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Category Archives: digital audio hacks
You’d be forgiven for not realizing there’s still a diehard group of people out there carrying around dedicated MP3 players. While they were all the rage a decade or so back, most consumers have since moved over to using their handy dandy pocket supercomputer for playing their music. Plus controlling every other aspect of their personal life and finances, of course. Though that’s another story entirely.
But as [Conno Brooks] explained to us, there’s a sizable group of open source fanatics who prefer to store their jams on devices running the Rockbox firmware. Only problem is, some of the desirable …read more
There was a time when any hi-fi worth its salt had a little row of sliders on its front panel, a graphic equalizer. On a hi-fi these arrays of variable gain notch filters were little more than a fancy version of a tone control, but in professional audio and PA systems they are used with many more bands to precisely equalise a venue and remove any unwanted resonances.
On modern hi-fi the task is performed in software, but [Grant Giesbrecht] wanted an analogue equalizer more in the scheme of those fancy tone controls than the professional devices. His …read more
A stereo setup assumes that the listener is physically located between the speakers, that’s how it can deliver sound equally from both sides. It’s also why the receiver has a “Balance” adjustment, so the listener can virtually move the center point of the audio by changing the relative volume of the speakers. You should set your speaker balance so that your normal sitting location is centered, but of course you might not always be in that same position every time you listen to music or watch something.
[Vije Miller] writes in with his unique solution to the problem of the …read more
Whether or not you personally like the concept of the AirPod Bluetooth headphones is irrelevant, as an Apple product one thing is certain: all the cool kids want them. That also means that plenty of overseas manufacturers are pumping out janky clones for a fraction of the price for those who are more about the Apple look than the Apple price tag. Are they any good? No, of course not. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something interesting with them.
[Igor Kromin] took apart a pair of fake AirPods and was predictably underwhelmed. So much so that he didn’t …read more
We aren’t suggesting you go digging through the trash looking for empty cans, there’s a word for people who do that, and it isn’t “hacker”. But if you’ve already got some empty cans in the privacy of your own home, you could certainly do worse than turning them into unique enclosures for your electronics projects. Better than sitting in the landfill, surely.
This hack from [Robin Hartley] turns an empty Cadbury hot chocolate can into a portable speaker that’s sure to get some attention. But don’t be fooled: a surprisingly amount of engineering went into this project in the form …read more
Sometimes a mix of old and new is better than either the old or new alone. That’s what [Brad Carter] learned when he was given an old 1990s sound board with a noisy SCSI drive in it. In case you don’t know what a sound board is, think of a bunch of buttons laid out in front of you, each of which plays a different sound effect. It’s one way that radio DJ’s and podcasters intersperse their patter with doorbells and car crash sounds.
Before getting the sound board, [Brad] used a modern touchscreen table but it wasn’t responsive enough …read more
Once relegated to the proverbial Linux loving Firefox user, ad blocking has moved into public view among increased awareness of privacy and the mechanisms of advertising on the internet. At the annual family gathering, when That Relative asks how to setup their new laptop, we struggle through a dissertation on the value of ad blockers and convince them to install one. But what about mediums besides the internet? Decades ago Tivo gave us one button to jump through recorded TV. How about the radio? If available, satellite radio may be free of The Hated Advertisement. But terrestrial radio and online …read more
Even though it’s now a forgotten afterthought in the history of broadcasting technology, we often forget how innovative the TiVo was. All this set-top box did was connect a hard drive to a cable box, but the power was incredible: you could pause live TV. You could record shows. You could rewind TV. It was an incredible capability, that no one had ever seen before. Of course, between Amazon and Netflix and YouTube, no one watches TV anymore, and all those platforms have a pause button, but the TiVO was awesome.
There is one bit of broadcasting that still exists. …read more
Ultrasonic phased arrays are one of the wonders of the moment, with videos of small items being levitated by them shared far and wide. We’ve all seen them and some of us have even wondered about building them, but what about the practical considerations? Just how would you drive a large array of ultrasonic transducers, and how would you maintain a consistent phase relationship between their outputs? It’s a problem [Niklas Fauth] has been grappling with over the three iterations so far of his ultrasonic phased array project, and you can follow his progress on the latest build.
The arrays …read more
[KaZjjW] wanted to retrofit a pair of nicely styled vintage headphones to be able to play wirelessly over Bluetooth. In principle this is an easy task: simply stick a Bluetooth audio receiver on the line-in, add a battery, and you’re all set. However, [KaZjjW] wanted to keep the aesthetic changes to the headphones at an absolute minimum, retaining the existing casing and volume control, whilst cramming the electronics entirely inside and out of sight.
With the inherent space constraints inside the cups of the headphones, this proved to be quite a challenge. The existing volume potentiometer which hung half outside …read more