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Sound Science as a Career? - Page 2

post #16 of 29
I am a physics major. As such, I still get the circuit design classes that allow me to build an amp (not taken yet, but next year). In fact, one of the labs is building an amplifier. I also get a very thorough understanding of sound waves. Within audio, the only thing I feel EEs have over me is they can deal with the electronic part, USB protocol, S/PDIF chips, etc, whereas I only know what they do and how to use them, but not how they work. I could figure it out, but honestly I am more interested with dealing with the analog signal, as I find amp design interesting.

-Nkk
post #17 of 29
Thanks for your replies guys, I was away for a state basketball camp.

I didn't take Senior High School physics (I took Film + Television instead), so I think if I do decide to take a career in the design side (EE) I'll have to do a bridging course to bring me up to speed in the physics.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkk View Post
I am a physics major. As such, I still get the circuit design classes that allow me to build an amp (not taken yet, but next year). In fact, one of the labs is building an amplifier. I also get a very thorough understanding of sound waves. Within audio, the only thing I feel EEs have over me is they can deal with the electronic part, USB protocol, S/PDIF chips, etc, whereas I only know what they do and how to use them, but not how they work. I could figure it out, but honestly I am more interested with dealing with the analog signal, as I find amp design interesting.

-Nkk
i wouldn't say this to too many EEs if i were you . lol. btw, usb protocol and the like is more computer engineering than electrical engineering...

mattcalf, don't worry about a bridging course... they start you off pretty easy in college. and if it's a bit faster than you're ready for, you'll just have to devote more time to it. anyone can pass college courses if they have the devotion and persistence.
post #19 of 29
[QUOTE=etiolate;6220304

mattcalf, don't worry about a bridging course... they start you off pretty easy in college. and if it's a bit faster than you're ready for, you'll just have to devote more time to it. anyone can pass college courses if they have the devotion and persistence. [/QUOTE]

Thanks for the advice.

Just done a 2 hour soldering stint on a +/- 15v PSU, and plan to go onto a headphone amp, a gamma1 and gamma 2 in the next few days.
post #20 of 29
you have the boards already matt??
post #21 of 29
Yep, just smashed out another 5 hours soldering. Oh man, time flies!

The jaycar amp is pretty much done, just gotta wire it up.

Gamma 1+2 will be next weeks work.
post #22 of 29
I have an electrical engineering degree with a concentration in Digital Signal Processing. It basically is about the technology on how to process audio and video data. Very applicable to the things we are all interested in. I've worked in both high-end audiophile companies and also with companies which produce high-end car radios: MP3, HD Radio, surround sound, Bluetooth hands-free, etc, etc. If you're specifically more interested in the music side of things, there are some excellent hybrid programs which combine electrical engineering and recording engineering. I briefly looked at the program at University of Miami, but this was back in 2000.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by etiolate View Post
i wouldn't say this to too many EEs if i were you . lol. btw, usb protocol and the like is more computer engineering than electrical engineering...

mattcalf, don't worry about a bridging course... they start you off pretty easy in college. and if it's a bit faster than you're ready for, you'll just have to devote more time to it. anyone can pass college courses if they have the devotion and persistence.
Why? Can you name something that an EE would learn that a physics major would not that is applciable in the realm of audio? They learn different than aphysics major of course, but I am saying that those things fall under signal processing, circuit design (which is in the digital realm of processors etc. Any analog thing they can do, a physics major could do) and programming. That is why in many schools (including mine, which is why I said USB protocol), we have ECE (electrical and computer engineering). Because the circuit and the software to implement it are tightly coupled. However, I will admit you were right in saying that the usb protocol that is more the CE part of ECE than the EE part.

So, let me rephrase my statement: digitally, the EEs get the advantage (although, again, my university offers classes I can take as my electives to the point where I would have a pretty good intermediate to advanced understanding of signal processing). So, in conclusion, I will say that with the additive nature of electives to a degree, there are very few differences, and what matters is what you want to focus on, as that should be your degree, and you can learn the other stuff in the form of elective classes.

EDIT: I would like to knowledge the absurd run on sentence. I am too lazy to edit it, but I just wanted to let people know that I know it exists and is obnoxious.

-Nkk
post #24 of 29
well, physics majors don't take more than 1-2 (1 in my university's case) circuits courses. whereas EE's take 5 (including control systems). i'm saying on the hardware level, EEs have much more understanding of why/how BJT's can be used as amplifiers, how to use opamps, why/how to decouple/couple, and so on. physics majors usually focus on theoretical research or on a whole other level of circuit devices (ie, CREATING the BJT, not using it). maybe i'll elaborate more later when it's not finals week and it's not 2:30 AM and i'm not procrastinating.
post #25 of 29
I agree. But as I said, after two or so circuit courses as electives, you are about equal. And I sort of disagree on that you said EEs will know how to use opamps and BJTs etc. better than physicists. I will submit that although a physicist is never taught how they work and how to use them in a class, he or she is taught the concepts behind them, and thus it is a simple (maybe not the best word...obvious? clear?) next step to applying two or three or n principles to get the workings of an opamp. It is much easier than ivnenting the thing because you know how to use it, too. And although working backwards is sort of had to do in research depending on the subject, it is a very easy way to learn. Again, I overstated my point in my original post. Out of curiosity, are you EE?

-Nkk
post #26 of 29
It's just common sense that a ee will have more understanding of the way electricity works and what not... If you're smart enough to get a degree in physics you can learn enough about circuits later to know what you need to know. But ee's come out out college with that knowledge already.

Ya. I'm ee.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by etiolate View Post
It's just common sense that a ee will have more understanding of the way electricity works and what not... If you're smart enough to get a degree in physics you can learn enough about circuits later to know what you need to know. But ee's come out out college with that knowledge already.

Ya. I'm ee.
Fair enough. As I said in my previous post, the difference is small enough that it should not be a problem if you are willing to continue learning. It is not as great as learning a circuit from a Chemistry major, for example. That would require a lot more work.

And I do not think it is common sense that an EE will know more about electricity. Using my college as an example (it may be unique in this, but I doubt it), we have high level "specialty courses". For example, if you want to do astrophysics, you can take a two or three of these courses as a junior and senior and you will be a leg ahead of everyone else if you want to go to grad school and research astrophysics. The same is done for quantum, etc. I have seen semiconductor/bordering on EE integrated circuit classes do this, too. Which brings me back to the majors being separated (at least for audio) by only a couple of classes.

Anyway, enough of this. I am pretty sure we agree, just in different words. I would like to know what the OP has decided, if anything.

-Nkk

-Nkk
post #28 of 29
I think someone with a physics background would end up with a much better understanding of electronics if they went on to study EE than would a regular EE student without a physics background.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabby View Post
Hopefully this is the right subsection to ask in, but I was just wondering, to you lurkers of the sound science section that are actually..sound scientists how did you get into the field? Did you just take a BS in Audio Technology/Production in college? And if anyone here builds speakers/drivers/components for a living what courses did you take? Just wondering
Sound Science is a really exciting career choice. However, I'm not sure if you really meant Science (as doing research..) or did you mean career as working in audio related field (Product development, sound engineer,..). Either way, the course "requirements" really depends on what you want to do. You mentioned speakers so I'm assuming you're interested in related area.

I did my MS and PhD. majoring in Acoustics and Audio Signal Processing. I worked as a researcher for nine years, and now I'm working for a company designing headphones and loudspeakers.

I can't even remember how many courses I've taken but I wish had spent more time on my math studies. Once you know math, all other engineering studies are so much easier. Mechanics, acoustics, electronics,... all come down to explaining different phenomena with some sort of equations, and if you are comfortable with math then following the courses is much more fun and also it's so much easier to understand how thing work.

To understand how speaker works you have to know electronics, mechanics and acoustics. Furthermore, there is quite often some one listening to the loudspeaker, so basic understanding on sound perception is a good thing too.

If you want to work in product development or doing research then you should be able to model your systems. Traditionally acoustic systems have been modeled with electronic analogous circuits, so understanding basic electronics is a must. Nowadays, more and more modeling is done with FEM-based tools, and this if something requires that you understand the physics and math behind the system you are modeling.

One good way to plan you studies is to look what courses other universities/colleges suggest for their students. You could see, e.g.,


Acoustics, Video and Audio Engineering| University of Salford - A Greater Manchester University
TKK Akustiikka / TKK Acoustics Laboratory
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/

Especially Salford Uni has good web pages.

Good luck with your studies.
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