P14345: Hybrid Audio Dynamics Processor

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Summary

The Hybrid Audio Processor is device that allows audio professionals to control the amplitude profile of various source audio signals, most notably audio sources used in Motion Picture Pre-Show. An amplitude profile influences the way humans perceive sound. We often use words like ‘punchy’, ‘loud’, or ‘full’ when describing the amplitude profile. Being able to control the amplitude profile is very useful. It allows for the user to create interesting, dynamic sounds that please listeners, as well as provide protection for down stream devices.

Current dynamics processors on the market are high cost and lack some flexibility. This device would allow for advanced control while maintaining ultimate high audio fidelity. It would also be intuitive with familiar, industry standard controls. The device would also have user savable settings as well as try to achieve a lower cost than comparable units. Current professional units have a variety of design trade-offs that do not provide the optimal user experience that is described above.

The goal of this project is identify the needs of Motion Picture Pre-Show industry and develop a product that fit’s their needs, while maintaining the familiar attributes of common dynamics processors.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirement Importance Description
CR1 9 Auto mode, user defines desired output, system keeps output consistent
CR2 9 Manual mode, user can modify compression through user interface
CR3 9 User interface based off of current state devices
CR4 9 Signal output quality: low noise, low distortion, no clipping
CR5 9 Audio output quality: Comfortable range and volume
CR6 9 2 audio channels, stereo capability
CR7 9 Ability to switch output between the device output and device input
CR8 3 Ability to switch between stereo/mono
CR9 3 Ability to monitor gain-reduction in real time
CR10 3 Ability to save/load settings
CR11 1 "look ahead" ability

Customer Interview:

• What work does your company perform?

Company collects ads to be shown at movie theaters. Company prepares ads so that they show and sound nicely in the theaters.

• What specifically do you want this processor to do?

Wants a way to normalize sound easily from multiple different advertisements. Needs to eliminate “noise”.

• What about controls and a display?

The current box has too many controls (5+). Wants to have only a few controls. Also wants a way to save configurations. • How many channels on the input line?

Two channels to allow for stereo inputs.

• Additional notes:

Most problems with audio come from small companies. Large companies like Coca-Cola spend an enormous amount of money perfecting their advertisements. However, small mom-and-pop shops do not have the resources to perfect the sound in an advertisement.

Wants to decrease response time. Meaning that once an audio level suddenly changes, the volume should be changed to a more reasonable level fairly quickly. However, this change should not be so quick as to sound unnatural.

Follow-up Customer Interview:

Customer Interview Document

Engineering Requirements (Specifications)

System-level and function-level requirements that define the intended performance of your system.
 Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

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