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The 4th edition of Sound System Engineering by Don Davis*, Eugene Patronis, Jr.**, and Pat Brown***, offers a unique opportunity to put three mentors on your bookshelf. What is shared in the 4th edition took the authors a collective 150 years of experience, study and research.
Long considered one of the key books on the well-informed audio engineer’s shelf, Sound System Engineering provides an accurate, complete, and concise tool for all those involved in designing, implementing, and testing sound reinforcement systems. This new fourth edition includes eight new chapters leading the reader through both cutting-edge topics—e.g., IBM’s proposed thought-controlled sound system—and solid basics, such as loudspeaker specifications, wave equations, and digital audio.
The 4th edition relates personal recollections of the work done by Bell Telephone Laboratories during the 1930s up to the current attempt to control audio systems with the mind. This not only gives you all the clues necessary to your own individual search of the past, but the starting point for creative work in the present century.
Topics covered include:
- Psycho-acoustics and how the brain processes sound
- Digital theory
- Mathematics for audio systems
- Using the decibel
- Interfacing electrical and acoustical systems
- Audio and acoustic measurements
- Large room and small room acoustics
- Designing for acoustic gain
- Designing for speech intelligibility
- Wave equations
- Loudspeakers, loudspeaker arrays, and loudspeaker directivity
- Power ratings for amplifiers and loudspeakers
- Computer-aided system design
- Signal delay, signal synchronization, and signal processing
- Sound system equalization
Packed with numerous illustrations and useful appendices, this is a concentrated capsule of industry standards and knowledge that spans the complete range of sound systems, from the simplest all-analog paging systems to the largest multi-purpose digital systems.
Sound System Engineer #4 edition can be purchased on Amazon for $90.72
*Don Davis and his wife Carolyn founded Synergetic Audio Concepts in 1972. Don and Carolyn both Fellows of the Audio Engineering Society. Don is a senior member of the IEEE and gold member of the Acoustical Society of America. Don and Carolyn received dual lifetime achievement awards from NSCA, the Adele De Berri Pioneers of the AV award from InfoComm International, and the USITT Harold Burris-Meyer Distinguished Career in Sound Design Award. Both Don and Carolyn were recipients of Indiana’s highest citizen award from the Governor when they were made Sagamore of the Wabash for their contributions to education.
** Eugene Patronis, Jr. taught in the School of Physics of the Georgia Institute of Technology for over fifty years. Throughout his tenure he participated in academic research and industrial consulting in the fields of experimental nuclear physics, acoustics, and electronics. He is the author of several patents in audio related topics.
***Pat Brown is the president of Synergetic Audio Concepts Inc. and of Electro-acoustics Testing Company, Inc. both of Greenville Indiana. He teaches audio engineering seminars world-wide, and develops web-based audio training programs. His background as a musician, sound contractor, and electronics technicians and consultant has forged his practical approach to solving audio and acoustic problems.
Greenville, IN – March, 2013 – SynAudCon is pleased to announce new workstations for the “Sound Reinforcement For Technicians” seminar.
The 3-day multimedia seminar has upgraded the workstations to include an iPod TouchTM controlling an audio instrumentation interface.
Via a custom signal distribution system, attendees are able to measure
- SPL and
with the new equipment. The course instructs attendees on what these measurements mean and how to use them to ensure that the system is performing optimally.
“With the advances of technology, it is now possible to get professional and reliable readings using instrumentation that is not that expensive and can almost fit in your pocket,” explains Pat Brown, SynAudCon president. “With that type of accessibility it is important that the user understand how to interpret the information and adjust the system accordingly. That is what we cover during the “hands on” portion of the seminar.”
The new workstations feature an iPod TouchTM running a professional audio test and measurement app controlling an audio interface for iOS that includes a phantom powered mic input, balanced line input and output, and internal battery. A measurement microphone completes the package.
The Sound Reinforcement For Technicians seminar walks attendees through the process of troubleshooting a sound reinforcement system. The extensive training covers a number of topics including system gain structure, grounding and shielding, amplifier selection and system tuning.
There are currently three seminars on the schedule for 2013.
- Toronto ON on April 8-10,
- Infocomm at Orlando FL on June 9-11
- Burbank CA on Oct. 28-30.
Registration is available online at www.synaudcon.com under “In-Person Training.”
Peter Mapp presented the award to Pat at the ECS Speech Intelligbility Workshop. The immediate response from the crowd was a heartfelt standing ovation that lasted longer than the modest educator cared for-but the audience clearly and intelligibly wanted to show its appreciation for what Pat and Brenda Brown have done to extend the legacy of SynAudCon and its founders Don and Carolyn Davis.
Presentation Speech given by Institute of Acoustics
It gives me great pleasure as a representative of the Institute of Acoustics Electro-acoustics Group to be able to honour Pat Brown for his ongoing remarkable contributions to the welfare of Reproduced Sound.
Pat Brown’s contribution to electro-acoustics is measured by his gut level and study-enhanced understanding of audio and his remarkable teaching skills. He has an almost unmatchable ability to present highly technical information in a form in which the highly knowledgeable learn something and don’t complain about being talked down to, and where at the same time, those with less experience learn even more. And these two types of student learn together in the same room, sharing their experiences and gaining respect for each other’s roles in the delivery of audio excellence. Read more »
SynAudCon feels honor to be mentioned in Peter’s acceptance speech. Don Davis reflects on one of Peter’s early papers.
Peter D’Antonio is an interesting combination of artist and scientist – music and mathematics. Peter gave a paper at an AES Convention in the early 80s in Nashville, TN. Carolyn and I were standing in the hall after Peter finished his paper – which was very complex. There was an editor of an audio magazine walking out of Peter’s paper, who made the comment – “what a waste. There aren’t 2 people in there that understood what he was talking about,” to which Carolyn said, “maybe, but those two people will go forward with that information and change the industry.” And so it happened. The first installation of Peter’s QRDs was in the Oak Ridge Boys recording studio in Nashville by Robert Todrank, also of Nashville. dd
By Peter D’Antonio CEO/President of RPG, Inc.
I would like to thank the TEC Foundation and the TECnology Hall of Fame selection committee. It is a profound honor to be inducted into the TECnology Hall of Fame and I am sincerely grateful. Read more »
by Kirsten Nelson Editor for Systems Contractor News
This dream sequence was brought to you by SynAudCon, which hosted its Emergency Communication Systems (ECS) Speech Intelligibility Workshop January 3-5 at the American Airlines Training and Conference Center in Dallas, TX. The echoing and reverberant airport scene was made possible by an entirely vacant replica of Chicago’s O’Hare airport built within the confines of the facility.
American Airlines’ training calendar was dark the first week of the new year, so a swarm of audio experts flew in from around the country to learn more about ECS, NFPA 72, STI, and other acronyms. The reason for the confluence is that the new fire code, NFPA-72, stipulates in Chapter 24 that Fire EVACS and MNS systems must produce “intelligible” announcements not just audible annunciation.
It doesn’t take another acronym, the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), to tell you that “audible” does not necessarily equate with “intelligible.” While an SPL meter may detect no noticeable difference in levels across a venue, measurements of the same audio signal may fluctuate wildly on the Speech Transmission Index (STI).
Those variables and a thirst for more knowledge brought by the universally revered SynAudCon team led by Pat and Brenda Brown were what attracted 131 eager attendees to the ECS workshop. I am not exaggerating when I say that the top levels of audio system design and product manufacturing were present for this event. One glance around the packed auditorium revealed a stunning number of famous faces with a striking pedigree. A survey of all attendees found that they each averaged 25.66 years of audio industry experience.
If you’ve attended a SynAudCon event, you know how the feelings of camaraderie meld with an eagerness to learn as much as possible will make a 14-hour day feel like a vacation. But the subject matter at hand was definitely intense. The measurement of STI and STIPA (the PA stands for what you think it does) is “more a science than an art,” observed Pat Brown. “Most people came into audio from a music standpoint, and if they do music systems, that’s a good entry point for speech intelligibility because they have been listening to systems.”
But they need to learn the fundamentals of acoustics before they can fully make the leap into intelligibility, which Pat feels is essential for the longevity of any sound business. “The future of pro audio is intelligibility, because you can’t buy that at Costco,” he asserted.
Seconding that notion was fellow SynAudCon trainer John Murray of Optimum System Solutions: “This is the biggest opportunity since line arrays,” because the fire alarm people are going to discover that it’s not in their expertise”, he explained, adding that over the next decade, the fire code will shift to include stricter requirements regarding intelligibility. “So people who get in on it now will benefit the most.”
“This is life safety,” he elaborated. “It’s not entertainment, it’s not PA. There are a lot more controlling figures in this field. So it’s whoever the AHJ gets to know first, that’s who they’re going to work with. The same is true with architects.”
At the front of the crowd was Per Forsberg, president of Audio Architects in Chippewa Falls, WI. He was one of several attendees who were also at the first SynAudCon intelligibility workshop in 1986. “It was a seminal moment in our industry,” Forsberg recalled. “It was the beginning of the quest to correlate the subjective with empirical,” he noted, “on how to establish which information is useful and which is detrimental” with regard to intelligibility. “One hundred people came out of that workshop with calibrated ears. It will be fun to see what comes out of this event.”
There’s still some work to be done. Today’s specs require a certain STIPA score, but it can be difficult to consistently measure and prove that a system reaches that level of transmission quality. That’s where audio expertise comes in, and that may mean job security for those in our industry.
In addition to his teaching duties, Mapp also served as representative for the Institute of Acoustics, which presented Pat Brown with the 2012 Peter Barnet Award. When Mapp handed the trophy and plaque to Pat, the immediate response from the crowd was a heartfelt standing ovation that lasted longer than the modest educator cared for-but the audience clearly and intelligibly wanted to show its appreciation for what Pat and Brenda Brown have done to extend the legacy of SynAudCon and its founders Don and Carolyn Davis.
It doesn’t take a measurement mic to gauge the resounding legacy of all of these teachers and trainers. But here’s hoping the sound of new business will be music to attendees’ ears.
More photos to enjoy.
Hello SynAudCon Members,
Another year will soon come to a close. What a great time to reflect and to be thankful.
We are thankful to have the opportunity to work in the audio industry. We feel like it’s the path that we are supposed to be on during this phase of our lives. We are continuing seeking ways to better serve you.
Thank you for choosing our training, being part of the “SynAudCon Community” and for supporting our events. YOU are the reason we are in business and the reason we can do many of the things that we do.
I love this quote
The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist. ~Laurence Leamer, King of the Night
Thank you He(a)rd for being the helping hand.
With the ECS Speech Intelligibility workshop on January 3-5, we are starting 2013 out with a bang. We will enjoy seeing many of our members and learning from the impressive staff.
Thanks to the advances in technology, SynAudCon will soon announce some changes for 2013 – changes that will grab your attention, and allow us to better serve you.
We would like to wish you a very prosperous 2013.
Last month we announced the Emergency Communication System Speech Intelligibility Workshop (ECSSIW) to be held in January 2013. Here’s an update on how the event is shaping up.
- We’ve just returned from a site visit to the American Airlines Training and Conference Center. Brenda met with the staff to work out logistical details. I sized up the AV capabilities in the auditorium, and built a Sketchup model of the atrium – the airport terminal mockup where the demos will be held. Here are some picts of the terminal.
- We are renting a facility to perform an STI study/comparison of various loudspeaker types used for emergency communication systems. The devices will include:
- Passive line arrays of various lengths
- Voice-range horn loudspeaker(s)
- Full-range horn-loaded loudspeaker
- Modular line array system
- Wall-mount fire alarm strobe(s)
- Conventional “ceiling” loudspeaker(s)
The room is large (200 ft x 100 ft x 25 ft). It is a live space (RT = 2.7 sec mid-band) and has a very noisy HVAC system. In this study, I will measure the Speech Transmission Index (STI) over a grid of test positions on the floor plane. The STI measurement instruments will include:
- NTI-XL2 with STI measurement add-on
- iPad using iAudioInterface and iTestMic with STI app
- Various iPhone STI apps
- PC-based measurement system (from room impulse response) noise-free
- PC-based measurement system with noise measured separately and added as a post-process
I’ll also collect a room impulse response at each test position for convolution. This will allow the intelligibility to be assessed by listening. Workshop attendees will be able to listen to each test position through our in-ear playback system. The intent of this study is to answer the following questions:
- Which types of loudspeakers are most intelligible in difficult spaces?
- Do all STI meters produce the same measurement results under the same conditions?
- Can a hand-held meter be as accurate as a PC-based measurement system?
- Do the STI results agree with subjective listening evaluation?
From this study, we will formalize the live demos that will be presented during the workshop.
The Sketchup model will be imported into several room modeling programs (Bose Modeler, CATT-A, EASE, Odeon) for prediction of the STI of the demo systems used in the workshop. The results will be compared to measured data to assess the correlation between predicted and measured system performance.
We and the workshop staff are working hard to make this the finest speech intelligibility training event ever held. Space is limited, so don’t wait too long to sign up. pb
Here are some pix of the mock airport terminal that will be part of the Emergency Communication System Speech Intelligibility Workshop.
Watch this 2-minute video to see SynAudCon’s approach to audio training.