The moderator technology achieves precisely this: an increase in low volume sound with reduction in high volume sound—while also retaining sound quality.

The Audio Dynamic Range Moderation Solution

The problem:

Have you ever been watching TV, a DVD or an internet streamed video and suddenly noticed the sound is too LOUD or too QUIET? In response you reach for the volume control to change it—only to find a moment later that the sound level has changed again! Meaning you have to reach for the volume control yet ONCE MORE!!

All you want to do is relax—and not have to keep changing the volume!

Why does this happen? It happens due to the excessive dynamic range in the incoming audio: the quiet parts and the loud parts of a programme or film—and we must not forget the ads—are often so significantly far apart volume-wise that to simply hear a softly spoken conversation means that the loudest parts can be very loud—too loud.

The only real solution available presently is to sit ready with remote on hand, riding the volume. One might imagine that an audio compressor might be the answer, since that would reduce the dynamic range, but the problem there is that over-compressed sound is often distorted or even painful, meaning a compressor is not really the sought for solution, as it alters the quality of the sound in an undesirable way. All that is wanted is reduction of the excessive dynamic range, while leaving the sound quality unchanged.

Apart from obvious wide, general application, reduction in audio dynamic range could also prove particularly useful for people with hearing issues—and for those who live with them. The quiet parts could be made louder without having to turn up the overall volume.

Likewise, it is possible such technology could address the pervasive problem of varying input levels experienced by people streaming music.

Our Solution: Audio Dynamic Range Moderation Program

The Moderation Algorithm: “it is as if an invisible, telepathic person with basically instant reflexes were sitting beside the viewer, with a likewise invisible remote ready in hand, constantly and precisely adjusting the device volume with perfect anticipation.”

The moderator technology achieves precisely this: an increase in low volume sound with reduction in high volume sound—while also retaining sound quality.

The technology could be deployed inside DVD players; TVs; laptops; tablets; smart phones; or as a stand-alone accessory. A conservative estimate of the global market for even these most obvious devices puts 2016 sales at over 2.5 billion units. Total units sold of these devices are expected to increase year by year for the foreseeable future.

Design features:

  • Fidelity. The algorithm is non-lossy, meaning sound quality should not at all be diminished by the process.
  • Does not require a user interface, meaning it achieves its outcome automatically.
  • Look-ahead. The chip is ‘look-ahead;’ that is, it is responding to upcoming—as opposed to recent—sound levels.
  • Make-up gain. The algorithm provides the option of make-up gain, enabling full utilization of available bit depth.
  • Operates at any bit depth desired.
  • The algorithm is as terse and minimal as possible, so that it occupies as little room as possible on a chip.
  • The algorithm’s design is entirely original and all relevant IP belongs to the company.

The offer from VENTUREVOIP LIMITED

The company is offering for sale the audio dynamic range moderation technology: the algorithm code and associated Demonstration Board. The Demonstration Board can be used to experiment with settings and establish those most appropriate for any particular application. A short video and technical report have been prepared to explain audio moderation in more detail. Interested potential acquirers of this technology will be able to view and experiment hands-on with the Demonstration Board—as well as ask questions of the developers in person—in a demonstration lab to be set up in the Innovation Centre at The University of Otago.

Background

Some years ago VENTUREVOIP LTD. began investigating the possibility of developing technology with a view to addressing the problem outlined above, using an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) electronic chip. This ultimately led to the development of the new audio moderation process. This work has been a collaboration between MD Matt Riddell, Dr Forbes Williams and Mr Chris McGregor. Dr Williams is responsible for the design of the fundamental moderation algorithm.

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