Industry & Product News
PSI Audio Updates Flagship Three-Way A25-M Studio Monitors
Swiss manufacturer PSI Audio announced a new version of its flagship three-way speaker A25-M for 2021. Following on the improvements announced in 2019 with the flow guide introduced in the A23-M monitor, and a larger, more powerful woofer engine, the A25-M boasts an entirely new midrange driver. The Extended Dome Driver (EXD) combines a larger dome and new cone formula, effectively offering the best of both worlds in the process. The new driver system is still mounted to a rotatable baffle to enable vertical or horizontal speaker placement at optimum dispersion. Read More
KEF Announces Mu3 Noise Cancelling True Wireless Earbuds
The hottest product category in consumer electronics in 2019, 2020, and counting, true wireless earbuds are now mandatory for any established audio brand. Designed by the famous British designer Ross Lovegrove and engineered by KEF's own UK acoustic team, the new KEF Mu3 earbuds deliver the latest technologies and high-quality sound, in a refined Bluetooth 5 proposition that offers ANC, ambient mode, and good battery life. Read More
Devialet Introduces Improved Phantom I All-in-One Speaker
Since its release, Devialet’s flagship compact speaker Phantom established a new reference in home audio. By combining a radical design with a series of innovative, proprietary technologies, Phantom consistently shattered expectations in terms of sound reproduction, while establishing a new business model for the French brand. Now, for 2021, Devialet updated the original Phantom with a new audio processing SoC, new matte finishes, and all the latest wireless audio technologies. Read More
Soundboks Introduces New and Improved Gigantic Soundboks Bluetooth Speaker
When Soundboks introduced its "Bluetooth-speaker-for-parties" that looked like a Peavey guitar speaker, we couldn't stop laughing. Particularly at the suggestion that this would be a "portable" solution, loaded with battery-packs the size of an automobile battery (and as heavy) - the promotional images showed a guy carrying the "thing" on a backpack while riding a bicycle, and another one hiking through a mountain! Five years later, the Danish company has the last laugh with 50,000 units sold and introducing its third-generation Soundboks speaker. Read More
Roon Labs Previews New Roon 1.8 Unified Music Experience
Roon Labs is teasing existing and potential new users with its upcoming Roon 1.8 software, the front-end for its unique and powerful music aggregation platform. Designed from early stages to transform the digital music ecosystem, Roon always focused on the interface of its software and the almost tactile experience of selecting, discovering, and enjoying music. Now, Roon is ready to introduce a new look and feel that refines the user experience, improves search, and much more. Read More
Jieli Joins TempowOS Chipset Partner Program for TWS Designs
Tempow, the Bluetooth-specialist and Paris, France-based startup, has announced a new partnership with Zhuhai Jieli Technology, a leading chipset manufacturer in the TWS Bluetooth SoC segment. Jieli Technology is joining Tempow's chipset partner program to deploy TempowOS, an operating system for True Wireless Stereo Earbuds, on its flagship AC897N and AD697N extreme low-power Bluetooth TWS solutions. Read More
Orchard Audio PecanPi USB/SPDIF receives Roon Tested Certification
Orchard Audio, the company founded in 2017 by Leo Ayzenshtat, announced that its PecanPi USB/SPDIF has now received Roon Tested certification from Roon Labs. The PecanPi USB/SPDIF is an ultra-high-performance DAC and headphone amplifier that works with USB and S/PDIF inputs. This DAC uses the company’s highly reviewed dual monaural Burr-Brown chip design to deliver very impressive performance as well as sonic accuracy. Read More
Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 Fully Balanced Phono Preamp Now Available
Following availability in the European market, Pro-Ject has confirmed the launch in the North-American market of a series of new phono products and accessories. Topping the list is the new Phono Box RS2, a fully balanced, fully discrete, reference class phono preamp with an MSRP of $1999. This new moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) capable true dual mono design offers a unique continuously variable input impedance loading and channel balance control to match every cartridge to 100% (adjustment even while playing). Read More
Editor's Desk
J. Martins
Technical, Scientific, and Engineering Awards
A Recognition to the Audio Industry
At the start of every year, awards season is already an established tradition with a growing impact on the audio industry. This year, with the pandemic restrictions, it was a bit confusing with the enduring process of nominations and awards confirmations slipping by without much chance of actual notoriety.

Earlier in 2021, award season kickstarted with a celebration of outstanding design and engineering in technology, with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) confirming the CES 2021 Innovation Awards honorees, and those products recognized as Best of Innovation. audioXpress covered those with a special focus for the audio industry. See all the CES 2021 Innovation Awards in Audio here

Shortly after, we had the 36th Annual TEC Awards confirmations by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), as the NAMM Believe in Music 2021 event was taking place. The nominations for the TEC Awards, in 22 categories for Technical Achievement and seven for Creative Achievement had happened previously in September 2020 and the results were announced here. It's always an interesting process to see the companies, brands, technologies, and products that receive recognition for those awards.
Widely implemented and licensed, Dan Dugan's automatic mixing technology was already highly recognized. Now he has received an Engineering Emmy Award for its Gain Sharing Automatic Microphone Mixing technology.
Not so specific for the technology and focusing more on the creative applications, the Television Academy announced the recipients of its 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards, honoring the individuals, companies, and organizations for developments in broadcast technology. The Engineering Emmy Awards this year recognized someone who long deserves recognition for its work: Dan Dugan and his Gain Sharing Automatic Microphone Mixing technology.

audioXpress has written about Dan Dugan's accomplishments on many different occasions and our Shannon Becker had an interesting exchange with him in 2013. Widely implemented and licensed, Dugan's automatic mixing technology was already highly recognized. Gain sharing is a unique and valuable additional audio process in mixing events, and was commercially leveraged by Yamaha in its range of digital mixing consoles, in direct cooperation with Dugan himself. In fact, Yamaha recognized his role with a triple anniversary celebration at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show, in 2018.

Dugan's automatic mixing solution helps assist mixing multiple live talkers with ease with no upcuts, no missed words, and no fluctuations of background noise. The technology enables users to easily manage multiple live mics without constantly riding individual input faders — ideal for unscripted events such as talk shows, game shows, news and sports panels, town hall meetings, and debates. Gain sharing adds the exact level of convenience to today's sophisticated multichannel live events by sharing gain level across different mixers, used for local sound reinforcement, broadcast signal, monitors, and more. All mixers recognize who's talking and are able to generate channel crossfades faster than a human can react.
The Recording Academy named Daniel Weiss, the founder of Weiss Engineering, as this year's Technical Grammy Award recipient.
From a different institution, the Recording Academy recently announced its annual 2021 Special Merit Awards Honorees that naturally recognize recording artists, but also name special technical contributions to the art of audio recording. This year, the Recording Academy named Daniel Weiss, the founder of Weiss Engineering, as this year's Technical Grammy Award recipient. Daniel Weiss, will be recognized at the 2021 Grammys ceremony, scheduled to be streamed in March 2021. You can read here an audioXpress article about Daniel Weiss’ career and deserved Technical Grammy, and also an interview that we did with him back in 2013.

And from there, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), responsible for the Oscars, also confirmed its own Scientific and Engineering Awards. Those include Technical Achievement Awards (Academy Certificates) and Scientific And Engineering Awards (Academy Plaques), and among the recipients, this year we find numerous audio pioneers and well-deserved recognitions of great technology achievements.

Starting with Jens-Jørn Stokholm and Ole Moesmann for their innovative development of the miniature high-performance DPA lavalier microphones. The Academy’s Board of Governors voted to bestow a Technical Achievement Award to recognize DPA’s contribution to audio in shrinking larger mics into miniature versions while keeping the original properties of clarity and accuracy. This has given sound engineers in the film industry amazing possibilities.

A Technical Achievement Award was also attributed to Chris Countryman and Omer T. Inan for their engineering of the subminiature high-performance Countryman Associates lavalier microphones. Originated by company founder Carl Countryman (1946–2006), these meticulously crafted subminiature microphones are easily concealed. Their spectral response-shaping filters, cable mounting and capsule design contribute to their wide adoption by motion picture production sound mixers.

Recognition as deserving a Scientific And Engineering Award was given to Alexey Lukin, Principal DSP Engineer at iZotope, and the team of more than 70 mathematicians, software engineers, sound designers, product specialists and others at iZotope for the development of the RX audio processing software. First introduced in 2007 and widely used as a tool for audio repair and enhancement in modern film production, iZotope RX has evolved in seven subsequent versions with a complete range of spectral processing algorithms enhanced with machine learning.

"It was 18 years ago that I first developed a few technical ideas that would later become iZotope RX," says Alexey Lukin. “This transformation of a hundred lines of C++ code into the industry-standard suite of tools it is today would not have been possible without our amazing relationship with audio post professionals. Hearing directly from them about their creative needs has empowered and inspired us to make impossible ways of audio editing a reality.”
DPA Microphone’s Jens-Jørn Stokholm and Ole Moesmann received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the development of its DPA 4061 and 4071 lavalier microphones, resulting in "consistent performance and exceptional on-set motion picture audio recording."
The second Scientific and Engineering Award in the audio field recognized the pioneering work of Jeff Bloom, Guy McNally and Nick Rose for the original concept and engineering of the Wordfit System for automatic ADR synchronization, and to John Ellwood and Jonathan Newland for the engineering and development of VocALign and Revoice Pro.

Wordfit revolutionized the process of post sync Automatic Dialog Replacement (ADR) by eliminating the need for manual editing to perfect lip sync. VocALign and Revoice Pro are software tools that together give sound editors unprecedented control over the final performance in replaced dialog. In use for many years, these technologies continue their predominance in the creation and seamless integration of replacement dialog tracks in motion pictures.

Finally, the third Scientific And Engineering Award this year was confirmed to Sanken Microphone Company, Limited for the original innovation and continuous refinement of the Sanken COS-11 series of miniature lavalier microphones. "Sanken’s early engineering work in microphone orientation and miniaturization has inspired the current generation of lavalier microphones. The exceptional sound quality and durability of the COS-11 series have made them the predominant lavalier microphones used in motion picture production sound recording," the Academy states.

The Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation, a virtual event, will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 10 CET. Watch here.
Izotope was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a Scientific and Engineering Award recognizing developer Alexey Lukin and a team of 70+ for work on Izotope RX.
R&D Stories
Why Thousands of Virtual Microphones Matter
The Impact of Acoustic Spatial Resolution in a 3D Space
By Erica Yorga (Nureva)
Nureva's Microphone Mist technology is a patented concept of generating thousands of virtual microphones in a 3D space. This article explains why this can be the alternative approach to the status quo of physical microphones and beamformer systems can create perfect audio conferencing solutions in any type of room and with multiple users. By applying a new approach that analyzes a room three dimensionally, audio characteristics can be determined for each one of thousands of locations in a room. That wealth of sound information can then be independently evaluated for desirability and quality, and automatic adjustments to the system can be made accordingly. This article was originally published in audioXpress, February 2021.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
Voice Coil Test Bench
The NERO-6MRN150D Midrange Woofer from SB Audience
By Vance Dickason
This edition of Vance Dickason's Test Bench centers on the new NERO-6MRN150D pro audio midrange from SB Audience, the recently announced brand from Sinar Baja Electric (SB Acoustics). The SB Audience 6.5" NERO-6MRN150D pro sound midrange from the new NERO product line, features a proprietary four-spoke-cast aluminum frame with efficient cooling, a curvilinear paper/graphite composite cone and large convex paper dust cap, flat foam surround and a 3.75" diameter elevated cloth spider with constant height waves. The motor design on the NERO-6MRN150D combines a FEA-designed neodymium ring magnet and 49.5mm (1.95") diameter voice coil wound with round copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW) on a non-conducting glass fiber (Til) former. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, November 2020.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
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