A Primer on Digital Signal Processing

May 14, 2017 by Robert Lindquist

In the days of analog, loudspeaker cabinets contained two or three drivers, some baffles and a “carpet” covering. The amplifiers were mounted in a separate rack or built into the mixer, and the signal went straight from the outputs on the amp(s) to the inputs on the speakers. Signal processing was accomplished using separate, rackmounted EQs, compressor/limiters and other processing devices injected into the signal chain prior to the main amplification.

It’s not like that anymore—at least not for most DJs. Coincident with the advent of powered speakers, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) has taken over the task of EQing or “tuning” loudspeakers to provide sonic near-perfection in any par- ticular set of applications.

WHAT IS DSP?
What a word processor is to a typewriter is what Digital Signal Processing is to analog sound. Whether you are typing on a typewriter or keyboard makes no difference— the method of input is the same. With a word processor, however, instead of the input being displayed as a direct result of a mechanical event producing an image on paper, the word processor creates a digital image from that mechanical event: an alpha-numeric character that is programmable. As a result, we can then apply effects (such as different font sizes and styles), change sizes, colors, etc.

 

Read the rest of this article and check out the full issue at http://www.mobilebeat.com/emagscurrent/179

Robert Lindquist Robert Lindquist (32 Posts)

Robert Lindquist has been involved in the DJ profession since 1967, when he built a make-shift sound system from spare parts in order to provide music for a birthday party. From that point on, he supplemented his day-jobs in radio, TV and advertising by DJ’ing in clubs and for weddings and corporate events. In 1987, he was encouraged to share his DJ experience in writing, which led to the release of “Spinnin’” at the initial DJ Times Expo in Atlantic City.Recognizing the need for a publication dedicated to Mobile DJs, he created Mobile Beat “The DJ magazine” in 1990. In addition to still being a sound tech and DJ/MC for weddings, he is a producer of video content writes for several audio publications and blogs. He is also a partner in Las Vegas based Level 11 Media, which maintains several Web sites and digital publications for musicians and touring sound engineers and is an IMDb listed actor and voice talent.


Filed Under: 2017, Sound