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Sound tech oral talk.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by popinfresh, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hey guys, I've got to give a 10 minute oral at school (with a mate) about technical sound production etc.

    I was just wondering if you guys had any ideas and tips/help for me? We were thinking of bringing in a couple foldbacks/mixer to demonstrate how to hook everything up, whilst explaining the difference between inputs/jacks/leads etc. Then we were going to go on about sound waves/frequancies and how they're produced by different sized cones/tweeters.. And also how sound travels/bounces of certain surfaces.

    That was about the extent we thought to today. We are going to use powerpoint to show frequancy charts and diagrams of how the sound bounces and best ways to place amps/mics etc.

    So, what else do you think we should do? How should we structure it? Any general tips? We will be doing this talk (it's an assesed thing for English class, pretty important) to a small audience including two examiners/judges... How could we involve this audience? Should we try get someone up to plug some stuff in and work it all? Or would that be wasting too much time?

    Cheers guys.
  2. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I can help out, I do this for a living so here's a bunch of advice. 10 minutes sounds like a lot but it's not. IMO visual aids are great but you don't have time to hook anything up. Most ppt projectors have audio too, if you confirm this and get the right cable you can run some really cool sound examples, sound is what it's all about, right?

    Structure it all around 1 basic message -- "I want everybody here to understand that technical sound production is ____________ ." -- this sentence is called your thesis. Build the body around 2-4 main points that support and explain the thesis. If it was me I'd trace the signal path from source to audience ear, dividing it up into 2-4 steps (generation, processing, amplification, transduction). Teachers like it when you cite sources. Have an intro that states the thesis and previews the main points, and a conclusion that restates the thesis and summarizes the main points. Rehearse out loud w/ ppt several times and you'll do great!
  3. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Awesome, thanks for the help.

    Basically, as we're first on the day, we hope we can set up a small PA before we start. There is also 20 minutes, but some time is needed for teachers to talk about our oral afterwards. So we could probably go for 15 minutes..

    Have you got any handy sites that explain how everything works and then some (in those 4 main steps)? We both know the basic idea of how sound is created, and also how to setup PA's, but the more technical the talk is, the better (as long as we can explain it).. Also, the teachers are aloud to ask questions afterwards, so we don't want to get stuck in a situation where we don't know how to answer anything.
    I also figure, that we could work how sound bounces/absorbs with certain materials etc into the last couple stages? Just as this could be an easy diagram to show everyone..

    Thanks heaps!
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    There's a ton of info available at http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/f/5/0/

    Setting everything up in advance is a good idea.
    Don't worry about adding extra technical stuff, average people will not grasp most of it. For instance, under processing you might want to discuss compression, but it's not really a topic that can be explained in a short time -- it took me awhile to learn to hear what the comp was doing to the signal. A limiter is a little easier to explain, but an effect like reverb is simpler because it can instantly be heard.

    The way to handle questions you don't know answers to is to smile, explain that you haven't learned it yet (you're only a student!), but that you would like to know the answer too so you'll do some research and get back to them when you find out.

    Your goal is not to impress them, your goal is to help them understand what audio engineers do. Yes you need some technical language and charts, but don't add them only because they look cool, add them when they help you reach the goal of understanding. *This* is what will impress them, a speech that shares expertise in terms the audience can grasp.

    Also, get a firm time expectation and stick to it. If they say 10-15 minutes plan and rehearse for 12:30. Good Luck!
  5. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Thanks jondog =)

    Anyone else want to add anything?
  6. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
  7. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    You could do an entire thesis on Duncan Fry's humour alone :)

    I have a tip for you. If this oral talk has any written notes to go with it, and the teacher is going to see it, make sure you stop spelling "frequency" incorrectly.
  8. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    ^^lol. I didn't even notice I spelt it wrong there, heh.

    Thanks guys, if anyone wants to keep helping out, feel free to.

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