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Even Without The Power Comes Responsibility

  • This year is already off to a great start. If you've still got a pulse you probably know who ended up President, and you may even know that a stated goal for this term is the re-configuration of our existing "So-So" Security Program. Stated simply, rather than depending upon the federal government to maintain and run the bank for handing out cash in your waning, I mean golden, years, the new plan is that we each assume responsibility for funding our financial security program ourselves. I'll leave it up to Congress and the editorials and commentators to debate the efficacy of this plan, instead I'll simply state the theme here: Personal responsibility for your investments. Or in other words, more will be up to you because others will be doing less.
  • "Uh, right", you say, "and this relates to this column in what kind of way?" Well due to global reapportionment, this column will henceforth be somewhat more compact than past editions. What this means to you, faithful reader, is that in order for full assimilation of the topic at hand, your personal contribution to your knowledge program must now, like your financial security program, take on a larger role.
  • Moving sprightly to our topic, the beginning of the year is always a good time to think about what you know and don't know. Knowing what you don't know has a certain Zen ring to it, but in simple terms it's a good time to ask yourself, "What the heck do I really know anyway?"
  • Perhaps it seems like that may be a moot point these days, as we are, fortuitously, entering a marvelous era where, from at least a couple of manufacturers, one simply enters the room coordinates into the processor and the system does the rest...satisfaction presumably guaranteed. That's assuming of course, that the system knows what "the rest" is. But if it doesn't, you should. So this month's column is a bit of a refresher on some of the factors to consider in a successful system implementation and adjustment, whether or not the DSP does the final work.
  • Now I know what you're thinking. It's been a while since you had to study or review anything, and you're still recovering from the holidays. So to help ease your way back into things, 25 key aspects of systems have been provided completely free as a study guide, and, better yet, in a multiple-guess format! Of course (remember how the compact column format looks for more of your contribution?), it's likely that although the associations for the terms and definitions are plausible, they're actually completely wrong. So you'll have to find the correct definitions on your own. However if you peruse resources like Sound System Engineering by Don & Carolyn Davis, the new JBL Audio Engineering for Sound Reinforcement, or the JBL Sound System Design Reference Manual (downloadable from you should be able to review the list, find the definitions, and painlessly increase what it is you know. That way, when you do raise that somewhat personal knowledge query, you'll have something to say for yourself.