What simulation software do the pro's use?

deanxxx

Member
2012-03-11 12:29 am
brum
Just curious.

1) What simulation software do the commercial hi fi speaker companies use. Be also interesting to know what measurement software they use too but I'd love to know what the likes of KEF, PMC, Focal etc use to help design their products and for that matter how their design process goes.

2) I wonder how much real care and time goes into developing a new range of speakers.

3) Crossover design seems to me to be a black art, how the pro's go about it.

Anyone on here currently working for or have worked for commercial speakers companies? I'd love to get some insights.
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
I'm no pro. :) My pro experience was in motion picture equipment, and what speaker work I did was using a B&K paper/tape based, but I have some thoughts.

1 - Leap, among others

2 - Lots, but not necessarily where you'd think. There is a lot of re-use, so pro's don't necessarily re-do everything from the ground up each time. Dali for instance uses the same tweeter and super tweeter (or is it mid and tweeter?) assembly and by extension the crossover in their lines.

Focal's latest Sopra apparently uses lots of crossover and speaker ideas from previous lines. Most of the new work seems to have gone into making a stylish MDF cabinet. Some of the Focal crossover is specifically designed to make the speakers hard to drive or equalize poor tweeter responses.

Bose does a tremendous amount of simulation and research, but again, not where you'd want. A lot of their budget for consumer products went into research on what things consumers would pay for as opposed to what sound was most accurate.

Also, a lot of work the pro's have to do is for production readiness. Making sure all the steps are laid out in the right order, optimizing costs, tooling for shipping crates, and talking points for the salespeople to communicate the worst attributes as pluses. :D

3 - Leap, among others, but around here we use XSim or one of many free tools.

In addition to simulation of course you need measurement tools, some of which are designed for automated testing, not necessarily for design. Also, this just covers the cabinet and crossover design. I'm sure I'm missing finite element analysis simulations that will simulate the development of new drivers, and export frequency, direction and distortion curves well enough to use in Leap or XSim.

Best,


Erik
 

deanxxx

Member
2012-03-11 12:29 am
brum
Great info eriksquires. Not heard of xsim before, thanx for that.

I worked (very briefly, a long time ago) as a manufacturing engineer, so much of what you wrote I recognised.

I believe KEF did fea on the blade model and use it extensively on driver development but other than that you can see similar tech being used across their range of products. Makes sense, keep thing as simple as possible for manufacture I guess.
 
..Bose does a tremendous amount of simulation and research, but again, not where you'd want. A lot of their budget for consumer products went into research on what things consumers would pay for as opposed to what sound was most accurate.

Bose actually had/has? their own in house programmer writing custom software for them. I know this because I went to a Grateful Dead concert with him in Rochester New York.
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Critofur,

Bose is no stranger to software. Decades ago they produced simulation software specifically for their pro line, to allow an architect or sound engineer to evaluate different setups in an auditorium. As I recall it was running on one of the original all-in-one Macs. Mac SE? Something like that, so I'm not at all surprised.

It was very elaborate and ambitious work for it's target audience. Still, this software was of relatively little financial impact on Bose. Bose makes most of their money selling $25 in parts for $600 or more to consumers. That's a tremendous profit margin. Paying for a software engineer for their counter-top devices is a no-brainer.

Best,


Erik
 

guangui

Member
2013-02-12 12:21 pm
Bose always been big into software and simulation technology, it is how they can buy $5.00 paper woofers and give them a value of $100.00. That technology has helped them into developing their enclosures, like the "wave" radio, which is basically a modified TL.
 
I used to work for a major audio company; for loudspeaker design they used:
LEAP for crossover/system simulations,
Listen Inc's Soundcheck for measurement,
an old computer w/ MLSSA for TS parameters,
& a Klippel R&D/QC System which was primarily used for tone burst testing, testing linearity, centering, & distortion.

I have friends (former colleagues) at Bose & they use MATLAB for most of the things they do there. Apparently they have a ton of custom developed modules that they use for damn near everything.

The company I worked for developed a wide range of products for a wide range of budgets. The care involved definitely correlated to the quality/price of product. For example the company's reference line took over 2 years to develop 6 speakers (this is the time it took from getting engineering dollars & doesn't include pre-project concept work). The 6 speakers share a mid-high module, so there is some commonality in crossover for those components, but the rest was all fairly unique w/ as much family resemblance as possible. The lower end products depending on how much could be reused from old designs could take as little as 6 months to develop.