One of the biggest advantages of the Internet is its ability to set people free from the constraints of the traditional office environment. Running a company with little more than a laptop and a modem connection is now entirely possible, as renowned audio engineer Peter Watts has discovered.
For the last four years, Watts has been operating his R&D consulting business Stonepower Ltd from wherever he happens to be in the world. At present, he is based in South Wales but he has also spent time in Hong Kong and China, working alongside manufacturers producing a range of equipment, from mixers and signal processing units to amplifiers and line array speaker systems.
The portable nature of Watts‘ business created the need for an equally portable piece of audio test equipment - something that could travel with him and be easily connected to his laptop. Watts found the solution in a Prism Sound dScope Series III audio analyser, which is now the mainstay of his test lab.
Prism Sound‘s dScope Series III is a comprehensive and powerful measurement system for analogue and digital audio generation and analysis, including digital audio carrier testing and testing of Windows™ sound devices. This industrial strength audio test and measurement system comprises a Windows PC (XP™ and Vista™ compatible) software application coupled with an external high-precision audio I/O processor for equipment-under-test (EUT) connections.
“While I was based in China and Hong Kong I had no need for my own audio analyser because most of the manufacturers I was working with already had them,” he explains. “However, when I returned to the UK I realised that I needed to establish my own test facility to check the audio systems and circuits I was designing for my clients. I investigated various possibilities but eventually chose the Prism Sound dScope Series III because recent software developments have made this one of the most highly sophisticated analysis tools on the market. It is also incredibly portable and versatile, which were important considerations for me.”
At the moment, Watts is using his dScope Series III to test circuits for analogue and digital mixers.
“Its lightweight, compact construction makes it eminently suitable when I am travelling and the fact that it can be quickly connected to my laptop is a major plus point,” he adds.
Peter Watts is well-known within the pro audio industry for his research and development credentials. After 18 years with console manufacturer Trident - 10 of which were spent as Head of R&D - Watts moved to Mackie where he was Vice President of Engineering for seven years. In 2003 he moved into audio consultancy and set up Stonepower Ltd. His clients include many of the MI and pro audio industries top manufacturers including Korg, Mackie, Gibson, Ashdown, Apogee Digital, Rode/Event, Wharfdale Pro/IAG and Alto. He has also worked closely with factories in China helping them to establish production lines for his clients. Peter Watts can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.