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Apple Continues Beefing Up Digital Audio Expertise by Hiring Dana Massie From Audience

Apple is continuing to expand its digital audio expertise with the recent addition of digital signal processing (DSP) expert Dana Massie to its team as an SoC Audio Architect. Massie has over 30 years of extensive experience working with DSP hardware and software architecture with high-profile companies such as Audience and Waves, as well as prior brief stints at Apple and NeXT.

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While at Audience for the past nine years, Massie was the Director of DSP chip architecture, focused on developing "the most advanced audio processing algorithms available for speech enhancement." Massie also formerly worked at Apple starting in 2002 as the manager of audio hardware. In his year-long stint, Massie was responsible for the audio input/output system on Apple desktops and notebooks.

Apple and Audience have a history of working together, with Apple licensing Audience's voice processing technology to use in its iPhone 4 and 4s. The Cupertino company used a standalone voice processing chip from Audience in the iPhone 4 and opted to incorporate this signal processing functionality directly into the A5 chip used in the iPhone 4s. Audience's earSmart noise cancellation technology was a key component powering Siri in the iPhone 4s.

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Massie joined Apple this month as an SoC Audio Architect following a six-week sabbatical upon leaving Audience. It's unclear what his exact duties at Apple will involve, as Massie not surprisingly only says he will work on "audio stuff" in his LinkedIn profile. Given his work history, Massie may be tasked with improving either voice recognition technology or audio quality in upcoming Apple hardware.

Massie joins other audio pioneers employed by Apple in recent years. The growing list includes Audio expert Peter Eastty of Oxford Digital Limited who was hired earlier this year and THX pioneer Tomlinson Holman who joined Apple in 2011.

(Thanks, Manu!)


Top Rated Comments

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20 months ago

Is he now in charge to improve the beats headsets?


Guy is highly skilled and experienced, does not mean he can work miracles!
Rating: 5 Votes
20 months ago
Wonder what the master plan is here... Good to see they're taking sound seriously.
Rating: 5 Votes
20 months ago
This sounds great!
Rating: 3 Votes
20 months ago
Is he now in charge to improve the beats headsets?
Rating: 2 Votes
20 months ago
apple's leading edge and class leading SoC team has now just got better :D
Rating: 1 Votes
20 months ago

Guy is highly skilled and experienced, does not mean he can work miracles!


Well, Massie was one of the guys (from E-Mu Systems) that Creative Labs, the makers of what was then the very crappy SoundBlaster soundcards, brought in, so he helped Creative get started down the path of making better sounding soundcards and other audio devices. People familiar with Soundblaster "quality" from the 1980s probably view that a as "miracle." ;)
Rating: 1 Votes
20 months ago

Nothing really major has happened in the world of sound or DSP for a while now. I wonder what all the acquisition of talent is building up to.


Atmos?
Auro?
Rating: 1 Votes
20 months ago
I smell serious updates coming to Logic X. Excitement!
Rating: 1 Votes
20 months ago
While we're on this topic, can't wait for a significant Logic X update.:p
Rating: 1 Votes
20 months ago
Audio Effort

It's hard to see how these hires benefit Apple from an audio standpoint. Both Massie and Eastty are primarily data guys. And Tomlinson Holman isn't really anything. His THX program collapsed as everyone discovered the process had no real technical underpinnings. Holman's not even an engineer, but more of a marketing self-promoter. He's loathed by the real engineers on staff at Apple and is more of a liability.

I would guess Apple is working to optimize their iTunes and other streaming products for efficiency and ease of transmission. There is no evidence that Apple is doing (or able to do) anything related to actual audio reproduction as they've yet to hire anyone knowledgable in acoustics.
Rating: 1 Votes

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