KV2 Audio » Technical Talks with George Krampera » PART I: Time - the Missing Dimension in Today's Professional Audio Industry 

PART I: Time - the Missing Dimension in Today's Professional Audio Industry 


To understand how the principles of Super Live Audio technology provide superior audio performance, we first need to look at the three main parameters that make up sound – frequency, level and time. While this may be common knowledge to most, we are often surprised how people focus on certain specifications like frequency response or sound pressure level, without truly understanding their relevance in respect to a system’s overall performance. All three sound elements need to be properly replicated to achieve the optimum in sound reproduction and reinforcement.

By looking at the limitations of human hearing, we have a specification that if met by the systems performance will provide natural, uncolored sound to the audience. As shown in figure below, normal human hearing is from 0 to 120 dB+ of signal level and 20Hz to 20kHz in frequency range. What is often neglected is the importance of resolution in time.

Human hearing is able to recognise time definition, (the difference in incoming sounds), down to 10 microseconds and latest research has found that it may be as low as 5 microseconds. Much of a sound’s spatial and directional information is directly related to the time component of the signal. For these reasons, extremely fast circuitry and high sampling rates are required to ensure total reproduction of the soundwaves arriving at micro second intervals to the microphone.

Most discussions relating to sound system design revolve around level and frequency response but fail to consider one of the most important factors – time; the speed at which the electronics and digital converters can process audio signals without loss or distortion.

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