Dr. AIX's POSTS NEWS — 20 December 2016


I finished reading and grading three stacks of final exams (130 4-page exams), listened to dozens of homework assignments, watched 40 final DVD projects, tabulated totals for every one of my students, and submitted them online yesterday — fully 24 hours ahead of the deadline! Yippee, the semester is officially over! It’s time to refocus on my oldest son’s birthday tomorrow (same day as Albert Lee I discovered some time ago), the holiday shopping, and planning for the new year — which promises to be very fruitful and fun. I love teaching but the grading is a real drag.

In the middle of October, I wrote a post about a visit to San Diego and my introduction to a company that has developed a speaker technology that uses an array of individual drivers to “direct” specific audio channels to specific locations in a listening space. You can read the previous post by clicking here. It’s not a new technology — beaming forming has been around for a while — but this particular implementation is both effective and efficient — which means it doesn’t have to cost big bucks. Imagine being able to project as many as three individual audio programs to isolated areas of a conference room, immerse yourself in VR or game sound without headphones, or provide full binaurally recorded or processed music to an individual in front of desk or sitting on a couch across their listening room. That’s what the Comhear company is making available to interested companies with their MyBeam™ technology (which won an Innovation Award from the CTA/CEA recently). They will be demonstrating their technology in Las Vegas during the International 2017 CES Show in early January. If you’re planning on attending the show, you should let me know and come by for a demonstration. We’ll be in a suite at the Venetian Hotel — where all of the high-end audio gear is located.

I’ve been offered an opportunity to work with my friend Peter and his team over the next few months bringing the technology to a wider audience. And one of the things I’ll be doing is bringing the technology into the music market. To that end, we came up with a name and brand identity during a couple of days of meetings last week. The name of the home entertainment unit is Yarra™ and the logo imagines the array of speakers used to make the magic happen.


The executives at the company have reached out to some branding experts to see what they think of the name and look. So I offered to run it by this group and gather some feedback from an audio audience. Please feel free to leave a comment or write to me privately with your thoughts. This name will hopefully carry the product through a crowd sourcing campaign in the first half of next year. Yarra™ is already a product and works. I’m thinking of this branding effort like Pono, Sonos, Core, Pulse, Geek, and other audio related products.

As the person that came up with name and logo, I can say that I like it a lot (big surprise, right? Although, we did go through at least 100 different names) — and the rest of the management team likes it too! It’s hard to get a group of people to agree on a name. I know we spent big bucks and months narrowing in on Yoostar when I worked for the game startup. This is first step to the launch of a very exciting new product line — and I want you to be part of it.

So let me know whether you think it works as an audio product name. I anxious to get started with the web page and branding.

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About Author


Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

(22) Readers Comments

  1. The name feels a little backwards 🙂

    • Congrats on seeing the inner meaning in the name — you’re a winner!

  2. Hi. If you don’t know, the Yarra is the main river in Melbourne Australia.

    Much loved by locals, bit often referred to as the River that runs upside down”, due to its brown colour.

    The subject of songs and poetry, as well as featuring in the foreground of events such as the Australian Tennis open.

    It’s nature is captured well in My Brown Yarra by the Whirling Furphies s.

    • I discovered the Yarra river in Melbourne, Australia while doing a search on the name. It’s amazing to me how many Australians read this blog and have let me know. Thanks.

  3. Hi, Mark.

    I’m not sure about copyright rules and naming rights, but be aware that the Yarra is the river running through Melbourne, Australia. Would you be allowed to use Potomac, Hudson, Thames or Danube?

    Cheers from Melbourne


    • There are no restrictions on using proper names or places as brands. Think of the number of rock bands named after cities — Chicago, Boston etc. I think we’ll be fine.

  4. Lightweight and entertainment-oriented, in a good way. Yuppie and young. If you want to project a serious impression of technological advancement to true audiophiles, though, I’m not sure it will resonate. I know, ‘yarra’ is ‘array’ backwards, and hence a revolution in arrays. Maybe that’s a subtitle, ‘yarra: a revolution in arrays, incorporating ray-tech’. (insert smiley here). Something is needed for punch-through, name-wise, to the serious audiophile market IMO.

    Melbournians won’t be impressed. It’s their river.

    • Thanks Grant. You’re right, the name is not an audiophile friendly term nor is it meant to be. The sound is amazing and quite impressive in its ability so provide a great sound stage but it won’t put Wilson or B&W out of business. Good job on seeing the reverse sequence and the tie in to the array technology.

  5. Yara brilliant man! I like it.


  6. I am a marketing guy. I have worked in corporate identity for many years. A memorable product can stand on its own and then a chosen name becomes synonymous with the product…. if you work at it! My reservation here is with the meaning, is there any, and the sound it makes. Is it pleasant when spoken does it mean anything? Is it a product name or a company name?

    After the euphoria of a launch what happens to the brand? Does it stretch, does it have legs? You need to think way beyond a CES launch.

    Hopefully that is helpful.

    • William, thanks for the input. The name is meant for the product. The company name Comhear and the umbrella URL is Beamsonic. I like the sound it makes and it is aply on the reverse letters spelling our array — the technology behind the product.

  7. The idea of the colored dots representing the sounds is good. The word Yarra has no meaning and it says nothing about the product. ( perhaps I missed it ) It would be better to find a word which captures the meaning of the technology or at least hints at it or leads to it. Let the idea of what the product does stay in your mind together with the question to find the right word and when you least expect it the right word will pop up. Can take weeks.
    BeaMany … Audission …. Beamit ….

    • The word is “array” backwards. It is somewhat cryptic but it just developed into a good sounding name. We tried lots of words that get at the technology but decided they were too complex…at least the one we dreamed up.

  8. I like it – especially the version with the coloured dots.

    I did notice the logo at the top of this page – but why, why oh why is there nothing behind that link?
    It reminds me of the empereors clothes ;-(
    At leadt there should be some kind of announcment there!

    You write: ‘Yarra™ is already a product and works’ and ‘the launch of a very exciting new product line’
    Please give us some hints, how it can be used in real life – very few of us will be able to come to the CES show.

    And happy hollidays to you and best wishes for 2017.

    • I’m working on the landing page and will have it up asap. I’ll certainly be providing more information, products shots and features on the new page. Stay tuned. Thanks.

  9. You’ve obviously made up your mind unless someone points out it means something rude in Russian.

    I’d put a q any the end of it. yarraq, I think it needs to sound stronger. And q-array technology sounds very impressive!

    • It passed most people’s evaluation — including a few professionals. I’m moving on. I’m starting to put together the website landing page, which is at http://www.beamsonic.com. If you’ve like to stay informed, you can leave your email address at that site.

  10. Hey Mark,
    I’ll be at CES this January. What floor and suite at the Venetian will you be on?
    Looking forward to checking this out!

    Best… Carlo.

    • I’ll find out an post it here.

  11. If the company name is Comhear, how about calling it C-Hear.

    (This also puns as “See here!” or “See, hear”.)

  12. OK, I signed up for the newsletter. Looking forward to learning more about the system. As others have said, the name is not as important as the product. But you certainly wouldn’t want to pick a name that has a negative connotation. Yugo comes to mind

  13. Just one cautionary imperative: many, many brands become truncated by the masses in some way. Think GM, Mac ( in audio McIntosh, not Mickey D ), AR, etc etc. For Yarra, Yar comes to mind! Which, dependent on your thoughts might be OK or not.

    It might behave you, to develop your own shortened logo, before the masses do, the term Yarra, is somewhat difficult to verbalized. And FWIW, spellcheck resorts to Ybarra, which you probably already know and have googled.

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