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.

DIY Acoustics: A Cautionary Tale

acoustic-egg-crates-0418.jpg

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 […]

Read more

RE-ENFORCEMENT — What is the Goal?

greek-theater-0318.jpg

(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 […]

Read more

If It’s Too Loud, It’s Too Loud!

too-loud-0318.jpg

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 […]

Read more

New Construction — Room Acoustics, Part 2

fred-acoustics-featured-1117.jpg

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 […]

Read more

A Rant on Publishing by Dr. Frederick Ampel

ampel-food-1117.jpg

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 […]

Read more

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

A3oo-series-typical-cocpit-displays-0917.jpg

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 […]

Read more

The Sound of Sound

sound-acoustics-0616.jpg

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” […]

Read more

Too Many Captain Kirks, Not Enough Scottys

Midas-Heritager-48-Ch-console-0517.png

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 […]

Read more

Intelligibility and Acoustics Part 2: Speech Versus Music

kingston-0417.png

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 […]

Read more

Intelligibility and Acoustics: A Conflict Resolved?

Split-Cluster-directional-array-0317.jpg

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 […]

Read more

Unprofessional, Incompetent or Collateral Damage?

engines-graveyard-0217.jpg

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 […]

Read more

We Have a Plan But It Doesn’t Work!

WhatWeKnow-logo.png

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 […]

Read more

Misaligned and Disarrayed

WhatWeKnow-logo.png

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 […]

Read more