Audio Engineering

Passing natural signals through honest circuitry to achieve organic sounds...

Primary Skills:

Circuit Analysis

Circuit Design

DIY Projects

Soldering & Assembly

Electrical Troubleshooting

If the ear represents the end point of a perceived sound and a source such as an instrument represents the beginning, then what must occur in between? The transformations that occurs in between are crucial in maintaining signal integrity or fitting a signal for a specific purpose. Whether that be equalization and amplification for a live venue, a studio recording for an album, or even simply recording a voice memo to remember what groceries to buy, it should be apparent that different needs require different support circuitry.

Audio Circuit
Repairing blown resistors in an Eden bass guitar amp

Through my virtually endless desire to build and understand audio systems, I have seen many points on the spectrum of audio recording and amplification. From analyzing consumer-grade headphones and earbuds to the most expensive of studio quality microphones and monitors, I have garnered a significant amount of experience in discerning what goes on inside a piece of gear.

Audio Guitar Pedals
My custom pedalboard - some from kits, some repaired, all hand-wired and painted

Most of my understanding comes not from observing, but from doing. As seen in the small sample of images, I have built items such as guitar pedals, stereo VCA compressors, an RIAA phonograph preamp, and a three-channel audio power amplifier. Additionally, I have repaired broken phonographs, speakers, pedals, guitar preamps, and bass guitar amplifiers. Obtaining knowledge from actual hands-on experience has been extremely rewarding, and all of these examples are noteworthy considering the fact that at the beginning of 2013, I had pracically zero knowledge in electrical engineering - I did not even know what a capacitor was!

Winton Tri-Amp
The three-channel audio power amp resulting from ECE 8902

More advanced circuit analysis has been evident in my ECE 8902: Special Problems in Audio Engineering coursework. Through the class, I built the aforementioned three-channel power amp and designed support circuitry for signal summing and routing. Additonally, through the NASA Noise-Canceling Vest project, I designed a wearable four-channel preamp and two-channel power amp to capture and reproduce the necessary acoustic signals for noise reduction. Given the short turnaround time and relative extent of my accumulated knowledge, these projects serve as a powerful testimony of my never-ending thirst for knowledge in the audio and electrical domains.

© Copyright 2014 Riley Winton