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.

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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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 $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 here. 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 […]

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Money for Nothing

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Long before the 1987 movie “Wall Street” and the now-legendary quote from the fictional Gordon Gecko “Greed is good” became part of the American business worlds’ verbal infrastructure, success, wealth and growth in business were built on the startlingly simple notion that to create, run and succeed in a business, you actually had to know […]

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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: A Conflict Resolved?

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It’s the Law The astonishing thing about the laws of physics and the mathematically derived acoustical parameters that govern sound reproduction is that, despite considerable effort by many well meaning or at least well motivated individuals and manufacturers over the last 150+ years, they simply haven’t changed, and, just in case you think there is […]

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Unprofessional, Incompetent or Collateral Damage?

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Suggested by a conversation with John Mayberry – Emmaco Engineering history is replete with decisions that, upon any kind of reasonable reflection, would prove at best questionable or at worst disastrous — for example, the rapid and urgent deployment of the legendary Boeing designed, engineered and constructed B-29 Superfortress in May of 1944 during WW […]

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We Have a Plan But It Doesn’t Work!

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Suppose you were one of the United States largest businesses, with your estimated net valuation exceeding 63 billion dollars, with gross revenue over 9 billion. Your 32 divisions average over $300 million in gross profit every year, and your divisional COO’s average salary is over 8 million, without considering anything but cash compensation. Who would […]

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Misaligned and Disarrayed

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Suppose for a moment you were a line array loudspeaker product. Genetically speaking, your DNA could have come from more than 150 different manufacturers, which collectively produce over 350 products (including all passive and active systems sold as “line arrays”), based on a survey of the products listed for sale on the half-dozen primary on-line […]

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