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Articles July-August 2020

Bay Owl Studios – Not Just Music by the Bay

Launched in February 2020, Bay Owl Studios was founded by Varun Parikh who is an audio engineer and had no significant musical influence while growing up. His first exposure to music came when he was in high school..... read more

Harman all the Way

India’s First Domestic Hotel Chain – the Luxurious MAYFAIR Lake Resort – hires Qubix Technologies to provide state-of-the-art, end-to-end Integration with HARMAN Professional Solutions. PT reports..... read more

ANGRIYA Cruises the Seas with Bose

Latest cruise ships are teaming with audiovisual technology designed to keep passengers awed and coming back for more. In this feature PT reports on the audio installation of one such cruise ship - The Angriya Luxury Cruise Liner..... read more

Sennheiser 75-year Milestone

June 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of Sennheiser, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, loudspeakers, microphones and wireless transmission systems. Through these 75 years, Sennheiser..... read more

Adiyogi Divya Darshanam Continues to Raise Standards

Since it’s unveiling in 2019 by the President of India Shri Ram NathKovind, the Adiyogi Divya Darshanam has enthralled spectators from across the globe. In May this year, this one of its kind projection mapping..... read more

Shankar & Siddharth Mahadevan’s Lambodara Studios

In the March-June 2020 issue of PALM Technology, PT did a cover story on Shankar and Siddharth Mahadevan’s new studio Lambodara. Here are some more images of the new studio..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms- Part 2

In part 1 of this series we defined a small room, introduced the concept of sound waves as they relate to phase shift and comb filtering, and even touched on the Haas (precedence) effect. In this article, we will talk..... read more

IRAA 2020 Goes Virtual

PALM expo’s concern to ensure safety from ongoing pandemic mandated cancelation of the 2020 edition of PALM expo and in the best interest of the industry and business, decided not to move forward with the expo in 2020, carrying forward the show to May 2021..... read more

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Dummies Guide to Computers for Live Sound Recordings & Audio Applications Engineering

I am not a computer geek, computers interest me, because it really helps me understand how I can get the best of my software applications, be it Test & Measurement, Recording and a Control Command Centre of various applications made by manufacturers that are made to get the best of their sound systems.

To begin with, I prefer making my own machines for serious applications and for starters rack-mount servers with commercially available parts according to me are the best starting points to build good machines for your relevant applications.

The motto here is RELIABILITY, SPEED & MORE SPEED and to do so I am going backwards. Lets get to the genesis of making a good piece of well built gear, this includes even computers.

Power Supply

Having a good supply will give you great stability and reliability for the system; any compromises here will lead to shutdown and you wouldn’t want that especially if your computer was passing audio and serial part of the audio chain. There is a rule in electronics engineering and that rule is so true even till today that ‘A great design is always benchmarked by the construction and quality of its power supply’.

Cooling & Noise

Not many know that computers slow down if they overheat and cooling plays a vital role in keeping all the parts running at the same speed equilibrium, for audio based applications the noise levels of the cooling has to be extremely quiet especially with computers built for recording applications, there fans needs to be pretty silent enough to keep a low noise floor in the room. Nowadays even the memory like the SSD & the RAM have heat sinks designed for them to make sure the speeds are consistent, no matter how hard they are driven by the applications.

Chassis

Strength and cooling here make a big difference, weak inferior quality chassis causes problems with computers that travel and my advice is to never use a desktop machine for a professional application no matter how convenient it is to procure. Well-built rack mount chassis servers ensure that the parts of the computer are not flexed in transit and because all the parts are horizontally placed and not vertically the reliability of the machines are far much better.

Hard Disk

Don’t look below SSD’s out here and their speed cannot be matched by the HDD counterparts; whilst we all love SSD’s the new speedster on the block is M.2 pronounced as (M dot Two). It is the new speed king and this can really read and write at some amazing speeds and also the fact that it sits directly on your motherboard eliminating a cable. I can tell you it’s a bump in itself to invest in M.2. Off course you cannot ignore the price of regular hard disks and those come in use for archiving your recordings after the days work and backup.

RAM

RAM is expensive and good quality RAM with a high switching frequency is even costlier. It amazes me after all these years, the price of RAM is always so prohibitive and I can honestly tell you if you are not going to spend good money here then its pointless aiming for a speed demon computer, no matter how fast your processor is. Go for the best, the higher the RAM capacity the better, and if your motherboard supports higher switching frequencies then get that RAM to take your performance to the next level; you wont be disappointed.

Motherboard

No matter how expensive parts are, so many guys build machines with cheap motherboards and I don’t understand why or probably I do! Is it because they cannot market themselves like the processors do is probably the reason we ignore this element altogether. However the name suggests, “Motherboard” doesn’t that ring a bell that an i7 chip is so vulnerable to the abilities of its motherboard it sits on.

Chipset

Whilst AMD and Intel fight for supremacy the consumers benefit with more bang for the buck and now that we are in i7’s 8th Generation audio related tasks are such a breeze, speeds really matter with video related editing and hence people in the audio industry go with i5 machines, well here is the biggest mistake we make and the advantages of i7 are only realized when you are doing tasks in the field and the speed plays a very vital role. In roles of applications engineering an i7 just radically improves the speed.

GPU Graphics Board

We all generally use our onboard graphics cards to monitor our computers work, however we also run out of speed on our applications so often and we end up blaming our computers advanced abilities until we add a graphics board and a good quality graphics board can be the most expensive piece of hardware in your machine. This is very relevant with gaming applications and not much heed is paid to a graphics card for audio recording applications, however a graphics card added to the motherboard for running audio applications that have graphics intensive applications help a lot in relieving the on-board CPU’s processing horsepower to do other applications

Networking

Gigabit networking has changed how we control all our equipment in the field, however I always see audio companies resorting to cheap consumer grade network switches for controlling their loudspeakers or LAN based digital audio transport systems and very low quality cables for protocolling between the devices, you cannot even imagine how important the quality of your network switches should be in order to have robust networking across your system and especially if you have over 100 amplifiers on your network then the computers on-board LAN or your LAN card has to be top notch.

Benchmarking

Total system benchmarking of the machine is a evaluation of the machines total ability to handle all the tasks you have applied it too and I assure you if you followed this simple ready reckoner, your computer will give you amazing service in the field for yours to come.

Warren D’souza - Founder, Managing Director, & Working Member of Sound.Com

#SoundGuyForlife
#AudioEvangelist

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