Advice to an audiophobe -- If others need it.

William Case billlinux at rogers.com
Sat Dec 27 20:50:23 UTC 2008


Hi;

With special thanks to Tim and David, I have read and assembled a list
of audio explanation sites.  Tim and David gave me enough context so
that when I read (or re-read) the information at these sites, things
began to make sense.  I have copied the list of sites I have used for
anyone else who might be as befuddled as I was.  I have tried to put
them into some logical order.
 
On Tue, 2008-12-23 at 10:55 -0500, William Case wrote:
> Hi;
> 
> I have avoided sound technology most of my life.  I have a 'tin ear' and
> most music just sounds to me like somebody talking in an annoying voice.
> However, recent problems with alsa mixer and/or pulseaudio has convinced
> me that the time has come to spend some time learning the rudiments of
> sound technology.  So ...
> 

> 
> I have googled, searched Wikipedia, read the PulseAudio documentation as
> well as Gnome Help.  It all still leaves me befuddled -- either too
> simple or two technical.  Once I try to throw in the concept of various
> 'codecs' I am lost.
> 
______________________________________
Sound (& Music) Creation and Perception

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_cortex

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_acoustics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_theory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_theory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volley_theory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perception

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch_(music)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythmic
___________________________________

Computer Sound - Acquiring, transferring, storing, altering and
broadcasting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_cards

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/sound-card5.htm

http://www.pctechguide.com/44SoundCards.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALSA_(Linux)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PulseAudio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codecs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_codecs_and_containers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_codecs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GStreamer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totem_(media_player)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewire

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_audio_software

Musical Instrument Digital Interface
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI

On Wikipedia, I recommend checking "See also", "References" and
"External Links" at the bottom of each page to find further and deeper
explanations.

The main breakthrough for me was being shown that ALSA was a driver for
the sound card (chip) hardware, while PulseAudio was a server program,
in much the same way that 'ati' or 'nv' are video card drivers and X
windows is a window graphics server.

All other sound programs, codecs etc. are, at heart, just libraries used
by either ALSA or PulseAudio.

It is best to take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PulseAudio
flowchart a few screens down as recommended by David Timms just to get a
visual road map before starting in reading.

You will notice that the first 11 URL's I cite are for people like me
who have 'tin ears' and only have a secondary interest in sound as it
relates to music.  As a side note, all my life I had distinguished music
as having only three characteristics; loud or soft, high or low; and,
pleasant or annoying.  It seems that I wasn't as far off the mark as I
thought I was.  I will, from hereon, try to pick up on and understand
some of the more basic musical nuances I hear.

Thanks all.

-- 
Regards Bill
Fedora 10, Gnome 2.24.2
Evo.2.24.2, Emacs 22.2.1




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