Another important aspect is the R&D team’s increasing use of highly accurate acoustic simulations that assist in attaining the desired sonic performance before the critical double-blind listening evaluations. For example, the leading-edge COMSOL Multiphysics software platform proved crucial in refining the acoustical performance of the X-Line Advance Series of line arrays, and Infolytical is used to design high efficiency, low distortion motors for transducers.
“These tools deliver vital input, giving us a very good idea of performance at both a system level as well as in larger scale arrays,” Gelow explains. “They are highly accurate in terms of both the models and simulations, which translates into efficiency in helping us deliver designs that are right the first time.”
Prototypes of all but the largest loudspeaker systems can be deployed and evaluated on-site, including the ability to erect and even fly mid-size rigs. Again, the Twin Cities area provides advantages in this regard, with numerous live performance venues of all types available to serve as real-world test labs, including the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul that’s noted as providing one of the finest acoustical signatures of any large arena on North America. As a result, it facilitates a truly meaningful evaluation process.
Key customers also play a role in development and optimization, sought for their invaluable input on overall performance as well as factors such as fine-tuning DSP. For example, several sound companies were involved in refining the company’s FIR-Drive platform for the X-Line Advance Series. “The views and input of our users is absolutely vital,” Gelow states. “There are things you can’t do, even with big rigs in appropriate test conditions, which can be accomplished with the help and expertise of audio professionals working with the gear in real-world field conditions.”
The support of the support of parent company Bosch GmbH, itself an engineering-based organization, brings further benefits to the EV engineering table. “Bosch has a commitment to engineering, and that’s a company-wide commitment, which is a real plus,” Carlson notes. “They’ve been a good steward of Electro-Voice.”
Yet another asset comes courtesy of EV’s German sibling brand Dynacord, also Bosch-owned, which develops electronics in sync with EV loudspeaker designs, utilizing algorithms usually developed by the team in Burnsville that are perfectly in line with each product.
In addition, Dynacord recently debuted two new power amplifier series, the L Series (for live/portable) and the C Series (for installations). Both incorporate onboard DSP that includes multi-band parametric equalizers, crossovers, limiters, and delay per channel, as well as true channel grouping control with extra DSP capabilities like parametric EQ, graphic EQ and delay for each group.
While they have deep roots in the tradition of EV engineering and product development, both Gelow and Carlson have their eyes firmly on the future of the organization. “Dave and I are both very committed to passing along everything we know to the coming generations,” Gelow emphasizes. “We like what we do and the people we do it with, and together we continue to create technology that’s meaningful to our customers as well as to the world of sound reinforcement.”