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Resources for building gear?
Old 28th August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
Mr. Quimper's Avatar
 

Resources for building gear?

First off, I'm still basically a student learning the ropes, and while I think I have a decent grasp on the creative side of audio, I'd like to become more fluent in the technical/engineering side.

Now, I'm not looking to start building my own pres and converters any time soon, but I think that having a better understanding of how the gear I use is built and designed will only be beneficial in the long-run.

That said, I'm not about to go after a degree in Electrical Engineering at the moment, so I'm wondering if any 'slutz have some suggestions as far as books/websites go that might be informative in this area.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Old 28th August 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
hangman's Avatar
 

if you're in the US I can send you an old textbook that covers all the simple concepts.
PM me.

Also, If there is an old radio guy in your area, try to start hanging out with him/her.

there is a guy out here that went to EE school back when Tubes were all they taught.
I"ve been hanging out with him and trying to get as much as I can out of him.
he seems very happy to show me what he knows, and I always have a good time.

but be careful, there are plenty of phony "tube gurus"

if you're interested in tubes, The radiotron designer's handbook rules,
and I found this old book called "Introduction to electron tubes and semi-conductors" by E.C. Alvarez and David E. Fleckles.
it is helpful

also Radio shack even made a few fun books. that the sold for a while. little projects and such.

-steve
Old 28th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
hangman's Avatar
 

oh the "introduction to electron tubes and semi-conductors" assumes you have a basic knowledge of electronics.
Old 28th August 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 
hle144's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Quimper View Post
First off, I'm still basically a student learning the ropes, and while I think I have a decent grasp on the creative side of audio, I'd like to become more fluent in the technical/engineering side.

Now, I'm not looking to start building my own pres and converters any time soon, but I think that having a better understanding of how the gear I use is built and designed will only be beneficial in the long-run.

That said, I'm not about to go after a degree in Electrical Engineering at the moment, so I'm wondering if any 'slutz have some suggestions as far as books/websites go that might be informative in this area.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

You seem to know alot for someone who is 'still basically a student'. Slow your roll.

1. Start with 10,000 hours in a recording studio.
2. Eat, sleep, and breathe music.
3. Work with as many friends or people who will help you get better.
4. Have an experienced engineer adopt you as his student for a few years.
*****REPEAT UNTIL SATISFIED*******

No books required.
Old 28th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
synthoid's Avatar
 

It's not specific to audio (in fact, analog audio is a pretty small portion of the content), but eetimes.com is a good website for electrical engineering stuff generally. They have regular tutorials, lots of pointers to white papers, etc. There is lots of material on digital stuff generally and signal processing in particular, which represents more and more of what is going on inside audio gear / software these days.

Also check out the international engineering consortium (IEC, iec.org). They have a bunch of free online course material, at a pretty basic level.

-synthoid
Old 28th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
hangman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hle144 View Post
You seem to know alot for someone who is 'still basically a student'. Slow your roll.

1. Start with 10,000 hours in a recording studio.
2. Eat, sleep, and breathe music.
3. Work with as many friends or people who will help you get better.
4. Have an experienced engineer adopt you as his student for a few years.
*****REPEAT UNTIL SATISFIED*******

No books required.
that might be a good plan for audio engineering, but I really think a few books would only help when learning electronic engineering.
if you really want to learn circuit analysis, you will need a solid understanding of electronic components, and the mathmatical concepts behind circuitry. books usually provide good explainations, good visual aids, and a tried and true progression (start with an explaination of current and voltage, move to resistors and ohms law, series and then parallel circuits, etc...)
Books are also convienient for Reference. having a receiving tube manual around is really handy if you're working on some old tube wire recorder, or building a mic pre.

don't write off books, but definitely find someone with experience to help you.
Old 31st August 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 
KansasAudioWorks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hangman View Post
if you're in the US I can send you an old textbook that covers all the simple concepts.
PM me.

Also, If there is an old radio guy in your area, try to start hanging out with him/her.

there is a guy out here that went to EE school back when Tubes were all they taught.
I"ve been hanging out with him and trying to get as much as I can out of him.
he seems very happy to show me what he knows, and I always have a good time.

but be careful, there are plenty of phony "tube gurus"

if you're interested in tubes, The radiotron designer's handbook rules,
and I found this old book called "Introduction to electron tubes and semi-conductors" by E.C. Alvarez and David E. Fleckles.
it is helpful

also Radio shack even made a few fun books. that the sold for a while. little projects and such.

-steve
Howard Tremain's AudioCyclopedia is a wonderful way to spend a lot of time learning about "old school" audio. Some of the larger metropolitan libraries will probably have a copy on hand. Then again, there's always eBay.


In spite of the age of the publication, most of the things mentioned in the 'Cyclopedia are still valid today. After all we still use mixers, preamps, compressors, microphones and loudspeakers, right?

On the subject of homebrew, there really is no substitute for hands-on experience. For instance, grab a couple of LM386's and breadboard a headphone amp. (National Semiconductor has a datasheet for the chip that'll give you a good start.) Transfer it to PCB and but it in a box. Conjur up an idea for something, draw it out and eventually you'll have a piece of gear you can point to and say "Yes, I built that from scratch." Lather, rinse, repeat.
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