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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEXICON CELEBRATES 35 YEARS OF DIGITAL AUDIO
— Company positions itself for continued growth with ongoing
introduction of market-driven, landmark products —
CEDIA EXPO, DENVER, CO, September 14, 2006 —
This year marks a double anniversary for the professional audio industry.
Thirty-five years ago, Lexicon released its first product, the Delta
T-101 delay line. This was the first commercially available professional
digital audio product, so it is also fair to call this the anniversary
of the introduction of digital audio itself.
MIT Professor Dr. Francis Lee had developed a digital
delay unit for heartbeat monitoring. With engineer Chuck Bagnashi, he
founded the company American Data Sciences in 1969, with offices over
the Lexington Savings Bank in Lexington, MA. The company changed its
name to Lexicon in 1971, when it appeared that there would be a future
in digital technology for language instruction.
Barry Blesser, then a teaching assistant to Dr. Lee at
MIT, suggested putting audio through the system. The result was a 100-millisecond
audio delay line — not so impressive today, though at the time
it was state-of-the-art. This interested the late Steve Temmer at Gotham
Audio in New York, who commissioned 50 units from the Lexicon team,
to be used to overcome propagation delays in live sound installations
and as a pre-delay for echo-plates. Thus in 1971 the Delta T-101 was
born, with “Gotham Audio” on the front panel and “Lexicon”
on the back. The original unit offered a response up to 10 kHz and 60
dB S/N, which Lexicon felt was capable of improvement. The Delta T-102,
sold under the Lexicon name, pushed the noise down to -90 dB and helped
to persuade the industry that digital audio was a viable proposition.
1972 saw the introduction of a Lexicon product for the
language instruction market — the Varispeech, the first digital
time-compression system. Its successor, the broadcast quality Model
1200, went on to win an Emmy in 1984.
Ron Noonan joined the company in 1973 as CEO (a position
he held until 1996). He realized that the company needed to diversify,
and targeted the professional audio market. The breakthrough was the
development of the 224, one of the first commercially viable digital
reverb systems, shown at the AES Convention in 1978 and shipping the
following year. Designed by David Griesinger, a Ph.D. physicist from
Harvard who is still with the company, the 224 remained an industry
standard until the 1986 introduction of its successor, the legendary
The company went public in the UK (which had always been
a strong market for Lexicon) in 1985, and raised the funds needed for
the development of the groundbreaking Opus digital audio workstation,
which was released in 1988. In the same year, the company introduced
the first all-digital surround-sound processor for the home theater
market, the CP-1. Lexicon has been dominant in high-end home theater
ever since. The company went on to release several renowned signal processors,
including the CP-3, DC-1, and MC-12.
Under the direction of former Lexicon President Wayne
Morris, at the 2000 AES Convention in Paris, Lexicon again rocked the
professional audio industry with the launch of the 480L successor, the
Lexicon 960L Multi-Channel Digital Effects System. With its 24-bit/96
kHz processing capability and true multi-channel surround reverb processing,
the Lexicon 960L brings a new level of aural enhancement to surround
mixing. The 960L has been embraced by leading recording engineers, producers,
artists and world-class studios.
Current Lexicon President John Batliner continues Lexicon’s
dedication to pushing the boundaries of home entertainment by introducing
and offering advancements to its extensive range of high-end home theater
products. This most recently includes enhancements to its flagship MC-12
Music and Cinema Digital Controller. Based on the renowned MC-12 Digital
Controller, the new MC-12 HD brings HDMI (High Definition Multimedia
Interface) to the world’s leading pre-amp/processor. Featuring
six HDMI inputs, one HDMI output with onscreen display, and up-conversion
of composite and S-video inputs to component video output, RS-232 control
and support of virtually all formats, the MC-12 HD can now interface
with HDMI equipped sources and displays. The MC-12 HD is a 12-channel
digital controller with 12 configurable inputs and 3 independent zones.
The MC-12 HD joins other landmark Lexicon home theater products including
the RV-8 Receiver and MC-8 and MC-4 Digital Controllers.
Over the years Lexicon has introduced several industry
firsts including its proprietary Logic 7® technology which is featured
in its products as well as several harman/kardon consumer and automotive
products. Developed by Lexicon, Logic 7 technology converts standard
2-channel audio sources into a convincing 7-channel surround sound playback
matrix. Unlike other surround decoders, Logic 7 is compatible with all
input sources and requires no special encoding for playback. Logic 7
also allows 5-channel recordings to be released in a compatible two-channel
form, while maintaining full surround integrity when played through
Logic 7 or Dolby® Pro Logic® decoders. Applied to music recordings,
it increases the sense of spaciousness in the listening area without
altering the front soundstage, resulting in a more realistic recreation
of the original recording. Applied to film soundtracks, it expands stereo
sources to 7.1 channels for performance that rivals that of discrete
In addition to consumer audio products, Lexicon technology
and Logic 7 has been employed by some of the worlds leading automotive
manufacturers. Lexicon audio systems are now available in the Rolls-Royce
Phantom, and Logic 7 in models from BMW and Mercedes. Lexicon’s
Logic 7 system’s seamless 360-degree soundfield presents a true-to-life
experience for all vehicle passengers — regardless of where they
Lexicon’s legacy of innovation has enabled the company
to remain on the forefront of the digital audio industry. Today, Lexicon
digital signal processing is the world-recognized standard for quality
and versatility in time domain effects. In fact, Lexicon processing
is incorporated in the audio production of over 80 percent of all major
motion pictures, as well as live and recorded music.
Photo File: T101.JPG
Photo Caption: Pictured is the Delta T-101 delay line (circa 1971).
Released 35 years ago, this was Lexicon’s first product, as well
as the first commercially available professional digital audio product.
Photo File: MC12_HD.JPG
Photo Caption: Pictured is Lexicon's latest groundbreaking product,
the MC-12 HD, launched 35 years after the Delta T-101 delay line, which
was the first ever commercially available professional digital audio
product. Based on the company’s flagship MC-12 Digital Controller,
the Lexicon MC-12 HD brings HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)
to the world’s leading pre-amp/processor.
...ends 949 words
Established in 1971, Lexicon is a manufacturer of high-performance
electronics for use in home entertainment systems. “Lexicon”
is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Incorporated.
U.S. patents and other worldwide patents issued and pending. Other company
and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with
which they are associated.
—For more information on Lexicon, please contact: Lexicon, 3
Oak Park Drive, Bedford, MA 01730-1413. Tel: (781) 280-0300; Fax: (781)
280-0490; Web: www.lexicon.com
—For more information on Harman International Industries, Incorporated,
visit: www.harman.com. The company’s stock is traded on the New
York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HAR.”