Contact Distribution wows AES with EM Acoustics and Xilica Audio Design

EM Acoustics’ Canadian distributor, Contact Distribution, recently participated in the monthly meeting of the Toronto chapter of the AES to deliver a presentation/demo on the challenges, merits and benefits of fixed versus floating point DSP algorithms. For over two decades the mandate of the industry has been to achieve higher sample and bit rates; now that 192 kHz is possible, the question is whether clients need it or appreciate it, especially in view of the cost of the increased performance.

The evening was hosted at Revolution Studios in Toronto. Contact provided two pairs of HALO-Cs stacked on top of two EMS118 subs per side running off the four channels of an EM Acoustics DQ20 amplifier for a unique “ears on” demonstration of the differences between 48kHz versus 96kHz and fixed and floating point architectures from Donny Chow, president and chief engineer of Xilica Audio.

“Apart from being a fantastically educational evening for us all, these events represent the best way of getting a bunch of southern Ontario’s top audio purists all in the same room to expose them to new technology,” explained Contact’s irrepressible and charismatic MD, Bill Coons. “I specifically asked Donny to come up with a way that we could actually listen to the differences rather than just have him in front of a blackboard or PowerPoint presentation. He did an amazing job, and as a result, it was the first time anything like this had been presented in a public environment rather than in a lab in front of a bunch of egg-heads. It was a great showcase for Xilica and the perfect scenario to get some EM gear in front of everyone.”

“We had flawless full-on 96kHz tracks to play to the best ears in the city,” continued Coons. “No EQ at all. Right out of the box, just loud enough to rattle their pants a little. Big, big smiles all around and comments from studio engineers going, ‘That’s a PA box..? Really..? Wow!’ It was what I expected them to say, but gratifying nonetheless. Just to make sure we really drove the message home, we also brought down a pair of EMS51s for the presenters to speak through. Of course, we ran a tune or two through them just for good measure! Same reaction… So, it was a pretty good evening all round, really!”

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