News Article

Full-Fledged Sound System Simulation by EASE® Focus 3 - Software Launch on March 10

2016-03-01 13:24

EASE Focus 3 is AFMG's free software for direct sound simulation of complex sound systems supported by over 60 manufacturers.

Berlin, Germany – March 1, 2016 – After two years of development and extensive Beta testing, EASE Focus version 3, the latest upgrade to AFMG’s renowned EASE Focus product line, will be released on March 10 this year. It implements long-awaited features, one of which is of highest practical relevance: modeling of subwoofer arrays. Users can now define and optimize any subwoofer arrangement and automatically compute the needed delays. The new complex summation feature even allows analyzing the interaction between flown tops and subs on the ground along with many more new and helpful features.

While EASE Focus 3 continues the proven look and feel of its predecessor version 2, the range of new features is considerable. Most notably, moving and stacking of loudspeakers was made much easier by a new snap function, the polar entry feature provides the option to insert venue coordinates directly as read from laser distance meters, and performance improvements throughout the program make it possible to simulate up to 40 sound sources in a single project.

But it is not just the obvious feature set that makes the new version valuable for all users and licensees. Internally, EASE Focus 3 was also prepared for future extension. A communication interface for data transfer to DSP platforms was built in, a plug-in architecture for rigging safety calculations has been set up, and a robust multi-threading calculation engine lays the foundation for managing large-scale projects and FIRmaker optimizations quickly and smoothly.

Last but not least, the new version comes for free to all users and to most current licensees of EASE Focus 2. This means that anybody can take advantage of the new features right away. Most importantly, almost the entire GLL loudspeaker database spanning more than 60 brands will remain fully compatible and accessible.

AFMG’s managing director Stefan Feistel comments: “We are very happy to finally be able to announce this software release. EASE Focus 3 is an important upgrade for the end user just as it is a major milestone on our company’s development roadmap. And we won’t stop here – we have already made detailed plans for the 3.1 update. Thanks to all of our users and to the many supportive loudspeaker companies for driving the software forward.”

A Look Behind The Curtain

In the past years, AFMG has been investing large amounts of time and effort into the implementation of the latest programming platforms and quality control mechanisms. The company states that the now established software engineering process prepares the ground for AFMG’s future product development resulting in shorter release cycles, higher reliability and lower maintenance effort, seamless integration and data exchange between AFMG programs, as well as support for different operating systems and languages.

With EASE Focus 3, AFMG releases the first program that implements the new techniques and modules on a broad scale. With this and the next product releases users can expect the above advantages to become visible and benefit from them directly in their work.

Availability and Downloads

As EASE Focus 3 is free software for the end user, the program will be available to everyone with its release on March 10, 2016. AFMG will offer the download of the installer on their webpages (see link below). In addition, supporting loudspeaker manufacturers will make the program available bundled with their loudspeaker data as well.

New Features & Functionality in EASE Focus 3

Redesigned Calculation Engine

Evaluate superposition results for spatially distributed sound sources.
Evaluate superposition results for spatially distributed sound sources

Complex Summation

Investigate the interaction between separate sound sources especially in the low and low-mid frequency range by enabling “Complex Sum” in the “Options” window. All mappings will now clearly show the influence of polarity, phase, and placement of your systems on the audience areas. Adjust your settings and re-calculate in order to minimize negative effects.
 

Performance Improvements & Result Caching

Due to the high simulation quality provided by AFMG’s award winning GLL data format calculations performed by EASE Focus can take quite some time.
To allow a fast preview of the results, EASE Focus, which now supports up to 40 sound sources, displays results in a coarse resolution first, then calculates at increased mapping density.
EASE Focus 3, in addition, now caches results calculated for separate sources. Since the final result is the superposition of the outcome for each source alone, only the source that has changed needs to be recalculated. This greatly speeds up the tuning process within EASE Focus 3.

Subwoofer Arrays

  The new “Complex Sum” calculation setting allows effective simulation and tuning of basically any arrangement of subwoofer arrays. Place and stack your loudspeakers freely or insert a preconfigured array. Then tune them to deliver the desired radiation pattern.

Specify basic parameters to create a linear subwoofer array automatically, including suggested delays.
Specify basic parameters to create a linear subwoofer array automatically, including suggested delays.

Pre-configured Arrays

While inserting a new sound source you may specifically add subwoofers as a subwoofer array. EASE Focus 3 treats such an array as a single sound source, offers different parameters to conveniently configure it, and automatically computes suggested delays. In version 3.0 EASE Focus supports adding linear subwoofer arrays only. Additional pre-configured setups like cardioid and end-fire arrays are planned for future versions.

Arrange subwoofers freely, set delays, and model the radiated sound field.
Arrange subwoofers freely, set delays, and model the radiated sound field.

Manually Placed Arrays

Independently from preconfigured arrays, EASE Focus 3 provides the option to enter any arbitrary subwoofer array setup manually. Combined with the new stacking feature, typical cardioid and other setups are quickly entered this way. Additionally, the free placement of subwoofers can accommodate for local conditions such as varying riser spacing, a flight of stairs in the way or the like.

Enter gain and delay values as well as the polarity setting in order to adjust sound sources relative to each other.
Enter gain and delay values as well as the polarity setting in order to adjust sound sources relative to each other.

Gain, Delay, Polarity for Single Sources

Several additional fields have been added to the loudspeakers’ properties window. You can now specify the broadband gain, delay, and polarity for each individual loudspeaker. These fields complete the list of parameters generally available for typical loudspeakers. They are included in the reports delivered by EASE Focus and will help your technician reliably setup the system. The new settings are particularly useful when optimizing subwoofer arrays.

Use the feature “Move Active Sound Sources” to displace or aim entire groups of loudspeakers.
Use the feature “Move Active Sound Sources” to displace or aim entire groups of loudspeakers.

Move Active Sound Sources

“Move Active Sound Sources” in the “Edit” menu is a powerful new feature that allows you to easily move and turn all active loudspeakers at once. This is especially useful when editing larger sound systems or manually placed sub arrays.

The snapping function allows stacking loudspeakers easily and according to the physical dimensions of their enclosures.
The snapping function allows stacking loudspeakers easily and according to the physical dimensions of their enclosures.

Stacking Loudspeakers

Stack loudspeakers with a snap! When inserting a new sound source or arranging sources in your project the source you are currently adjusting will automatically “fall” into position according to its geometrical dimensions and the dimensions of other sound sources that might already be placed underneath. – Stacking speakers has never been easier.

Simplified Configuration of Line Arrays

Use a single keystroke to align a sound source physically to a user-defined lower or upper height limit.
Use a single keystroke to align a sound source physically to a user-defined lower or upper height limit.

Snap to Mounting Height

The new “Snap to mounting height” shortcut will help you to quickly and exactly align a system with the upper or lower height limits, e.g. the rigging or stage height. A colored bar displays the limits in the side view. It turns red, if your system exceeds the limits. Limits can be set globally in the project and overridden per line array or loudspeaker.

Select specific array properties to be copied.
Select specific array properties to be copied.

Extended Copy & Paste

Make use of comprehensive copy + paste options to transfer exactly specified parameters from one system onto one or more others. This way, configuring multiple systems in a larger setup has become more precise and error-proof as well as a lot faster.

Select the number of line array cabinets per amplifier channel.
Select the number of line array cabinets per amplifier channel.

Gain Grouping

Typical passive line array systems link several cabinets to the same amplifier channel. To reflect this type of setup in EASE Focus 3, AFMG has introduced gain grouping.
When “Enable Grouping of Cabinet Gains” is activated the group size can be selected. EASE Focus will deactivate the gain boxes in the interface for all but one cabinet of each group. The values are automatically copied to the other cabinets to simplify data entry.

Hovering the mouse over the side views or the splay angle dropdown list will highlight the area covered by two adjacent line array elements.
Hovering the mouse over the side views or the splay angle dropdown list will highlight the area covered by two adjacent line array elements.

Overlap Regions

Overlap regions help you to effectively set the splay angles of your line arrays. When hovering your mouse over the side or the level view, blue areas will highlight the corresponding sections in the different views. Also, the splay angle setting in the line array’s properties windows is marked in bold. This way, you can easily determine which splay angle to taper in order to influence a certain region which might have too much or too little SPL.

Use the same x-axis view section for “Side View” and “Levels” view.
Use the same x-axis view section for “Side View” and “Levels” view.

Synchronized View Limits

To keep the overview of a system in the tuning process it can be helpful to see both the side and the level view at once. As a handy feature you can now align the zoom factor and the X position of both panels by checking “Synchronize X-Axis” in the “Options” window.

Miscellaneous Other Advancements

Enter distance and angles for each point of the venue relative to a reference position.
Enter distance and angles for each point of the venue relative to a reference position.

Polar Coordinate Entry

A common way for setting up a system on site is the use of laser distance meters and inclinometers. EASE Focus 3 now supports configuration of audience zones and areas in the same way by switching to the new “Edit relative to reference point” mode. In this mode, EASE Focus assumes the operator to be standing at the beginning of the audience zone. The distance and angle to each start and end point of the corresponding audience areas can now be entered exactly as read from the meter. To allow making measurements from the stage or handheld the height of the reference point can be set individually.

Improved filter, search, and navigation options when selecting GLLs from the database.
Improved filter, search, and navigation options when selecting GLLs from the database.

Managing GLL Files

EASE Focus 3 now has a full-fledged database engine handling the GLL files. The feature is particularly useful for users working with a large number of GLLs. It allows importing, searching & selecting, exporting and deleting of GLLs along with the typical browsing options of databases.

Select a reference receiver to define the target frequency response for FIRmaker.
Select a reference receiver to define the target frequency response for FIRmaker.

FIRmaker Target Curve

A very common wish of any FOH technician is to make the whole audience have the exact same listening experience as he is having at the location of the console. For FIRmaker enabled loudspeaker systems it is now possible to select a reference receiver for the optimization. The FIRmaker algorithm will then compute FIR filters specifically for the setup defined in EASE Focus that best match each point in the audience to the system frequency response at the front-of-house.

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