Most electrical engineering (EE) students are familiar with LabVIEW. This graphical programming environment is commonly used in university EE educational and research labs to facilitate data acquisition and processing using a suite of built-in mathematical, DSP, and communication functions. LabVIEW is particularly adept at emulating control panels with a variety of knobs, sliders, and gages. The audio functionality of LabVIEW, along with its “knobby” user interface, makes it ideal for exploration of music synthesis concepts by EE students. In this paper several types of music synthesis are explored in LabVIEW. Implementation of these in elective EE coursework gives EE students a unique opportunity to experience abstract concepts such as waveforms, frequency, filtering, and envelopes through their auditory cortex, reinforcing what they have learned through traditional pedagogy, and also provides EE students an introduction to some basic audio engineering (AE) concepts.
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