How audio and speakers work

  1. What sound is, and how it's represented electrically
  2. Music in the time and frequency domain
  3. Experience the frequency ranges of music instruments and sound effects
  4. How a speaker driver works
  5. Examine behavior of two different drivers at different frequencies and angles
  6. Construction process of speakers

The recording process and hi-fi systems

  1. Demonstrate microphones and mixing/panning
  2. Apply equalization to change the tone of instruments
  3. Use two speakers to create a soundstage
  4. Listen to speaker distortion and why it's different from tone
  5. Frequency response vs. harmonic distortion vs. intermodulation
  6. Components of an audio system: Sources, amplification, etc.
  7. Live sound, theater and car audio systems

Basic speaker design ideas; passive components and filters

  1. What do these letters mean? R, L, C, I, V, Z
  2. Impedance and frequency response of speakers and electronics
  3. Listen and experiment with simple filters
  4. Compare two speakers that look the same but have different crossovers
  5. Dividing up the spectrum: Woofer, mids, and tweeters
  6. "Accuracy" in terms of frequency and phase-response
  7. Crossover slopes and frequencies
  8. Discuss class project and driver selection

MATLAB® activity: Crossover design

  1. Learn how to use MATLAB®
  2. Load speaker measurements from the Internet
  3. Generate impedance data for R/L/C circuit branches
  4. Simulate effect of connecting circuits to drivers
  5. Refine your own crossover design

Measurements on drivers and crossover design

  1. Install drivers in test baffle
  2. Do MLS, tone and noise measurements
  3. Distraction and baffle step
  4. Distortion and power handling of drivers
  5. Discuss approaches to crossover design
  6. Simulate some of our possibilities

Enclosure design and planning

  1. Speaker sizes and shapes
  2. Enclosure damping
  3. Physics of sealed, vented, dipole and horn enclosures
  4. Mechanical design

Building enclosure from a flat kit

  1. Safety and tools
  2. Split up tasks
  3. Assemble our cabinets

Building crossovers and other audio electronics

  1. Soldering
  2. Understanding circuit diagrams
  3. Transistors, diodes and op-amps
  4. PCBs, protoboards and breadboards
  5. Where to buy electronic components and everything else
  6. "Spice" circuit simulation
  7. How to build your own amplifier
  8. Build the crossovers for our speakers

Putting it all together

  1. Speaker connectors and wiring
  2. Woodworking stuff: Finishes
  3. Stuffing and enclosure damping
  4. Play music
  5. Measure responses on- and off-axis; distortion

Testing, music and party

  1. Tweak our system
  2. Enjoy food
  3. Talk about future projects