Alango and Seeed Collaborate on Voice Interface Far-Field Technology
Alango announced its collaboration with Seeed Technology providing far-field voice enhancement on the Seeed ReSpeaker Core v2.0. Seeed's ReSpeaker Core v2.0 is designed as a multifunctional development board for voice interface applications. The platform is based on the Rockchip RK3229, a quad-core ARM Cortex A7, running up to 1.5 GHz, with 1 GB RAM. The board features a six-microphone array with Alango's Voice Enhancement Package "VEP" and is able to be customized upon requestRead More

Nureva Updates HDL300 Audio Conferencing Systems and Introduces Intelligent Sound Targeting
Nureva just announced intelligent sound targeting, a new patent-pending feature of its Microphone Mist technology platform that powers its HDL300 and Dual HDL300 audio conferencing systems. The new technology allows managing undesired sound sources in audio conferencing sessions. Nureva also announced a firmware update that includes new customizable audio settings, new auxiliary audio modes for interoperability with third-party systems, and refinements to audio performance.   Read More

EBU and Fraunhofer IIS Conducted Live MPEG-H Audio Production Trial at Eurovision Song Contest 2018
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Fraunhofer IIS have successfully conducted the first trial for live production of immersive and interactive sound using the MPEG-H TV Audio System at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Lisbon, Portugal. For the trial, the Fraunhofer sound engineers installed a height dimension to the impressive microphone setup in the Altice Arena, enabling them to produce an immersive and personalized audio mix live. Broadcasters and sound experts present at the venue could experience the enveloping and interactive MPEG-H sound.    Read More

Global Smart Home Market to Hit $155 Billion by 2023
The global smart home market ended on an upbeat note in 2017 reaching $84 billion, up 16% from $72 billion in 2016 according to a report just released by Strategy Analytics. According to the report, "2018 Global Smart Home Market Forecast," worldwide consumer spending on smart home devices, systems, and services will total nearly $96 billion in 2018 and grow at 10% CAGR over the forecast period (2018 to 2023) to $155 billion. Adoption of smart speakers from Amazon and Google is boosting the market.   Read More

European Union Project ORPHEUS Shows Object-Based Media Innovations 
On May 15, 2018, the EU-funded ORPHEUS consortium presented their results at a workshop in Munich, Germany. The event served to summarize how the ORPHEUS project has created a full set of tools and applications for object-based media innovations, including demonstrations of a future-proof radio service, perfecting the complete workflow for object-based audio and IP-based delivery, and demonstrating object-based broadcasting innovations including foreground/ background control, language selection, immersive sound, and enhanced program services.   Read More

Martin Audio Announces TH Series Three-Way Loudspeakers for High-Performance Applications
Martin Audio has announced the TH Series, comprising two very high-performance, all-horn, three-way systems in both a horizontally and a vertically formatted package. The new loudspeaker series was designed to complement the styling of Martin Audio's best-selling CDD and BlacklineX Series and are ideal for nightclub and large-scale installs. THH is configured in a horizontal format while THV is its vertical counterpart and the driver complement in both systems has been engineered for exemplary performance in all brands.   Read More

Dirac Research Announces Smartphone Debut of Its "Dirac Panorama Sound" Audio Solution
Dirac Research announced that its Dirac Panorama Sound solution will finally make its smartphone debut in the Smartisan Nut R1 smartphone. Dirac Panorama Sound is a pioneering speaker-optimization solution that produces immersive surround sound audio from embedded speakers positioned only a few inches apart from one another in products such as smartphones and portable speakers. Surprisingly, this brilliant digital sound optimization technology only now is getting to actual products.   Read More

Bragi Joins STMicroelectronics Partner Program with Bragi Intelligent Edge
Bragi announced its inclusion in STMicroelectronics Partner Program to create software solutions that address the current needs for modern IoT development, granting shorter development time as well as reducing the time and the cost to market. Bragi offers state-of-the-art configurable, scalable, and power-efficient software building blocks of its Intelligent Edge computing platform, combined with products, technologies, and solutions from STMicroelectronics.   Read More


Editor's Desk

Notes from the AES Milan Convention 

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) Milan 144th International Convention, May 23-26, 2018, was a small but well-attended event, extremely enjoyable for all those that participated. As always, a mix of audio industry professionals, students, educators, and top brands and audio service providers from around the world met "for the purpose of advancing the art and science of audio engineering."

The small but interesting exhibits at the 144th AES convention featured several Italian and European manufacturers and provided an excellent overview of the latest solutions in sync with the sessions' main topics.

European AES conventions are much smaller events (at least since the late 1990s), but in this case, it was noticeable that all the auditoriums and the conference rooms were always full, even when the concurrent track schedule was highly conflicting for someone with broader interests (like me). And the mood was really inspiring, helped by a pleasant warm embrace from the summer-like weather in Milan, making the somewhat plain-featured congress location much more enjoyable (in stark contrast with the cozy hotel facilities last year, in Berlin).
The extremely varied and rich content all throughout the four convention days - quite an undertaking! - was a very promising prelude for what will certainly be another very exciting follow-up convention when the AES gets together again in New York, October 17-20, 2018.
As it was stated by the organizing committee, this event was dedicated to "The Power of Sound" and professional audio, with presentations covering research, studies, and demonstrations on Live Sound, Studio Recording, Networked Audio, Broadcast & Streaming, Music Production, Post Production, and Game Audio.
The always important exhibition part of the event, happening from day 2 to day 4 of the convention (which for me always makes much more sense than having an extra day of sessions after the show closes...), was a small but extremely vibrant space, where the presence and support of great Italian companies was a differentiating feature. It was a great opportunity to meet and spend time with Audiomatica, K-Array, and Faital/Faital Pro, and discover ITek, an integration and acoustics company we didn't previously know about and which represents the active acoustic solutions from E-Coustic Systems USA (LARES Associates Inc.)
Focusing on the sessions and topics of this AES Milan Convention, things started on a very positive note with the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday, May 23, where AES Executive Director Bob Moses praised the volunteers and staff who make AES conventions possible, and introduced AES President David Scheirman, who once again recalled the 70th anniversary of the Society, now with more than 12,500 members worldwide. The AES has seen 8% membership growth in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 2017, and Scheirman encouraged all audio professionals to become members and for all members to "get involved."

AES President, David Scheirman presented an excellent technology project review, detailing an outdoor sound reinforcement of symphony and opera for extremely large audiences. The system, deployed in 1991, used 24 battery-powered, digitally delayed portable loudspeaker towers that received wireless transmissions from a centrally-located mixing position to cover asymmetrical audience areas.

Scheirman was also responsible for one of the highlights of this AES convention with a presentation on Friday, revisiting his Outdoor Sound Reinforcement of Symphony and Opera for Extremely Large Audiences project, in 1991. This was exactly the type of presentation that I am certain many audio professionals would like to see more often at the AES (and also InfoComm), providing a detailed explanation of a unique sound reinforcement installation. In this case serving audiences up to 200,000 persons for outdoor operatic and symphonic programs, with a fully-distributed portable sound reinforcement system (using wireless radio transmission) deployed in public parks throughout New York City including Central Park. Scheirman led the team that deployed and successfully operated this system from 1991 to 1995. Those who attended the session also got the opportunity of seeing an actual photo of the current AES president in 1991, now the director of global concert and rental business at Bose Professional.
Also as part of the opening session, keynote speaker Marina Bosi, AES Past-President and Consulting Professor at Stanford University, reminded the audience of "How Perceptual Audio Coding Has Shaped Our Lives." This was an enlightening and valuable insider's view of the history of the science of perceptual audio coding, from its beginnings in the 1980s to the current state of the art and also giving a peek ahead to the future. Bosi reminded us of the compression efficiencies along with improved audio quality at lower data rates and how all this was enabled by the creation of perceptually indistinguishable algorithms in the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) family, standardized by ISO and IEC, as part of the MPEG-2 and later MPEG-4 specifications. It was a fresh and welcome reminder of how important speech and audio coding technology is in our lives - powering today's digital radio broadcasting, music streaming services, immersive surround experiences, or the latest HD voice communications - and how far we have evolved from the dreaded MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III), now officially discontinued.

Marina Bosi, AES Past-President and Consulting Professor, Stanford University delivered a keynote address on "How Perceptual Audio Coding Has Shaped Our Lives." A timely reminder on how important audio coding technologies are for our lives and how they continue to constantly improve.
Awards presentations are always a part of all AES conventions, and awards in Milan recognized the work of students of the Peking University (Beijing, China), for the paper "Bandwidth Extension Method Based on Generative Adversarial Nets for Audio Compression," while the "Best Peer-Reviewed Paper Award" went to co-authors Leo McCormack (Aalto University - Espoo, Finland), Symeon Delikaris-Manias (Aalto University - Helsinki, Finland), Angelo Farina (Università di Parma - Parma, Italy), Daniel Pinardi (Università di Parma - Parma, Italy), and Ville Pulkki (Aalto University - Espoo, Finland) for their paper "Real-Time Conversion of Sensor Array Signals into Spherical Harmonic Signals with Applications to Spatially Localized Sub-Band Sound-Field Analysis." Both papers were presented at the AES Milan sessions, and reflect the high-quality of the work presented.

The 144th convention was extremely valuable, entertaining, and I'll dare say "cutting-edge," with excellent presentations detailing research and applications with immersive audio production for music, cinema, and virtual/augmented reality applications (with RCF and Genelec supporting the presentations with two excellent auditoriums). But more than "immersive audio," several sessions addressed the current trend around spatial audio in all its forms, from binauralization for headphones to the new generation of sound reinforcement systems. We could clearly feel that the presenters where looking ahead with excitement and that current developments in audio are among the most innovative ever. 

The AES Milan convention will be remembered by visitors who had the chance to attend one of several sessions presented by Tom Ammermann, New Audio Technology GmbH - Hamburg, Germany, explaining how they mixed Kraftwerk's The Catalog 3D Blu-Ray in Dolby Atmos and Headphone Surround 3D. Pictured are sessions in the RCF and Genelec configured immersive audio rooms.

Even in current trending topics like audio networking, where there were excellent sessions detailing the AES67 and ST2110 standards and industry efforts, I could feel how there clearly is more interest to look ahead then actually learning how to set up AES67 networks or how to apply it in real-world applications. Somehow, with the audio industry momentum, I could feel that AES attendees didn't even consider looking back and that audio networking is a given on any currently envisaged application. Important.
This, together with numerous mentions to object-based audio production and the new and exciting MPEG-H standard, clearly indicates that there is excitement in the industry, patently reflected in the enthusiasm and dedication we have seen in many young researchers attending this event. Clearly, I look forward to seeing them with more results at the AES New York convention in October.
Click this link to visit an expanded version of this report with further images.


From the Vault
Speaker Design: Driver-Induced Vibrations
By Claudio Negro
In order to generate a sound, a driver must vibrate. But what happens when one or more drivers are placed on the same baffle? In the exact moment that the cone begins to move, it starts to transmit - through the frame and the screws - vibrations to the cabinet and to the other drivers that are fixed on it. These are the contact conduction vibrations. Moreover, you must consider another sort of transmission of the vibration, the one through the air that is generated by the back of the cone. The result of these two types of conduction is that besides the driver, the cabinet also sounds... and it sounds loudly. To summarize, the driver-induced vibration makes the box sound; therefore, it produces coloration, masking, and detail loss. This article discusses multiple approaches to handle the problem, working on material, dimension, thickness, density, rigidity, and damping of the panels to be used. This article was published in audioXpress, February 2008.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Precision Devices PD.CD2N 1.4" Titanium Diaphragm Compression Driver 
By Vance Dickason
In this edition of Test Bench, I characterized a 1.4" titanium diaphragm compression driver from Precision Devices. The new driver from prestigious UK Pro Sound OEM manufacturer, Precision Devices, is part of a seven-model lineup of high-performance neodymium compression drivers. Six of the models, including the PD.CD2N feature titanium diaphragms (one uses Peek diaphragm material), as well as utilizing a three-slot optimized phase plug design. The PD.CD2N has a 50.8 mm (2") throat diameter, with a radial neodymium magnet motor structure, an aluminum three-slot phase plug, and nominal 105 W (AES) rated power handling. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, February 2018.   Read the Full Article Online

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