EASE Development Concept and Vision

September 19, 2023

New Approach. New Platform. New Software.

 

Our vision

At AFMG our goal is to create acoustic simulation software that provides precise results, that is easy to use, and that supports our customers to deliver better solutions to their clients.

For over three decades, EASE software has set the standard in acoustic simulation. Coming from a purely academic environment, the scope of application has moved to a business environment with a stronger focus on the customer. Today, thousands of acousticians, consultants, design engineers, installation companies and other professionals worldwide rely on EASE for their daily work.

However, over time, the expectations of software users regarding the usability and accessibility of modern software have changed significantly. For this reason, we went all the way back to the drawing board and gave EASE a fresh start by bringing it to a new platform and by implementing new technologies. This process went along with establishing a modern agile development approach designed for continuous feature delivery supported by a new quality control environment and a user-centric implementation philosophy.

With the newest version of the EASE software, AFMG is paving the road for the next generation of acoustic simulation solutions. We want to make it easy and fast to create a computer model of the sound system and the room that is reliable, representative, and accurate. Using cutting-edge technologies, we want to create innovative, powerful tools to analyze, to understand, and to optimize the acoustics of a venue. As technical solutions for acoustic challenges evolve, so does our software - this journey has now reached a new milestone.

For the future of EASE, we envision a software that is, for example, capable of:

Ease5

Moving to a new platform

Due to the immense range of functionality that AFMG has achieved with EASE versions up to 4.4, the restart on the new platform takes place in several, defined steps.

 

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Pic EASE 5 Second Edition EASE 4 - EASE 5 comparison

 

These steps follow a strategic approach that combines a new platform which provides highly anticipated new features for entering and managing projects and new implementations of familiar tools with existing calculation functionality that is expanded and integrated in a modular way. As a result, users can already benefit from numerous innovations and do not have to wait for the complete rewrite of the software on the new platform.  Anchor

 

EASE 5 Second Edition: Major feature additions & new calculation tools

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EASE 5 Second Edition Headerbild

    The Second Edition of EASE 5 was launched in September 2023 – less than a year after the introduction of the First Edition in October 2022. This latest version represents an important milestone in the EASE 5 development.

    EASE 5 Second Edition comprises all feature additions since the launch of the First Edition and some more. Based on the feedback of hundreds of customers, 11 major upgrades have been published in the meantime, leading up to the Second Edition. The release marks a turning point that many long-term EASE users have been waiting for:

    All required functionality for dealing with large and complex projects - known from EASE 4 - is now available!

    In EASE 5 Second Edition, however, the setup, evaluation, and tuning of such projects has become even more comfortable and efficient thanks to the hands-on tools, intuitive workflows and the many new and innovative functions it provides. 

     

     

    Major feature additions

    Managing large projects with grouping functions

    Grouping functions and selection sets

    • Select multiple items in the 3D View by mouse frame or Ctrl and mouse click.
    • Selected items can be moved, duplicated, mirrored and more.
    • Create selection sets to recall groups of items later.
      • Label and update selection sets.
      • Highlight, view and edit all items in a selection set.
    • Use selection sets to organize your project, such as for:
      • Assigning acoustic materials to groups of surfaces,
      • Loudspeaker groups,
      • Geometrical elements such as pews or columns.
    • Statistical summary when selecting multiple room elements including number of faces and loudspeakers as well as total surface area.
    Video file
    Selection frame and Selection set examples.

     

    Developing large projects

    • Add existing project files to the currently loaded project.
    • Combine function available for EASE 5 projects, DWG drawing files and EASE 4 projects.
    • Inserted projects are automatically added as a selection set.
    Video file
    Combining project files with the Add Projects feature.

     

    Loudspeaker systems

    • Copy and paste loudspeaker configurations.
    • Load XGLC configuration files for multiple loudspeakers at once.
    • Use processing blocks to apply shared signal processing to multiple loudspeakers.
    Video file
    Copying a line array configuration to multiple selected arrays.
    Full support for 2D and 3D CAD drawings from AutoCAD, Rhino, Sketchup
    • Import of 2D elements from AutoCAD and other drawing tools in DWG format:
      • 2D Polylines and LW Polylines
      • Circles, ellipses and arcs
    • Import layers/tags from AutoCAD, Rhino, Sketchup projects for:
      • Assigning acoustic materials
      • Creating audience areas
      • Project organization
    • Model export in DWG format:
      • Faces
      • Material assignments
      • Loudspeaker case drawings
         
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    Extruding a floor plan
    Extruding from an imported floor plan.

    For more details, please see our featured article about importing CAD models.

    Numerous drawing tools for mirroring, rotating, arcs and circles

    Mirror function

    • One or multiple selected items can be mirrored in X-direction or in Y-direction.
    • For loudspeakers and listener seats the aiming/orientation angles are mirrored accordingly.
    • For faces the acoustic orientation is adjusted accordingly.
    Video file
    Mirroring multiple faces.

     

    Rotate function

    • Parts of the room or the room as a whole can be turned around a user-defined axis.
    • This function can be used to adjust the orientation of copied or imported objects, to aim arrays of loudspeakers, or to tune reflector angles.
    Video file
    Rotating the room.

     

    Inserting circles and arcs

    • Insert circular faces by center point and radius.
    • Create polygons including one or several arcs.
    Video file
    Inserting a polygon with an arc.
    Advanced integration with EASE Focus and manufacturer aiming software

    Importing configuration files

    • Import and export XGLC configuration files for line arrays and loudspeakers.
      • Mechanical information such as number of elements and splay angles
      • Input configurations, box gains, and filters on box inputs.
      • Filter settings, such as IIR and FIR filters as well as internal filter overrides.
    • Import configuration for one or multiple loudspeaker objects at once.
    • Copy and paste all settings across loudspeakers and line arrays in the project.
    • Import sound system configurations in XLD text format.
      • Name and speaker model for each loudspeaker object.
      • Location and orientation, delay, gain and filter settings.

     

    Video file
    Importing an XGLC configuration file with FIR filters generated by FIRmaker. 

     

    Supported by numerous aiming and design tools

    • General import of configurations and filter settings from EASE Focus.
    • Advanced settings from EASE Focus line array plug-ins and FIRmaker, such as provided by
      • Biamp
      • D.A.S. Audio
      • dBTechnologies
      • RCF
      • Sony
    • XGLC configuration files with input filters supported by 3rd-party manufacturer software such as
      • d&b audiotechnik ArrayCalc
      • EAW Resolution
      • Harmonic Design
      • JBL LAC
      • Kling & Freitag ConSequenza
      • L-Acoustics Soundvision
      • Martin Audio Display
      • Renkus-Heinz RHAON
      • Steffens Systems
    • Sound system configuration files in XLD format can be imported from software like
      • AFMG’s EASE Focus
      • d&b ArrayCalc
      • L-Acoustics Soundvision

    For more details, please see our featured article about loading loudspeaker configurations.

    More navigation functions, cutting planes, presentation options
    • Cutting planes can be set in the X, Y, and Z domain.
    • The bottom right of the 3D view shows an axis cross for better orientation. In addition its shown at all reference points when inserting items.
    • Faces can be hidden entirely.
    • Switch to 3D perspective view in addition to X, Y, Z views.
    • Scale-to-fit for selected room elements.
    • Parts of the ribbon menu have been redesigned.
    • Content of each window can be saved to the clipboard or a graphics file.
    • Look from a selected loudspeaker or listeneer seats.
    • Colors can be assigned to the materials of a project.
    Video file
    Applying cutting planes.

     

    New calculation tools

    Signal processing chain and loudspeaker configuration

    Global EQ

    • Global equalization and gain can be applied to the input signal that is fed to the sound system.
    • Related filters can be defined and modified through the Filter Stage window.
    • For calculations, the gain and eq settings are combined with the filter settings for processing blocks and individual loudspeakers.
       
    Video file
    Reducing the sound system gain with Global EQ.

     

      Filters for all filter stages

      • Numerous new filters for signal processing: 
        • Low-shelf, high-shelf and all-pass filters added.
        • High-pass and low-pass filters extended by Linkwitz-Riley and Bessel types.
        • Symmetrical peak filter added.
      • Invert Polarity allows shifting the phase of the entire set of filters by 180°.
      • Bypass and reset functions can be applied to the entire filter bank as well.
      • All filters available for global EQ, processing blocks, individual loudspeakers, as well as loudspeaker inputs.
      Video file
      Filters in EASE 5.

       

      Input configurations for line arrays and loudspeakers

      • A new tabular overview was added to the Configurator window.
        • Box types, splay angles and gain settings are shown.
        • Input configurations and predefined filters can be selected as provided by the GLL.
        • Input filters can be defined including High-/Low-Pass, High-/Low-Shelf, Peak, Delay, Gain.
        • Also supported are FIR/Measured transfer function, 1/3rd octave, 1/24th octave filters.
      • Loading XGLC configuration files will select the specified input configuration and corresponding filters, especially beam-steering settings and advanced filter configurations from line array design software.
       

      For more details, please see our featured article about mapping the signal processing chain.

      STI optimization function and speech spectrum

      New STI Optimizer in Room Mapping

      • Signal level and noise level can now be adjusted in post-processing, i.e., after the mapping was calculated. This is particularly useful after long AURA calculations.
      • Corresponding STI values can be viewed and mapped in 3D.
      • The Optimize function can be used to determine the best signal level automatically, based on signal masking, S/N, and hearing threshold.
      • Supported by new SNR mapping for Standard Mapping and AURA Mapping.
      • Available for Standard and Pro licenses.
      Video file
      STI optimization function.

         

        Choice of input signal

        • In the Acoustic Parameters window, one can choose among pink noise, speech according to the STI standard IEC 60268-16:2020, music (EIA 426B) and program (IEC 60268-1).
        • The signal type is automatically applied to all calculations. It is also accounted for when determining the maximum output capabilities of loudspeakers and line arrays.
           
        Video file
        Input signal block in the Acoustic Parameters view.

        For more details, please see our featured article about speech intelligibility assessment.

        Analysis tools for immersive designs
        • Loudspeaker density mapping shows the number of loudspeakers reaching a receiver within 3 dB or 10 dB. This mapping is particularly useful for coverage optimization in immersive/spatial audio designs. 
           
        • Horizontal angle mapping shows the horizontal angle of the direction of the localized source for each receiver. This mapping is particularly useful for visualizing and optimizing precedence and localizationin designs of immersive systems and of delay/fill loudspeaker lines. Available only for Standard and Pro licenses.
        Video file
        Horizontal angle mapping example.

        For more details, please see our featured article about immersive design tools.

        Cumulative distribution, mapping functions, musical instruments

        Analysis and evaluation

        • Cumulative distribution supported, including threshold and mean values for top 80%, 85%, 90% and 95% of the covered area (e.g., for EN 54-32).
        • New signal-to-noise ratio mapping for Standard Mapping and AURA Mapping plots.
        • Display of broadband noise level in dB (A) and dB (Z).
        Video file
        Switching from the distribution graph to the cumulative distribution graph.

        Auxiliary functions

        • Print Value mouse mode for inserting mapping values in the 3D view.
        • Status bar shows mapping values at mouse location in Peek and Print Value mouse modes.
        • Revised diagram scaling and labeling for frequency response, echogram and distribution graphs.

         

        Database of musical instruments

        • GLL data files for 22 musical instruments, including a clarinet, a harp, a trumpet, and a violin, among others.
        • Directional data as well as sound power data for coverage and room acoustic modeling.
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        Double bass
        Measurement of double bass using a spherical microphone array (courtesy Stefan Weinzierl).

        For more details, please see our featured article about the musical instruments database.

        Material-based scattering data
        • Scattering coefficient can be defined per material.
        • Materials can be stored as .mat files and modified with the material editor.
        • Considered by AURA Mapping and AURA Response calculations.
        • Default scattering coefficient applied to faces without scattering information.
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        Material with Scattering
        Acoustic material with absorption (brown) and scattering (blue) data defined.

         

        20% Bundle Discount

        Starting with EASE 5 is especially attractive now, as a 20% bundle discount is available for a limited time!
        The discount will automatically be granted when purchasing multiple licenses with the same feature level and license term in the AFMG Online Store.

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        Call to Action Pic Second Edition Promo

         

         

         

        The Second Edition is a free upgrade for all customers who own a current license of EASE 5 First Edition!Anchor

        Continuous feature delivery

        Based on a modern development process and professional quality control, the development of EASE proceeds at high speed and performance. New features and functions are made available continually in the form of significant software updates.


        The feedback of our users is incorporated into the development process in order to ensure close alignment to their needs. Frequently necessary adaptations due to changes of the operating system, framework, or underlying technologies are also applied systematically.

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        Pic EASE 5 Second Edition Releases Graph

         

        What´s on our roadmap?

        The development of EASE 5 continues at a close pace - always based on the valuable feedback from our users. Especially features like extended materials management and user-defined colors for surfaces are on our roadmap for the next updates.

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        Roadmap EASE 5 Development Dec 2023

         


        FAQs

        We are aware that the transition to a new software platform is associated with a number of questions. We have tried to address the most important ones and collected them here:

         

        EASE 5-SE Transition - Questions and Answers