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Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk is the President of Telecomworx, an interconnect company based in Monrovia, MD serving small-medium enterprises. He has worked...
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Matt Brunk | November 25, 2012 |

 
   

Sound Matters

Sound Matters But it's such a subjective thing, since we all hear things differently and react and behave differently, based upon what we hear--or think we hear.

But it's such a subjective thing, since we all hear things differently and react and behave differently, based upon what we hear--or think we hear.

Does Information Communications Technology meet the artistic requirements of what constitutes the components of Good Vibrations?

What is good sound and what are the measurable components? Are they all measurable and quantifiable? For decades we've lived with "toll quality" sound and many if us have experienced a wide range of "sound." There are differences based upon age, experience and personal tastes and tolerances. While some may remember and appreciate the era of the Jitterbug playing on the Victrola and fond memories of candlestick phones, others may recall rocking out to Clapton in Quadraphonic and tapping out Jingle Bells on touchtone.

Recently we worked two weeks, day and night, doing a makeover of a campus network, and this included terminating and re-terminating old/new cabling; new fiber, LAN switches, and replacing an IP-PBX we installed in 2000 that we integrated with the original school sound system (the public address system), and replaced the toggle switch controls with DSS buttons programmed for paging zones.

A staff member asked if we could check her office since "she never had sound for the PA system." We pulled out the painted-over panel above the doorway and discovered the speaker was missing, and only remaining were the pigtails, including solder joints of what once connected to a speaker. Days later we discovered a hidden speaker box with the unpainted original panel (see below) and an enclosed speaker just above the ceiling grid in a storage closet.

The Stromberg Carlson PA system installed in the school around 1956 is considered "antique" equipment. After doing a web search and stumbling on a really cool website, Preservation Sound, I found the original gear with specifications and more. Below, you can see what recording engineers in a 1961 Langevin catalog considered essential (5 things).

The terms used in the above ad started me thinking about what we deliver in telephony (Toll grade, just-as-good, HD Voice):

* "...restrictions imposed on the recordist in accomplishing this totality, both physical and practical ones"
* "...is charged with the interpretation of rhythm"
* "...the brain, through the ear, delights in variety"
* "...from a soft passage to a louder one is calculated by most composers to achieve a physiological effect"
* "...a subjective appreciation of the physiological effects achieved through these means"

I was reminded again by the advertisements during the holidays of the incredible sound that Bose delivers with their really cool Wave technology. Then I thought about, not so much the technology, but how as kids growing up when we all got together to listen to baseball games on the radio during summer nights--with the announcer projecting the tone of the game.

Sound matters, but it's such a subjective thing, since we all hear things differently and react and behave differently based upon what we hear or think we hear.



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