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Inspired Acoustics — uniting art and technology.
Inspired Acoustics (IA) is a division and brand of ENTEL. Launched in 2005, IA specializes in research and development related to acoustics and media technology, creating award-winning products, media content and software solutions for the audio, music, film, IT and research industries. ENTEL Engineering Research and Consulting Ltd founded in 1990, is a privately held company offering services and consultation related to information and communications technology.
Core competences of Entel:
With our virtual instrument and acoustic products, our purpose is to enable accessing and experiencing significant intangible heritage while providing new means to protect and sustain these unique qualities, employing continuous innovation focused on quality, with the goal of uniting art and technology.
- People: to be an inspiring and motivating place to work where significant value is created
- Instruments: to provide artistic quality and access
- Partners: to share ideas, recognition for creating enduring value
- Innovation: to focus on well-founded research and development based practical applications
- Productivity: to be a reference provider of uniquely innovative services and products, delivered with maximum efficiency
- Sustainability: to responsibly sustain and develop both existing and new structures
Investing in one or more of our products is an investment in the future with practical results in the present. Our innovative methods and cutting-edge algorithms are empowering innovation and permit the preservation of intangible values, such as the distinctive sound qualities of a pipe organ or an acoustical space, with ever-greater authenticity and realism. Recognizing the need for ongoing work and the room for improvement ahead, the small team of Inspired Acoustics aims at a continuous, step-by-step self-development, based on the support of a larger community.
Developers at Inspired Acoustics are deeply committed to science, particularly to signal processing and applied acoustic science, electro-acoustic and music-related research. All IA developments are based on research results. Among our key research activities are
- acoustic measurements
- objective and subjective room acoustic evaluation
- pipe organ measurements and analysis
- synthesis, music theory
Our methods, knowledge and publications are the results of continuous in-house research and development. Recent research topics include
- IA-R0897: Adaptive noise reduction of highly transient sonic data. Status: Finished.
- IA-R0898: Development of multi-channel looping methods. Status: Finished.
- IA-R0899: A new method for near-real-time convolution. Status: Finished.
- IA-R0900: Fourier kernel-based seamless transient noise reduction in weakly time-varying data. Status: Finished.
- IA-R0901: Influence of room acoustics on the performance of organ music. Status: In progress.
ENTEL’s Inspired Acoustics division has completed both large and small-scale organ virtualization projects. It introduced a more holistic approach to virtualization by providing a triad of features: sonic, visual and functional documentation of pipe organs combined with professional acoustic measurements and CAD modelling. Empowered by broad cooperation with organ builders, world class organists, professional composers, music academies and a vast and diverse range of organ enthusiasts, Inspired Acoustics creates virtual pipe organs drawn from uniquely significant venues with unprecedented authenticity and attention to detail. As an industry first, Inspired Acoustics virtual pipe organs are equipped, not only with all console functions of the original instrument, but with additional selectable user convenience features for the utmost in performance versatility. In a real, practical sense, this comprehensive virtualization allows the player access to the actual organ without having to be there.
Inspired Acoustics has completed successful sampling and audio development projects for various sampler and software platforms. The first product, Notre Dame de Budapest Pipe Organ Samples was a sound sample library with church organ data developed for Shirokuma Ltd., becoming a market-leading reference product shortly after its release.
For the Palace of Arts, Budapest, Inspired Acoustics has developed a totally unique, first-in–the-world integrated system we call the Organ Simulator, where a software organ ‘in the background’ provides sonic access to the instrument of the concert hall with real, physical pipe organ keyboards and pedalboard, while an interactive user interface with rich media content enables the user in listening to and experiencing the instrument, information on upcoming concerts and more.
The initiative to preserve the sound of pipe organs and their accompanying acoustic environments in a virtually playable form is widely supported by our current partners. Originally these were separate missions, but with the passage of time they have become integrated. We are implementing the initiative of preserving acoustical heritage under the official patronage of the Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO, as well as the Secretariat of the Hungarian World Heritage Committee. Leading partner institutes include the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and the Palace of Arts Budapest from Hungary.
Computer-based virtual or software pipe organs function and play back their recorded sound using a modelled interface of the original instrument. The main properties of such software organs can be summarized as follows:
- the concept of software organs is all about real instruments
- providing an interactive sonic documentation with hands-on experience for the user
- providing educational value, promotion, accessibility and recognition for the instrument
- providing preservation of the sound and acoustical data for the posterity and for research
- they are crucially different from digital organs, since
- they can replace the often unsatisfying sound of digital organs
- they are flexible and can provide different instruments with the same physical interface
- they are considerably more cost effective than digital organs while providing demonstrably superior tonal qualities
- they do not compete with or aim at replacing real pipe organs, but on the contrary provide significant potential support for noteworthy existing instruments
Projects implemented by Inspired Acoustics have different, customized business models providing the possibility of assistance in the maintenance of the instrument. Inspired Acoustics virtual instruments can financially support the preservation of the real pipe organs recorded. Unlike (for example) sneaking up to the choir loft to "grab samples in the dark", our virtual organs shed light on each unique instrument and venue while bringing new opportunities. By enjoying our virtual organs, you join our mission and materially help the real instruments.
Software organs employ a database hundreds of times larger than commercial digital organs, chromatically sampled, sometimes in multiple layers for a single pipe depending on speech, and play back extended data samples for each pipe resulting in the sonic nuances and time-variance of the instruments accurately and convincingly reproduced. Software organs, in the concept employed by Inspired Acoustics, do not – and are not intended to – exist without real pipe organs. Instead, the concept is wholly dedicated to these important actual instruments.
Software organ technology, therefore, can be the ideal choice
- for practice instruments at home or in an institution
- for touring and mobile instruments and recitals on stage
- for teaching and learning on various styles and schools of instrument
- to reduce the wear and tear on the original pipe organ by permitting helpful and meaningful practice on the virtual version
- for making the sound and features of the instrument virtually accessible at a dedicated location (museum, concert hall lobby)
- to develop a product that supports the maintenance of the original pipe organ without further investment required from the owner of the pipe organ
- to interactively document the sound of the pipe organ in a given historical state (an aural ‘snapshot’), thus making it not only audible but also fully playable
In some cases, based on the requirements or restrictions of the owner of the organ, this approach can also be used:
- for installation where, for a variety of reasons, a pipe organ is not feasible (size, humidity, etc.)
- to extend existing pipe organs where sounds are missing or not feasible in a single-stage completion effort
- to temporarily replace a pipe organ during restorative works
- for music composition where a pipe organ with full flexibility is required
Every pipe organ is unique and different. Virtual pipe organs, as a family of virtual instruments, enable the rare experience of playing and exploring worlds of sound only a fortunate few could formerly access, hear and enjoy.