Interview with Eric Dubouays, Active Audio

Founded in 2002 by Xavier Meynial, the Professor and researcher at the Acoustics Laboratory of the Université du Maine (France), Active Audio’s objective was to create a commercial application of research work patented under “Réflecteur Sonore Actif”. This innovating project was a winner of an ANVAR (French National Research Reward Agency) in 2001. Nowadays Active Audio is a 100% private company, but still keeps a close relationship with research.

Since then, Active Audio has acquired a high level of skill in PA systems, and has successfully established itself as a dynamic company in the Public Address market. Its Research and Development team has made its job a passion, and innovation its mission.

eric-dubouaysIn this interview we spoke to Eric Dubouays, export director for Active Audio, to discuss recent projects and the company’s current priorities.

ZioGiorgio: Please tell about any of the company’s news, has anything special happened in Active Audio lately? Any new ideas you are working on?

Eric Dubouays: Yes, we have two ongoing product projects. One will be a high-end speaker dedicated to foreground music. This will be a very unique product, nothing the market has seen before. I can’t say too much right now, but this is expected to be available at the end of this year. Another project is a self-amplified version of RayOn, which will be Dante compatible. This should be ready in the first quarter of 2017.

ZioGiorgio: Please, tell us about StepArray+DSP Dante – what are the benefits of the system?

Eric Dubouays: StepArray+ was developed as an extension of the StepArray line. There is a growing demand for Dante compatible products. And in quite a number of projects, consultants like to have on-board electronics. So we decided to go in that direction, while retaining the advantages of the DGRC concept. StepArray+ is still a highly competitive product, as you don’t need to have one DSP and amplification channel per driver, but one for each cluster of drivers. The drivers are arrayed in channels that take advantage of the natural directivity of the drivers. Hence the competitive pricing compared to other existing solutions.

Dante is a great solution when you want to run your installation on a network, whether existing or dedicated to the audio installation. Lossless transmission of the audio signal, sub-millisecond latency, real time monitoring… it’s a great solution. And if you want to have a self-powered speaker without using Dante, our StepArray+ columns also offer a line input.

ZioGiorgio: APG company has become part of Active Audio. In which direction is the APG equipment being developed now?

Eric Dubouays: First of all, it is important to state that both companies will remain independent from an operational point of view. Régis CAZIN is the CEO of both companies, but the teams are separated for R&D, Marketing, Sales and so on. The distribution networks will remain separated too, with some exceptions of course where Active Audio distributors are eager to have the APG line too.

In terms of products, we have already identified synergies and our R&D teams have been in contact on some projects where the expertise of each company is extremely valuable. We are talking about an Active Audio subwoofer and APG has extremely valuable experience on this subject. We are also talking about other projects where a joint R&D program could be a good way to save time on development.

APG recently released a compact line array system, the Uniline Compact, which is a great success. It is always a great feeling to see a new product meet tremendous success as soon as it’s out on the market. We are now delivering the first systems and more are being ordered.



ZioGiorgio: Any special projects you’ve been working on lately?

Eric Dubouays: A very special recent one was the Royal Chapel of Stockholm. This is an amazing place. Of course, access is restricted, but it’s one of the most beautiful buildings you could think of. That project was done by our local distributor in Norway, Intersonic, with 2 StepArray SA180P, a NUT processor and MPA6150 amplifier. The result is quite fantastic. We hope the royal family of Sweden will enjoy it!


We are also working on the UN Headquarters’ convention rooms in Geneva. This is an ongoing project that will take time, but it is extremely exciting. We hope to be able to complete more of the historical mosques of Istanbul. We did 4 last year. These buildings are extremely impressive, full of history, and it’s a real privilege to be able to equip them. 2016 is a year of challenges and continued growth for Active Audio and we are all very excited about the future.


ZioGiorgio: Thanks Eric!

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