After two years of development and beta testing, EASE Focus version 3, the latest upgrade to AFMG’s EASE Focus product line, will be released on March 10 (2016).
EASE Focus 3 will continue the look and feel of version 2, but it implements long-awaited features, including modeling of subwoofer arrays. Users will be able to define and optimize any subwoofer arrangement and automatically compute the necessary delays. In addition, a new complex summation feature allows analyzing the interaction between flown tops and subs on the ground.
EASE Focus 3 also makes moving and stacking loudspeakers easier with a new snap function, while a new polar entry feature provides the option to insert venue coordinates directly as read from laser distance meters. And, performance improvements throughout the program make it possible to simulate up to 40 sound sources in a single project.
Further, the new version is prepared for future extension. A communication interface for data transfer to DSP platforms has been built in, along with a plug-in architecture for rigging safety calculations. In addition, a robust multi-threading calculation engine lays the foundation for managing large-scale projects and FIRmaker optimizations quickly and smoothly.
EASE Focus 3 is free to most current licensees of EASE Focus 2, and significantly, almost the entire GLL loudspeaker database, spanning more than 60 brands, will remain fully compatible and accessible.
AFMG managing director Stefan Feistel states: “We’re very happy to finally be able to announce this software release. EASE Focus 3 is an important upgrade for the end user just as it’s a major milestone on our company’s development roadmap. And we won’t stop here – we have already made detailed plans for the 3.1 update. Thanks to all of our users and to the many supportive loudspeaker companies for driving the software forward.”
Go here for more information and for download options.
Comprehensive Overview Of EASE Focus 3:
Redesigned Calculation Engine
Complex Summation: Investigate the interaction between separate sound sources especially in the low and low-mid frequency range by enabling “Complex Sum” in the “Options” window. All mappings will now clearly show the influence of polarity, phase, and placement of your systems on the audience areas. Adjust your settings and re-calculate in order to minimize negative effects.
Performance Improvements & Result Caching: Due to the high simulation quality provided by AFMG’s GLL data format calculations performed by EASE Focus can take quite some time. To allow a fast preview of the results, EASE Focus, which now supports up to 40 sound sources, displays results in a coarse resolution first, then calculates at increased mapping density.
EASE Focus 3, in addition, now caches results calculated for separate sources. Since the final result is the superposition of the outcome for each source alone, only the source that has changed needs to be recalculated. This greatly speeds up the tuning process within EASE Focus 3.
The new “Complex Sum” calculation setting allows effective simulation and tuning of basically any arrangement of subwoofer arrays. Place and stack your loudspeakers freely or insert a preconfigured array. Then tune them to deliver the desired radiation pattern.
Pre-Configured Arrays: While inserting a new sound source you may specifically add subwoofers as a subwoofer array. EASE Focus 3 treats such an array as a single sound source, offers different parameters to conveniently configure it, and automatically computes suggested delays. In version 3.0 EASE Focus supports adding linear subwoofer arrays only. Additional pre-configured setups like cardioid and end-fire arrays are planned for future versions.
Manually Placed Arrays: Independently from preconfigured arrays, EASE Focus 3 provides the option to enter any arbitrary subwoofer array setup manually. Combined with the new stacking feature, typical cardioid and other setups are quickly entered this way. Additionally, the free placement of subwoofers can accommodate for local conditions such as varying riser spacing, a flight of stairs in the way or the like.
Gain, Delay, Polarity For Single Sources: Several additional fields have been added to the loudspeakers’ properties window. You can now specify the broadband gain, delay, and polarity for each individual loudspeaker. These fields complete the list of parameters generally available for typical loudspeakers. They are included in the reports delivered by EASE Focus and will help your technician reliably setup the system. The new settings are particularly useful when optimizing subwoofer arrays.
Move Active Sound Sources: “Move Active Sound Sources” in the “Edit” menu allows you to easily move and turn all active loudspeakers at once. This is especially useful when editing larger sound systems or manually placed sub arrays.
Stacking Loudspeakers: When inserting a new sound source or arranging sources in your project the source you are currently adjusting will automatically “fall” into position according to its geometrical dimensions and the dimensions of other sound sources that might already be placed underneath. – Stacking speakers has never been easier.
Simplified Configuration Of Line Arrays
Snap To Mounting Height: The new “snap to mounting height” shortcut will help you to quickly and exactly align a system with the upper or lower height limits, e.g. the rigging or stage height. A colored bar displays the limits in the side view. It turns red, if your system exceeds the limits.
Limits can be set globally in the project and overridden per line array or loudspeaker.
Extended Copy & Paste: Make use of comprehensive copy + paste options to transfer exactly specified parameters from one system onto one or more others. This way, configuring multiple systems in a larger setup has become more precise and error-proof as well as a lot faster.
Gain Grouping: Typical passive line array systems link several cabinets to the same amplifier channel. To reflect this type of setup in EASE Focus 3, AFMG has introduced gain grouping. When “Enable Grouping of Cabinet Gains” is activated the group size can be selected. EASE Focus will deactivate the gain boxes in the interface for all but one cabinet of each group. The values are automatically copied to the other cabinets to simplify data entry.
Overlap Regions: Helps in setting the splay angles of line arrays. When hovering your mouse over the side or the level view, blue areas will highlight the corresponding sections in the different views. Also, the splay angle setting in the line array’s properties windows is marked in bold. This way, you can easily determine which splay angle to taper in order to influence a certain region which might have too much or too little SPL.
Synchronized View Limits: To keep the overview of a system in the tuning process it can be helpful to see both the side and the level view at once. As a handy feature you can now align the zoom factor and the X position of both panels by checking “Synchronize X-Axis” in the “Options” window.
Polar Coordinate Entry: A common way for setting up a system on site is the use of laser distance meters and inclinometers. EASE Focus 3 now supports configuration of audience zones and areas in the same way by switching to the new “Edit relative to reference point” mode. In this mode, EASE Focus assumes the operator to be standing at the beginning of the audience zone. The distance and angle to each start and end point of the corresponding audience areas can now be entered exactly as read from the meter. To allow making measurements from the stage or handheld the height of the reference point can be set individually.
Managing GLL Files: EASE Focus 3 now has a full-fledged database engine handling the GLL files. The feature is particularly useful for users working with a large number of GLLs. It allows importing, searching and selecting, exporting and deleting of GLLs along with the typical browsing options of databases.
FIRmaker Target Curve: A very common wish of FOH technicians is to make the whole audience have the exact same listening experience as he is having at the location of the console. For FIRmaker enabled loudspeaker systems it is now possible to select a reference receiver for the optimization. The FIRmaker algorithm will then compute FIR filters specifically for the setup defined in EASE Focus that best match each point in the audience to the system frequency response at the front-of-house.