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Welcome to TFPro A SHIFT TO LOUDSPEAKERS update September 2013 It's taken countless hours of experimenting with loudspeakers to get to a design that is both technically accurate and still attractive to the 'man in the street' as a super source of sound for his TV. I constantly wonder if we can cross the divide between consumer or 'hifi' loudspeakers and professional studio monitors. Our early Orbitsound loudspeakers showed great promise; the T12 soundbar makes a very good noise, but because of the marketplace it was in, the sub-woofer needed to be a little more dominant than was realistic; the in-store competing products all had shouty mid-range and big bass kicks at 80Hz so although we had clear superiority of quality with the airSOUND technology, our T12 had to sound more hifi than monitor! But our new prototypes were sounding better and better and I gave up using conventional monitors because the the extreme clarity of airSOUND loudspeakers was so much better...... and we were developing new ways of producing clean accurate bass response. On August 26th Orbitsound released the new SB60 airSound Base, a loudspeaker designed to be a very beautiful and elegant 'base' for most size TV receivers. This loudspeaker not only looks good, its deceptively low profile can deliver serious sound and is a 'no contest' contender as a studio monitor for Digital Audio Workstations and Video Production suites. (The Orbitsound SB60 can be seen on the Orbitsound website.) airSOUND --- AN ANSWER TO A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION A fundamental problem of any attempt to reproduce spatial sound is an obvious one….. The listener is in a real environment, and practically cannot be removed from it; the artificial environment is going to be modified, and will inter-act with the real one, affecting the perception. I believe that Alan Blumlein understood and appreciated this during his original work on spatial sound recording in 1934. Interestingly, it’s not known exactly how he listened to his own pioneering recordings except that he used multiple loudspeakers. Had he lived, I like to think that Blumlein would have developed a system not unlike AIRSOUND for EMI in the years following the second world war. But sadly he was killed in an air crash, and his work was shelved, only to rediscovered very much later. 2-loudspeaker systems became the norm, and the word ‘stereo’, (meaning ‘solid’) came to take on other meanings. By understanding the over-elementary thinking and arithmetic of Blumlein, it is relatively easy to manufacture a loudspeaker that will produce spatial effects on a par with 2-speaker systems, after all, with two loudspeakers the listener is trying to hear a performance from somewhere in between the loudspeakers; it is a virtual image. With a single-point system, the main information is coming from the loudspeaker directly, it is the spatial information that is virtual, as it should be! But there is a lot more to this than simply trying to replace the 2-speaker system, admirable as that may be, there is scope for going very much further with the original aim, to reproduce spatial sound properly. With AIRSOUND, the audio signal has been converted from ‘left/right’ to ‘main’ and ‘spatial’. This offers a major advantage over other systems, it gives separate control over the spatial information, so we can enhance it to give greater input ‘clues’ to our inbuilt model of space. I’m certain that Blumlein had no detail understanding of the importance of the accuracy of the generation of spatial information. Experiments show that extremely (even vanishingly) small errors in timing degrade the information causing our brains to reject the input. (This effect can be heard easily by listening to a conventional 2-speaker system and moving out of the sweet-spot…. The path-length from the two loudspeakers is varied and the spatial picture degrades. Note, the degradation is entirely inside your head!) Absolute accurate timing, (as good as could be achieved in the original recording,) when properly reproduced, can produce a spatial environment that is ‘in focus’ and solid. But after all that..... there are still compressors!! P38v8 'Legacy' Stereo Compressor The LEGACY is a stereo 'opto' compressor solidly made in the UK. It is affordable by the smaller studio, but with full LEGACY performance instantly recognisable as superior to any regular compressors. The 'LEGACY' is presently out of production. Click here to read more.... and hear a demo! Welcome The forums are full of comments and questions from engineers asking why their recordings don’t sound ‘right’ when they are following the directions and using the right gear. Why does an apple pie from a supermarket not taste anything like as good as one that grandmother made? The answers are remarkably similar! The supermarket pie has ‘uniformity’ processed into it; the ingredients may be pure and wholesome, but they are bland and ‘safe’. There are additives to preserve and packaging to enhance, the final result is pale and uninteresting. Digital equipment is designed by engineers who firmly believe that the ‘quality’ of a sound can be defined and measured, but great engineers know that there is much more to sound than that! The TFPRO P38 range…., definitive optical compressors; compressors that brings out mood and feeling. The TFPRO P9….. Ted’s definitive equaliser; it brings warmth and life. The TFPRO M16….. Fine mic amps and mixing, a formidable combination; redesigned version 2 now available.NOTE, this website is now much more a 'resource' than a sales window. Ted still manufactures the odd compressor for those who insist! The range of TFPRO equipment was been the result of a new look at the performance and design requirements of the 21st century record producer; a way of using the great tools and techniques of the past, and maintain the standards that are essential today. Ted originated the Joemeek® brand in 1993 and sold the trademark to PMI Audio Group in 2001. There are references to Joemeek® in the website..... Joemeek® is a registered trademark of PMI Audio Group. Ted is President of Orbitsound Ltd and the inventor of the Orbitsound spatial sound technology.