Math for a DIYer (from DJ's introduction) - diyAudio
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Old 12th March 2003, 09:37 PM   #1
SY is offline SY  United States
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Yes, you need math. At least if you want to do something beyond painting magic goop on volume control knobs. Doing audio electronics means being able to manipulate algebraic expressions. You should be able to understand Fourier series and transforms. Complex numbers. Phase. Hilbert transforms. Polar plots. Basic differences between energy, force, and power.

Now, I don't think you have to take things to the point where you can do contour integration in your head, understand differential geometry, or intelligently discuss conformal mappings. But a solid knowledge of algebra and trigonometry and a basic understanding of calculus is essential to do anything beyond aping other people's work or engaging in fashionable tweaking.
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Old 12th March 2003, 09:50 PM   #2
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SY,

I agree with you if you want to be an electronic's designer like Nelson or other top guys but for DIY??? My God, complex #, FFT series....?

There are many members DIY that only knows V=I*R and have done great jobs, of course following others design.

You are scareing DJ and I do not agree with your coments.
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Old 12th March 2003, 10:07 PM   #3
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Well, geez, I'm in the WINE business, not a hot-shot designer, yet these are all things I've had to use as tools in designing and building my sound systems over the years. If math is scary, that's yet more reason to learn some.

If you don't understand complex numbers, you can't understand phase and all the associated things like delay. If you don't understand how an FFT works (I don't mean being able to explain the Cooley-Tookey algorithm, but understanding the relationships between sampling, frequency bins, resolution, sampling length, windowing, and the like), you can't make intelligent choices in how to take and manipulate the most basic data on speakers and systems.

So, yes, if you just want to build kits, you don't need math. But if you want to get the deep satisfaction of UNDERSTANDING what you're doing or doing something creative, the very basic skills I outlined (and these are high-school level math skills, not anything esoteric) are absolutely necessary.
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Old 12th March 2003, 10:46 PM   #4
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To much?


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Old 12th March 2003, 10:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
If you don't understand complex numbers, you can't understand phase and all the associated things like delay. If you don't understand how an FFT works (I don't mean being able to explain the Cooley-Tookey algorithm, but understanding the relationships between sampling, frequency bins, resolution, sampling length, windowing, and the like), you can't make intelligent choices in how to take and manipulate the most basic data on speakers and systems.

So, yes, if you just want to build kits, you don't need math. But if you want to get the deep satisfaction of UNDERSTANDING what you're doing or doing something creative, the very basic skills I outlined (and these are high-school level math skills, not anything esoteric) are absolutely necessary.
Some of us just want to build an amp that sounds good or in this case ...loud.

I don't agree with your comments unless one wants to be engineer it is a lot of BS to study all that for DIY.

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Old 12th March 2003, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY
.

If you don't understand complex numbers, you can't understand phase and all the associated things like delay. If you don't understand how an FFT works (I don't mean being able to explain the Cooley-Tookey algorithm, but understanding the relationships between sampling, frequency bins, resolution, sampling length, windowing, and the like), you can't make intelligent choices in how to take and manipulate the most basic data on speakers and systems.

I think that a bit of imagination and the desire to create something is much more important than the math you described above. If it's really required, you can always find somebody who'll do it for you. I went both through high school and university with technical background, yet, not working for any company designing complicated circuits, still didn't find use for all that math. Actually I forgot almost everything I learned. But I still remember how to calculate parallel resistors though
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Old 12th March 2003, 11:41 PM   #7
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Just remember what Heinlein said: Someone who can't solve a quadratic equation isn't fully human, he's merely a monkey who has been trained not to make doo-doo in the house. I'm frankly amazed at the number of people who feel that a 17 year old who wants to get involved with a technical hobby shouldn't make the effort to be proficient at high school math.
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Old 12th March 2003, 11:46 PM   #8
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Actually I agree with you. And although he might not find a use for it later (the math), at the time he learns and practises it, his other skills will develop as well, which he might find useful later on in life.
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Old 13th March 2003, 07:58 AM   #9
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I'm frankly amazed at the number of people who feel that a 17 year old who wants to get involved with a technical hobby shouldn't make the effort to be proficient at high school math.
Sorry to interfere but that's something else from what you posted before. I think no one will disagree that people that want to do any technical hobby need to be proficient at high school math.
As Peter pointed out it can always be useful in life. But I forgot most too I have to admit. Only things that are used frequently stay in the head.

But :

Quote:
If you don't understand how an FFT works (I don't mean being able to explain the Cooley-Tookey algorithm, but understanding the relationships between sampling, frequency bins, resolution, sampling length, windowing, and the like), you can't make intelligent choices in how to take and manipulate the most basic data on speakers and systems.

Doing audio electronics means being able to manipulate algebraic expressions. You should be able to understand Fourier series and transforms. Complex numbers. Phase. Hilbert transforms. Polar plots. Basic differences between energy, force, and power.

Apart from the differences between energy, force and power this ain't no normal high school math to me.
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Old 13th March 2003, 08:22 AM   #10
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Default To my great relief....

- even Mr. Albert (E=MC^2) Einstein flunked math......

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