White Paper Proposes Industry Solution to Live Sound Control Issues

The solution to better sound control at events could be based on Waveform integrity Noise control is a current and much debated issue within the live music industry and the subject addressed in the second white paper from audio manufacturer Flare Audio Ltd.

The inability to control noise is also often attributed to weather or atmospheric conditions, and low frequencies in particular can travel unchecked beyond the production venue to neighbouring businesses, residential locations and other venues. Engineers and sound designers strive to achieve the best possible sound quality for the artist and audience but are limited by the need to control this offsite noise. The inability of the industry to reconcile these objectives has been well publicised; neighbour complaints continue while the sound experience of live performance often falls short of the audience’s recorded experience.

It is occasionally said that there is no answer to noise control, however a white paper released today by Flare Audio proposes that there is a solution; that the key to sound propagation management is not to “turn it down” or to focus on containment attempts, but to produce pure, controllable sound based on Waveform Integrity (Wi).

‘The growth in popularity of live music in recent years demonstrates that fans increasingly want to experience their artists’ music in the intimacy of a live environment,’ states the paper. ‘Often, while the artist delivers, fans struggle to connect because the sound falls short of their expectations. The sound at live performances can be the least satisfying element of the show and disappointed fans can frequently be heard complaining about the sound quality of a show.’

Flare Audio believes the solution to successful sound propagation and the way to produce pure controllable sound is to focus on a product’s Waveform integrity (Wi). The paper explains that waveform damage occurs when sound is reflected off a surface; either at the input stage (inside a loudspeaker) or as it travels from speaker to the audience. When a waveform reflects in this way it loses its original form as harmonic distortion is added. The more a waveform is damaged the less accurate the information contained within it. This lack of information and detail ‘colours’ the original sound, making it feel lifeless and dull.

The paper describes how manufacturers have traditionally masked waveform damage, particularly in the last two decades, through the use of DSP (Digital Signal Processing). Flare believes that DSP merely camouflages the damaged sound waves and cannot therefore improve dispersion, therefore is not the best way to improve loudspeaker sound quality. The paper goes on to explain how cardioid bass array set ups are often used in an attempt to control low frequency sound. It suggests that if reflections and waveform damage are prevented in the first instance then neither of these damage control strategies are necessary and would in fact be redundant.

It argues that the less well-known test, Waveform integrity allows artists, audio professionals and the listener to compare the sound reproduction of different products much more effectively. By utilising Waveform integrity testing when considering sound propagation, Flare believes production companies will be able to ensure their audiences receive a greater level of audio detail whilst achieving increased directionality of lower frequencies, resulting in there being less energy in the air to manage.

The paper concludes by maintaining that only when Waveform integrity is understood can successful sound propagation be achieved. Until then trying to control damaged sound waves is a losing battle.

Based on this understanding, Flare has developed two technologies that maintain accurate Waveform integrity.

• Space Technology: (patent pending) which eliminates resonance within the loudspeaker enclosure so that what is heard is just the information supplied to the loudspeaker driver.

• Nanoflow Technology: (patent pending) which combines the energy of multiple bass frequency drivers, lowering frequency response without damaging Waveform integrity.

The principles of Wi are the basis for Flare Audio’s latest product line, Space and Quadhorn, details of which can be found on the company’s website from Monday February 4th 2013.

The white paper, Flare Audio: Waveform Integrity and Sound Propagation, is available for download in full from: http://www.flareaudio.com/news.html

For further information contact: Flare Audio: +44 (0)1903 761000 / sales@flareaudio.com.

www.flareaudio.com

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