The Science of Sound

Spring Semester 2015
Section 1 (CRN 32192), Tu Th 13:40-14:30PM,  Howard Hall 117

Topics and Notes Summary (last update 4/5/2015):


Apr. 23 (Thurs)

Digital audio (cont.)


Apr. 21 (Tues)

Digital audio:  sampling and quantization


Apr. 16 (Thurs)

In class Quiz on lecture material.

Audio signals:  standard levels, signal-to-noise ratio considerations, mixing and dynamic range


Apr. 14 (Tues)

Audio electronics (cont.)


Apr. 9 (Thurs)

No class this day (instructor out of town)


Apr. 7 (Tues)

Audio electronics:  electrical power system in U.S. homes and businesses; audio interconnects

Electrical wiring and interconnection principles (handout)


Apr. 2 (Thurs)

In class Quiz on lecture material.

Finish transducer discussion, then start considering the principles of home and studio electrical wiring.


Mar. 31 (Tues)

Audio transducers (microphones and loudspeakers, cont.)


Mar. 26 (Thurs)

Begin audio transducers (microphones and loudspeakers)

Transducer notes (from powerpoint in class)


Mar. 24 (Tues)

Musical acoustics (cont.)

Summary of lecture notes (from powerpoint in class)


Mar. 19 (Thurs)

Musical acoustics -- foundations of common practice musical organization


Mar. 17 (Tues)

Sound isolation, sound transmission class (STC), flanking paths (cont.)

Homework assignment on reverb estimation (due at the start of class on 3/24/15)


Mar. 12 (Thurs)

(No Class--spring break)


Mar. 10 (Tues)

(No Class--spring break)


Mar. 5 (Thurs)

MID-TERM EXAM in class this day.

Coverage from the start of the semester up through the start of room acoustics (2/26/15).

Exam is closed book.  You may bring a calculator (not required) and a pencil/pen.  Exam format will be multiple choice, with a few short-answer questions.

(NOTE from the syllabus:  "A grade of F will also be given automatically if the midterm or final exam is not taken, regardless of the student's aggregate score total." )


Mar. 3 (Tues)

Sound in rooms:  reverberation estimation, critical distance, and sound transmission through walls, floors, doors, etc.

Handout on wall systems and sound infiltration.

Exam review.


Feb. 26 (Thurs)

Sound in rooms:  direct sound, reflected sound, and reverberation.

Handout on Sabine reverberation estimation.

NOTE:  the midterm exam is tentatively scheduled for class time on Thursday, March 5, 2015.

Feb. 24 (Tues)

Finish characteristics of hearing:  physiology and psychology.
Begin discussion of sound in rooms:  absorption, reflection, transmission.


Feb. 19 (Thurs)

In class Quiz on readings and lecture material.

More on the hearing system and its strengths and weaknesses.

Feb. 17 (Tues)

Characteristics of hearing:  physiology and psychology.  Auditory demonstrations and listening.

Article about noise exposure during 1986 9-day non-stop flight of the Voyager aircraft.

Reading assignment:  chapters 20-23 of the Strong textbook.

Feb. 12 (Thurs)

In class Quiz on readings and lecture material.

Physiology of the ear.  Structures and functions of the hearing system.

Reading assignment:  Finish reading chapters 13-15 of the Strong textbook.

Feb. 10 (Tues)

Harmonics and spectral content; sound levels and the decibel

Handout on the decibel.

Article about the atmospheric pressure disturbance caused around the world due to the Krakatoa eruption in 1883.

Start reading chapters 13-15 from the Strong textbook


Feb. 5 (Thurs)

In class Quiz on readings and lecture material.

Standing waves and resonance; start harmonics and spectral concepts;  Audio demo of interference, beating, and harmonics. Start sound levels and the decibel.

Reading assignment:  Finish reading material from Section 1 of the Strong textbook.

Feb. 3 (Tues)

Sound propagation speed in various materials.

Wave phenomena: propagation, reflection, absorption, refraction, and diffraction.  Doppler effect.


Jan. 29 (Thurs)

In class Quiz on Chapter 4 and lecture material.

Wave phenomena, relationship between frequency, wavelength, and speed of sound.

Reading assignment:  Chapters 6 and 8 from the Strong textbook.

Jan. 27 (Tues)

Vibration in simple mass-spring systems and basic mass-spring-damper systems (cont.).

Stiffness and mass effect on natural frequency of vibration.

Begin waves and wave motion in air.

NOTE:  there will be a special session on "soundscapes" at the College of Arts and Architecture symposium on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 10:00AM, in Cheever Hall First Year Studio.  All are welcome to attend.

Jan. 22 (Thurs)

In class Quiz on Chapter 3 and lecture material.

Power and energy discussion.

Vibration in simple mass-spring systems and basic mass-spring-damper systems (Chapter 4)

Reading assignment:  Read chapter 4 from the Strong textbook.

Jan. 20 (Tues)

Basic physical quantities and laws.  Measurement units for distance, time, mass, frequency, force, energy, power, etc.

Vibration in simple mass-spring systems and basic mass-spring-damper systems.

Jan. 15 (Thurs)

First class meeting at 1:40PM in Howard Hall Room 117.

Course introduction and some listening experiments.

Reading assignment:  Read chapter 3 from the Strong textbook .