Industry & Product News
Tectonic Audio Labs and Tectonic Elements Combine Assets to Accelerate the Release of Next-Generation Audio Products
Tectonic Audio Labs announced the consolidation of its assets with Tectonic Elements and launched a new website to highlight the company's consolidated portfolio of patented technologies. Following the recent appointment of a new President and CEO, this is the final step in the merger of the two companies and will streamline the three primary areas of focus: smart speaker technology, professional audio products, and OEM audio component sales for IoT devices, automotive and other hi-fi solution.   Read More

Tempow and CEVA Partner to Deliver Low Power, Low Latency True Wireless Stereo Technology for Bluetooth Earbuds
CEVA, the leading licensor of signal processing platforms and artificial intelligence processors for smarter, connected devices, along with French wireless audio pioneer Tempow, unveiled a collaboration to bring next-generation True Wireless Stereo (TWS) to the Bluetooth earbud mass market. As mentioned in a recent article by CEVA's Marketing Director Franz Dugand , the resulting joint IP solution delivers synchronized left/right audio over standard Bluetooth dual mode connected links with short latency and without the power consumption penalty associated with many of today's TWS implementations.    Read More

Qobuz Postpones US Launch for 2019 and Announces Pricing Plan
French online music service Qobuz promised to launch its streaming and download subscriptions in the US in 2018, offering a completely new option for the industry, with a high-end tier plan of 24-bit FLAC streaming that until now has never been available. Throughout the year, Qobuz has been actively promoting the service and the different hi-res streaming and download options. The company finally made an announcement confirming its US pricing plan and stated that steps have been taken toward an "early 2019 US launch."    Read More

Hegel Pushes into CEDIA Channel with Modular High-Current Class-AB Mono-Block Amplifiers
Norwegian audio brand Hegel Music Systems, highly-regarded around the world for its award-winning integrated amplifiers, preamplifiers, digital-to-analog converters, and CD players, announced the launch of its first amplifiers aimed at the home theater and distributed audio markets. Called the C5 Series, three models are available - the C53, C54 and C55, which are configured as 3, 4, and 5 channel amplifiers, respectively. With MSRP starting at $6,000 and up depending on the configuration, the amplifiers are now shipping to dealers.   Read More

HEAD acoustics Introduces HQS-Audio for Comprehensive Testing of Loudspeakers, Headphones, and Audio Systems in Vehicles 
HEAD acoustics, one of the world's leading companies in the field of voice and audio quality optimization, introduced HQS-Audio, a new tool for its ACQUA analysis system that provides a whole set of targeted electroacoustic measurements and helps to comprehensively test the quality of audio devices. Whether loudspeakers, headphones, or audio systems in vehicles, HQS-Audio provides independent test runs for each application, consisting of various electroacoustic measurements, including Thiele-Small parameters.   Read More

L-Acoustics Strengthens R&D and Production Expertise with Acquisition of HGP
French professional audio manufacturer L-Acoustics, a market leader in large scale sound reinforcement systems and premium audio installations, announced the acquisition of HGP, a manufacturer of precision sheet metal, based in Amboise, France, and its sister entity API, which specializes in powder coating. According to L-Acoustics, both companies were already regular suppliers and the acquisition will enable better R&D support, faster prototyping, and tighter production schedules.   Read More

Eight Inductees to the NAMM TECnology Hall of Fame Announced
Eight culturally significant audio inventions will be inducted to the TECnology Hall of Fame (THOF), it was announced today by THOF Founder, George Petersen. The inventions span the 1940s through today and will be officially named during a ceremony held at The 2019 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, on Saturday, January 26. The event will be presented by the NAMM Museum of Making Music. Robert Moog's classic synth, the Anechoic Chamber from Leo Beranek, and many other historic products and inventions are among the eight inductees.   Read More

Faital and Alpine Electronics Establish Business Alliance for Car Audio
Japanese car audio and navigation systems manufacturer Alpine Electronics, Inc., and Italian automotive speaker manufacturer Faital (Fabric Italiana Altoparlanti) S.p.A., have reached an agreement for a capital and business alliance to strengthen their in-car entertainment and audio business. Expanding on the Alpine share investment in the Faital Group, the two companies are pursuing a common vision in order to offer new high-end car audio products for premium applications and develop further integration of the brand's portfolio.   Read More

Guest Editorial
Neville Roberts

Recording in Style!
It takes a bit more than simply turning on a recorder.

It doesn't seem that long ago that a recording could be made by sticking a microphone in front of the performers and hitting the record button on the recorder. It became evident; however, that far better results could be obtained by using several microphones strategically positioned within the orchestra and mixing the signals together. Then along came stereo, and microphone positioning and setup played an important role in the imaging and spaciousness of a recording.
Jung-A Lee: A Private Organ Recital in Walt Disney Concert Hall (Tape) is a masterpiece from Yarlung Records, founded by Bob Attiyeh.
The polar pattern of a microphone is a very important consideration. This is the term used to describe the directional sensitivity of a microphone, or its ability to pick up sounds from different directions. The simplest pattern is the omnidirectional microphone, which picks up sounds equally from all directions. A figure-eight polar pattern picks up sounds from in front of and behind the microphone, but not from the sides. A cardioid pattern is, as the name implies, a heart-shaped polar pattern (actually an inverted heart-shape) where the microphone is most sensitive to sounds in front of it, less sensitive to sounds at the sides, and insensitive to sounds coming from the rear. 
In the early days of recording, there were only omnidirectional and figure-eight microphones. Omnidirectional microphone diaphragms measure sound pressure at a single point in space, and because they have no directional information, they are equally sensitive to sound from all directions. Figure-eight microphones measure the difference in pressure between either side of an open diaphragm. This means that they are very sensitive to sound from the front and rear, but almost completely deaf on the sides. Then it was realized that by combining the signals of both omnidirectional and figure-eight microphones, you could achieve a cardioid polar pattern. 
The sensitivity of a cardioid is doubled at the front where the positive signals from an omnidirectional and figure-eight combine. The sensitivity remains the same on the sides as there is only the signal from the omnidirectional microphone; at the rear, the negative signal from the figure-eight cancels out the positive signal from the omnidirectional. Further developments in microphone technology allowed for one microphone to have a switchable polar pattern between all three patterns. Microphones such as the Neumann U47, which can operate as either a cardioid or an omnidirectional microphone, and the U48, which can switch between cardioid and figure-eight patterns. Some types of microphones, such as the AKG C12, can offer a blend of these three patterns.
Nostos: Robert Istad Conducts the Cal State Fullerton University Singers (available on three 15 IPS reels,) made to order using the Sonorus Audio ATR10, the same recorder on which the master was mixed.
Location, location, location
Apart from the choice of microphones, the position of the microphones is very important. A crossed pair uses two directional mics that are crossed, and this arrangement is often used to record solo instruments in stereo. The spaced pair configuration employs two omnidirectional mics spaced about 60 cm apart. This is very good not only for recording the instruments, but also for capturing the ambience of the recording environment. The mono signals from each microphone are assigned to the left and right channels of a stereo track to create the stereo image. This image can be enhanced by the use of a Jecklin disk, which is a sound-absorbing disk placed between the two microphones to create an acoustic shadow from one microphone to the other. The technique was invented by Jürg Jecklin, the former chief sound engineer of Swiss Radio, to produce what he called an Optimal Stereo Signal (OSS). This 30 to 35 cm disk is made from a sound-absorbing material, which acts as a baffle to recreate some of the frequency response, time, and amplitude variations that we experience when a recording is reproduced through loudspeakers. Similarly, a binaural "dummy head" uses two omnidirectional condenser capsules built into artificial ears mounted on an enclosure resembling a human head. Although modern dummy heads, such as the Neumann KU-100, are designed to produce recordings that are particularly good for playing back recordings through headphones, these recordings nevertheless reproduce very well through loudspeakers.
The story doesn't end there, as more people are coming up with new ideas to enhance the listening experience. A company called Sonorus Audio has developed a process called Sonorus Holographic Imaging, which is designed to create a 3D sound field with a unique feel of realism. 

The Sonorus Holographic Imaging Process can use up to eight channels of source material to recover the most detail from the original recording and put it back into two channels.
Sonorus Holographic Imaging can use up to eight channels of source material in order to recover the most detail from the original recording. These channels are then recombined into two channels. This process is real time and fully analog and the resultant stereo signal is recorded on 15 IPS analog tape. If the original recording contains true ambient or surround information, the listener can be immersed in a sound field that extends to almost 360 degrees, even though it is only reproduced from two channels.
I have experienced this first hand with superb master tape recordings of choral music by Yarlung Records entitled "Nostos" by the Cal State Fullerton University Singers, and Yarlung's latest recording - a breath-taking Private Organ Recital in the Walt Disney Concert Hall played by internationally acclaimed organist Jung-A Lee. The Sonorus Holographic Imaging does indeed produce an uncanny realism with both recordings and, with the latter, I really am transported into the concert hall.
Things have certainly come a long way from singing into a horn on a phonograph recorder!

R&D Stories
Measuring the Performance of Diaphragm Absorbers
By Bruno Fazenda, Kelvin Griffiths, Jorge Castro, and Nathaniel Bailey
In August 2018, as part of its Focus on Acoustics edition, audioXpress published an article documenting the cutting-edge research by leading acoustic experts, Jorge Castro, Nathaniel Bailey (Artnovion), Bruno Fazenda, and Kelvin Griffiths (Sense Research, Electroacoustic Design) to determine improvements on precise low-frequency absorption. The tests, performed at Electroacoustic Design, in Porthcawl, South Wales, UK, determined a method to predict finite element analysis of the performance of weighted diaphragmatic membrane absorbers, the predominant acoustic core now employed in Artnovion's latest Eiger Sub Trap range of acoustic panels. This article was originally published in audioXpress, August 2018.   Read the Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Dayton Audio Epique E160CF-8 Midbass Driver 
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench characterizes the Dayton Audio Epique E160CF-8 midbass driver, from the company's new Epique high-end transducer line. This 5.25" midwoofer is Dayton's entry into the ultra-high-end driver market. Dayton built it with the intention of competing with the likes of SEAS, Scan-Speak, Eton, Accuton, and Morel. Applications for the E160CF-8 include use as a midrange in a multi-way speaker or as a woofer in a two-way speaker. Features include a lightweight inverse curved profile damped (coated) carbon fiber cone sans dust cap, a proprietary cast aluminum frame that uses four three-member spokes to minimize reflections back into the cone, plus a fairly robust (for a 5.25" driver) 100 W RMS power handling capacity. Cooling is provided by a 0.66" (17 mm) diameter tapered and flared pole type vent, nine 3 mm diameter peripheral vents surrounding the pole vent, plus 16 15 mm × 6 mm vents located below the spider mounting shelf. Compliance is controlled by a 7 mm wide NBR-type surround and a by a 3.5" diameter flat cloth spider. All this - the pole vent, the peripheral vents, and the spider vents - are trademarked as EVS for Extensive Venting System. The motor assembly is powered by a FEA-optimized underhung motor design utilizing a 100 mm diameter 8 mm thick neodymium ring magnet with a 15 mm thick steel plate front plate and a shaped back plate and includes a shorting ring (Faraday shield). Driving the cone assembly is a voice coil that consists of a 38 mm (1.5") diameter titanium former wound with round copper wire. Voice coil tinsel lead wires terminate to a pair of solderable gold-plated terminals. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, September 2018.   Check it out here!

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