thoughts and decisions for a creative edge


With soaring gas prices. Is it cheaper to travel with eBike or EV cars?


Gasoline prices are skyrocketing, and electricity doesn’t seem to be much cheaper. A tank of premium gasoline now costs 2.25 euros per liter (as of March 2022). Electricity currently costs 36.19 cents/kWh. It’s not just the environmentally conscious or thrifty among us who start to ponder these figures. But we can already tell you this much: Electricity is still cheaper!

How much fuel does the car consume per 100 kilometers if it has an average consumption of 7.4 liters?

With the current gasoline prices of 2,25€/l you come to 16,65€ for 100 km.
You can travel the same distance for 0.19€ with your e-bike, if you use the following values for the calculation:

Battery capacity (Wh): 500
Mileage (km): 100

If you want to calculate the electricity costs for recharging, we determine the kilowatt hours (kWh) in the first step. You have to divide the known watt-hours (Wh) by 1000: 500 Wh : 1000 = 0.5 kWh. If we take the current electricity price of 37 cents per kWh, our calculation is: 0.37€ x 0.5 kWh = 0.19€ (rounded up).

Let’s calculate the electricity cost per 100 km:
100 km x 0,19€ = 0,19€ per 100 km.
We know, that with our standard battery you have a range per battery charge of 80 km.
The calculation then looks like this: 100 km : 80 km x 0,19€ = 0,23€ per 100 km

Still easily under 30 cents!
So an e-bike is a considerably cheaper alternative to a standard car. In addition, an e-bike offers more benefits and range compared to a conventional bicycle and with an e-bike, you can get to places, where you can’t go by car. You can park anywhere, and all in all, it gives you more freedom.

costs of an electric bike


eBikes are your wallet’s MATE right now


To charge a 500Wh battery, at a price of 0.37 Euro per kWh, you need about 0.23€. If one assumes 1000 charging cycles, the recharging costs are 37,50€ over the whole period of use. An advantage of the Battery Management System (BMS) in modern lithium-ion batteries is, that they have no memory effect. This means that they can be charged at any time without worrying about affected the cells overall lifetime and capacity.


At some point, the performance of each battery falls below the limits you need for effective electric bike riding. When this happens, the only thing that helps is to replace the old battery with a new one. The price of a new battery is between 300€ and 900€, depending on its capacity, shape and overall setup.


Due to the higher speed and the motor-amplified forces, the wear on the drive-relevant parts, such as the brakes on the electric bike, is greater than on a normal bike. However, the costs incurred are low. For example, new brake pads cost around 5€, a new chain only 20€.


It is important to detect damages as early as possible and prevent further damages by regular maintenance. Especially errors in the electronic components are sometimes difficult to determine, understand and resolve. Ebike distributors today offers technical support and works usually have all common spare parts in stock. In addition, most bike purchases come with a one-year warranty on the electrical system and a three-year warranty on rigid frame components such as frame, fork and handlebars.


In order to avoid large amounts of repair costs, especially after an accident or due to vandalism, it can be worthwhile to have a bike insurance. These are available from around 10 euros/month. For an all-inclusive care package, it’s important that theft of parts and vandalism are specifically included and therefore insured.

So. Which option do you think is wise for today’s travel. Do you also own a fat bike? Or do you have other form of electric vehicle? Let me know which one you got. And what’s more worthy to ride today.

Troubling – Apple’s DD+JOC Spatial is not Atmos Agnostic

There’s a lot of buzz when tech giant Apple announced its newly released hardwares and softwares. Dolby Atmos seems to be its next marketing ticket after the iPod and the iPhone. Apple have had nothing to do with Atmos’ format development. This agnostic format have been around since 2012. Nothing new. If you were out at the movies for Pixar’s BRAVE in cinemas, you’ve probably experienced true Dolby Atmos in its full glory. BRAVE was the 1st movie that implemented Atmos for cinema. This is 1st main reason for the development of this format. Plenty other movies are now released with this audio format for circulation around cinemas. Not just theatre but also available on Blu Ray discs and until recently on Netflix, Amazon TV, TIDAL and Apple TV 4K.

Surround Sound is great. It puts you in the middle of the action. Who doesn’t love the thumping subwoofer during an explosive scene? The idea was great. The format from surround mix delivery was also easy to manage and export from mixing perspective. But it becomes a problem when it’s given to home theatre heroes who don’t understand how crucial the format layout is during installation. Satellite speakers placed in corners of ceilings, or the listeners seat being too close to the front speakers ignoring the equidistance between Left-Right channels are just some easy mistakes during installation. Needless to say the many who loves that over-driven LFE sub to experience the room rumble!

Dolby Atmos was designed to solve this age-old problem. Dolby had to come out with a solution. It is costly to send specialists to go around every THX installed theatre or room to approve that the hardware setups were planted and implemented in the right way that the audio was designed in. I’m sure you’ve seen plaques with terms Dolby Atmos certified or THX certified at theatres. (I’d avoid the theatres without it). THX fyi is George Lucas’ legacy to how his productions should be experienced from vision to sound. In Lucas’ dream THX was born out of a vision: “he wanted movie lovers everywhere to experience his movies —exactly the way he envisioned, and exactly as they were created in the studio“.

Did you watch Star Wars and ET or Gremlins in a THX certified space? If you didn’t – then you didn’t experience it in its full glory. And there’s the problem which Dolby Atmos serves to fix.

So what is it that DOLBY Atmos will fix? In its simplest form, Dolby Atmos should fix a lot of things. As I’ve already implied on the title post, this audio format is designed to be format agnostic. If you have a Dolby Rendered ADM BWF file (Audio Definition Model Broadcast Wave Format), any Atmos-enabled hardware would decode true 3D-audio as it was mixed in the studio. The beauty here is that it does not matter if you’re on 7.1.4 or a 2.1 system. It would be decoded correctly according to what your system is capable of. If you don’t have certified Atmos hardware, it will still be able to play back in standard surround or stereo or even mono. It does not matter. Sounds splendid right? Dolby understood that the 2 most important factors to make for a successful product distribution is its COST and CONVENIENCE. Now everybody can have a similar experience no matter how its listened to. That’s what we thought..

But now comes along Apple with its own Spatial Audio format for Apple Music. You know I said I trusted Apple with with this format on my previous post? I’ll take that back. Just because.. Just because..

Let me explain.

Apple is renown on improving audio formats to optimise playback on its platform. The original iPod ruled when music lovers learnt that they can take multiple of albums into the shiny and white device. When people from CD land adopted this new wave of walkman, it was still in CD Audio WAV format. It all snowed when MP3 audio surfaced. Not too long after, Apple announced that they’ve made breakthrough reducing audio file size for their Apple devices which carries the accronime AAC. It’s less than half to that for MP3. More can now be cramped into that iPod. Today in A/V came up with smaller files they’ve decided to place their exclusivity card on ‘their’ streaming hardwares. I don’t know if they’re doing this on purpose or some narcissistic genius decided to print it differently for their own proprietary use.

I’ve been tinkering on it for few weeks now. Something was not right after rendering ADM BWF for playback via Apple Music. And now my guess is right. The renderer used in Apple Music is different from what was exported from a DOLBY Atmos Renderer. Apple uses its own Spatial Audio format converted fm DOLBY Atmos Rendered ones. In other words Atmos’ ADM BWF files do not play how it was encoded!

Yes Apple wants you to send in ADM BWF file to be streamed via their cloud but unlike the ones suggested by Dolby with Bitmovin Encoders, Apple re-encodes ADM BWF to DD+JOC (Apple’s streaming format) used in their hardwares for Apple Music and APPLE TV4K. Maybe it’s smaller in size for cloud streaming?? Not that I know of.. Lossless audio are not small to begin with.. But to mess with a well designed agnostic format.. It’s just not cool.

Dolby Atmos can be delivered by Dolby Digital Plus. This scenario is referred to using two different terms:

What is DD+JOC?
• Dolby Digital Plus with Dolby Atmos
• Dolby Digital Plus JOC (Joint Object Coding)
The second reference is a technical term that may be found in some Dolby documentation or papers.
Joint Object Coding describes the process by which Dolby Digital Plus with Atmos decoders, receiving a legacy 5.1 mix and sideband metadata, are able to reconstruct the original Atmos mix.

And heres the kicker. The claim apple placed on this is “Apple is bringing Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos to Apple Music”. They are selling Spatial Audio like its a format that they came out with confusing many – including us sound engineers!

How more confusing can it get? Sounds like a format war is at play again in this digital content age. Nothing new with the audio planet. But this is only going to cause problems on which hardware is best when there was already a solution. Why Apple. Why???


So for now I’m skipping that Apple TV 4K and Airpods or HomePods. C’mon.. I don’t see up-firing speakers on these the last time I checked.. As far as I know as of late, no matter how puritanical it may sound, if the Dolby Atmos enabled hardware converter you got is not Apple, then you’re safe. They are most likely the correct format designed from the DOLBY Atmos mixing room. And they’re most likely not going to cost you arms and legs. Unless of course if you’re seeking for high end system playback. Oh don’t make me go there with you about which to get… but the one I would swear by would be Sennheiser’s AMBEO soundbar. So simple and accurate from design to audio delivery!

On the bright side to the rest of us..? Dolby Atmos are still best listened to via regular headphones of course – which plays it back in Binaural. Because if you forget, they are format agnostic. You will hear in Binaural if spatial is turned on and in regular stereo if they’re not. Nothing much to screw around with when it’s via 2 channel playback. BINAURAL on its own is a subject I can tell you about. But that’s for another day.

Oohh.. That’s a bit of a long winded write for the day. I didn’t actually wanted to make it this long. But my brain is going round robin on how this is allowed to happen. Anyway. If you eenjoyed this read, you’d have to PRESS THAT LIKE / FOLLOW BUTTON to hear/read more about what I’ve learned about the claims that Apple have made and even more about Atmos-enabled DAWs and hardwares available too-date. But if you’re here just to read about Apple’s Atmos compatibility, then I thank you for reading this til the end! And of course, if you have any thoughts about this subject, let me know. I’m curious what you think is actually going on in the dog-eat-dog world.

Apple sounds good right now

Not only did Apple release new Spacial Audio capable Airpods Gen2, their new Macbook Pro with M1 Pro or MAX chips both 14″ and 16″ machines are rigged with 6 speakers which includes 2 bass ports improving their already amazing playback system.

Apple’s approach to this format is a brave move on taking on giants like Sony, Philips, BOSE or Sennheiser who have been leading the industry with hardware and software development.

Logic Pro version 10.7 export rendering to Atmos’ ADM BWF format

In a quiet move, Apple have now also made content creation for this format available with their latest update to their native DAW Logic Pro. As of yesterday Logic 10.7 is now capable of transcoding mixes to Atmos up to 7.1.4

This significant software update, along with peripherals which are ready for playback in this format means Apple is now ready to take on the audio industry on their playing fields. Before this, most production or mix studios are forced to run Avid Pro Tools for Atmos authoring, which themselves have been less favourable due to the high costs on both hardware, subscription fee and updates.

Spatial Audio playlists in Apple Music App

Not just hardware updates, Apple have also made it possible to share your Spatial content. Apple Music have quickly been filling up with SA-enabled content.

Needless to say, it is going to be an incredible period for audio conscious content creators. Maybe it is finally now – that audio will take a front seat in AV industry.

Sound have finally taken priority to the visuals which we are about to hear. We can now place it all around you.

#SpatialAudio #MacbookPro2021 #AirpodsGen2 #Ambisonics #DolbyAtmos

ISM Wireless Mics


With more and more mics adopting the 2.4GHz ISM domain. There is evidently an explosion of production to this category of mics within the industry. We own the picoMIC from picoGEAR for a while now and loved it from day 1! The simple setup and un-intrusive form factor is something unlike wireless mics for talents for last half century. Instead running on VHF or UHF, this ISM signals does not need any licensing for it to be used anywhere in the world which makes it even more appealing to many. Its low power consumption which some claims to last 20hrs is an unbeatable specs that is incredible if compared. If you’re ok with 24bit 48Khz transmission for your line of work. Mics of this specs may be something to look out for for your production.

Most audio connections in live sound applications and use cables to carry audio signals – analogue, digital or networked – from sound sources to stage boxes, from stage boxes to mixers and from mixers to power amplifiers. However, one category of sound source is often connected through radio waves: microphones. Although a cable is the most secure way to connect a microphone, with the highest audio quality, there’s a practical reason to use radio: freedom of movement of the performer. This also goes for worn musical instruments, such as guitars.

Over time, frequency ranges in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) band from 470 MHz to 823 MHz have been used by wireless microphone system manufacturers, made possible by legislation in countries to allocate certain frequency ranges for entertainment use. With the advance of cellular data, these frequency ranges have been – and are being – re-allocated in favour of television and mobile data networks, reducing the ranges available for entertainment infrastructure. The reason is simply that the economic importance of television and mobile phones has grown to be far more significant than entertainment infrastructure. The result is that the availability and bandwidth available for UHF wireless microphone systems is limited year by year, reducing channel counts or, worse, possibly making systems with a fixed frequency range obsolete.

An alternative to this challenge is the use of so-called Industry, Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency bands. These bands are designated and guaranteed for use by most of the planet’s governments. Their use for consumer services include 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth wireless networks, plus 1.8 GHz DECT wireless local telephony networks. Globally, these applications are used so extensively that it would lead to worldwide chaos if they were cancelled. Therefore the long-term availability of these frequency bands is almost certain.

The bandwidth – and with it the channel count – that ISM bands can support is not high, but neither is it particularly small; in practise around 14 channels at 2.4 GHz WiFi and around 56 channels at 1.8 GHz DECT. The free air connectivity range at these high frequencies is limited to a maximum of about 100 metres, with lower in-house ranges. This is good for WiFi and DECT because every home can have its own wireless network without disturbing other homes, meaning many networks can use the same frequency simultaneously. For microphone systems, of course, this is a constraint, limiting the maximum distance between transmitter and receiver. In addition, the GHz range is vulnerable to blocking by objects such as walls, ceilings and – relevant for entertainment – guitars, drum kits and the performers themselves. The higher the frequency, the higher the likelihood of signal blocking, which is the reason why 5 GHz is sometimes less suited for use.

The main issue, however, is interference, caused by reflections of the high frequency radio signals by walls and other metal objects. For this reason, ‘diversity’ techniques have to be applied, for example by using two carrier frequencies per connection and two antennas for reception. If interference occurs at one frequency or antenna, the system can switch to the other.

The existence of WiFi networks in the same location is, of course, another challenge for 2.4GHz systems. However it’s not as severe as you might think. By selecting carrier frequencies in between those used by WiFi networks – by using directional antennas and making sure that no Wireless Access Points are located in performance area between the microphone transmitters and receivers – the connection is virtually resistant to WiFi traffic.

Why nCoV-19 is fatally tricky

Let us make this easily understandable.

For those STILL not understanding why this is more serious than the Flu, a cold, H1N1, Bird flu or anything else…. or For those who are still not practicing social distancing.

Best explanation I’ve seen to date…

Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this to others who don’t understand…

It has to do with RNA sequencing…. I.e. genetics.

Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year… you get immunity two ways…through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.

Novel viruses, come from animals…. the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals, (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once, one of these animal viruses mutates, and starts to transfer from animals to humans… then it’s a problem, Why? Because we have no natural or acquired immunity.. the RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so, we can’t fight it off.

Now…. sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human, for years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human… once that happens..we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, thats what decides how contagious, or how deadly it’s gonna be..

H1N1 was deadly….but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.

Fast forward.

Now, here comes this Coronavirus… it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long…but one day, at an animal market, in Wuhan China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person… But here is the scary part…. in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”

This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity). Took off like a rocket. And this was because, Humans have no known immunity…doctors have no known medicines for it.

And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus, changed itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs..

That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1 or any other type of influenza…. this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater…And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain s, and strain L….which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.

We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.

Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed…(honestly…I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation…

And let me end by saying….right now it’s hitting older folks harder… but this genome is so slippery…if it mutates again (and it will). Who is to say, what it will do next.

Be smart folks… acting like you’re unafraid is so not sexy right now.

#flattenthecurve. Stay home folks.

AMBEO Soundbar

Been using the same 5.1 Surround Speakers from BOSE for almost 22 years and I think it is finally time to make a change. Will be making time to remove all that surrounding wires that’s been lining the living space perimeters and get equal or better sound for the future with this newly released product from Sennheiser. We have had fun with their FOA mic the AMBEO VR, now this seems like the most natural step – to pair with the recordings we got!

Though – you really don’t need to.

The beauty of the system is flexibility with the AMBEO format that is incomparable with other surround audio tech. It is not dependent on what kind of format the audio source is from. It will play 5.1 or stereo just fine too for most home users. In addition this will also enable you to play 5.1.4 which previous needed Dolby Atmos systems which are still connected systems through wires to be spread out between speakers and sub woofer. AMBEO is plug-n-play for those who just wants to capture or playback most immersive and rich audio without the hassle from the past. No more entangled wires. Now let the planes and bullets fly above your head to the rear and back or let Nascar racing audio wraps around you when it goes round the track. You’re about to get immersed in ridiculously good audio.

The AMBEO Soundbar is compatible with the 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos®, MPEG-H and DTS:X™. Beyond this, it also features upmix technology, which recreates stereo and 5.1 content as a thrillingly immersive 3D sound experience. –

MPEG-H – Your personalized audio format

So much development in audio in recent years. This one, MPEG-H is the one that we’d be waiting for to truly leap into the future.

Do watch the post by Fraunhofer IIS as it describes what is in store in this very near future.

Chris Jojo’s interview on spatial audio.


Listen A Little – TSO ft Oxygen

Found a good band to listen to the other day. What was even more interesting was the integration of Ambisonic mix done by their audio engineer Khushh Mehta of KRMA Mastering Mumbai/Bangalore.

I grew up in Singapore, thus this Indian ascents added to a well defined jazz groove along with great instrumentalists really got me boppin to the beat and wondrous mix. Be sure to listen with headphones on this one. You don’t really need to, but that’s where the bonus is.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

CES 2019: Sennheiser Dolby Atmos & DTS: X-Soundbar “Ambeo” arrives in May

In May, Sennheiser will launch the soundbar “Ambeo”, which was already presented at IFA. The Soundbar is the latest addition to Sennheiser’s AMBEO 3D audio program and offers 5.1.4 sound with a virtualization technology developed jointly with Fraunhofer and 13 speakers. The soundbar is compatible with Dolby Atmos, DTS: X and MPEG-H 3D audio formats. At the same time, stereo and 5.1 content can be played via Upmix as an immersive 3D sound experience.

The AMBEO Soundbar uses an automated room calibration that optimizes the sound for the individual room and the preferred seating position. Over five different presets (film, music, sports, news and a neutral setting) can also optimize the frequencies and the 3D sound characteristics for the corresponding content.

With built-in Google Chromecast, Bluetooth and HDMI eARC / CEC, there are a variety of connectivity options, complemented by three additional HDMI inputs, an optical audio input and an AUX (RCA) input.

The Soundbar can be operated via App: The Sennheiser Smart Control App for iOS and Android allows users to make sound settings, select presets, personalize the sound via the equalizer and choose between three different AMBEO modes (Light, Standard and Boost) , Future new features can be uploaded to the Ambeo Soundbar via Wi-Fi or app updates.

The Sennheiser “Ambeo” soundbar should cost 2499 EUR.

For more details and recerence, checkout Sennheiser’s homepage HERE.

Original post in German 11.01.2019 (Karsten Serck)