The Audio Frontier

Leading computer audio engineers retreat to a Texas ranch to map out the future of their technology... and to admire the emus

10 min read
A Project Bar-B-Q attendee leaves the conference room at scenic Guadalupe River Ranch in Texas, where brainstorming and jam sessions share the spotlight.
Photo: Greg Smith/Corbis Saba

Don't poison my well!" warns the cowboy, "or there's going to be hell to pay." It's late one night on a ranch in the central Texas hill country. The cows are heading off to pasture, storm clouds are moving in, and smoke rises from the campfire. As the cowboy admonishes the men gathered before him, the showdown is about to begin.

But this is no ordinary shootout. And these are no ordinary cowboys. They're some 50 software and hardware engineers who work in the Wild West of computer audio. The weekend cowboy addressing the group is Keith Weiner, the handlebar-mustached CEO of DiamondWare Ltd. (Mesa, Ariz.), a company that produces audio software. As Weiner puts it metaphorically, they're here to spend the next three days cleaning up their poisoned well: the faulty and undependable pit of audio wares. These are the strings of bits that translate into bongs, shrieks, beeps, honks, and even the occasional musical interlude when you boot up your computer, blast a monster in a computer game, or crank up Radiohead. If success crowns their efforts, they'll not only improve computer audio, but also make consumers care more about computer audio in the first place.

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Video Friday: Turkey Sandwich

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
A teleoperated humanoid robot torso stands in a kitchen assembling a turkey sandwich from ingredients on a tray

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!

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Neural rendering harnesses machine learning to paint pixels

5 min read
Four examples of Nvidia's Instant NeRF 2D-to-3D machine learning model placed side-by-side.

Nvidia Instant NeRF uses neural rendering to generate 3D visuals from 2D images.


On 20 September, Nvidia’s Vice President of Applied Deep Learning, Bryan Cantanzaro, went to Twitter with a bold claim: In certain GPU-heavy games, like the classic first-person platformer Portal, seven out of eight pixels on the screen are generated by a new machine-learning algorithm. That’s enough, he said, to accelerate rendering by up to 5x.

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Get the Rohde & Schwarz EMI White Paper

Learn how to measure and reduce common mode electromagnetic interference (EMI) in electric drive installations

1 min read
Rohde & Schwarz

Nowadays, electric machines are often driven by power electronic converters. Even though the use of converters brings with it a variety of advantages, common mode (CM) signals are a frequent problem in many installations. Common mode voltages induced by the converter drive common mode currents damage the motor bearings over time and significantly reduce the lifetime of the drive.

Download this free whitepaper now!

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