IMP Homework Episode 1: Audio signal flow for the Late Night Geekery podcast
Monday, March 11, 2013 at 02:20AM


This is episode one of my series on music production for my Coursera class Introduction to Music Production.


Late Night Geekery podcast audio signal flow

To the reviewer

At first I understood that the weekly assignment must have a video component. Since I am not well acquainted with video production, I am glad the options were clarified to include podcasting. Since I produce a weekly podcast, this is much more comfortable for me.

My chosen topic, my audio signal path, is a natural choice for me since I must understand and control it to produce my podcast quickly and with good quality. Since my signal path is somewhat complicated by the podcast recording over Skype and by the live stream, I felt a visual aid is required. I created a signal flow diagram as that visual aid. Podcast show notes (which you are reading) are a natural place to publish such visual aids.

I faced three challenges for this podcast in three steps I do not usually do for my weekly podcast.

First, I'm not used to preparing a transcript, which I wrote in advance. It wasn't that bad though, as I enjoy writing.

Second, I found the drafting of the diagram to be a challenge, since I only very rarely use Adobe Illustrator, and this is the first time I've used it (CS6 now) since CS4 a few years ago. I've never really used any other tool for creating diagrams.

Third, and most challenging, was recording the podcast alone, and from a script. I'm used to recording live, ad lib, with my friend Hobbes. I think it took me four takes to get a clean one.

I hope you like it and it exposes you to something new. I'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks for listening.

Soundtrack for preparation of this assignment

Language of The Ancients by S1gns Of L1fe
Black Boulder by Phon.o
Amber by Autechre
Strike 100 by various artists

Key Terms

transducer: converts sound waves to/from an electrical signal; e.g. a microphone, speaker, or headphones

analog audio signal: sound represented as voltage in an electrical signal

analog to digital converter: converts analog audio signal to digital

digital audio signal: audio signal represented as binary data stream - a stream of 1s and 0s

Digital to analog converter: converts digital audio signal to analog

Article originally appeared on Wes Perdue's Journal of Geekery (
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