Dr. Frederick Ampel

Dr. Frederick Ampel

Dr. Frederick J. Ampel has been involved in the professional A/V industry for more than 40 years, working as a systems designer, consultant, sales and marketing professional and market researcher. He was the founding editor of Sound & Video Contractor and for SCN, as well as an editorial development consultant for Residential Systems Magazine, Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb. He holds a PhD in Acoustics and MS in Broadcasting and Electrical Engineering from Boston University and has been published by the Institute of Acoustics (UK), Acoustical Society of America, AES, NSCA, InfoComm and quoted in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, and numerous industry publications. He volunteered with and taught for CEDIA, NSCA, InfoComm and AES. In 1991, Fred founded Technology Visions Analytics, a consultancy and market research firm, which he still runs today. Reach him via email at fred@proaudioweb.com.

The Rise of the Cloud and Networked Software and the Realities of Embedded Infrastructure

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“It’s all going to be in the cloud” — that’s what researchers seem to be saying to the whole AV/IT world. Let’s dive into the hardware vs. software debate, for things are not always what they seem. Indeed, technologies like digital signage storage/retrieval and security archives are already on or are migrating to some conglomeration […]

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At Different Church Organization Types, Who’s in Charge?

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Knowing not only the type of leadership structure each of the different church organization types has, but also who within the congregation actually holds and wields that leadership power, is a critical element in guiding any HOW technical project from concept to completion. In a recent webinar created for the WFX Expo audience (available online […]

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Needs Analysis for Small Houses of Worship (Part 3)

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In the first two parts of this series (part one, part two) we broke down the information regarding who is involved in the decision tree, who should be what did the congregation/facility/staff/leadership say they wanted? More importantly what did you hear and finally, what do they really need? As we strongly emphasized in part one, […]

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So Much More Acoustical Data, So Little Improvement in Results

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Half a century ago, the world of audio and acoustic measurement was changed forever with the invention of Time Delay Spectrometry and its evolution into what would later come the TEF Analyzer and other more sophisticated hardware. The original documents, patent and explanation can be found here. Dr. Heyser’s original sketch of the system is […]

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Is It a Standard if Nobody Uses it?

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The AV/IT industry has a problem, one of its own making and one that is getting worse by the micro-second. There are just too many conflicting and confusing “standards” and best practices. Between those created by trade groups, those developed by technical associations or technology consortia (worse yet as these tend to be proprietary) and […]

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Needs Analysis for Small Houses of Worship (Part 1)

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There are well in excess of a quarter of a million small houses of worship in North America, according to the latest data from the National Congregations Study, conducted through Duke University. (For additional information about the National Congregations Study, go here.) For reference, the generally accepted definition of a small congregation is characterized by […]

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Together or Not at All, Part 2

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In a previous column, “Signal to Noise,” I discussed the ever-increasing amount of marketing communications besieging our end-users/customers. And while that trend in and of itself has a multifaceted impact on the industry, there is an underlying issue that has a much, much, much larger potential impact and is truly the dark side of the […]

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Together or Not at All, Part 3: The Other Direct Problem

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In two previous columns on the regular rAVe Blogsquad feed, I explored the issues surrounding both manufacturer communications and the increasing perceived problem of direct sales by manufacturers and suppliers to end users, essentially going around the establish dealer/integrator/retail distribution structure. However, there is another side to this story, one that is often being treated […]

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The Hybrid Approach to Acoustics Instrument Reinforcement

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Of all the various issues that generate the most questions from potential and current clients in the HOW markets, creating and managing the musical aspects of a service are definitely at the top of the list. It matters not whether it’s a simple guitar and piano accompaniment to a traditional service or a full-on praise-band […]

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Understanding the Mission — Supporting the Mission

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At the heart of every faith-based organization are two core ideas. To achieve their goals, any such group needs one, a clear vision of what it wants to achieve and two, a specific methodology or mission, which will allow them to reach that goal. Unfortunately, not every group does an equally solid job of putting […]

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The Golden Year

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Although you are reading this in February 2019, it was written in December of 2018 due to the weird schedules needed for online publishing. December of 2018 was a personally momentous month because it represented a major milestone — my 50th year as a member of the Audio Engineering Society and the professional audio community […]

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Scope Creep

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One of the most prevalent themes in any AV/IT industry discussion is the continually increasing globalization of the sourcing for product development and most specifically software. No longer is the underlying code for the majority of AV products written by the brand on the front panel. In fact, more often than not, that software is […]

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Situational Awareness, Part 2: The Technology Lag Factor

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Scott Brinker, editor at chiefmartec.com, better known as the Chief Marketing Technologist blogger, said in a recent post, “The funny and frustrating truth is that organizations change (far) more slowly than technology.” In fact, the speed of technology uptake (or change) is usually a fraction of the speed at which the technology is actually evolving. […]

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Situational Awareness

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Have you noticed the dramatic rise over the last two-plus years in corporate AV/IT client demand for collaborative technology, huddle spaces and similar functionality? It’s a hot buzz word in the upper echelons of corporate management and HR departments. The thought process for most companies goes something like this: Senior management decides that: “We need […]

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Murphy Was an Optimist

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The most often ignored or forgotten problem in AV/IT systems can be summed up in this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” Technically speaking, a failure is declared when the system does not meet its desired objectives. Therefore we can consider any system that cannot meet minimum performance […]

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Gravity

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There are, within our space-time continuum, some immutable constants. For example, we can be assured that the earth will revolve on its axis every 24 or so hours and produce a sunrise and a sunset. In the sound system world, the number of absolutes is far more constrained by reality but there is one that, […]

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Are You Really Listening to Your Clients?

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DILBERT © Scott Adams. Used By permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. All rights reserved. The wild, wonderfully sarcastic and incisive mind of Scott Adams as represented in his legendary Dilbert comic strips perfectly illustrates the core point of this column. It seems, based on the less-than-stellar outcomes of project after project thrashed out on industry […]

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No Freebies

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Unless your media consumption habit is restricted to non-ad supported content, you will probably find the following experiment somewhat intriguing, if not downright disturbing. The next time you want to kill an hour doing non-work (and don’t we all sometimes), turn on any commercial broadcast channel, preferably either in the afternoon or late night and […]

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