Can Music Downloads and Compact Discs Be Replaced by USB Music Cards?
Declining music downloads and compact disc (CD) sales could possibly be offset by a new physical music medium called a USB Music Card by TVM.Bio, Inc. A Tampa, FL-based company called TVM.Bio Inc. believes it might have the solution for a problem that has long plagued the music industry - declining music sales. TVM.Bio has developed a patent-pending medium named a USB Music Card that will not only replace CDs, but provide live time data and analytics to record labels, musicians, and music sponsorsRead More

JOCAVI Announces Opening of JOCAVI Acoustic Panels USA
Founded 26 years ago and with a worldwide presence including the North American market, the Portuguese acoustic solutions manufacturer JOCAVI has announced the creation of its own company in the United States. JOCAVI Acoustic Panels Corp. was established to reinforce its presence in the US market, one of its most important export destinations since the company's inception. The new company will now be able to produce and deliver materials and products locally, providing better support to US customers.   Read More

Lawo Radio Consoles First To Adopt SMPTE 2022-7 Standard
Lawo, the German manufacturer of broadcast and production consoles and a pioneer in network control, continues to expand its family of radio solutions, including the latest networking standards and technologies. It is also creating completely new concepts in user interface and system design for those critical installations. Lawo confirmed that it implemented the latest the SMPTE 2022-7 standard for Seamless Protection Switching (SPS), allowing for complete network redundancy in radio consoles.    Read More

VUE Audiotechnik Introduces New hm-115 High Definition Stage Monitor and e-351 Nano Coaxial Cube
Ken Berger's team at VUE Audiotechnik continues to expand its product catalog of refined sound reinforcement products for all applications, now introducing the new high-output extended-range hm-115 stage monitor, and the new e-351 full-range nano speaker, a new compact installation in its e-Class Architectural Element Systems, which can be complemented with the es-269 ACM subwoofer. Rounding out the e-Class expansion is the V242 (two-input four-zone) VUEDrive System Engine, designed specifically for use with e-Class systems.   Read More

Alclair Audio Releases Hybrid Electrostatic Custom In-Ear Monitors 
Alclair Audio, from Minneapolis, MN, released the Alclair Electro, the first custom in-ear monitor to feature electrostatic drivers. It is also the first headphone to power the electrostatic driver with an internal transformer, which makes it perfect for stage and studio use. The new Electro model uses four balanced armature drivers and a dual electrostatic tweeter, appealing both to music enthusiasts, studio engineers, producers, and performers.   Read More

Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association Continues to Expand
Infineon is the latest company to join the Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association, the industry group dedicated to bringing high-resolution, wireless, multi-channel audio products to the home theater market, assuring interoperability between wireless speakers and components. Infineon joins a strong and extensive list of members that includes GoldenEar, Electrocompaniet, Almando, and Primare, as WiSA continues to expand with major audio industry suppliers, manufacturers, and speaker brands.   Read More

Regular Broadcast with Immersive and Interactive Sound Powered by MPEG-H Audio
The opening game of the 2018 Football (Soccer) World Cup in Russia marked the world's first regular broadcast with immersive and interactive audio: The South Korean television and radio network company SBS transmitted this match live in Ultra-High Definition (UHD) based on the ATSC 3.0 standard, utilizing the advanced features of Fraunhofer's MPEG-H TV Audio System, immersive sound, and interactive audio.   Read More

Dirac Research Enters the Gaming Headset Market
Sweden's Dirac Research has developed a breakthrough 3D audio solution for gaming headsets that creates for an intensely immersive and lifelike aural experience. Now the company has confirmed that the Dirac audio surround sound technology has already been licensed by a leading Chinese consumer technology manufacturer - with more to come. The Chinese manufacturer has licensed Dirac's technology for a gaming headset that will debut in the second half of 2018.   Read More

Neville Roberts

Guest Editorial

Vinyl, How Cool Is That? 

I think it's fair to say that the subject of the revival of interest in the humble LP is getting rather passé now. Granted, modern teenagers, who a few years ago derided their parents' record collections, are now queueing up at their music shop to get the latest releases carved into a couple of grooves of the magic black stuff. However, have we really created a modern generation of audiophiles or are our youngsters coveting records for other reasons?
Elton John's 33rd studio album is available on 180 g heavyweight black vinyl. There's even an Elton John Complete Vinyl Club Boxset, with 10 albums remastered by Bob Ludwig.
A short while ago, having nothing better to do one evening, I was channel-hopping with my TV remote control and alighted on a chat show. Elton John was being interviewed and during the interview, he mentioned that his album "Wonderful Crazy Night" had been released on vinyl, as well as in the usual digital download formats and on CD. The discussion then moved onto why vinyl is becoming popular again. Photos were shown of Elton John in the 1970s signing album covers for the hordes of enthusiastic teenage rockers, who were keen to get a personalized signature on their latest purchase. Elton John then commented that his new release had prompted him to dig out his own set of LPs and he acknowledged that, to his surprise, they actually sounded better than his CD collection. "That's what I've been telling everyone for ages!" I yelled at the TV screen. Neither the interviewer nor Elton John took any notice of me, and I sat back in my chair somewhat deflated with my enthusiasm flickering, much like a candle in the wind.
This got me thinking - are people jumping on the vinyl bandwagon simply because it's trendy and is the so-called revival being driven by marketing hype? Certainly, there are now many collectors who seek rare copies of albums from the 1950s through to the 1980s, but that doesn't explain why there is a market for brand new material.
In fact, how many modern record collectors actually own a turntable? Well, actually I suspect most, if not all, given the dramatic increase in the number of new turntables being launched in recent years. Such investment in design and manufacturing costs wouldn't happen if there wasn't a real market for it. Furthermore, there is now an established range of turntables, which not only incorporate a phono stage to enable the deck to be plugged into a spare line input on an amplifier, but also a digital interface. This interface can feed an external DAC or PC, often in resolutions that are higher than a CD. To me, this indicates that the renewed interest in this humble mechanical medium is not simply its death throes with the establishment of digital media, but a genuine move to embrace digital technology and work alongside it.
As a lover of classical music, I was very sad when classical music LPs were the first to go at the start of the digital revolution back in the early 1980s. What a delight for me to now see new releases starting to reappear. A friend of mine has commented that many of the music shops he frequents have now started having a proper vinyl section in their shops alongside the racks of CDs on sale. These racks often include a section for classical music.

No other artist has done more to promote the rebirth of vinyl and attract new generations to the format than Jack White. The American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer is currently a board member of the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Foundation, and owns his own record label Third Man Records, and vinyl pressing plant in Detroit.

Another clue as to why there is a renewed interest in record collecting is the number of audiophile recordings that are being released, often on 180 g virgin vinyl. Also, we are once more seeing several direct-to-disk recordings being produced, such as the range of classical and big band records from Mike Valentine's Chasing The Dragon ( label. One of these is a set of two LPs of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra where one was recorded direct-to-disk and the other identical recording was made more conventionally via a multi-track tape recorder (read the article in audioXpress November 2016). Interestingly, even though the conventionally recorded LP sounds fantastic and would be clearly superior to a CD version, if one had been made, the direct-to-disk version has that extra dimension of realism.
For me, the final clue that this revived interest in vinyl is not just a flash in the pan is the fact that LPs are not cheap - the latest Elton John LP costs over £20 ($26.49, compared with £12 ($15.89) for the CD version. That is quite a premium to pay for some nice 12" square artwork. I therefore genuinely believe that people are choosing the vinyl option for the improvement in audio quality that this medium offers. Nor should we ignore that weird pleasure that is to be had in the process of removing a record from its sleeve, placing it on a turntable, gently lowering the stylus onto the groove, and then sitting back to enjoy at least an entire side, rather than the odd one or two tracks downloaded from a website.
The mention on a prime-time chat show is certainly good for the vinyl cause. I believe that vinyl is a major force in spawning a whole new generation of music lovers who are discovering that there is so much more to enjoy when listening to their music on vinyl - not least the high quality and atmosphere that you only seem to get from an analog medium.

A new-generation Audio-Technica vinyl set. In the UK, record labels and artists earn more than double the royalties from the sale of 4.1 m vinyl records than they did from 25 billion music videos watched on YouTube, last year.


Practical Test & Measurement
The Virtins Multi-Instrument Software
By Stuart Yaniger
Stuart Yaniger provides an in-depth look at the Virtins Multi-Instrument Software, for data acquisition and measurements. This is a great continuation for Yaniger's article series "Sound Cards for Data Acquisition in Audio Measurements", which already included a quick overview of some of the available software packages. Among those mentioned, the Multi-Instrument package from Virtins Technology - a Singapore-based company - is one of the most powerful and versatile. This article is a very complete review of what Multi-Instrument entails and what distinguishes it from other software packages and dedicated solutions. This article was published in audioXpress, March 2016.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Precision Devices PD-CD1N Compression Driver 
By Vance Dickason
In this Test Bench, Vance Dickason examines a new 1" PEEK diaphragm compression driver from Precision Devices, the PD.CD1N. This is a unique design in Precision Devices' UL portfolio, using a PEEK (polyetheretherketone) diaphragm/surround material, which also incorporates a three-slot optimized phase plug design and a 44 mm (1.73") diameter voice coil wound with copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW) on a Kapton former. Other features include a radial neodymium magnet motor structure, an aluminum three-slot phase plug, nominal 40 W (AES) rated power handling, a 1.6 kHz recommended crossover frequency, and color-coded chrome push terminals. This article was published in Voice Coil, March 2018.   Check it out here!

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