The Physics of Sound / Building a Cigar-Box Amplifier

The first session of this class is also available on its own:

http://skl.sh/ZYRAIJ

Our relationship to sound as a means of communication, observation, and expression occurs so seamlessly and quickly that we are able to take it for granted.  It is only when we see the swing of the baseball bat from the upper deck out of sync with its crack, or hear the piercing howl of a feedback loop in a microphone that we are reminded of the brute, clumsy physicality of this incredible phenomenon.   

This class will explore the characteristics of sound pressure waves as they occur in nature and are perceived by the human ear and then will move on to explain the physical and electromagnetic process by which we can capture, reproduce, transmit, and amplify these waves.  We will explore the history of sound recording beginning with Edison’s phonograph and then moving on to the electromechanical and digital systems of the 20th century.  

In this class, participants will build a number of small physical and electrical devices in order to replicate the processes used by the pioneers of sound.  We will culminate by building a small solid-state amplifier in a cigar box which can be used as an amp for an iPod or an instrument.

Schedule
  • Life in the Ball Pit- Air as a medium, waves as a language

    The Intercourse

    159 Pioneer St
    Brooklyn, NY

    In this session, we will shrink ourselves to microscopic size and learn to "feel" and understand sound waves at the molecular level.  We will discuss the various methods used by the 19th century pioneers of visualizing, capturing, and reproducing sounds by purely mechanical methods. We will then build a small reproduction of a mechanical record player and see these concepts put into practice.

    At the end of this session, we will begin to discuss electricity and magnetism and their relationship to the next generation of sound production. We will re-create Ørsted's compass experiment and introduce the concept of induction.  We will end by winding our own electromagnet.

    Nov
    5
    Mon, November 5th, 2012

    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST

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  • Enter Electricity- Induction, Transduction, and Transmission

    The Intercourse

    159 Pioneer St.
    Brooklyn, NY

    In this second class, we will continue our exploration of magnetism and electricity by building a small speaker with our hand-wound electromagnet.  We will then learn to use the few electrical components necessary to build an amplifier.  We will be introduced to transistors, resistors, and capacitors and build a few small circuits that exemplify their use.

    At this point we will begin building a prototype of our amplifier circuit.  We will learn the concepts of gain and low-pass filters and students will customize the design of their amplifier to suit their intended application.

    Nov
    12
    Mon, November 12th, 2012

    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST

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  • Inside the Box- Building a Transistor Amplifier

    The Intercourse

    159 Pioneer St.
    Brooklyn, NY

    During the final session of this class, we will finish prototyping our amplifier and then move on to designing and building our finished product.  We will solder and mount the amplifier in the cigar box and then add the speaker, power supply, input jacks and switches. 

    Nov
    26
    Mon, November 26th, 2012

    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST

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David Sheinkopf

David Sheinkopf has taught in the NY school system for 10 years and has spent the last 5 of those years developing a curriculum for teaching analog and digital electronics to high school students in order to prepare them for life in an increasingly-electrified world. Before teaching, Sheinkopf worked in a garage that specialized in vintage european sports cars making him as comfortable with a box wrench as he is with a soldering iron. His electronic work has been used by artists at MoMa, The Brooklyn Museum, the Red Hook Criterium, and in various gallery shows. His mechanical work can also be seen riding around New York on one of the many bikes he has serviced and sold at his underground bike shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He is currently the Director of Education at The Intercourse, a non-profit exhibition space and arts center in Brooklyn.

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    The Intercourse

    159 Pioneer St

    Brooklyn, NY

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