Multiphysics Simulation in Audio Product Design

April 14, 2021
9:00 AM Pacific (12:00 PM Eastern)


The Audio Product Education Institute (APEI) presents a webinar on modeling and measurement, focusing on exploring multiphysics simulation as a tool for the audio engineer. Speakers from Tectonic Audio Labs, Veryst Engineering, and COMSOL will share their experiences in three separate sessions, followed by time for questions. This webinar will provide an overview of the use of simulation in audio product design, addressing virtual prototyping, testing, measurement, multiphysics simulation, and optimization. 
Together, we will look at questions such as why and how companies use simulation for audio product design, with examples from specific projects. We will also look at how simulation apps can enable collaborative design, where team members with different expertise and perspectives can use simulation to explore new concepts and make design decisions. We will look into resources that are available for learning the how-tos, and we will hear an acoustics engineer, consultant, and software developer share their experiences from simulation projects and their thoughts on how to ensure success in audio product design using simulation.  
This event will be presented by Mads J. Herring Jensen, COMSOL’s Technology Manager Acoustics. Following the opening remarks and introduction, the event will feature three presentations from Tim Whitwell (VP Engineering, Tectonic Audio Labs), Nagi Elabbasi (Partner, Veryst Engineering), and Mads Jensen (COMSOL).
Session 1: Tim Whitwell (Tectonic Audio Labs)
Measuring and Simulating the Acoustic Sound Power Response of Loudspeaker Drive Units
Contemporary listening habits have changed considerably in the last decade, particularly with the widespread adoption of smart speaker devices. Today’s listener is rarely positioned in the loudspeaker’s “sweet spot,” directly facing the drive units. As a result, the single-point sound pressure level (SPL) measurement is not as relevant a metric for quantifying a listener’s experience in a given environment. Tectonic Audio Labs has been actively pushing the sound power response as probably the most effective metric for evaluating how a given device will sound throughout a room. In this presentation, Tim Whitwell will describe what the sound power response is, how it can be measured, and how it can be simulated in COMSOL Multiphysics.
Session 2: Nagi Elabbasi (Veryst Engineering)
Noise Reduction Through Measurement and Simulation: Case Studies
Engineering firms are increasingly relying on acoustic simulations to improve their products and shorten their design cycles. This presentation details several acoustics-focused projects that span a wide range of products and acoustics analyses. Based on its practical experience at Veryst Engineering, Nagi Elabbasi will focus on applications involving noise reduction, where simulation was combined with acoustic/vibration measurements to identify the sources of noise in consumer products. The designs were then modified accordingly to achieve significant levels of noise reduction. The noise sources detected range from cyclic impact events, mechanical or acoustic resonance, turbulence-generated noise, and flow instabilities. The presentation will also briefly discuss other acoustics analyses performed at Veryst involving nondestructive testing, ultrasonic tissue ablation, and thermoviscous acoustics.
Session 3: Mads J. Herring Jensen (COMSOL)
Insight and Innovation Through Simulation
The role of simulation and virtual prototypes in the audio industry has grown rapidly within the last decade. Companies have been able to reduce the number of physical prototypes and thus reduce the development time. In this presentation, we will discuss examples of simulations that give engineers an insight that measurements cannot easily do. This presentation will also look at how optimization can be used for novel designs and for improving the performance of an existing design.
Tim Whitwell

Vice President Engineering at Tectonic Audio Labs, United States

Tim Whitwell is a physicist and acoustics engineer with more than 20 years of experience in loudspeaker research and development as well as transducer and system design. He specializes in electro-acoustic design, simulation, and measurement; electromagnetics and multiphysics finite element analysis; distributed mode loudspeaker (DML) design; balanced mode radiator (BMR) design; laser vibrometry; and audio system tuning. His designs have sold in the hundreds of millions and won many prestigious awards, including What Hi-Fi Product of the Year (twice). Furthermore, Tim is the cited inventor on a number of technology and audio patents.

Nagi Elabbasi

Partner at Veryst Engineering, Veryst Engineering, United States

Dr. Nagi Elabbasi is a principal engineer at Veryst Engineering, LLC, and his main area of expertise is modeling multiphysics systems. Dr. Elabbasi has extensive experience in simulating structural mechanics, CFD, heat transfer, acoustics, and coupled systems, including fluid-structure interaction (FSI), conjugate heat transfer, and structural–acoustic coupling. Prior to joining Veryst, he worked for nine years in finite element software development. He holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto.
Mads Herring Jensen

Technical Product Manager, Acoustics, COMSOL, Denmark

Mads Herring Jensen joined COMSOL in 2011 and is the technical product manager for the Acoustics Module. Before starting at COMSOL, he worked in the hearing aid industry for five years as an acoustic finite element expert. Mads has a PhD in computational fluid dynamics from the Technical University of Denmark.