What we perceive as reverb is a combination of two things, called early reflections and late reflections. Early reflections are the first reflections of the source sound that make it back to our ear; they are the reflections that travel out, reflect off of something once, and head back. Late reflections are the reflections that spend time bouncing off of multiple surfaces before returning to our ear. Because we experience such a large number of reflections arriving at our ears so closely together, we do not hear them as individual, echoed copies – instead, we get the smooth sound of reverberation.
Posts in category Sydney Bolton
Sydney Bolton is a freelance live sound engineer based in Seattle, Washington. She is a recent graduate of the Electrical Engineering program at University of Washington, where she specialized in digital signal processing, but plans to continue with live sound for now. When not behind a soundboard she may be found in a darkroom, skateboarding, or playing drums.
When I was 13 or 14, I was reading the liner notes of some CD and saw that one track had been written, recorded, produced, and mixed by one of the band members. At the time I only had a loose grasp of what most of those things meant, but I knew one thing: I wanted to be able to do all of that. Someday I would have a liner note like that all to myself. (Ironically, nine years later I have stayed almost exclusively within live sound.)
When discussing my situation with people, the reactions I have gotten are not exactly sensitive. Variations of “Wow, must be nice, I wish I could be on vacation like that” and “Well, now you can go and get a ‘real’ job instead of chasing your hobbies” have been a constant refrain since the pandemic began.
With the recent protests over the killing of George Floyd, the Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) and other acoustic weapons used by police have been making headlines once again. Since these devices are most commonly deployed against nonviolent protestors for crowd control, I thought it would be useful to give a brief overview of their development, use, and most importantly, how to protect yourself.