Unit I: Listening

We are surrounded with sound. At any given time on earth, with practically no exception, we are surrounded with sound. Sit in what you think is a quiet spot and eventually, and chances are you will get that ringing sensation as the brain adapts to understand what the ears are trying tell it. Or perhaps you are perceiving the sound of colliding molecules. Whatever it is, your body still perceive the sensation as sound. But what is sound, really?

Sound is a wave motion propagated in an elastic medium, traveling in both transverse and longitudinal directions, producing an auditory sensation in the ear by the change of pressure at the ear (Tremaine, 1969).

It is admittedly a mouthful. But we do need to understand that definition, as well as that of other technical terms to be covered later. While this course is not about studying the physics of sound, it is important to at least have a basic understanding of how sound is generated and how the human ear along with the brain perceives it. When we get what sound is and how it works, we take away much of the guesswork when we deal with what this course is supposed to be about.

Audio in Multimedia is about working with audio in the digital domain. Learning how to do just that makes up the bulk of the course. However, our source material lies in the physical realm. It is also there which your audio product is meant to head. That is why we need to spend time studying it.



[Neuro Transmissions]. (2016, February 21). What is sound? [Video file]. Retrieved fromĀ https://youtu.be/bk0raUXwCjc.

Stafford, T. (2013). Why deafening silence sounds different from other silence. Retrieved fromĀ http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130816-the-sound-of-deafening-silence.

Tremaine, H. (1969). Audio Cyclopedia. Howard W. Sams and Co., Inc., Indiana, IN, USA.