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Audio Calculations Sound has become an essential part of most software.

It is used to explain concepts, reinforce selections and add special effects. Sound travels through the air in waves with a particular volume and pitch. A sound wave is analog data. Analog data is represented by continuous variable quantities as opposed to digital data that is represented in the form of digits or numbers. Because computers are digital devices, sound must be digitised before it can be manipulated by a computer. The method used by the ADC to digitise a sound wave is called sampling (see Figure 10.9). Sampling has three important characteristics called the sampling rate, sampling size and whether the sound is mono or stereo. The sampling rate is the number of times a sample (slice) is taken from the sound wave. During a sample, the amplitude of the wave (volume) is measured and converted to a number. The higher the sampling rate, the better the sound. The sampling rate is expressed in kilohertz (kHz), which is thousands of cycles per second. Two common sampling rates are 44.1 kHz (44 100 samples per second) and 22.05 kHz (22 050 samples per second). The sample size (or bit resolution) is the number of bits per sample. The most common sampling sizes are 8-bit sound and 16-bit sound. Better quality sound is recorded using 16-bits but for voices 8-bit sound is usually sufficient. The formula to calculate file size is very simple. It is as follows.

File size = (sample rate) (Sample size) (seconds) (stereo or mono)

So what pieces of information do we need to find to complete a problem? Ask yourself 1. What is the Sample rate? And do I need to convert it to Hz? 2. What is the sample size? 3. How long does the audio clip go for? Do I need to convert this to seconds? 4. How many speakers are being used? One or two? 5. Then multiply all four of those numbers together Its that easy!!!


For example, the size of an audio file that uses a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz with a 16-bit sample size and lasts for one minute in stereo would be: file size = 44 100 (sample rate) 16(Sample size) 60(seconds) 2 bits (stereo) = 10 584 000 bytes (1 byte = 8 bits) = 10.09 Mb (1 Mb = 1 048 576 bytes) 1. Calculate the size of an audio file that uses a sample rate of 22.05 with 16-bit sound and lasts for two minutes in stereo. 2. The number of bits per sample is called the: A sample size B sample rate C sample measure D sample bit 3. Mr Varrica made a 5 minute phone call to Optus. Telephone calls transmit with 11,025 Hertz (sample size) and a sample rate of 8 bits. (Hint : is a phone mono or stereo?) 4. Terry Crews was listening to a CD. The CD has a sample size of 44.1 KHertz , is 16 bits and has 33 seconds of music on it. The CD transmits in stereo. 5. John Rambo was listening to the AM Radio for top secret information on the enemy. John only had 10 MB of internet downloads left in the month. Could John listen to the full transmission if the sample size was 22,050Hz at 8 bit for 5 minutes on stereo? (Hint: Always show working for full marks.) 3 = 3.1 mb 4= 5.6mb 5= 12mb no

HSC Math Based Questions

The following questions have been taken from previous HSC Papers. If you can get these correct. Then you are on track!

2008 HSC A 51 kB image takes 10 seconds to download at 56.6 kilobits per second. If the image was compressed to 8 kB, approximately how many seconds would it take to download at 56.6 kilobits per second? (A) 2 (B) 4 (C) 8 (D) 20

2008 HSC

An image scanned at 600 dpi has an image size of 16 MB. What would be the expected file size if it was rescanned at 300 dpi? (A) 300 kB (B) 3 MB (C) 4 MB (D) 8 MB


2011 HSC

5 The formula used to determine the bit rate of a digital sound file in kbits/s is as follows: Bit rate = (sampling rate) (bit depth) (number of channels) What would be the file size of a sound file that is recorded at 100 kHz at a 16-bit depth in stereo and is 15 seconds in duration? (A) 3MB (B) 4MB (C) 5MB (D) 6MB

HSC 2012 8 The formula for calculating the file size (in kB) of a graphic is horizontal pixels vertical pixels colour depth File size = . 8 1024 A given image has 250 pixels horizontally and 200 pixels vertically and its colour depth is 8. What is the approximate size of the image? (A) 4.9 kB (B) 49 kB (C) 490 kB (D) 4900 kB