Articles

Slaying Dragons #12 – Is Digital Automatically Wonderful?

16/05/2018 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson wonders whether digital is automatically wonderful. I have lived long enough to have seen the so called digital revolution take place, not just in audio but in life. In one sense I feel very fortunate to have lived through that era and to have made a living documenting it. Being in the right…

Read More...

Slaying Dragons #11 – Computer and Network Security

03/04/2018 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson wonders about computer and network security A long time ago when Pontius was still training to be a pilot, it was possible to consider audio as a separate topic. Today such a separation is impossible. Audio is just another form of information that can be conveyed over some network or other and we…

Read More...

Slaying Dragons #10 – A Fan of Analog

12/02/2018 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson is a big fan of analog audio. An analog is a phenomenon that behaves similarly to another. In speech we have similes and education is full of parallels. Whilst a painting or a sculpture can last thousands of years, in audio we have a problem that sound cannot be preserved at all in…

Read More...

Slaying Dragons #9 – Radio History

05/01/2018 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson relates a personal history of radio. The family radio in the kitchen churned out uninspiring stuff most of the time, but I remember in 1962 it emitted a song called “Love Letters” by Ketty Lester, and when I listened to it I felt, probably for the first time, that here was a song…

Read More...

Ofcom Announce PMSE 700 MHz Statement

02/12/2017 | 0 Comments

Ofcom has set out its statement regarding continued access for PMSE equipment in the 700 MHz guard band (694-703 MHz), meaning that PMSE users can continue to access the spectrum beyond the 1st May 2020 deadline for 700 MHz clearance. The decision to secure spectrum for PMSE equipment was welcomed by members of the DTG…

Read More...

Slaying Dragons #8 – Rational

30/11/2017 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson tries to be rational. Sometimes I like to discuss topics that are not immediately identifiable with audio. Audio is part of the world and is not the only discipline in which excellence is pursued, and achieving excellence by rejecting the mediocre takes place in many other endeavours that are worthy of study. We…

Read More...

Slaying Dragons #7 – Transforms

10/11/2017 | 0 Comments

Transforms are very useful in audio, but John Watkinson argues that they are just as useful for understanding audio as they are for processing it. Let’s look first at the Fourier transform. The whole basis is that any periodic waveform can be broken down into a set of harmonically related pure tones, or sine waves.…

Read More...

Slaying Dragons #6 – Where now for Audio?

27/08/2017 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson looks at evolutionary forces. Nothing is for ever and the only certainty is change. The endless march of evolution in the biosphere is paralleled by evolution in technology. The audio industry is only part of the world, yet the extent of the changes that have been seen in audio are such that they…

Read More...
Photo John Watkinson

Slaying Dragons #5 – Audio as Information

08/08/2017 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson looks at audio as Information Allegedly we now live in an information society. I don’t accept that. In fact there has been information for as long as or longer than there has been society; indeed the cohesion of society depends upon information. Optical fibres descend from the use of smoke signals and semaphore;…

Read More...

Slaying Dragons #4 – Is High Fidelity a Goal?

02/07/2017 | 0 Comments

John Watkinson wonders if accuracy in audio actually matters. I would have to begin by defining what I mean by high fidelity. What I have in mind is a system of sound reproduction that is so realistic that it is indistinguishable from being there. However, the more I think about such a system the less…

Read More...