Last year, AFMG’s ground-breaking beam steering and coverage control technology FIRmaker has induced a shift in how loudspeaker manufacturers think about system design, beam steering and coverage optimization.
Now, the Italian loudspeaker company K-array launches a new product that fully utilizes the digital powers of FIRmaker optimization. Eight built-in DSP channels per enclosure drive separate sections of, in total, 20HF, MF, and LMF transducers, resulting in exceptional coverage control and a rated maximum SPL of 145 dB .
Next to being the first loudspeaker system that has been built from scratch with FIRmaker steering in mind, the K-array KH8 offers a range of other, interesting features that join well with the fully digital concept. Coming boxed with three units in a straight frame, the KH8 is flown effortlessly without the need for curving. Instead, the vertical aiming of each element of the flat hang can be adjusted easily and at any timewhile the whole system remains straight, never taking up more depth than roughly a foot in total. Shaping of the wave front , all beam steering and coverage optimization is done electronically by FIRmaker calculated filters, giving total control to the system technician on site.
Core Concept: Electronic Optimization
When K-array first approached AFMG with the idea to electronically optimize a sound system this matched perfectly with the research that the German software company had been doing for the past years. AFMG was able to supply the ground-breaking, patent-pending optimization algorithm FIRmaker and provide a complete interface for the unique concept of a new sound system presented by K-array. Thus, the KH8 system has been designed to not only deliver high performance and maximum ease-of-use but to ultimately utilize the great flexibility provided by FIRmaker optimization.
The AFMG FIRmaker Technology in combination with the K-array KH8 system and the Powersoft Armonia control software provide a powerful basis for an efficient workflow and highly flexible setup that can easily be adapted to every new venue it is taken to. AFMG’s EASE Focus 2 software allows simulating and configuring the setup during pre-production. After a quick check on location, the FIRmaker plug-in within EASE Focus takes only seconds to calculate optimized FIR filter sets for each of the DSPs inside the full KH8 system. These are then transferred directly to the Armonia platform to be uploaded into the KH8’s DSPs. Thus, tailoring the system’s coverage to the venue is a matter of a few minutes.
Benefits of FIRmaker
“Put your sound where it belongs!” is the claim AFMG raises for its FIRmaker Technology.In fact, the secret behind this patent-pending algorithm is as simple as it is powerful. AFMG makes use of the FIR filter technology available in most modern DSP controllers to minutely control the superposition of all sound waves produced by the individual sound sources of a loudspeaker system. Because this approach relies on AFMG’s award-winning GLL loudspeaker definitions that include high resolution, 3D data of each sound source, the algorithm can also operate in 3D all around a loudspeaker system.
By this, the software company from Germany was able to include a plethora of functions and, most importantly, make these available directly to the users of FIRmaker enabled speaker systems. With FIRmaker it is possible to “design” the coverage that a system provides onto the exact audience areas. More than that, the technology does so for all frequencies resulting in a smooth frequency response in every seat of the house. If, in a given setup, feedback problems occur on stage or a corrugated iron roof produces irritating reflections, FIRmaker can also help. By simply defining the roof or stage as “avoidance areas” in the EASE Focus 2 software, FIRmaker will calculate a different set of FIR filters typically delivering 6 – 8 dB less SPL in the problematic places!
K-array KH8 and FIRmaker
K-array has been known for innovative loudspeaker solutions like the KAN200 “Anakonda”. Now, the KH8 takes the next step in innovation, incorporating the thought of full digital control. Stefan Feistel, managing director of AFMG declares, “K-array have been the first to approach us, with the concept of the KH8 already in mind. The degree of control they thought of already made in-depth use of our FIRmaker Technology. From that point on, our cooperation has been driven by a common understanding. We all wanted to take the concept further to create a turn-key solution unseen by the market so far.”
For more information on FIRmaker please visit firmaker.afmg.eu.