Yamaha Corporation of America, Commercial Audio Systems Division has announced the first U.S. installation of Active Field Control (AFC), a proprietary acoustic enhancement system that will naturally enhance the acoustic characteristics of a room and secure an ideal sound field for any environment that requires room acoustic optimization; i.e. arenas, symphony halls, performance and rehearsal space, houses of worship, theatrical venues, and hotel ballrooms used for corporate presentations and events.
Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. on Fifth Avenue in New York City is the first in the U.S. to install the AFC system. The state-of-the-art 15,000-square-foot facility is located in the Elizabeth Arden Building (formerly the historic Aeolian Building). It offers classical, jazz, pop and Broadway artists who use Yamaha instruments the latest in high-end services and technology. The center’s third floor Piano Salon has been outfitted with the proprietary Yamaha AFC system which will "tune" the room’s acoustics virtually altering the room shape and interior surface materials, and transforming it into a reverberant space for music.
The Yamaha AFC system differs from similar systems in that it is based on A-SF (Assistance of Sound Field) technology, which utilizes a feedback loop to modify a room’s existing acoustic properties without physical modification. AFC not only changes auditory impressions of architectural sound—such as reverberation, loudness and the perception of spaciousness—but also enhances early reflections to improve the sound quality in undesirable acoustic conditions, such as under-balcony or stage areas.
AFC can add reflected sounds by extending reverb time through time variant FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filters and increasing the gain of the FIR filters—uniformly distributing enhanced reflected sounds— and can intensify the feeling of spaciousness by adding lateral reflected sounds.
"For performers, the AFC system will enable the room to sound as they want it to sound," states Larry Italia, general manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems Division. "For sound reinforcement contractors, acousticians and consultants, this system will provide a more flexible, cost-effective solution than the traditional architectural refurbishment."
A complete Yamaha turnkey system, AFC components include the Yamaha AD8HR A/D Converter, AFC1 AFC Processor, DA824 D/A Converter, Yamaha XM and PC Series amplifiers, new proprietary AFC speakers, and a controller. "With the assistance of AFC, a venue may be ‘tuned’ to exhibit ideal acoustic properties, regardless of the application," explains Marc Lopez, product manager, Yamaha CASD. "By introducing this solution, an acoustic environment can be created that is suitable for everything from drama to chamber music to pipe organ in any space, of any scale."
Active Field Control technology has been in use in Japan since 1985, and is found in many high-profile projects, including The Tokyo International Forum, the Hamamatsu Arena and Fukuoka Symphony Hall. "The AFC System offers a variety of uses for performance venues," states Yasushi Shimizu, Manager, Commercial Audio Technology Group, Advanced System Development Center, Yamaha Corporation Japan. "From conference venues seating 5,000 and sports facilities with 8,000 seats, to cathedrals and arenas with less reverberation, AFC can tune the venue enhancing it for a reverberant space hosting music performances."