DO YOU REMEMBER THE ORANGE CONSOLE of ATEÏS?
Yes, the one who equipped so many independent radio stations in the 80s...? Nostalgia now, at that time a famous radio adventure where two French engineers in electronics, Robert Seassauand Bernard Charreton, created this mythical radio console.
THE YEAR WHEN THE ATEÏS ASSOCIATION WAS BORN
Four years later it starts to grow employing five engineers. Pioneers when it comes to the transition of computers into broadcast audio-mixers. Our two pioneers are among the first one to launch computerized mixing tables. Besides that, they also worked on tailored audio solutions covering a niche market.
But a decade later the console market started to become stressed with the arrival of major international companies like Yamaha, Roland and others, who destroyed the position of the small European companies. ATEÏS was driven to develop new markets. In 1995 ATEÏS chose to focus on two new markets, namely that for theater electronics and public Address’s announcement systems.
For the theaters, ATEÏS produced computerized mixing consoles with motorized faders. Sets which equipped many stage rooms in France and in Germany. Its ES22T pre-amplifier became a standard for many theaters.
SNCF (French National Railway Company) was at the frontier of introducing an advanced automatic announcement system that was first to become computer controlled. For this special application, ATEÏS developed an audio matrix called: SAM 100 & 200. After successful integration at the pilot station of Lyon, it became the standard for many others to follow.
Four years later, the demanding requirements of the SNCF to improve the sound quality at their stations brought ATEÏS to cooperate with a partner called: SLVS (Lyon’s association for Video surveillance and PA system), run by Roland Labrosse. SLVS just picked up a refurbishment of the PA-systems for the TGV and could use the specialism of ATEÏS, with its experience at the SNCF, to implement their SAM system.
Slowly but surely the company stepped away from the classical 100 Volt distributed sound solutions, creating a whole new standard in the PAVA industry. Rail companies placed orders at ATEÏS and together with these demanding customers they further developed products for the life safety and voice evacuation market for upper- and underground stations.
A Year later the two companies were merged and continued their works under the company and brand name of ATEÏS. As solution providers and manufacturers for professional soundsystemes for the Public Address and Voice Evacuation market, at their new office in ST Martin d’Hères, their business finally separated from the Pro-audio market.
The new motivated team had a beautiful future ahead till in the evening of October 17th 2000 a disastrous fire brought the building completely down to the ground! A big setback for the team, but committed as they were to deliver what they had promised to their customer, TGV, they rebuilt their business in less than 2 months, counting on an ambitious and enthusiastic team of people. Shortly after, ATEÏS settled down in Claix with a team that was even more motivated than before.
THE ODYSSEY CONTINUES
It is the Year of the introduction of a whole new counter intercom system, known as: Magellan, a by now well known device that is servicing happily at almost every counter desk at the SNCF. After going through European tender, ATEÏS was awarded with the order to develop and manufacture a counter intercom system for SNCF (French national railway company).
It was going to be used in a complex environment where high noise levels and bad acoustics made it hard to establish a comfortable level of communication between the counter staff and the passengers that were separated by a glass barrier. Beside the electro-acoustical part challenges, it needed to be vandal-proof and easy to install as well which made it an even tougher job to develop. Acoustic feedback was the biggest problem SNCF experienced with their current simple analogue intercom system. ATEÏS came with a strong solution delivering acoustic echo cancellation, based on an own developed algorithm, implemented using first generation DSP-processors.
This avoided the ‘feed-back’ effect that was caused by the returning sound loop coming from the client’s speaker into the client’s microphone and repeated at the clerk’s side intercom console.
This efficient echo-cancellation algorithm in combination with a well designed vandal-proof housing made Magellan a success.
"DSP-technology became ATEÏS trade-mark and applied to all their products"
In 2002, new safety standards were introduced in France, like the ERP that applied for public accessible buildings. Customers like SNCF (French national railway company), the RATP (Paris public transportation System) and numerous French airports chose for ATEÏS.
All the PAVA systems were developed based on digital technology architecture and in full compliance with the standard EN60849.
ATEÏS leaves in search of a new partner. Market is moving fast and economical production was required in order to survive in the next decades to come. It finds a partner in Taiwan, PCI, one of the world leaders in manufacturing speakers and electronics. Both companies saw opportunities and, in spite of the distance and the culture differences, they decide to join their R&D and manufacturing facilities.
For ATEÏS it brought on one hand an additional top range of speakers and a line of audio matrixes to their portfolio and, on the other hand, access to economic production facilities.
Thanks to this strategy, both partners benefit from each other’s strengths. PCI, leaders in DSP development and manufacturing and ATEIS strong in customized industrialization and European standards.
In 2006 ATEIS was tasked to expand her businesses and to expand their sales outside of the French speaking areas. Starting with subsidiaries in Switzerland; ATEÏS International SA, for the distribution of products in the European market, and ATEÏS Middle East in Dubai for the distribution in the Middle East and India. Due to the high demands and the booming business in the Middle East, commitments were made to further develop the IDA4 Voice Alarm system, launched at ProLight in Frankfurt at that same Year.
Audio over IP has become a very common item nowadays. But in 2007 this was a state –of-the-art development, proving the strength and knowhow of ATEÏS. Encoding/decoding audio is one thing, but bringing the features that the market needs is another one.
VOX-NET software SERVER, solely developed by ATEÏS, is an audio distribution system for Public Address and evacuation purposes which rest on an Ethernet/IP networking architecture. It is capable of making microphone calls, starting pre-recorded messages or routing music through the network from a central based server and/or operator unit.
Again, integration took place at the SNCF railways for remote zone messaging over IP.
NEW PRODUCTS TO ARRIVE AND TO DEVELOPE
With the acquisition of the Messenger, ATEÏS joined the market for steerable line-arrays, based on DSP-technology and a patent algorithm that have been fully redesigned to meet the industries standards for Voice Alarm, commercial audio and Pro-sound. IDA4 needed to be updated and market demands required a change of approach.
DIVA8 was introduced and first steps to develop a sophisticated follow-up on IDA4 were put on paper.
ATEÏS Group adds offices in UK, Germany, USA, Singapore and a new warehouse for the European market in the Netherlands!
The period of the standards that has put high pressure on manufacturers to adapt their electronics and loudspeakers to this demanding EN54 standard. ATEÏS has proven to be capable and flexible. With over 30 speakers and 2 VACIE sets, DIVA8 and the new powerful IDA8 controller, ATEÏS is ready to compete complying with the EN 54-16, 24 and 4.
With audio over IP, fibber-optic and copper in various redundant modes, networking has become ATEÏS new finger print. With AVB being in preparation we are ready for the next challenges.