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Industry Watch: June

June 28 2013, 13:01

It is with regret that Voice Coil announces the passing of two of our highly esteemed colleagues, Denis Ouellet and Howard Doctor.


Denis Ouellet

Denis Ouellet (1949–2013)

Denis Ouellet, owner of Solen Electronique and a long-standing Audio Engineering Society member, was a man of many talents. He led a full life, nurturing his many interests. His hobby as an aviator and years as a commercial pilot enabled Denis to visit many interesting places and experience adventures, both in the air and on the ground.

Denis provided many colorful anecdotes of his experiences and he had a thirst for knowledge. Solen, a leading producer of “high-end” crossover components based in Quebec, Canada, remains a testament to Denis’s lifelong commitment to his endeavors and pursuits. Denis influenced and inspired many people during his life and he will be missed by his family and many friends.


Howard Doctor

Howard Doctor (1954–2013)

Howard Doctor described himself as an aspiring boulevardier. In his formative years, he participated in pirate radio, became a skilled concert sound engineer, and taught at Grant MacEwan University, in Alberta, Canada. Howard spent many years designing and refining transducers for professional, hi-fi, and automotive applications. As a founder of AVI Sound International, he created a family of exceptional drivers that utilized advanced composites and low-distortion magnetics. His designs can be identified by their performance and remarkable market acceptance.

Howard provided guidance to dozens of manufacturers regarding advanced materials, a task that required auditing 390 different manufacturing operations, worldwide. These audits provided a wealth of information on their strengths and limitations, resulting in a database of 4,600 sources, encompassing every facet of product design, development, production, and quality control. Howard’s skill set included industrial design elements, materials science, structural, mechanical, magnetic, electrical, thermal, and acoustic engineering. He published 170 articles and contributed to textbooks about loudspeaker adhesives and voice coils. He will be missed.

Photo 2: Howard Doctor


Soundcast Systems’s Sale Stalls

The Soundcast Systems’s high-profile sale to former SpeakerCraft CEO and industry icon Jeremy Burkhardt has been canceled. However, Soundcast’s original owners are moving forward with new financing, additional staff, and aggressive product plans. The agreement to sell Soundcast to Burkhardt, announced in late February 2013, included an aggressive and multifaceted 90-day fast-track sale with a short window of exclusivity. Unfortunately, Burkhardt did not close the transaction within the timeline. Soundcast’s owners and leadership team had the option to extend the deadline. Instead, they decided to raise the capital necessary for expansion internally. These new resources will accelerate the 2013 new products-to-market, future product development, increased staff, multimarket expansion, infrastructure enhancements, and the support necessary to execute the aggressive business plan currently underway.

The company’s first new employee is former SpeakerCraft employee Nick Berry (brought in by Burkhardt), who will head up Soundcast’s in-house sales team as director of sales. The company also unveiled two new products in April and will continue its accelerated development of new wireless products, with a number of new models slated for 2013 and 2014. Soundcast, a wireless loudspeaker manufacturer, has one of the most comprehensive patent portfolios for wireless audio. The owners plan to aggressively protect the company’s intellectual property of its wireless audio, digital amplification, and proprietary high-performance battery technologies.


Alpine’s new TuneIt app is compatible with its CDE-147BT CD receiver.

Alpine Launches New App

Alpine Electronics recently launched the Alpine TuneIt app. This unique app is compatible with Alpine’s new CDE-147BT CD receiver with advanced Bluetooth wireless technology. Sound tuning has always been available in aftermarket products, but it is usually used by enthusiasts willing to invest the time to tweak their systems. The Alpine TuneIt app takes traditional sound-tuning functions and makes them accessible via a smartphone app. The new app has full Pandora Internet radio control, enabling users to create new Pandora stations, rate songs, and bookmark songs for later purchase. The rear USB port provides high-speed USB connections to music libraries stored on an iPod, an iPhone, or a USB drive. TuneIt users can add their vehicle’s make, model, and speaker locations to their smartphones. Sound-system settings can then be downloaded to the vehicle. For more information, visit www.alpine-usa.com.


Audio Education Conference

AES 50th International Conference: Audio Education is the Audio Engineering Society’s (AES) first conference dedicated specifically to audio education. The conference—which is set for July 25–27, 2013, at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), Murfreesboro, TN—will focus on teaching methods, instructional resources, learning outcomes, technical operations, areas for research, and topics relevant to organizations and individuals that provide theoretical and practical training in audio engineering.

Audio education has expanded significantly worldwide, with many colleges and universities, career schools, high schools, and manufacturers now offering a range of audio courses. However, administrators and faculty face practical questions managing audio as a discipline within educational institutions. The conference’s aim is to address these questions and related topics through a series of presentations, papers, workshops, case studies, and discussions among professional audio educators, trainers, and administrators. The conference will be peer driven and its outcomes will include a collection of formal papers, historical documents, survey instruments, and potential recommendations for resource management and development.

More than 30 peer-reviewed papers and posters have been accepted for presentation along with eight workshops and tutorials focusing on the following topics:

  • Pedagogy, curricular design, and instructional resources
  • Internships, partnerships, employment, and career counseling
  • Industry and professional organizations partnerships
  • Outcomes for secondary, tertiary, and graduate level programs

Murfreesboro is approximately 30 miles southeast of Nashville, TN, an internationally recognized center for music and recording. MTSU’s recording industry program was founded in 1973, making it one of this country’s oldest programs of its kind. For more information, visit www.aes.org. VC

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