16 April 2008

Obsolescence in Acoustics

Read about this site in today's paper. Got me to thinking about skills in my profession that are now becoming, or have become, obsolete. Among them:
  • Using sound level meters with analog (needle) displays (though Radio Shack still sells one).
  • Using special protractors and level recorder chart strips to determine reverberation time from impulse response recordings.
  • Using a starter's pistol, a large balloon, or two 2x4s to generate the aforementioned impulse responses.
  • Printing drawings on vellum to create bona fide blue blueprints. (I do miss the smell of ammonia around the office...)
  • Changing pens in a pen plotter.
  • Editing reel-to-reel tapes with a razor blade and some Scotch tape.
  • Attaching filter sets to sound level meters to measure octave-band sound levels.
  • Writing acoustical "modeling" and analysis programs in BASIC or Fortran.
  • Amassing hard copies of JASA.
  • Measuring relative humidity with a sling psychrometer.
I'm sure I'll think of more! 8^D


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