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Old Aug 31st 2017, 04:34 AM   #1
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hi all. Been enjoying reading around this forum. Thanks.

I build synthesisers. I can get by with simply following schematics and using divide and conquer techniques to break it down, I also plug my oscilloscope in which gives me a visual reference point, I am definitely a visual learner. What I would like though is to understand both the electronics involved and sound on a more acute level. I would also like to be able to learn some mathematics to help me calculate ideas and diagnose problems. A struggle with mathematics but it probably just means i need to find a different way of learning.

I'd like to commit to learning all the above but have found it difficult finding an approach that suits me.

If anyone has any pointers for any of the above I'd be very grateful.

Best

Darren
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 05:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by oramics View Post
hi all. Been enjoying reading around this forum. Thanks.

I build synthesisers. I can get by with simply following schematics and using divide and conquer techniques to break it down, I also plug my oscilloscope in which gives me a visual reference point, I am definitely a visual learner. What I would like though is to understand both the electronics involved and sound on a more acute level. I would also like to be able to learn some mathematics to help me calculate ideas and diagnose problems. A struggle with mathematics but it probably just means i need to find a different way of learning.

I'd like to commit to learning all the above but have found it difficult finding an approach that suits me.

If anyone has any pointers for any of the above I'd be very grateful.

Best

Darren
Welcome to the forum Darren. You came to the right place. I can help you with both the physics, electronics and mathematics.

Regarding math - what do you think the problem you're having may be? Please keep in mind that arithmetic and mathematics are two different things. I'm terrible at arithmetic but I'm highly proficient in mathematics.

Let me know where you are in math and we can work from there. Usually we start off learning algebra. Its the foundation of all math.
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 05:36 AM   #3
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I would suggest that the Maths would be a key starting point of attack,
since most of the other fields will make at least some use of Maths.
A basic appreciation of the rules of algebra is probably essential.

Note that there is a distinction between Maths and Arithmetic,
I have known individuals who are great at Arithmetic, doing complex sums in their heads,
but as soon as someone replaces one of the numbers with a letter they just can't grasp the concept at all.

I am personally rather the other way about, ask me to add 4 to 5 and I start counting fingers,
however the (basic) concept and rules of algebra just seem so obvious, I can't appreciate how anyone would have difficulty.
(obviously it does get difficult when the problems advance too far beyond the basic).

Great minds...
Just noticed Pmb posted a very similar statement just seconds before me
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Last edited by Woody; Aug 31st 2017 at 05:39 AM.
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 05:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Woody View Post
I would suggest that the Maths would be a key starting point of attack,
since most of the other fields will make at least some use of Maths.
A basic appreciation of the rules of algebra is probably essential.

Note that there is a distinction between Maths and Arithmetic,
I have known individuals who are great at Arithmetic, doing complex sums in their heads,
but as soon as someone replaces one of the numbers with a letter they just can't grasp the concept at all.

I am personally rather the other way about, ask me to add 4 to 5 and I start counting fingers,
however the (basic) concept and rules of algebra just seem so obvious, I can't appreciate how anyone would have difficulty.
(obviously it does get difficult when the problems advance too far beyond the basic).

Great minds...
Just noticed Pmb posted a very similar statement just seconds before me
Yep. Great minds think alike. I was fortunate enough to have a sister-in-law who was a teacher who taught me how to do simply multiplication on my fingers. I later was able to do it in my mind. Just very slowly.

Now I use a calculator.
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Old Sep 1st 2017, 12:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replies.

I just tried to read about arithmetic. Too many terms I don't quite understand.

In terms of maths. My level is basic. I'm not sure how else to describe it. However i'm very good at board game strategy so i must have a good grasp of it somehow.

Yes I remember at school I enjoyed maths until algebra was introduced, I just couldn't understand the role of the letters. However thinking about it now makes me think the letters are just variables? I could just treat them like variable resistors.

I'm a slow learner when it comes to concepts, find comprehension difficult.
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Old Sep 1st 2017, 01:16 AM   #6
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Yes
variables is pretty much exactly what they are.

So if an amplifier increases the signal amplitude by 10 you get:

z = 10 x y
where y is the input signal and z is the output signal.
so output is ten times the input

The trick occurs when you can measure the output signal, but not the input signal (perhaps it is too small to show up clearly on your oscilloscope).
but if you know the above equation you can quickly work out that:

y = z / 10
so input is output divided by 10.

We can take this example further:
Perhaps you have got a new amplifier and you want to know how powerful it is,
so the amplification is no longer 10,
Replace the 10 in the original equation with A to represent the unknown amplification power of the new amplifier:

z = A x y

you can plug a signal into the amplifier and then measure both y (the input signal) and z (the output signal) with your oscilloscope.
Now using the rules of algebra relating multiplication to division you can rearrange the equation to give:

A = z / y

Replace z and y with the values you have measured using the oscilloscope and you get the amplification power of the new amplifier.

Once you have learnt a few fairly simple rules like this then really quite complex equation manipulations become just a lot of individually simple steps.
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Last edited by Woody; Sep 1st 2017 at 02:45 AM.
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Old Sep 1st 2017, 03:07 AM   #7
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thanks so much. This helps. When I get to my workshop on Monday I will run through this with my oscilloscope. Having the oscilloscope as a visual reference alongside the equations will be a big help.
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