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President's Message
September 2004

1. Karlheinz Brandenburg, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology in Ilmenau, Germany, has developed iosono, a new sound system that equally envelops every listener in the theater audience. Using computers, sound-processing algorithms and an array of up to 300 speakers, effects can even be made to seem as if they are coming from outside the auditorium. The source may sound distant, or so close that it is perceived to be right behind a listener's ear. Individual actors can be pinpointed on a movie screen, so the voice of each is perceived to emanate from an exact position, while the voices of other actors can give the impression of being in the middle of the audience.In the demonstration in Studio City, sounds were made to travel throughout the room. At one point, a whispered voice appeared to be off in the distance; at the next moment, it shifted to just inches behind the listener's ear. "This is astounding," said Dave Stump, a Hollywood Director of Photography and a member of the technology committee of the American Society of Cinematographers. "Now you can locate sounds in space irrespective of the speaker's location. Nobody to my knowledge has done this before." Unlike standard surround systems, which sound optimal only if the listener is in a "sweet spot" at a certain distance from the speakers, the iosono system can create a uniform listening field, greatly enlarging the sweet spot.

2. The Terk Volume regulator allows listeners to reduce the dynamic range of A/V sources. It adjusts bass and treble separately and responds as quick as .002 seconds. (Sold by MCM Electronics for $49.95).

3. A video engineer writes in TV Technology about problems with video his station receives. It seems that many NLE [Non-Linear Editing] edit platforms (computer based video editing) produce non-standard waveforms that are outside of NTSC standards (rise times that exceed 4.6 MHz, fonts at 105 IRE, chroma so hot it is off the chart etc). He checked with two manufacturers of test equipment, Tektronix and Leader, and they told him that 90% of the broadcast video from NLE platforms coumes with illegal video. He is now checking every NLE he is considering for purchase, including overshoot, rise times, ringing, as well as proc amp plugins. (4Au04)

4. If you need to transcribe meetings in offices or conferences, you might be interested in the Voice Tracker microphone--a product of Acoustic Magic ( Looking something like a horizontal torpedo, it uses 8 mike elements and computer processing to locate a talker and automatically steer a "listening beam"--like an acoustic searchlight--in that direction. It can scan 180 degrees and steer in a few milliseconds. It can be connected to a recorder or to a PC through the USB port. $249. Nuts and Volts, Jl04

David Hadaway

President, Boston Audio Society



The Boston Audio Society
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updated 11/11/04