New Microphone Technology – The next step in the evolutionary progression of the microphone will be demonstrated at the upcoming AES Convention (Audio Engineering Society) in NYC October 9-12. From the development of the basic microphone transducer in the late 19th century, thru the condenser microphone of the 1920s, the FET microphones of the 1960s and the recent multichannel microphones for surround sound, conventional diaphragms whose resonances create electrical impulses against a coil or back plate have been basic to all mikes. The Laser-Accurate microphone, developed by inventor and digital audio pioneer David Schwartz, trades moving mechanical parts for the incredibly precise measurement by a laser of movement of particulates suspended in air. Microscopic particles are suspended in a laminar stream of air in a chamber. When excited by air pressure changes, the particles’ movement is detected by a laser beam continuously passing thru the chamber aimed at a photoelectric cell opposite the laser. Its precise transduction of any sound is unadulterated by mechanical motion of a diaphragm and the inevitable time lags caused by that movement. No significant mass stands between the source of the sound and the transduction of it to recording media. The result is pure sound. The Laser-Accurate technology is expected to be a new tool for microphone developers to create the next generation of how to capture music and sound.
More Access to Netcasters – Many manufacturers are offering improved access to streaming music sources on the Internet, in addition to the usual computer connection. Whole house entertainment system firm ReQuest, Inc. is one of them. Their new F Series music and movie servers for the home offer access to 50,000 free music stations on the Net. The servers are available with either two or four zone audio outputs. The new feature will be part of ReQuest systems as of next month and will be a free software upgrade to existing systems. Pre-built modules will allow installers to integrate the new feature with Crestron, AMX and other systems. The audio outlets can switch between music libraries on hard drives and streaming radio, and there is a free application which uses iPhones or iPod Touch for control and station selection. Stations can be searched by name, genre or bit rate and favorite stations can be added to a station list for quick access from any control panel. Stations can even be given similar custom cover art using the same tools as for hard drive library music.
Outdoor Home Electronics Expansion – According to a report from Research and Markets, affluent customers are spending more on their outdoor living spaces, giving a boost to marketers such as Lowes and Home Depot. Spending by “affluents” on outdoor living “luxuries” rose 22.6% from 2007 to 2008. Best Buy has joined the fray by testing sales of such items as video projectors, speakers disguised as rocks, outdoor lights, grills, furniture, and so on. A company spokesperson said “In the current recession affluent consumers are investing more in luxuries for their homes and less on experiences such as dining and travel.”
No-Glasses 3D System From China – Chinese manufacturer TCL is launching a new 3D TV system developed together with Alioscopy – a U.S. company. Shown in January at CES, the 3D TV features a highly-specialised lenticular lens that eliminates the need for either polarized or shuttered glasses. Panasonic is believed to be working on a similar system. TCL manufacturers products for some of the leading consumer brands, including Sony, Samsung and Toshiba. Their edge-lit LCD and LED panels are only 35mm thick and available in 40”, 46” and 50” sizes.