Grading Scheme

The grading scheme for the course, as well as links to specific requirements for each assignment/deliverable and evaluation sheets, are given in the table below. Due dates for each assignment/deliverable can be found on the course Calendar. Please note:

  • There is a 25% penalty per day for any late submissions. "Late" means handed in after the deadline. Thus, if the deadline is 5pm and you hand in an assignment at 5:01pm, you will be penalized. The penalties are cumulative. If an assignment is due at 5pm on Monday and you hand it in at 5:01pm on Tuesday (two days late), your grade will be (1-25%)^2 of the grade you would have received had you turned it in on time.
  • Some assignments are "Individual" and team members are individually responsible for completing the assignment on time and will receive an individual grade. Many assignments are "Team" assignments and a single deliverable is handed in by the team. In most cases, all team members will receive the same grade on these assignments. However, the course staff reserves the right to "break up" any group's work and grade individually. This will be done if we feel the work or work quality has not been evenly distributed between group members.
  • The evaluation sheets provide a sense of what we are looking for with each deliverable. You should keep in mind, though, that the evaluation is not strictly binary. In other words, just because you have "checked off" each component described in the evaluation sheet does not ensure that you will receive a perfect score.

Below is the points breakdown for all assignments/deliverables for the course, sorted chronologically:

Item Team / Individual Score Points Evaluation Sheet**
Initial Post Individual 5 None
Lab Notebook Individual 50
Lab Safety Training Individual Lab Access None
Request for Approval Team 5 None
Weekly TA Meetings Team N/A None
Project Proposal Team 25
PCB Assignment Individual 10
Soldering Assignment Individual 10
Design Document Check Individual 5 None
Design Document
Requirements and Verification
Team 40
Design Review * Team 20
Individual Progress Report Individual 25 PDF
Mock Demo Individual 5 None
Mock Presentation Individual 5 None
Final Demo * Team 150 PDF
Final Presentation * Individual 50 PDF
Final Report: Technical Team 30
Final Report: English/Format Team 20
Checkout Team N/A
Peer Reviews (3 total) Individual 15 (total) None
Teamwork Individual 40 None
Continuing your project Priceless None

* Grades for these will be the average of the TA and Instructor grades; peer review grades will be used to provide feedback.
** Evaluation Sheets are subject to minor changes.

Master Bus Processor

Clay Kaiser, Philip Macias, Richard Mannion

Master Bus Processor

Featured Project

General Description

We will design a Master Bus Processor (MBP) for music production in home studios. The MBP will use a hybrid analog/digital approach to provide both the desirable non-linearities of analog processing and the flexibility of digital control. Our design will be less costly than other audio bus processors so that it is more accessible to our target market of home studio owners. The MBP will be unique in its low cost as well as in its incorporation of a digital hardware control system. This allows for more flexibility and more intuitive controls when compared to other products on the market.

Design Proposal

Our design would contain a core functionality with scalability in added functionality. It would be designed to fit in a 2U rack mount enclosure with distinct boards for digital and analog circuits to allow for easier unit testings and account for digital/analog interference.

The audio processing signal chain would be composed of analog processing 'blocks’--like steps in the signal chain.

The basic analog blocks we would integrate are:

Compressor/limiter modes

EQ with shelf/bell modes

Saturation with symmetrical/asymmetrical modes

Each block’s multiple modes would be controlled by a digital circuit to allow for intuitive mode selection.

The digital circuit will be responsible for:

Mode selection

Analog block sequence

DSP feedback and monitoring of each analog block (REACH GOAL)

The digital circuit will entail a series of buttons to allow the user to easily select which analog block to control and another button to allow the user to scroll between different modes and presets. Another button will allow the user to control sequence of the analog blocks. An LCD display will be used to give the user feedback of the current state of the system when scrolling and selecting particular modes.

Reach Goals

added DSP functionality such as monitoring of the analog functions

Replace Arduino boards for DSP with custom digital control boards using ATmega328 microcontrollers (same as arduino board)

Rack mounted enclosure/marketable design

System Verification

We will qualify the success of the project by how closely its processing performance matches the design intent. Since audio 'quality’ can be highly subjective, we will rely on objective metrics such as Gain Reduction (GR [dB]), Total Harmonic Distortion (THD [%]), and Noise [V] to qualify the analog processing blocks. The digital controls will be qualified by their ability to actuate the correct analog blocks consistently without causing disruptions to the signal chain or interference. Additionally, the hardware user interface will be qualified by ease of use and intuitiveness.

Project Videos