A New Chapter In Audio Development
This December 2021 edition closes an important chapter for this magazine, having concluded another successful publication year under extraordinarily difficult circumstances globally. This was the year when we celebrated our 50 years from the company's origins and 20 full years of audioXpress magazine. I believe we celebrated in the best possible way — by releasing our best editions every month — even under significant challenges.
Unfortunately, as a result of nearly two years of global pandemic, our own readership and author communities have suffered unfathomable losses — and every day the entire audio industry continues to mourn the departure of more industry legends and more precious talent. And I believe the only way to honor their memories and counteract the feeling of loss is to highlight the work of new talented builders, developers, researchers, and entrepreneurs.
Many of our readers still clearly remember when a magazine was something that arrived in the mail every month and was supposed to provide knowledge, education, and entertainment, fulfilling a variety of needs in order to be perceived as valuable. That included a generous serving of specialized news updates that weren't available elsewhere, reference articles for beginners, and even crossword puzzles to challenge the readers' devotion to the passion that united the magazine's community. I remember including advertisers' business reply cards with all the numbers of the ad pages, so readers could conveniently express their interest.
When I joined audioXpress and transitioned from the previous model, this magazine needed a new format and new direction. As I wrote back in December 2013, I tried to combine "more (of what our readers expect), electronics (our roots), and audio innovation (our focus)," respecting the publication's heritage.
We've been doing that since then and I am proud of the publication's evolution within that spirit. But now it's time to enter a new chapter in our mission of "Advancing the Evolution of Audio Technology" as a global magazine and website. We are not planning any immediate, drastic redesigns or changes. We will simply reinforce the innovation focus and expand the coverage of all audio disciplines, expanding the development, design, and engineering angles.
We believe that part of that evolution is to bring audio enthusiasts, developers, and the industry closer, by promoting the value of everyone's contributions and efforts. And we do that every day. It's not something we state. It's something that needs to be done in practice. Every day. Among the greatest challenges during these pandemic years was the need to keep the community together and expand on its purpose by offering content of common interest, while continuing to reflect an industry in accelerated evolution. We felt that pressure as our online community expanded, and through the boost in our magazine and newsletter subscriptions — and we could see how our own readership's expectations also evolved.
audioXpress is increasingly relevant because it reflects the frontiers of what needs to be uncovered and shares the details about the products and technologies that are being unveiled and discovered, as well as the journeys of the companies and individuals who are exploring new ground. That is how a trade publication fulfills a unique role—and in our case, that of "Advancing the Evolution of Audio Technology."
These are very exciting times. Audio content is being produced and experienced in multiple new ways, and audio technology is more relevant than ever to multiple industries, and serving many exciting new applications. The audio industry is reflecting that excitement.
In this edition, we addressed speaker optimizations, room correction, new sound response emulation concepts, variable acoustics, and sound calibration for any targeted audio reproduction system. In this last domain, I'm particularly glad to feature a contributed article from Lars-Johan Brännmark, Chief Scientist at Dirac Research, discussing the challenges of applying DSP room correction to complex multichannel setups, intended to meet the requirements of object-based immersive audio formats. His article discusses a completely new frontier for audio, with the new concept of spatial room correction, going beyond frequency domain and time domain optimization. And it hints at the need for a new approach to the architecture of speakers as well, which need to cooperate, allowing room-correction filters to operate simultaneously.