Links to some other interesting places, publications,
sources of knowledge and people we know.
Please be aware these links are places of interest only, we do not either endorse, nor claim to be endorsed by the organisations and individuals who we provide links to. We do not confirm, nor question, the veracity or integrity of information you may find through these links. We do not hold any connection to the opinions or positions of the people, companies, or organisations, nor any of their actions, or products, or the quality of their work. We are neither sponsored by or endorsed by anyone, nor do we sponsor nor endorse anyone else. We firmly believe that sponsorship and endorsements are a form of selling one's own independence, views, and integrity to the highest bidder. You can be assured that all our publications, work, and views are our own position on matters, if we recommend something it is for purely technical and functional reasons uninfluenced by payments or gifts. Use of images on this page for link buttons where we do not own the image has been approved by the owner of the image. All images © the respective owners.
Industry organisations we often contribute material to, and some of us are members of.
These are great sources of industry knowledge and feedback, they are well worth joining. Give them a visit.
A UK based institute for Sound Systems Engineers and installers.
The institute is an important resource for those involved in audio systems installation and manufacture.
The Institute of Sound and Communications Engineers is the specialist professional body within the sound and communications industry. It was founded in 1948 and is an entirely independent Institute, run by a Council elected by its members.
The institute runs frequent training and educational programs to help members advance their knowledge and further their professional development. the institute is instrumental in national and international standards development.
The Institute represent only trained, qualified and experienced practitioners. Membership of the institute is an endorsement
of technical excellence.
The ISCE offers various tiers of membership from Student membership suitable for those beginning an audio career through to full Member grade
Member grade carries the letters MinstSCE and requires a degree level of education or proof of equivalent knowledge.
The AES is the world's premier society for audio engineers, and those involved in all matters audio.
The AES publishes many industry standards and has one of the industries most respected journals.
Founded in the United States in 1948, the AES has grown to become an international organization that unites audio engineers, creative artists, scientists and students worldwide by promoting advances in audio and disseminating new knowledge and research.
As the professional society for audio, the AES serves its global membership by providing educational resources, leadership in the development of new standards and technologies, and forums for the exchange of creative and scientific information.
may be anyone active in audio engineering or acoustics who has an academic degree or the equivalent in scientific or professional experience in audio engineering and its allied arts and is familiar with the application of engineering principles and data in that field.
For more than a century, the people of the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers® have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology,
Since its founding in 1916, the Society has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE® has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are in force today.
SMPTE’s global membership today includes more than 7,000 members: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to the Society’s standards development and educational initiatives.
An individual engaged in the motion-picture, television or allied arts and sciences who has performed, or been
responsible for, engineering or scientific work therein; or
A teacher in a school of recognized standing who has conducted a major course principally concerned with
motion-picture or television engineering or a subject involving the related arts and sciences; or
An individual who has made a distinct contribution to the advancement of engineering or science in motion
pictures, television or the allied arts and sciences, or has contributed to the technical literature thereof, or has
made significant inventions therein; or
An individual who has directed important and responsible engineering work in the motion-picture, television or
related sciences and who is otherwise qualified for the direct supervision of the technical and scientific features
of such work.
The Institute of Acoustics is the UK's professional body for those working in acoustics, noise and vibration. It was formed in 1974 from the amalgamation of the Acoustics Group of the Institute of Physics and the British Acoustical Society (a daughter society of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers). The Institute of Acoustics is a nominated body of the Engineering Council, offering registration at Chartered and Incorporated Engineer levels.
As one of the smaller professional institutions, the Institute of Acoustics has particular strengths in its learned society programmes and its cohesive role for the subject. There is a club atmosphere in its activities and it is possible for members to maintain personal contacts with colleagues engaged in other related areas of acoustics. There is a high participation rate by members in the conference, subject specialist meetings and regional branch activities of the Institute. The Institute offers members a Continuous Professional Development support scheme, a feature which is becoming increasingly recognised as an essential element in ensuring that professionals can keep up-to-date with rapidly changing technological and regulatory issues
Every candidate for election or transfer to the class of Member of the Institute shall normally have attained the age of twenty-five years and received a general education approved by the Council and either;
(i) have been educated in acoustics or in a discipline relevant to the practice of acoustics in a manner satisfactory to the Council and have obtained a diploma of the Institute or a degree or diploma recognised by the Council for the purposes of this Clause of the By-laws; and
(ii) have had experience for at least three years of responsible work which demands a knowledge of acoustics or its application as shall satisfy the Council;
(i) have satisfied the Council that he/she possesses an equivalent knowledge of acoustics and cognate subjects considered appropriate by the Council in accordance with clause (a) of this By-law; and
(ii) have had experience for not less than seven years of responsible work which demands a knowledge of acoustics or its application as shall satisfy the Council
Stuff we use
People often say "What is that you are using?", so here we will put a few links to items of interest that we use in our day-to-day work.
We don't endorse it, or recommend it over any other similar quality product that we have not tried out for ourselves, we just use it and only say here that "it's good enough for what we need" otherwise we wouldn't use it.
Some of this stuff is real interesting, some is boringly reliable and just does what it does well and so it's uninteresting, but all of it does the job.
We have many tens of thousands invested in the stuff we use to do what we do, it enables us to deliver higher degrees of precision and efficiency, sometimes we have more gear to build a studio than the studio will have when we are finished. We often have more advanced technology building a studio than it will use when we are finished.
High quality on-site analysis, test, and measurement is what enables us to deliver the standard of job that we deliver. Precise tuning and alignment is an essential part of achieving a high quality end product.
Audio Analysis software
As different packages have different functionality and different properties we tend to use a few.
This is really our go-to package for on-site near-field alignment and analysis of loudspeakers. 80% of our commissioning work is done in this package.
It has some pretty cool features and a rock solid interface. We really like the way it works.
The ability to run live moving dual channel FFT analysis is unparalleled.
The delay calculation plug-in is frighteningly accurate.
The TFC windowing option quite useful.
All in all we find it suits our needs perfectly.
What? So old?
Yes, we use this for many purposes still, it was a really great bit of kit when it came out and still is. We can't fault it for what it does. We love its simplicity, robustness, clarity, and speed of operation.
As a simple basic RTA / FFT and with the great X-Curve overlay functions, we still use this as our principle tool for cinema channel level alignment. Where just a simple dBc reading is not revealing enough SMAART 5 gives us a full picture of the balance against the X-curve reference level line to really nail our levels, It is also a great tool for setting the +10dB in-band-gain of the LFE channels.
We're sure that later versions are just as good, but we keep using 5.4 for our purposes due to its simplicity and speed. We only need a one channel FFT measurement.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Ours was a great long term investment.
This is our preferred room analysis tool and off-line system analysis tool. This one is a little more hardcore.
It has a comprehensive suite of detailed analysis tools that allow all kinds of measurements. It is not just an analyser as we know them.
It is not really the kind of interface for on-the-fly or quick hit measurements, it takes a bit of time, but the huge amount of data over-lay ability, post processing, and different measurements provides us with a very powerful tool.
What an iPhone app? Is it serious? Yes, we like it a lot!
While it sometimes struggles with all the hardware and software updates that other platforms don't have to contend with we have found it to correlate well with the big boy's toys.
Where this really excels is in the point and shoot measurement field. When we need a measurement in a difficult situation like a public event, building site, open working venue, or just a site survey there is nothing to match this tool.
We are able to deploy one software onto multiple devices that can communicate globally, without any extra gear or network hardware (Using iPhones or iPads) around a site. We can then run live monitoring in a manner that simply would be totally unaffordable before this system. It is revolutionary in getting entry level professional analysis (sometimes better) into a massively deployable fast acting affordable package.
Often we were never intending to be doing site measurements on a visit or meeting but suddenly the need for a quick measurement crops up. The need can arise from nowhere, but with an iPhone always in the pocket it is incredible what data we can just grab wherever we are no matter what gear we had with us. Even a ball-park figure from the internal mic is better than no measurement.
There's nothing else quite like it, it's a game changer.
This one is an occasional verification tool for us.
In it's proper place it is brilliant for us, but we don't use it to model a full project and guarantee that result. Modelling is only a part of a bigger design process that requires skill and time.
So what do we use EASE for? Well it is an incredible tool for visualising simple basic parameters. Things like coverage and interaction it does very well, we can really ball-park what we need to do, and what we need to treat with this package. What we can throw together in a few hours with this package can answer questions we would have to ponder for days sometimes.
Our acoustic models remain generally R&D background material, it needs a great degree of knowledge to interpret what some of the plots are telling us which sometimes is only a part of the whole picture, they can easily mislead unskilled people so we do not provide them as a part of our projects unless a design technical brief demands them. We prefer to explain the limitations of prediction and use real world examples when possible. We don't believe in presenting the layman with a rainbow plot just to bamboozle them, only if a client can understand the plot in the correct context would we deliver such a plot.
That said, for the experienced expert the plots can be a huge help in getting to where we need to be.
As many of our rooms are Non-Environment rooms it would be a futile exercise to model them in close detail any way.
A long time workhorse of ours, very stable, robust, reasonably priced, and accurate free-field measurement mic.
Too expensive for multi-mic rigs, but we don't really believe they are that useful anyway.
Seriously? People always ask us why we use these. (We have boxes full of them)
Well, you have to look at it this way, they are dirt cheap. We found them to be inconsistent from one to another but to get a set of 8 matched ones we bought 16 and graded them in a test rig to within +/- 1.5 dB of our reference mic. We used 16 to find 8 similar very close ones (Quite impressive in the end). This was massively cheaper than the next expensive option. We find them to be quite stable over time despite their manufacturing poor tolerance. We also find them to be very tolerant to getting rained on, blown over, and dropped in the mud, something that you would have a heart attack if your best B&K mic ended up doing.
There are times when the analyser mic is going to get beat up or stolen, you just need a comparative measurement, or quantity trumps quality, and for this the ECM 8000 is the best option, even with a 50% reject ratio, even the rejects, when calibrated, are usually fine for close tolerance SPL measurement use (Most deviation is on the HF). Severe rejects were disposed of.
It is a great little sacrificial mic that does everything we need of it when selected from a batch and we consider the price.
It makes a big difference to your stress levels when you can laugh at how squashed your measurement mic got under the wheels of the forklift.
A bit excessive for an analyser I/O but coupled with a cheap (but flat) mic pre it is a great way to get signals in and out of the analyser, as we often need AES/EBU outputs to get signal into our systems it is a great interface.
In addition it is a high end high resolution DAC that nobody really questions the integrity of when we go from analysis to critical listening tests, and that is important. We don't want to be tearing down our rig every time we want a critical listen, and then re-building it when we go to further analysis.
In USB guise it is immensely flexible and able to reproduce up to 7.1 surround in either analogue hi-res or AES/EBU digital.
Test and measurement.
When we need the figures to back up the work we do, or find out what is wrong these are our preferred devices.
Invaluable electrical installation tester, fault-finder, and general purpose power systems test device.
All our electrical work is tested, verified, and certified with this device
18 years on and still going strong, it hasn't had an easy life at all, but this highly specified superbly accurate multimeter has proven to be bomb-proof, rugged, precise and just an excellent investment. Long may it continue to do so.
We test and certify all our installations with this device, it is a great simple fast way to really test data capability and line integrity on copper twisted pair and co-ax network systems.
It allows us to deliver complete confidence that network lines all perform as specified prior to use.
A great portable and full-featured USB oscilloscope
Really handy for fault tracing and calibration. The ultra portable format means it is always easy to keep handy unlike the big old analogue machines.
A little more than an audio analyser interface.
A handy simple signal scope, but also a great tool for some more in-depth analysis including
Impedance sweep measurements and THD+n
It is no match for the Pico Scope, but it was never supposed to be. It is a great quick hit verification checker and for that it is fantastic.
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