Dr. AIX's POSTS — 11 September 2017


What can I say? I have no excuses for the past few months of blog silence. During the intervening months, I have completed the Music and Audio: A Guide to Better Sound, which is welcome news. It’s over 700 pages long and has over 200 illustrations. The replicated Blu-ray demo discs have arrived back from the replicator and have been inserted into the protective sleeves that will attached to the inside back cover of the book. I’m expected to receive the finished books from the printer in about two weeks. Shipments will go out before the end of the month. The eBooks and downloadable files will happen at the same time. I recognize that it’s been a very long haul — two years ago I launched the campaign on Kickstarter — but I think you’ll find the information and approach refreshing and informative. The Blu-ray disc is an excellent source for high-res music and comparisons of mastering and formats. The process of researching, writing, illustrating, and producing a comprehensive Blu-ray disc was larger than I imagined. But at long last it’s finished. I do appreciate the support and patience of all who backed the project.

In other important news, the YARRA 3DX sound bar Kickstarter campaign is ready and will launch tomorrow at 12 noon PDT. I’ve helped bring this remarkable product to life over the past 8 months and contributed to the Kickstarter webpage. In case you missed my previous posts about the YARRA 3DX, you can go back and read about my initial introduction to the MyBeam™ technology by clicking here.

Since that time, the YARRA 3DX team has established a feature set, name, logo, industrial design, and price for the YARRA 3DX. Company management has already signed the PO for an initial run of 2000 units with deliveries expected by late first quarter of 2018. There’s lots of information on the YARRA 3DX landing page about the technology, illustrations, and a video that explains how it works.

We’ve demoed the unit for hundreds of people and the reaction is always the same. People are amazed that a speaker located in front of them can create the sonic impression of a sound behind you or above you. Of course, this is all about binauralized sound being delivered via discrete beams of sound to your left and right ears through speakers instead of headphones. But it works amazingly well. I have one under my computer monitor and I listen to 5.1 surround music all the time.

So here’s the deal. There will be an email newsletter going out tomorrow at exactly 12 noon PDT (Pacific Daylight Time). It will contain the link to the Kickstarter page AND describe the process of securing your own unit (or multiple units if you like). I have a dedicated YARRA 3DX VIP sign up list but I’m going to include people on the RealHD-Audio list as well. You’ll get this email only once, I promise. But the first 1000 people that back the campaign can get the YARRA 3DX sound bar, subwoofer, setup DVD, YARRA 3DX app, AND 6 AIX Records surround albums of their choice for 50% off the MSRP of $599. You spend $299 and get a state-of-the-art sound bar that looks great, sounds great, and provides immersive 3D sound for music, gaming, AR/AR, and home theater

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(8) Readers Comments

  1. The Yamaha 5600 sound bar also uses beaming technology, and is currently in its Mk 2 iteration.

    • And they licensed the same patents that are used in this sound bar…

  2. Dear Mark,

    How can I integrate the Yarra 3DX with my current stereo system, consisted of two very large high-end loudspeakers, a 500 WRMS active subwoofer, a pair of 300WRMS mono amps, a preamplifier fed by the Oppo UDP 205? Since the Yarra 3DX is a very small loudspeaker is it possible to integrate it with larger stereo systems? Upon now, I did ear nothing about that integration. Will Comhear Inc develop larger systems in the future?

    I realized that the Yarra 3DX is to be positioned very near from the listener and I need a Yarra system that can be positioned at approx. 15 feet from my listening position.

    • Ron…15 feet is considered far field and will work just fine. The size doesn’t matter. This is about the final sound being delivered.

      • Mark,
        I have the same question as Ronaldo but I’d like a better understanding of this unit in the context of a critical music listening, not a gaming environment or mobile (mp3) device application. I have a class-B configuration I enjoy but it is only traditional 2 channel stereo with a pair of excellent 25 year old Mirage 3si speakers.

        I’ve read the literature and it’s description is mostly for gaming and mobile devices, not critical listening even though your AIX sampler is included. Is the literature correct or is the Yarra 3DX suitable for critical listening or appropriate for augmenting my existing configuration. I consider emotional impact to be the target for gaming audio (critical to gamers) and the literature describes the Yarra 3DX as an excellent solution.

        I’m probably confusing (mixing) apples with oranges but the finances can no longer support expensive upgrades which makes the Yarra 3DX appealing. Spatial information becomes more important to me as the hearing ages.

        I expect the real answer is no and I’m foolish to even consider mixing the two resulting less than class-b results. The purist audiophiles readers are probably laughing or appalled by our questions :-{

        Thank you for your pending reply.

        • Company management has been leaning towards the gamer market despite my urging that they embrace the music and home theater segment. Both Peter Otto (the co-inventor) and I are music lovers and wanted to make sure that this unit delivers a robust experience for audiophiles. That’s why we’ve pushed to include 96 kHz/24-bit High-Resolution processing (for stereo programming only) and spent considerable time tweaking the filters. Is the YARRA 3DX going to compete with your high-end stereo system, probably not. Will it deliver excellent fidelity AND great spatial dimensionality, yes! It can definitely qualify as a critical listening device.

      • Yes, Mark, since I trust in your opinion I will buy one unit to test in my system in Brazil. Thanks for you consideration!

  3. I am the inventor of a competing technology. I’m always interested to learn what other experimenters in the field are up to, what theory their ideas are based on, and if possible a demonstration of how well it works. So far those I’ve analyzed or experienced have come up far short of their claims. Not only don’t they perform nearly adequately, some require the listener to sit where X marks the spot, that is a so called sweet spot often where cross channel cancellation of left and right signals reaching the opposite ear are cancelled out of phase at just the right time and amplitude occur. The results are interesting but don’t really address the problem. Experiments with all variants of binaural recordings have also come up far short whether played through headphones or speakers. My own straightforward mathematical models explains why in each case.

    Of all of the technologies I’ve seen, only Wave Field Synthesis has a fighting chance. In fact after careful analysis I’ve come to the conclusion that it may be the same invention I created approaching it from an entirely different direction. That is in their ultimate development, the mathematical solution developed by WFS is based on the Huygens–Fresnel principle solving the Kirchhoff-Helmholtz integral and my solution I call Acoustic Energy Sound Field Transfer Theory can be manipulated so that either can be convolved into the other. My invention predates WFS by 14 years and an example of its application can be seen in US Patent 4,332,979. This is only one example, a very simplified one of an application of the theory. The mathematical development is based on vector analysis, Fourier analysis, and mapping functions. I call this application Electronic Environmental Acoustic Simulation. Neither invention has been built out to its full capabilities due to complexity, both requiring a dome of loudspeakers shoulder to shoulder many amplifiers, and a lot of signal processing. Both also require anechoic recordings to perform as a scientific instrument for the study of acoustics and psychoacoustics.

    There are simplified (or as I like to think of them as bastardized) versions of both technologies. The patent was created as an appliance for home entertainment of commercially made recordings. In 43 years I’ve built only two prototypes an only the second one exists. It may be the only one anywhere. I nearly had a chance to hear a WFS installation when I worked at Bell Labs recently but unfortunately I didn’t get to hear it. That system had 50 loudspeaker systems firing directly at an audience.

    One of the problems I solved at least on paper that WFS experimenters are still grappling with is what in their jargon is called “capture” which is the measurements of acoustic relationships. This for me was the hardest part. In fact after several weeks of getting nowhere I nearly gave up and discarded the entire idea. The Bell Labs demonstration had musicians play in what is a huge anechoic chamber and the second quietest room in the world. The control room was set up adjacent to it and then a large room for the audience beyond the control room. After many failed attempts I realized there are no commercial possibilities for producing a sellable product version of my invention. The prototype is extremely difficult to adjust and must be adjusted not just to the room it is in where the listening room acoustics itself become part of the system but for each recording as well. Because there is no scientific data in a recording related to the acoustics of the original space and because the listening room superimposes its own acoustic signature on the first arriving sound, sound fields cannot be generated in other than an anechoic environment that are scientifically accurate recreations of the original. However, the most salient qualities of those fields as they are perceived live can be reconstructed. Speaking about reconstructing sound fields, both technologies assume that the sound fields required at the listener do not exist on the recording and must be created. The experimental prototypes of each of the two technologies make different compromises and I assume do not sound alike. That was what my curiosity about WFS focused on, the similarities and differences between results.

    I would appreciate a patent number for the technology incorporated in the YARRA 3DX invention. Could anyone supply a reference number?

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