Transcend: From Concept to Performance – Part 2 of 2
New Product Development
Building a new digital signal processor from the ground up is a lot of work! Several months were spent researching competitive systems, critically listening and learning from venues already benefiting from active acoustics. While there are some great-sounding systems already on the market, they tend to be complex and cost-prohibitive for many of the schools, universities and existing performing arts centers that would benefit most from active acoustics. This is where Wenger saw an opportunity to provide a more affordable solution.
Leveraging the long-standing partnership with Lexicon (now part of Harman Professional Solutions), the Transcend project officially kicked off in early 2014. The DSP team was based in Salt Lake City and brought a lot of experience to the table – with several members having worked on the original VAE system. The combined resources of the two companies and purpose-driven design approach resulted in a state-of-the-art digital signal processor made solely for active acoustics.
The new processor expands upon the current VAE platform with four independent processing engines – allowing up to four acoustic environments to run simultaneously. For very large installations, multiple systems can be combined for up to 256 channels of digital audio. The ability to differentiate speech from music (and automatically adjust the reverberant level) is just one of many exciting new features included with Transcend.
Working with Harman provided access to several other industry-leading technologies that they have developed over the past few years. Transcend transports audio using BLU-link; the same digital audio bus found on all BSS London BLU and Harman Pro devices. Transcend also uses Harman’s HiQnet communication protocol and Audio Architect software interface. This allows Transcend to not only effortlessly configure and communicate with other Harman products, but integrate with other installed sound systems as well.
System Design & Implementation
Transcend can support programming that spans theatre to orchestral arrangements, making it ideal for venues that host a variety of acoustic (unamplified) performances. It can be integrated into existing spaces or added to new construction plans. Wenger designs each system from the ground up as a completely unique solution and provides full turn-key installation, termed service agreements and remote monitoring options.
The design of a Transcend system starts with control of the natural acoustics in the room and any sources of excessive background noise. A quiet and less reverberant sound field not only provides the widest range of variable acoustics but also improves the overall stability of the system. Loudspeakers are positioned to provide uniform sound distribution across all listening positions and to avoid localization (with subwoofers adding bass support when needed). A single pair of condenser microphones near the sound source is often sufficient; additional mics are added for large orchestra pits or congregational participation. Although specifying non-standard components is an option, the extensive variety of available Harman products promises distinctive design at an affordable price.
Transcend systems are installed by Wenger-approved professional A/V companies and always tuned by experienced Wenger technicians. Depending on complexity, the tuning process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to complete. Wenger prefers to work with consulting acousticians and end-users (such as resident ensembles) to develop custom acoustic settings and assure the specific needs of each venue are met. A wide-variety of user control options are available that offer simple, elegant operation as well as the ability to interface with other systems.
Wenger Corporation remains committed to providing innovative acoustic solutions, technical expertise and exceptional customer service. The Transcend Active Acoustics System is poised to provide great sound for premier performance halls as well as venues that perhaps couldn’t afford active acoustics in the past.
Part 1 of 2 – Wenger’s Evolution of Active Acoustic Products
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about Transcend.
Product Manager & Design Engineer, Wenger
Matt is a Product Manager at Wenger Corporation and the lead Design Engineer for Wenger’s Active Acoustic Systems. His musical background, advanced degrees in engineering and physics, and passion for acoustics make him a strong asset to Wenger’s Acoustics Group. Since joining Wenger in 2011, Matt has played a key role in the development of several acoustic products including the Tunable Acoustic Panel, VAE Rehearsal System, and Transcend Active Acoustic System. Prior to his role in Product Management, Matt led Wenger’s Research & Development Center and Acoustic Laboratory. He is an active member of the Acoustical Society of America and Audio Engineering Society.