Guest blog post by Cogswell student Caleb Madsen.
When it comes to creating superior listening environments, whether with digital audio or analog, augmented reality applications are the future. Many current solutions are too simplistic to achieve advanced results for acoustic engineers — other solutions are extremely expensive. Having cutting-edge augmented reality or virtual reality apps that can quickly and accurately look at your room, know what’s in it, look at the composition of the walls, reflections, frequency energy, and placements is what Acoustic Masterminds™ is all about.
Acoustic Masterminds AcoustiTools™ has launched as the first augmented reality app to use Tango scanning technology to rapidly scan, calculate and diagnose audio issues with your speakers in your setting. Tango is Google’s new technology platform for Android that incorporates depth-sensing and motion-tracking sensors to provide augmented reality and virtual reality inside-out tracking and area learning. Acoustic Masterminds AcoustiTools is a mobile multi–tool that uses the power of these sensors and accompanying software to offer fast, reliable results that are easy to understand at a glance. Acoustic Masterminds plans to expand AcoustiTools to other platforms as the necessary sensors are included in future releases.
The AcoustiTools Spatial dB/delay module uses the motion-tracking, area learning and depth perception capabilities to tag speaker locations. You can then map sound levels throughout your room or venue, giving you expansive information to balance volume from the front of your room to your current position, as well as calculate the delay timing between speaker stacks to sync your audio. AcoustiTools’ dB Meter lets you measure the decibel levels (peak and average), and the RTA/FFT module allows you to analyze frequencies in real time.
The launch of AcoustiTools also serves as a proof-of-concept of the technology which underlies Acoustic Room Modes Calculator™ (Room Calc™) and was timed to release with the first Tango-enabled device, the Lenovo PHAB2 Pro. Expected to launch in late 2017, Room Calc is an upcoming application that provides an easy way to solve acoustic room mode problems with a mobile device. Room Calc takes a venue’s dimensions, constructs a model of the venue, and calculates room modes and other problematic acoustic issues for analysis and treatment solutions. Using advanced technology, including motion tracking, area learning, and depth perception, Acoustic Masterminds Room Calc rapidly models, analyzes, and diagnoses complex acoustic issues. The prototype app reached the top three in the Utility category of Google’s Build An App Contest in 2015.
The following year, Acoustic Masterminds was established to bring Acoustic Room Modes Calculator to market. In April 2016, Acoustic Room Modes Calculator won the Software Engineering: Best Program or App category in the Cogswell Excellence Awards that included judges from alumni and industry professionals. Room Calc has been recognized by industry professionals such as Michael Romanowski, known as the “man with a golden ear,” and Mastering Engineer Piper Payne at Michael Romanowski Mastering.
Caleb Madsen is passionate about using emerging, cutting-edge technology to bring unprecedented access to tools for creating premium audio experiences.
In May 2017, he will earn a B.S. in Digital Audio Technology from Cogswell College. He has created sound design for linear and interactive media and has a decade of experience in live sound mixing, recording and post production at church. These experiences have created a desire to solve acoustic issues for all types of rooms and venues.