Around the end of the 1970s, most home stereo systems sounded considerably better than the monitor loudspeaker systems used in professional recording studios. Control room systems were designed to be able to play very loud, but not necessarily with “high fidelity”. The technology was simply not available to do both. As well at the time, there was a very limited understanding of the importance of the design of the listening environment. Loudspeakers were typically suspended from the ceiling or installed in soffits. Compression ceilings that descended toward the listening point were the norm. These installations looked “acoustic” but were the cause of serious degradation in sound quality. It was a constant source of frustration for the people behind the console who could not trust what their ears were telling them.
Bearing this in mind, Jean-Luc Louradour, an electronics wizard, began measuring listening systems, first with mixers Claude Demers and Nick Blagona at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Ian Terry and Billy Szawlowski at Studio Tempo and later with Tim Hewlings and Philippe Espantoso at Studio de Son Québec. Their research led Tim and Jean-Luc to the National Research Council of Canada (CNRC) and the world-renowned loudspeaker expert Dr Floyd E. Toole. Listening tests, loudspeaker measurements and countless hours of discussion followed. All of this led to their fascination with room acoustics. They went on to attend seminars and conferences given by audio and acoustics experts Dr. Richard Heyser of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (inventor of Time Delay Spectrometry), Dr. Leo Beranek, and they studied acoustic measurement techniques at Brüel and Kjaer.
At this point, Jean-Luc and Tim began receiving requests from other local studios for advice to improve their listening environments. In 1986, when Studio Tempo decided to build a second studio, they asked Jean-Luc to do the design. Jean-Luc invited Tim to contribute to the project and a year later in 1987, their collaboration was made official by the creation of Résonance TJL Inc..
Jean-Luc, having received the Degree of Engineer-Technician from the École Technique Supérieure (ETS) in Le Locle, Switzerland, brought his vast knowledge of electronics. Following his arrival in Canada, Jean-Luc spent several years as technical director for Le Studio Morin Heights, les Studios de Son Québec and Studio Tempo. Tim brought a number of years experience in music, having toured and recorded with his band The Sceptres in the 1960s, and gone on to earn a Batchelor of Music degree from McGill University in music theory. After that he had worked as a sound recordist and mixer for over fifteen years.
This particular combination of experiences brought a unique perspective to Résonance. Being able to visualise the technical and architectural aspects of a project both from an operator and an artistic point of view, offered a distinct advantage.
Résonance was among the first acoustical consulting firms to adopt computer technology in measurements and design. We were the first in Canada to use MLS-based room measurement techniques, based on the work of Dr. Manfred Schroeder, along with more traditional measurement instruments. We were also among the first to adopt 3D acoustical room modelling techniques using EASE.