Modelling Acoustics with Open Source Software

As part of my profession as an acoustician, I often make use of Open Source software. It might surprising to few that the Open Source ecosystem is actually filled with very good packages for this task. As a result, I decided to try to publish a little series of tutorials about the topic, and this would be its first post.

So let’s first have a look ad the most important numerical simulation programs and technical computing languages that can be used to simulate acoustics. There are many programs out of there, but I mainly made use of ElmerFEM. ElmerFEM will be the focus of the series then, and we will look at how to set up Ubuntu 18.04 to be our workstation!

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Where to Study Audio Acoustics

When I was completing my Bachelor degree in Physics, I started looking around to see whether I could find Universities offering courses in Acoustics, but with (mainly) audio applications in mind. Whilst many engineering departments might offer Environmental Acoustics programs, it is harder to find the ones about Audio Acoustics. I though it could be useful to summarize in this post the main options I found, both while I was looking around and afterwards.

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Entroware Apollo: The First Mechanical Failure

Although all I have to say about this laptop was concluded at this final review, I though it might have been appropriate to report the first significant damage this laptop occurred in.

This post is being written few months after the issue appeared (December 2017, more than two years after I bought the laptop) as I wanted to thoroughly test the way I fixed it before to report anything.

So, let’s have a look at what happened.

Continue reading Entroware Apollo: The First Mechanical Failure

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (Old Gen.) on Linux: a Honest Review

So, I have been using a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 for quite some time. I have now changed to another cheaper interface, and I though it was a good occasion to draw my conclusions on what I think about the Scarlett.

Overall, my opinions are mixed. There are good pros about this device, but also few significant cons.

Although the product I am reviewing is not current anymore (there is a new generation out there now) I think it might still be useful to have a look into this, as it can give some insight about what kind of products and functionality we can expect from Focusrite.

Continue reading Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (Old Gen.) on Linux: a Honest Review

Latency: Myths and Facts. Part 3: A look at a quantitative study.

In the previous posts about latency (Part 1 and Part 2) we informally talked about latency and its perception. We mostly made “rule of thumb” reasoning in order to arrive to some reasonable conclusion about latency, its perception and good latency thresholds.

In this post we will look instead at a scientific paper published on the topic: The Effects of Latency on Live Sound Monitoring by Michael Lester and Jon Boley. Perception of sound is a very counter-intuitive and complex phenomenon, it will be nice to see how our rule of thumb compares to a more appropriate scientific study of the matter. It is not uncommon, especially in this field, to see results completely different from what it was expected due to simple reasoning…

So let’s not loose any more time and let’s dig in!

Continue reading Latency: Myths and Facts. Part 3: A look at a quantitative study.

Did you vote for the last whatever election and you are proud of it? Most likely you just back-stabbed democracy (whatever you ended up voting for)

What wait? Wasn’t this blog about Linux/Audio stuff? Why this politics based topic? And how on earth the emblem of democracy, the act of voting, can be in any way not-democratic?

Well, for the first questions, as previously in the past, I feel sometimes that I want to write about something else.

As for the last question…

Continue reading Did you vote for the last whatever election and you are proud of it? Most likely you just back-stabbed democracy (whatever you ended up voting for)

The Linux Audio Anatomy

For new Linux users audio can be a shock. Many newbies that ask for support on forums have a perfectly working system, but are prompted to think otherwise by the not-really-straightforward way audio on Linux works. This post is an attempt to summarize and clarify how Linux audio works on a standard modern Linux installation.

So, let’s dig in!

Continue reading The Linux Audio Anatomy

Entroware Apollo: After a year

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Entroware Apollo-1000 during Heat test. Although the power cord is plugged in, the power supply is disconnected from the wall plug (as made evident by the off AC led in the case).

The most followed posts in this blog  were the ones reviewing the Entroware Apollo laptop I purchased. The reason is that it is hard to find detailed information about Entroware models. I have been using the Apollo-1000 model for a little over a year. It is the only computer I have, so I use it everyday. I though that a report of how this laptop behaves after a year would conclude the review, giving to interested people a feeling of how this computer ages. So, here I am giving to you my impressions.

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Rambling about stuff: intelligence and computers

Yeah, this blog should be about audio related stuff. However, I think I will concede myself to ramble about some other topics I am interested in. In many times of my life I have been left wandering what is intelligence. It is that kind of question nobody really has an answer to. Many definitions of intelligence can be given really. Not long ago I stumbled across this article. I read it with deep interest and curiosity. To my surprise, I found that the article, although aiming to discredit the idea of the brain as a computer, reinforced a lot that idea in my mind.

But let’s try to put some order into this ramble.

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A look at Ubuntu Studio 16.04

It has been a while since the latest Ubuntu Studio 16.04 has been released. I couldn’t resist to make a live pen-drive with it and boot it on my Apollo. I also wanted to see how it performs with respect my Arch Linux. This is not going to be, however, a full review (like for ArchBang). The reason is that I did not install the system. I think that the only way to fairly compare OSes is to install them on the same hardware. I lack, sadly, a test computer. My Apollo is all I got and I must stay productive with it…

Anyway, lets have just a quick look at the features and let’s see if we can figure out what Ubuntu Studio 16.04 has to offer!

Continue reading A look at Ubuntu Studio 16.04