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.

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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DIY Acoustics: A Cautionary Tale

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: In the year or so that I have been writing this column for rAVe’s house of worship publication, the majority of the articles have been how to or problem/solution oriented, with an educational and information focus. A number of those have concentrated on room acoustics and acoustic treatment areas (specifically, on intelligibility here […]

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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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New Construction — Room Acoustics, Part 2

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In the first part of this two-part series, published in September, a wide variety of acoustical solutions and issues specifically focused on dealing with a space that already exists were discussed. Although the basic concepts and applications outlined in that article apply regardless, the issues and problems of a new building are in many ways […]

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A Rant on Publishing by Dr. Frederick Ampel

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Normally, my various rAVe contributions are carefully and specifically focused on a problem, or a solution or a combination of both. The articles are always written with a singular focus — providing valuable information and solid, proven answers gathered from four-plus decades of real-world experience to the kind of problems AV professionals in both the […]

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A 500 Million Dollar Mistake

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In the previous rAVe HOW article, we discussed the value and application of acoustical treatment(s) to almost any existing house of worship (HOW) facility. Unless acoustics was considered and incorporated when the building was created, it is very likely that acoustical issues were not properly dealt with or solved. This is especially true for the […]

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A $250 Million Epic Fail and the Wonders of Fly-By Wire

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Read a related piece by Dr. Ampel about artificial intelligence and the parallels between airplanes and audio. Why are we looking at the aircraft industry and their now decades long journey through automation, computerized systems, and software? BECAUSE, the problems, disasters, failures and the issues these raised mirror those within our own industry in a […]

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The Sound of Sound

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In a world of steadily increasing digitization, robotization and electronic origination of everything from voicemail prompts to virtual customer support, the musical world has not been left out of the progression to artificial sources. Of course there remains the world of orchestral, operatic and some styles of folk/country music performances, which are as unrepentantly “live” […]

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Too Many Captain Kirks, Not Enough Scottys

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For well more than a century, the audio world was warm, straightforward and essentially analog at its core. It was a copper-based universe of wire, resistors, capacitors, transformers, vacuum tubes, transistors and electronic parts you could touch, feel, see and identify easily. And then, as things are wont to do, it all changed. Individual circuit […]

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Intelligibility and Acoustics Part 2: Speech Versus Music

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A note from the author: Having been involved in several hundred HOW sound system projects, across many denominations, over the last three decades, I hope what I have learned as discussed below, will help you avoid the classic mistakes and poor choices I have seen far too often. Remember a worship space with bad acoustics […]

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