Friday, February 19, 2010

Base What?

Mentioned In Engineering: A digital volume control that "goes to eleven" doesn't actually go up very far.

(Of course, this assumes steps of equal size; if the overall range is the same, it merely has poor resolution; on the other hand....O$DEITYMYLIFE...!)


Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

I've never understood the "turn it up to 11" mindset. If one end of the pot is 0% output and the other end is 100% output, what is marked around the edge of the dial is pretty dam arbitrary, I would think.

Old Grouch said...

Sudden thought (in response to Comrade's comment)... Has modern practice made "turn it up to 11" dependent on a now-vanished context?

And do they even put numbers on mixer faders anymore?

(I recall freaking out the first time I encountered a fader with a decibel scale- "what's with this 'infinity'???")

Stranger said...

Turn it to eleven is a hyperbolic comment. Much like "flank power" in conning a ship.

Few pots were actually linear, most were log, log log, or anti-log taper, depending on what you were doing.

The most common "radio store" pots from Clarostat or Yaxley were log for audio, designed so the arbitrary scale provided apparently equal volume increments between graduations.

Nowadays, few "volume controls" are in the audio chain, merely controlling the gain of a device in that chain so there's no easy guess for taper. And the scale is just there for looks.


bluntobject said...

I have nothing to add, really, other than that you should win an internet for that title.

("These go to three!")

Roberta X said...

E. B., Stranger: please see the link.

reflectoscope said...

Ok, he who laughs last thinks slowest, but I got it now.

Well done.


JC said...

This is the proper approach:
Randall Monroe rocks; igneus, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

Ritchie said...

I spent a couple of minutes explaining to a co-worker in the electronics biz why 1+1=10. He got it.

Hint: count to one, then on the next count, carry.