Altec's Software Programs Enhance Sound System Design

Article excerpt

manufactured a computer software program that dramatically enhances sound system design, according to F. Davis Merrey Jr., president of Altec Lansing Corp. of Oklahoma City.

Altec Lansing, the Oklahoma City subsidiary of aerospace and defense congomerate Marc IV Industries of New York, was the primary player in designing the software program AcoustaCADD jointly with its sister company, Electro-Voice Inc. of Buchanan, Mich.

The Oklahoma City firm manufactures fixed installation professional sound equipment for upper class hotels, churches, sports facilities, airports and other public event locations.

"The software program will improve the overall design of sound systems and help force the market up," Merrey said. "It will also help with prospecting future clients and help hold existing customers."

Research and development of the software program took three years and about a $500,000 investment.

Merrey said he anticipates sales from the program of about $300,000 in 1990. More important than sales, Merrey said, the software program will bring new technology to customers interested in a more accurate, efficient way of designing sound systems.

AcoustaCADD is designed to assist architects, accoustical consultants and sound system designers in defining the characteristics of the space before installing a sound system, he said.

A $925 annual license fee will be charged to customers wishing to use AcoustaCADD, with a $100 fee for renewal. Parties which choose not to renew the service will still own the property, but be unable to obtain assistance.

The software program runs under the MS-DOS or PC-DOS operating systems. It enables a sound system specialist to enter the length, height and width of the surfaces of an auditorium on a computer screen. Once a three-dimensional wire frame model of the auditorium, including the audience, appears on the screen, the computer will then calculate coverage, of up to 450 loudspeakers, to provide intelligibility and accuracy of sound for people sitting in specific seats.

"A series of (AcoustaCADD) engineering design tools, logically, but loosely connected, enable sound system designers to do a system design his way," said John E. Lanphere, AutoCADD project manager. "Most other systems are more structured."

Characteristics of AcoustaCADD include high resolution graphics, user interface by means of menuing, rather than a graphic icon system, and well-defined prompts and onscreen instructions, which enable a casual user to be productive in a short time, Lanphere said. …