Sound, Acoustics

… info about sound, acoustics, audio, hearing, music …

Acoustics FAQ

What is sound? What is a decibel? How does the ear work? These questions and much more answered in this detailed text document.

Acoustics and Vibration Animations

A series of animations that help visualize acoustics and vibration phenomena, created by Dr. Daniel A. Russell at Penn State University. For example: What is a Wave?, Refraction of Sound Waves and Doppler Effect and Sonic Booms … cool stuff!

Classroom Acoustics

From the ASA (Acoustical Society of America) – resources covering how to create learning environments with desirable listening conditions.

Explore Sound

Also from the ASA – a website including resources for K-12th Grade students. Also, What is Sound? and International Noise Awareness Day.


House Ear Institute

Ear and neuroscience research, education, and global hearing health, “so all may hear.”


” educate the public on the dangers of excessive noise, and to provide adequate hearing protection for musicians and music fans.”

Headphone Safety Tips for Preserving Your Hearing

From San Francisco Audiology “Learning to listen to music through headphones safely … practice the following tips when listening to music through headphones.””

High Fidelity Earplugs

Flat attenuation, clear unmuffled sound quality while protecting your hearing.

Audiophile Equipment

Sound Quality, Audiology, Musicology, Physiology

I had the page Tubes Vs. Transistors (archived) linked here some years back. This now appears as a scanned PDF on the Milbert Amplifiers website, but the material is also now covered in the page linked above along with a lot of other interesting info including “Music, Emotion, Matter, Development”, “Recording Technique, Compression, Dynamics” and “Subjective Sound Quality vs Measurements”. An interesting read with lots of links.

Full range Drivers

An elegant approach – a single full-range driver with no crossover can provide a smooth uncolored sound quality. Light on the bass, but wonderful reproduction of voice and acoustical instruments.

Equipment Repair / Restoration

I have an appreciation for vintage & repairable audio equipment (and an aversion to e-waste). If equipment has channeled good music over the years, why not allow it to continue doing so? Here are some folks who can repair & restore audiophile equipment, mostly in the SF Bay area.

Musical Instruments

Experimental Musical Instruments

(Internet Archive link; site no longer active) “For the design, construction and enjoyment of unusual musical instruments or sound sources…”. Also see Bart Hopkin’s website.

Making Wind Chimes

Directions and formulas for making wind chimes out of solid cylinders or tubes of metal.


International Bioacoustics Society

“founded in Århus, Denmark, in September 1969 … to promote international participation throughout the entire field of bioacoustical activity”. See the comprehensive & sortable list of bioacoustic links.

Conservation Bioacoustics

“Our mission is to collect and interpret sounds in nature by developing and applying innovative conservation technologies across ecologically relevant scales to inspire and inform the conservation of wildlife and habitats … working with many national and international collaborators on a wide variety of terrestrial, aquatic, and marine bioacoustic research projects tackling conservation issues worldwide.” – The K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics at Cornell University.

Discovery of Sound in the Sea

A website developed by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in partnership with Inspire Environmental of Newport, RI. that will “introduce you to the science and uses of Sound in the Sea … the Science of Sound in the Sea, People and Sound in the Sea, and Animals and Sound in the Sea”. Video interviews with scientists who study how marine animals produce and hear sounds. What are common underwater sounds? Why is sound important to marine animals? How can we moderate or eliminate the effects of human activities on marine animals? See the Audio Gallery, including Humpback Whale Sounds.

Whales Sounds

Whales and other Cetaceans inhabit an extraordinary acoustic realm, communicating by “singing” to each other across thousands of miles of ocean with powerful voices that can exceed 150 decibels.

Oceans of Noise

Due to human activities, the oceans are much noisier today than they were just a few decades ago. Because whales and dolphins are so dependent on their sense of sound, this poses a major threat to their wellbeing. For more information, see the report Oceans of Noise [PDF] published by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, and the article An ocean of noise: how sonic pollution is hurting marine life ”…today’s oceans are a tumult of engine roar, artificial sonar and seismic blasts that make it impossible for marine creatures to hunt or communicate. We could make it stop, so why don’t we?”. Also, Human Noise May Disrupt Whale Song…interfering with the love chat-line, acoustic pollution could make it more difficult for whales to find each other…”.

Whale Safe Tool

From the UCSB Benioff Ocean Initiative, working with leading whale scientists from around the world, a tool that can be used to help ships slow down in the presence of whales: “Ships that slow down in important whale habitats can save whales while also reducing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, ocean noise…” Read here on their website about Why Whales matter“When it comes to carbon, one whale is worth thousands of trees. Whales help to regulate the climate by enhancing phytoplankton growth at the ocean surface, which captures 37 billion tons of CO2 per year.”