# ECE Course Outline

ECE Course Outline

### ECE Course Outline

 ECE4xxx –  Guitar Amplification and Effects   (2-3-3) Prerequisites:  ECE 3040 [min C] and ECE 3041* Corequisites:  None * Prerequisites indicated with an asterisk may be taken concurrently with ECE4xxx. Catalog Description:  Mathematical analysis, analog laboratory measurement, and DSP modeling of vibrating strings, electromagnetic pickups, vacuum tube amplifiers, solid-state distortion and swept filter effects, and loudspeakers. Textbook(s):  No textbook specified. Topical Outline:  ```Historical perspective Acoustics of vibrating strings The 1-D wave equation Interpretation of pluck as initial condition Traveling waves Electromagnetic pickups Physical principles Linear circuit models Effect of location High voltage safety procedures Vacuum tube properties Electrodynamic principles Small-signal and large-signal models Vacuum tube amplifiers Biasing, gain, input/output impedance, frequency response Distortion characteristics Solid-state distortion effects Germanium vs. silicon BJTs Overdriven transistor amplifiers Diode-based waveshaping circuits Swept filter effects "Wah" pedals Allpass filters and "phaser" effects FETs as variable resistors Bucket-brigade devices and "flanger" effects Loudspeaker modeling Digital modeling Introduction to real-time DSP programming Simulation of dynamic systems with nonlinearities and time-varying parameters ``` Objective:  This class explores the fields of acoustics, electromagnetics, electronics, device physics, system and signal theory, and computer engineering through the specific platform of the electric guitar and its commonly associated amplifiers and effects devices. The distinction between these tools begins to break down, since amplifiers are often deliberately driven to distortion as an effect, and in the hands of a skilled and thoughful player, the various effects pedals musicians often play may be better thought of as part of the complete “instrument.” The guitars, amplifiers, and effects explored in this course are not just intriguing motivational examples for traditional ECE topics; we feel that they are technological and cultural artifacts worthy of study in their own right in the spectrum of systematic musicology. They are part of our history. We believe that Jimi Hendrix, wrestling his Fuzz-Faced Stratocaster in front of his Marshall amplifier stack, was a transcendent example of a cyberphysical system &mdash a beautifully unstable feedback loop of sweat, circuitry, and sound. Grading:  Grades will be assigned based on performance on homework assignments and laboratory exercises. The homeworks, which are intended to hone analytical skills, will emphasize real circuits that have been used by real musicians, and not typical “textbook” problems. Laboratories will be integrated throughout the course. Role in our program:  This class is designed to complement (i.e. be in a similar spirit of, but not overlap too much with) our other audio/music related classes such as ECE4445 Audio Engineering (originally developed by Marshall Leach, most recently taught by Allen Robinson), Bill Hunt’s special topics class on Musical Acoustics for the Creation of Musical Instruments, and my own class on Electronics for Music Synthesis. We hope that this class may offer another path to interface with the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, and also perhaps encourage new industry investment in the School of ECE. References:  Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the course, we currently do not anticipate assigning any particular required text, since no single text encompasses all of the areas we want to explore at an appropriately deep level mathematical and engineering sophistication. We may draw material from some of the following references. IEEE Spectrum, The Cool Sound of Tubes Books: Articles by R.G. Keen: Articles by Don Tillman: Our proposed ECE4xxx course is heavily inspired by UIUC’s Phys 193/493: Physics of Music/Physics of Musical Instruments, taught by Prof. Steve Errede. ECE4xxx primarily differs from Phys 493 by focusing more heavily on electronics than acoustics. Other interesting sources: