3/2/2004 - John Melanson, a distinguished fellow with Cirrus Logic Inc. (Nasdaq: CRUS), was presented with a Scientific and Engineering Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during its recent 2003 Scientific and Technical Awards held in Pasadena, Calif., Feb. 14. Melanson received the award for his significant contributions to the evolution of digital audio editing for motion picture post-production.
Through his work with WaveFrame, a company that Melanson formed in 1986, Melanson helped pioneer the creation of digital audio workstations with full editing capabilities for motion picture soundtracks. His efforts significantly contributed to the film industry’s transformation from old-style mechanical editing processes to modern digital technologies.
“Prior to about 15 years ago, the editing of sound for motion pictures was done with big mechanical machines that used 35mm magnetic stripes as a tape recorder,” Melanson explains. “Sound editing was literally done with rooms full of film with various aspects of sound effects and dialogue on each reel, and sophisticated devices like razor blades and tape were the tools of the trade used to edit everything together. It was a very slow, extremely inefficient process.”
Melanson and former WaveFrame colleague Chuck Grindstaff, who also received this prestigious award, said their goal at WaveFrame was to do for the film industry what word processors did for publishing and computer aided design (CAD) did for architecture and civil engineering — that is, bring the sound editing of motion pictures into the computer age.
“We really pushed the digital automation of the film industry,” Melanson said. “WaveFrame was the engine behind digital audio for film.”
Melanson left WaveFrame in 1991 to form the Digital Audio Company, which later split into two companies, AudioLogic and Peak Audio, both of which were acquired by Cirrus Logic in 1999 and 2001, respectively.
At Cirrus Logic, which is the world’s leading supplier of digital audio ICs (source: Forward Concepts, May 2003), Melanson is a chief architect of audio systems. Melanson has been awarded 41 patents and has 49 patents pending for Cirrus Logic. He is a resident of both Austin and Estes Park, Colo.
Melanson will be acknowledged at the Austin Film Society's Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards (www.texasfilmhalloffame.org) on March 12. Cirrus Logic is a long-time supporter of the Austin Film Community.
Cirrus Logic Inc.
Cirrus Logic is a premier supplier of high-performance analog, mixed-signal and digital processing solutions for consumer entertainment electronics, automotive entertainment and industrial product applications. Building on its global market leadership in audio ICs and its rich mixed-signal patent portfolio, Cirrus Logic targets audio, video and precision mixed-signal applications in these growing markets. The company operates from headquarters in Austin, Texas, with offices in California, Colorado, Europe, Japan and Asia.
Cirrus Logic and Cirrus are trademarks of Cirrus Logic Inc.
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