Audio projects

I have always held an interest in sound and environment. Over the years, I have built several different pieces of audio equipment for my projects, and they are documented on this page.

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Stereo/octophonic digital-analogue converter (In progress)

I am working on creating a digital-analogue converter (DAC) with the ability to output up to 8 channels of audio. The DAC will be housed in a Hi-Fi 2000 Slim line 2U case with 10mm thick aluminum front panel and a custom design.

Specifications

  • Digital inputs via USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF and TOSLINK
  • Up to 8 channel outputs via XLR or RCA connectors
  • 120/240 VAC filtered power input
  • Digital LCD display and input switching
  • 1/4" TRS headphone output on front

Technology

2- to 8-channel switcher for stereo or octophonic output

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Millett MAX headphone amplifier

The Millett MAX is a headphone vacuum tube amplifier. I built the case with my grandfather using pine from my family farm in Silver, Manitoba. The Tyndall stone top comes from a local quarry in Garson, Manitoba.

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PIMETA v2 headphone amplifier

The PIMETA v2 is a small, portable headphone amplifier. A rechargable 9V battery inside provides portability, and is rechargable. Using a Hammond case, I made custom metal-etched covers for the front and back. The amplifier also had a modified Linkwitz crossfeed circuit to adjust the blending of the left and right audio channels.

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Khozmo Acoustic attenuator

After owning a early version of the DacMagic Plus that did not have a volume control, I decided to use a Khozmo Acoustic six-channel stepped attenuator to fix the problem. I used a Hammond case with custom-made etched front and back panels as a housing.

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Octophonic speaker design

In 2010 I worked in collaboration with fellow student Aaron Simoes in the research, design, and construction of an octophonic speaker system for University of Manitoba architecture professor Patrick Harrop. We analysed an existing octophonic sound system of Dynaudio AIR 20 monitors at the Black Box research space at Concordia University in Montreal to get an idea of the sonic requirements of the project. (Further experimentation in this space is documented in the Ultrasonic Architecture II: Montreal project.)

Calibration of the speaker output

The finished test unit incorporated a variety of design tweaks, notably a dual-driver cabinet with material dampening wooden fins to guide the sound output. We constructed ten speakers in total - eight for the octophonic system and two for an additional stereo set. An octophonic envelope follower was also designed to accompany the speaker system.

Octophonic envelope follower