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.

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 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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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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Berra’s Law

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That great sage and commentator on the human condition Yogi Berra is credited with creating this commandment-like law of technology: In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is. Now, of course, Yogi didn’t realize or intend his statement to become one of the unwritten laws of the AV/IT universe […]

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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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The Customer With Two Brains

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You may have noticed that magazines and other media have for some time been overflowing with content on left brain vs. right brain and a many other variations on that theme. This is NOT one of those articles. In fact, this article takes a completely different analytical path to understanding decision making and the brain […]

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The Value of Time

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As a part of keeping up with global business trends and events, I subscribe to several on-line feeds from industry and economic publications. These feeds including the Financial Times, Bloomberg and so forth are a great way to get the highlights of activities around the world that may be impacting our little corner of the […]

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RE-ENFORCEMENT — What is the Goal?

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(Author’s Note: The topic for this article was originally suggested by a comment from Barry McKinnon of MC Squared Design Group, North Vancouver, BC., Canada.) OK, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for some serious military grade explosive driven myth busting! MYTH #1: Sounds reinforcement is a 20th century development. We have a tendency to think […]

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If It’s Too Loud, It’s Too Loud!

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Some four decades ago, loudspeaker technology and the ability to generate sound pressure levels (SPL) above the recognized threshold of human hearing damage collided. As an industry, we had finally reached a level of electroacoustic and mechanical performance that was the audio equivalent of mutually assured destruction in nuclear warfare terms. Not only could manufacturers […]

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The Mix in the Room

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The art and science (for it is both) of live sound reinforcement in any worship space must take into consideration a large number of factors unique to HOW sound. For example, you may well have to mix speech, recorded music, live music, professional and non-professional speakers, musicians, to serve an audience (congregants) that will literally […]

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