Cambridge's Anglia Ruskin University (www.anglia.ac.uk)
has purchased a Prism Sound dScope Series III digital and analogue audio analyser to further the studies of students in its Computing and Technology department.
"We teach a number of subjects including BSc Audio and Music Technology, MSc Audio and Video Technology and BEng Electronics," explains Dr Rob Toulson, Director of The Sound and Audio Engineering Research Group and Senior Lecturer in Electronics/Audio and Music Technology. "On our audio related courses we teach students the theory and practice of performance recording, hardware design, signal analysis, software engineering for audio etc. Students are therefore well equipped to move into the music industry as engineers or music producers, or into industrial design in audio electronics related fields."
The dScope Series III will be used to assist in teaching modules such as Audio Electronics, Digital Signal Processing, Acoustic, etc. "The dScope Series III allows us to add a deeper practical element to the theory we teach, which allows us to equip students better for industry when they complete their studies," explains Toulson. "We'll use it for the analysis of hardware units, to analyse noise and distortion and digital artefacts in both budget and high end equipment; loudspeaker testing and analysis; and evaluating valve vs transistor amplifier circuits. But also students use this equipment in their own time as part of their final year projects. Many students design and build electronic audio or loudspeaker systems as final projects, so the dScope Series III allows them to evaluate their system performance against their initial aims, objectives and design specifications."
Toulson is impressed by the instrument's flexible analysis filters which enable highly-selective measurements of parameters such as noise, mains hum, individual harmonic distortion components, crosstalk and more, all at the same time. He finds the capacity to customise and even design bespoke analysis algorithms to be highly valuable in the context of academic teaching and research, and is also impressed with the links that Anglia Ruskin and Prism Sound have been able to forge together.
"We've developed a very good relationship with Prism Sound, who are local to us," he says. "This has spawned a number of opportunities including hosting Prism Sound educational events, evaluating demonstration equipment and discussion of research projects. They're a really friendly bunch, so it's nice to have a good rapport with them."
Simon Woollard, Applications Engineer for Prism Sound, adds: "I spend a good deal of my time here at Prism Sound preparing and presenting educational materials, so it is great to be working with someone like Rob who is operating on the front line of our academic education system. Our dScope Series III is a fantastic tool for teachers, with loads of interactive, graphical and customisable interface tools to help students to really understand what they are measuring, and how, in the context of audio performance. At the same time, there is real power and flexibility in the dScope platform, which enables research staff to push back the boundaries of audio signal analysis and signal processing as they lay the groundwork for tomorrow's technologies."