RTV 3511 Exam #2 Study Guide

So it begs reminding each of you that the upcoming exam is neither the product of trickery nor an attempt to inflict excruciating anxiety on any kind of hedonistic escapades you may have planned for the weekend.  But you still have to do the readings, take good notes, study hard and use some of the study strategies we've talked about in class like those I suggest below.  What follows are some of the topics that will be covered on this first exam.  The topics and questions aren't meant to be exhaustive, rather they imply the directions you should study.  Do more than just define terms.  Understand concepts, connections practices and differences, for example, to adequately formulate your understanding.  Feel free to email me or grab me after class with any questions you may have after you look this all over.

On exam day you'll need only a pen or pencil (no red pens) and Scantron sheet(s).  All other items must be either left outside or on the floor by your desk, covered and closed.  The test will consist of 50 multiple choice, matching questions, and/or true/false.   

As always, with exams like this in a pure lecture kind of class I recommend you get into some kind of study group with your fellow students in this class.

Good luck!


Understand the role and functions of the various components in a production sound system:
             - sound source
             - transduction
             - signal transport
             - signal regulation
             - recording/transmission
             - playback/reception
    In general, how do mic's work and how do we distinguish among them? (This is an excellent topic for one of those visual diagrams.)  Key considerations:
              - Sound generating element (or what device does the transducing in the mic itself) (hint:  movable coils,
                condenser plates, ribbon)
              - Pick-up pattern
How does loudness factor into our assumptions of the sound signal?
              - mic level
              - line level
In addition to your notes, look to the Zettl material regarding aesthetic considerations about sound that we employ in a production.  Key words:
              - sound perspective
              - sound energy
              - sound continuity
              - sound environment
              - figure/ground
What are some other pieces of equipment we might use in conjunction with microphones to gather sound (mic support gear like stands, windscreens, etc.)?
What is the technical objective to sound acquisition?
Be familiar with some of the basic mic types we discussed in class, such as:
              - handheld
              - lavaliere
              - shotgun
              - wireless
              - parabolic
              - PZM (or boundary mic, as Zettl calls it)
Know key words, such as:
              - Gain
              - Modulation
              - Track
              - Mix
              - Patch panel vs.router
              - Equalizing (sweetening the signal)

Sample Test Questions:
a. Which mic is the most rugged mic of the three basic mic’s we discussed?
b. What is the purpose of a patch panel in a production sound system?
c. What is the purpose of a pop filter?


How did we distinguish between the twin concerns in video lighting:  creating a picture and creating a meaning?  How do these concerns differ from one another?
What kinds of things do we seek to depict when attempting to create meaning?  (Hint:  form and setting,  for example.)
What is the difference between lux and foot candles (fc)?
Do you know the equation that defines what a foot candle is?
Who are the five historical figures we referred to in class in reference to the history of working with light and photography?
What were their respective contributions to our understanding of light and photography and our practice of both?
In broad terms, how many forms (sources) of light are there and what are they? (Hint:  two.)
Could you describe what light color is about?
Do you know how it relates to white (color) balancing the video camera?
What basic kinds of light sources produce what kinds of light color and at what relative temperatures?  (We identified three in class.)
What is the term we use to describe light coming from the source itself?
How does studio lighting differ from field lighting?  Why?
What is a studio lighting dimmer board and what does it do?
What is the difference between high key and low key lighting?  Directional and diffused lighting?  How do these relate to the concept of falloff?

Sample Test Questions:
a. What is baselight?   What is its purpose in production?
b. What does a light meter measure?
c. Who placed photosensitive chemicals onto a thin metal plate and produced one of the earliest forms of the still photograph?

What happens in the digital signal that makes it different from analog?
What is sampling?
How does it relate to analog signal modulations?
What are the respective advantages of digital?
What are some dates we associate with analog/digital?  For example:
             - The launch of HDTV in the U.S.
             - The establishment of NTSC standards.
             - The advent of color TV in the U.S.
What is the problem of attenuation in analog video?
What resolution, aspect ratio and scanning formats do we have in a video standard definition digital production and broadcasting?  In HDTV?  How do these differ from the same standards in analog?
What is the difference between native and upconverted HDTV signals?
What's the difference between 1080I and 1080P?  Where would you find each?
What is 24p video, and what advantages does it offer over regular video?  Over film?
What is the problem of bandwidth when dealing with video and audio?
What is our solution to bandwidth concerns?
Sample Test Questions:
a. How many times per second does sampling of the analog signal occur in the transition to digital?
b. How many lines of resolution does the standard definition digital television signal contain?
c. What is the aspect ratio of HD video production?

Remember also any potential questions coming from our screening of the documentary, Visions of Light.