Electroacoustics (ELA)

  Picture of an omnidirectional measuring loudspeaker Copyright: © G. Behler ITA ITA - omnidirectional measuring loudspeaker

Under the heading electro acoustics come all technologies and processes which are required for the reception, reproduction, processing and storing of sound signals.

In first place here come the conversion processes between the world of acoustics (mechanical) and the world of electrics as are part of electro acoustics, that is to say: microphones and loudspeakers. The signal processing before or behind the converters is an essential precondition for a faultless conversion and is therefore also part of electro acoustics.

Historically seen the storage of sound on media like records or tapes are part of ELA, least of all because conversion processes are effected with more or less major faults like linear and nonlinear distortions, and a specific kind of signal processing (filters, distortion correction etc.) are required. In the age of the digital storage of information of any kind the actual storage procedure can hardly be considered part of electro acoustics, though modern processes of data reduction (MP3 and similar) which use psycho acoustic phenomena, can be considered part of acoustics and in particular of ELA.

The reproduction of sound provides a wide area of applications of the above mentioned conversion technologies. Starting with the smallest headphones for mobile devices via loudspeakers in your lounge up to the powerful sound system equipment for open air concerts in sports stadia, all materials involved here are part of electro acoustics. Mixer consoles, amplifiers, special effects equipment and of course loudspeakers all come under electro acoustic equipment, the diversity of which can be admired by everybody at the world's largest fair for musical instruments and event technology, the ProLight & Sound in Frankfurt. Here there are also overlaps with room acoustics, as of course many loudspeaker systems are installed in rooms, and therefore the passive acoustics of the reproduction room has a major influence on the result of the electro-acoustic equipment. The assessment criteria of speech intelligibility (STI) applied to all loudspeaker equipment (e.g. in lecture theatres, sports stadia) is only one of the aspects dealt with in ELA.

  Picture of a digital loudspeaker controller Copyright: © ITA digital loudspeaker controller

Electro acoustics in the IHTA:

  • Measurement based characterization of loudspeaker systems (TS parameters)
  • Simulation software for loudspeaker construction (spice modeling with BASSYST)
  • Special measuring routines in the ITA toolbox under Matlab for loudspeakers
  • Assembly of special loudspeakers for purposes of measuring room and building acoustics and transfer paths in automobile acoustics
  • Simulation and dimensioning of sound reinforcement systems
  • Examination of micro loudspeakers
  • Modeling of the non-linear behavior of loudspeakers
  • Digital crossover/controller for loudspeakers
  • Numeric methods (FEM/BEM) for loudspeaker development (e.g. horns)