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Menlo Scientific Audio Engineering Consultancy Famous Products SL1200 Beats Xbox

Mike Klasco of Menlo Scientific joins to tell us tales of audio product development from DJ gear in the 1970s through to cutting edge materials for audio today.

Mike Klasco and his firm Menlo Scientific Ltd provides audio engineering and sourcing consulting services since 1983. Mike also writes for Voice Coil magazine, audioXpress, and the online newsletter The Audio Voice. Mike has over a dozen patents assigned or licensed to Yamaha, Teijin, Armstrong World Industries, and others. Representative clients and projects range from the development of the Beats headphones and the Xbox 360 headsets to sourcing guidance for Apple, reference designs for Intel, and work on pure Graphene transducers for GraphAudio / Lawrence National Labs University Berkeley. Menlo Scientific has supported the development and introduction of the supply chain for many materials into the loudspeaker supply chain from DuPont, Teijin, Propex, ExxonMobil, and quite a few others and is often called the “small firm with big clients”.

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ACCUMOLD World Class High-Tech Precision Micro Injection Molded Plastic Components

Aaron Johnson from Accumold joins to tell us all about the precision micro plastic injection process.

Since 1985, Accumold® is recognized as a world-class, high-tech manufacturer of precision micro, small, and lead frame injection molded plastic components. Utilizing proprietary engineering processes developed from our Micro-Mold® technology, they design, build and produce unique molds and parts efficiently for markets that include Medical, Fiber Optics, Micro Electronics, Automotive, and Emerging Technology.

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LinSation Engineering Design House That Specializes in Active Noise Canceling

Peter Sung of LinSation joins to introduce their market approach with ANC modules and other acoustic designs.

LinSation focuses on building high-quality sound UI solutions for their customers. They produce sound pick-up modules, voice recognition, voice communication, and noise reduction algorithms, which covers almost all the sound inputting and processing area.

Their acoustic lab provides professional acoustic performance tests and pre-test of voice AI products certifications. It also helps with the quality insurance of their products.

From hardware modules and acoustic design, to acoustic test and production guide, their on-stop sound UI solution can well resolve the acoustic issues for their customers, so that they can focus on the product itself.

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Fluent.AI Machine Learning Processing Speech on the Edge in Every Language ARM

Dr. Vikrant Tomar of Fluent.AI joins to tell us about their machine learning algorithm that brings speech-to-intent processing on edge devices with robust speech recognition in every language. develops highly accurate and intuitive speech understanding solutions in a small footprint and low latency package capable of running fully offline on small devices. Their solutions enable consumer electronic device manufacturers and OEMs to develop unique and secure voice user interface solutions for their devices. Their patented speech-to-intent approach allows the development of speech recognition models in any existing language and offers unmatched multilingual capabilities.

Fluent.AI Inc. is a privately held Canadian company with offices in Montreal, Quebec, and Mountain View, California. was founded in 2015 after 7 years of research in speech understanding.

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ZUMI Feedforward Feedback Hybrid ANC Headphones Explained

Our co-host Simon Weston spends some time explaining how the different approaches to ANC headphones work. We touch on a bit of the history of ANC headphones in consumer applications with the development by Dr. Bose as well as how each version of ANC works.

Overall a very informative discussion for those who have an interest to know how ANC works at a high level.

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HEAD ACOUSTICS PsychoAcoustic Metrics to Quantify Performance for ANC Headphones

Jacob Soendergaard of HEAD Acoustics joins to tell us
about utilizing psychoacoustic metrics to better understand and develop
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) Headphones. We go off topic but it is a
great discussion on using the HEAD Acoustic measurement system to
develop ANC headphones.

Since its foundation in 1986, HEAD acoustics has been a reliable partner
wherever acoustics, vibrations, or speech, audio, and sound quality
play an important role. They are not only one of the world’s leading
companies in the comprehensive analysis of sound and vibration; their
expertise and pioneering role in the measurement and optimization of
speech and audio quality in all areas of communications technology are
also recognized worldwide. Their customers value the combination of
cutting-edge measurement technology with decades of experience in an
industrial setting. With their hardware and software, they offer
scalable solutions for the specific problems posed by a wide variety of
applications. As a service, their experts develop acoustic optimization
approaches – in close cooperation with their customers and tailored to
their individual needs

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SHURE MICROPHONES Product Development and Global Supply Chain Management

Matt Engstrom of Shure joins to tell us about the 96-year history of the legendary performance of the Shure microphones. Good insight into their approach to product development and utilizing a global supply chain to bring products to reality.

Shure Incorporated is an American audio products corporation. It was founded by Sidney N. Shure in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 as a supplier of radio parts kits. The company became a consumer and professional audio-electronics manufacturer of microphones, wireless microphone systems, phonograph cartridges, discussion systems, mixers, and digital signal processing. The company also manufactures listening products, including headphones, high-end earphones, and personal monitor systems.

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DSP CONCEPTS Audio Weaver World-Leading Tool for Audio Design, Development

Paul Beckmann of DSP Concepts joins to tell us about Audio Weaver. Audio Weaver is the fastest, trusted framework to craft audio experiences that users love. Purpose-built to design, develop, and deploy embedded audio products, innovators choose Audio Weaver to transform their development workflow.

Collaborate across different disciplines with a proven, low-code framework of 500 modules from leading audio designers. Streamline development, enable reuse, and reduce risk.

Design and develop without hardware. Your designs are hardware agnostic, when you’re ready, deploy them on the hardware that’s right for you without redesigning or refactoring.

Hear the results in hours, not months — design, develop, and deploy in parallel, iterate to innovate without delays or obstacles.

Build forward-looking innovations that customers love, with higher quality, enhanced performance, and unbeatable features competitors can’t match.

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DIRAC Digital Sound Optimization for Headphones, Home Theatre, Automotive and Pro

Mathias Johansson of Dirac joins to tell us all about the signal processing technique to make all rooms, cars, and environments sound good. A very detailed discussion on the technical as we like with the THD 😉

Dirac specializes in digital sound optimization solutions. Whether you’re listening to music in your car, relaxing with headphones at home, or using your mobile device as a makeshift boombox, audio quality can make or break the experience. Their digital audio solutions fundamentally improve sound quality across all devices for a pristine, dynamic, and immersive listening experience.

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AUDIO PRECISION Comparing Soundcards to Audio Analyzer for Audio Test Measurement

Dan Foley of Audio Precision joins to tell us all about the difference between an AP test system and using a soundcard to measure audio signals.

Since its founding in 1984, Audio Precision© (AP) has evolved into the worldwide leader for audio analyzers and audio testing. They maintain a singular focus: to help engineers worldwide design, validate, characterize, and manufacture audio components, products, and systems.

Fast forward thirty-plus years and AP is the recognized global standard in audio tests. They provide elite audio analysis, audio measurement software, and a wide range of modules, options, and accessories to support analog and digital audio measurement, as well as electro-acoustic testing, and much more.

From the original System One to their current APx platform, AP audio analyzers are known for their performance, reliability, and versatility while their audio software is lauded for its ease of use and breadth of audio measurement. All are backed by their renowned technical support team.

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LAVOCE Italiana World-Class Design and Production of Pro Audio Loudspeakers

Tom James Jr and Kevin Shove from LaVoce Speakers join to tell us all about premium Italian Pro Audio Speakers.

Lavoce Italiana is a dynamic and fast-growing company specialized in LF/HF transducer design and production for the pro audio market. It was founded in 2008 by Elettromedia (Italy), a world reference in aftermarket car audio, with its admired and multi-awarded brands Audison and Hertz. They have built a fully integrated design and manufacturing system for transducers which sets them apart in the industry; their global and flexible organization together with their modern production facility ensures the cost-effective edge and efficiency that is required to stay competitive in today’s global economy.

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RESONADO Innovation in Thin/High Aspect Ratio Speakers New Voice Coil + Magnet Design

Paul Vedier and Peter Moeckel from Resonado in Chicago join the podcast to tell us about their Flat Core Speaker™ (FCS™) technology as a novel type of electrodynamic speaker driver architecture engineered to enable efficient sound reproduction for high aspect ratio and low depth drivers.

FCS™ technology enables a novel type of electrodynamic speaker driver architecture; meaning their structure functions in the same way as the conventional speaker driver, scientifically speaking. What they have done is restructured the essential components in a different configuration that allows for a low-profile, high-aspect-ratio speaker driver with a highly efficient motor that distributes force evenly along the entire diaphragm.

Instead of a cylindrical magnet-and-voice-coil assembly, they placed a planar voice coil between bar magnets. The voice coil can be coupled to the diaphragm in different configurations including those that offer a new style of modular driver design.

Having engineered the technology to where it’s fully scalable, they are opening new horizons for product designers everywhere. Today they are working on pilot projects with leading global corporations to implement FCS drivers in consumer electronics, vehicles, and architectural spaces.

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FREEBIT World-Leading Supplier of Comfortable Secure Solutions for In-Ear Products

Nico Declunder and Bob Lyle of Freebit join us to talk about the perfect fit in the ear.

In 2007 Freebit invented the ‘C-shape’ ergonomic and secure-fit interface which has now become a global standard. Since then they have partnered with many of the top audio brands to provide superior ergonomics for their earbud products.

The recent wave of true wireless earphones created to be worn for extended periods of time will only increase consumers’ demand for products that are comfortable and fit well. This is why Freebit developed their next-generation ear interface. It provides the same state-of-the-art stability as before, but now offers unprecedented all-day comfort.

Freebit’s in-house team of designers know how the human ear works and have many years of experience designing secure yet comfortable earbuds for a wide variety of audio brands and manufacturers. In fact, they are so good at what they do that even the big chip makers recognize their expertise and use Freebit technology when they want to make their own technology look and sound good!

It’s all about pressure. Freebit knows exactly where pressure is needed, and where it isn’t. Their patented technology has a unique way of attaching to the ear that avoids sensitive areas, resulting in earbuds that can be worn securely for much longer periods of time than other earbuds.

A well-fitting earbud will maintain its seal over time, regardless of whether you’re on the bus, out jogging, in the gym, or just enjoying a snack on your sofa at home. Losing that seal means losing audio quality, especially all that thumping bass.

Freebit patented technology offers a lot of flexibility when creating the ID design for your earbuds.
Every development is unique, and no ear is the same. While their customers have different needs and wishes for their products, they all need to fit and be comfortable! They have the expertise and experience to help you solve any ergonomic challenge that you may be faced with.

With their help, Freebit customers have won numerous prizes and awards including EISA, RedDot, CES Innovation Award, Good Design Award, iF Design Award, and many more.

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Bishopsound Andy Bishop UK Pro Audio Live Sound Legend Joins to Discuss PA Sound

Andy Bishop of Bishopsound joins to discuss pro audio and how Bishopsound has evolved. A very interesting and passionate approach to the business.

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Tectonic Balanced Mode Radiators BMR Killer App in Unified Communications

Tim Whitwell of Tectonic joins to give us an update on BMRs as they apply to unified communication products. During COVID, many people are working remotely and the demand for quality conferencing speakers has accelerated.

Balanced Mode Radiators (BMR) from Tectonic Audio Labs have a killer app in unified communication products so this episode focuses on the use of BMRs in those products and the benefits BMRs bring.

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Syntiant NDP120 Ultra-Low Power Processor Adding Voice Commands to TWS Earbuds

Dave Garrett of Syntiant joins to discuss Syntiant’s NDP (Neural Decision Processor) architecture and how it operates at ultra-low power to identify wake words or other wavelength based triggers.

The Syntiant® NDP120™ is a purpose-built processor for deep learning and is ideal for always-on applications in battery-powered devices. The NDP120 applies neural processing to run multiple applications simultaneously with minimal battery power consumption, including echo-cancellation, beamforming, noise suppression, speech enhancement, speaker identification, keyword spotting, multiple wake words, event detection, and local commands recognition.

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ALTI Audio & Loudspeaker Technology International for Audio Product Professionals

Barry Vogel, the CEO of ALTI, joins to discuss the Audio & Loudspeaker Technology International (ALTI). They are the first sponsor of the THD podcast so we are very happy to have Barry join to preview the benefits of ALTI membership.

ALMA and then ALTI was formed in 1964 by members of the loudspeaker engineering specialty segment in support of American loudspeaker manufacturers. The mission has changed and evolved over time. They added “International” to ALMA to recognize and welcome the global community into ALMA in order to better serve their industry. Then they widened their focus to include the business side of their industry recognizing that unless great engineering leads to great business, great engineering will not happen. In 2017, they widened their focus to include products and technologies that surround the loudspeaker industry. This was done in recognition of the changing landscape in which audio technologies are integrated and connected, and will no longer be “stand-alone” products. This led to the name change in 2019 to ALTI. Audio and Loudspeaker Technologies International; A name that more closely reflects who they are and who they are becoming.

As ALTI LLC is born, it is done with the recognition of the efforts of many great Association Members and leaders. Their legacy will be honored and continued as ALTI moves forward with fresh ideas and initiatives to better serve their Members and the industry.

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Zack Technology Experts in Plastic Injection for Audio Products and Accessories

Allen Wu, the GM of Zack Technology in Dongguan, joins to talk about their factory.

Zack Technology was established in August 2012. Their factory is a Bluetooth speaker and Bluetooth headphones manufacturer which integrates R&D, tooling, injection, assembly, and sales. Their factory area is about 60,000㎡, with more than 800 staff. They have an R&D team of over 30 people, providing professional OEM and ODM service for customers.

These guys know what they are doing when it comes to plastic injection. A lot of good details on this podcast.

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Micro Speaker Design for Earbuds, Notebooks and Phones Using COMSOL Simulation

Per Jensen of Ole Wolff in Copenhagen joins to discuss their COMSOL approach to transducer design in micro speakers for phones, notebooks, and headphones.

Ole Wolff is well known and recognized worldwide for high-quality transducers, as well as unique design capabilities, which are supplied to a broad range of first-tier companies within the consumer electronics industry.

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Easy and Fast IP68 Waterproof Coating Without Special Equipment, Tools or Training

Rick Fung, the CEO of NanoflowX, joins to tell us about their super hydrophobic and super oleophobic nanocoating technology. Water and sweat protection is essential on all earbuds and wearable tech so it’s good to hear about a solution that is easy to implement.

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Single Board Audio Measurement Instrument – Swiss Army Knife for Audio Engineers

Our usual co-host Simon Weston has the table flipped to present his audio test and measurement computer – the ZUMI CS-A86. The ZUMI CS-A86 is a single board audio spectrum measurement instrument. The CS-A86 operates autonomously to execute advanced measurement sequences, apply for pass-fail criteria, and log all data.

The device is aimed at implementation in automated test equipment for production and development. The primary function is to obtain frequency response function measurements for DUT’s that require testing of signal paths, especially involving filter structures or other signal conditioning elements. The built-in capability to configure DUT’s via serial interfaces allows a comprehensive set of quality control tests to be completed without user input.

The CS-A86 provides 6 analog input channels and 2 hard wired output sense channels. All channels are sampled simultaneously at up to 100kHz with 18bit resolution. The CS-A86 package includes an LCD display based UI board for displaying measurement result.

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DSP Algorithms for Voice Intelligibility, Speech Recognition, and Audio Perception

Alexander Golding of Alango Technologies joins to tell us about Alango’s DSP algorithms and software. It can be found in many applications and products that require enhancements of voice intelligibility, speech recognition, user hearing, and audio perception.

Alango Technologies has developed the most extensive portfolio of front-end speech processing technologies on the market. These technologies are the result of many man-years of practical experience in the field. They were designed for mobile applications where resources are the main concern. However, the quality is not compromised, so that products with integrated Alango technologies may boast the best sound quality, excellent battery life, and small form factors.

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Graphene Audio Speaker Diaphragm Material Ground Breaking Technology Innovation

Eric Gaskell of Ora Sound joins from Montreal, Canada to discuss their graphene material, GrapheneQ™, for application in speaker diaphragms. Graphene is a hot topic in many industries and audio is no exception. Ora Sound is a leader in real graphene. Accept no imitations 😉

Ora Graphene Audio Inc. is a company endeavoring to unbind sound from its current limitations through cutting edge materials science. As with many great discoveries, GrapheneQ – Ora’s revolutionary new audio transducer material – was the result of a confluence of two disparate fields, chemistry and audio.

At the engineering labs of Prof Thomas Szkopek at McGill University, Ora co-founder Dr Robert-Eric Gaskell and his brother Dr Peter Gaskell headed research into how the properties of graphene oxide could be tuned to create the ideal conditions for professional, high-quality sound. Audio that is clear of distortion across the entire band of human hearing demands that a transducer material be unrelentingly stiff. However, to simultaneously be efficient enough to produce loud volumes in even the smallest form factors, it also needs to be exceedingly light. Until GrapheneQ, these conditions could only be achieved by extremely exotic materials such as beryllium and CVD diamond, materials that cost thousands of dollars to make.

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World Leading MEMS Speaker Technology Tiny Speakers Putting Sound into New Devices

We talk MEMS speaker technology with Paul Kutschera and Konstantin Davy from USound.

USound is a fabless audio company offering high-quality sound solutions based on MEMS technology, inspiring music enthusiasts and acoustic professionals with crisp, natural sound for a fantastic hearing experience.

The discussion goes deep into their technology and the applications that they are geared towards. An outstanding overview of the company and the extremely exciting technology.

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The 2020 Effect on Audio Production and Digital Signal Processing in Live Sound

John Bastianelli, the EVP of Product Management at Presonus, joins to talk about changes related to digital processing in live sound.

We discuss how it impacts players, production, venues, and the mix between all the elements for both live sound and studio. We also get into the recording and production during the pandemic. It’s been an odd year for the pro audio business, but home studio recording and broadcasting has grown fantastically. This year has changed things but we expect some of the themes of 2020 to carry forward after the pandy passes.

PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc. is an American manufacturer of professional audio equipment and software, used to create, record, mix, and master music and other audio. This includes their line of digital audio workstation software, Studio One.