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Slaying Dragons #9 – Radio History

05/01/2018 |

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…

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Ofcom Announce PMSE 700 MHz Statement

02/12/2017 |

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…

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Slaying Dragons #8 – Rational

30/11/2017 |

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…

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Slaying Dragons #7 – Transforms

10/11/2017 |

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.…

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Slaying Dragons #6 – Where now for Audio?

27/08/2017 |

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…

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Photo John Watkinson

Slaying Dragons #5 – Audio as Information

08/08/2017 |

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;…

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Slaying Dragons #4 – Is High Fidelity a Goal?

02/07/2017 |

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…

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Judi Dench berates ‘lazy young actors who ignore their artistic heritage’

18/06/2017 |

Blue plaque event at Gielgud home prompts dismay over ‘actor apathy’, mumbled speech and dumbed-down Shakespeare Dame Judi Dench has accused younger actors of apathy and laziness and caring little for either their artistic heritage or whether they can even be heard speaking. She spoke at the unveiling of a blue plaque at the former…

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Slaying Dragons #3 – Where Is It All Going?

09/04/2017 |

Where is it all going? John Watkinson fails to learn from history. Nothing is for ever and the upheavals we have seen over the last decade are a taste of what is to come. Those of us who work in audio often do so because it’s a bit different from the rest of the world,…

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Slaying Dragons #2 – Real Time: does it exist any more?

11/03/2017 |

  Real time is one of those phrases that bounces around without it being clear when it applies and what it means. Once upon a time there was analog audio, whereby an electrical waveform was an analog of sound pressure or velocity at a microphone and could produce sound again at a loudspeaker. There was…

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