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Transcript: EASE 4.0 with Ron Sauro
Former NASA design engineer and scientist, Ron Sauro shares his thoughts on the new EASE 4.0 via chat session on 09/05/2001.
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Moderator: Welcome to tonight’s live chat session with Ron Sauro, who’s been gracious enough to join us to talk about EASE and new EASE 4.0. Ron, can you start by talking a bit about your background and experience with EASE?

Ron Sauro: Sure. I have been using EASE since 1991, and during that time I have worked with Dr. (Wolfgang) Ahnert in developing the software both directly and indirectly. I also use the software in my business of consulting in “real life”. And, I teach EASE classes around the world.

Moderator: Ron, maybe you can kick things off by telling us how, in general, EASE 4.0 is different.

Ron: In general, it is as much of a difference as EASE 2.1 was to EASE 3.0. The drawing tools are vastly improved, and new calculations are available. There is also a new acoustics calculation module as well as a new rendering module. The changes are so numerous as to defy a short answer.

Roland: Can you give us a general overview of the concept behind EASE 4.0?

Ron: EASE 4.0 is an incremental improvement on EASE 3.0, with enhanced visuals and new, additional calculations to improve the accuracy of predictions.

Ken: Is there going to be an EASE Junior version of 4.0?

Ron: Yes, it will be released at the same time. There will also be an EASE Architectural version too. This will have only the drawing tools and none of the sound design and acoustics tools.

Ken: Would EASE Junior be better for smaller contractors and or live engineers?

Ron: It depends on how much detail you will need to do your job. If you try to help the customer treat the room for acoustics, even a little, then EASE is the right tool. Junior is valid for most contractor types that just need to put a system into a room.

Charlie Hughes: What are the differences between full-blown 4.0, Junior and Architectural?

Ron: ”Full blown’ has two additional modules now rather than one (EARS). The new module is called CAESAR, and is an acoustic investigation tool for pure acoustics. It is competitive with ODEON and Catt Acoustics. The Architectural version offers drawing tools only, to allow an architect to draw the model to send to an acoustics or sound designer.

Ron (continued): The Architectural version also can be used to supplement EASE in larger companies. In the past, after you exceeded five licenses, you had to buy another full version. Now, you only need the Architectural version to meet certain needs, such as those of your drafts people.

Joe Bennett: What are the major advances in version 4.0 over 3.0?

Ron: To answer that would require three paragraphs and all night. But, number 1,we now have no limits on the number of vertices on a face; number 2, we now have objects that are groups of items such as faces and vertices that can be saved and used in another project. For example, you can save all of the faces of a balcony as a file, and then import it into another project as a whole, and then manipulate it in all directions.

Ron (continued): The new visualization module renders with shadows, reflections and curves, so the model looks very life-like. We can also add texture to the surfaces of the model, such as bricks and wood. There are also added reflections to the field calculations. The user interface has improved significantly, and it’s also function controlled rather than item controlled. These enhancements cover a lot of areas and are the reason for version 4.0 - not 3.8.

Moderator: Joe and audience - there’s a rundown of new features of 4.0 in contrast to prior versions on the ProSoundWeb Install page. Screen samples also. Might be helpful info.

Roland: How long does it take to draw a typical room within the package?

Ron: It depends on the complexity of the room, but drawing the same room in 4.0 versus 3.0 is now much faster, depending upon your experience, of course. What took me three hours in 3.0 now takes 90 minutes to two hours in 4.0. It now also allows increased detailing for visuals as well as calculations. The model is more detailed.

Roland: I guess what I’m asking is if it is cost effective to draw a room for a quote, rather than only after the deal is signed, and bearing in mind it may have to be drawn from scratch?

Ron: It’s not always profitable, but in reality you may be able to get coverage plots in less than five minutes if that’s what you want. The problem I see is that everyone waits until a project warrants the use of EASE, then they have no experience with it, and then, it takes way too long to draw the room. The right way to do it is to use the program all the time on all projects until EASE becomes a part of you, then hard buildings become easy, and easy buildings can be done in just a couple of hours.

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