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Applied Acoustics Systems was founded in 1998 and is based in Montreal, Canada. It is a privately-held company, specializing in innovative audio products for Mac and PC computers. Applied Acoustics Systems flagship product, the Tassman, a software-synthesizer program for amateur and professional musicians, as well as audio post-producers, is distributed worldwide through retail, direct and Internet sales.
Making music from science
Inspired by musical acoustics research done for their doctor's degrees, Marc-Pierre Verge and Philippe Dérogis founded Applied Acoustics Systems in 1998. Starting a musical acoustics company was a natural move for the two. Musicians themselves, Verge plays the flute and Dérogis plays the trumpet and piano. Founding Applied Acoustics Systems allowed them to combine artistic interests with their scientific backgrounds to create a unique business.
Verge, a physicist, and Dérogis, a mathematician, studied acoustics to utilize their backgrounds in science and music. A specialization in musical acoustics allowed them to use the laws of physics to study the ways musical instruments function.
After defending their doctor's degrees in sound synthesis by physical model at IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique et Musique), in Paris, Verge and Dérogis worked with acoustics in French state research laboratories. At the same time, both researchers developed simple, real-time sound synthesis applications for producing music.
Quickly, they realized the power of PC now enabled them to adapt, with minor modifications, tools used in research laboratories to develop a unique musical software. Combining ideas from their relative fields of expertise, such as aeroacoustics applied to the modeling of flute-like instruments and vibroacoustics or sound radiation from mechanical structures, such as soundboards, yielded exciting and unexpected results.
Verge and Dérogis soon realized they could develop an innovative and powerful creative tool by adopting a modular approach, enabling users to combine different sound generating mechanisms, an extension of the "rediscovered" features of modular analog synthesizers.
In 1998, Verge and Dérogis formed Applied Acoustics Systems to make state-of-the-art research in acoustics available to musicians and audio professionals. In August 1998, they moved from Paris to Montreal, a city conducive to new business development, to work full time on the company project. Stéphan Tassart, another IRCAM doctor, researcher and signal processing specialist, joined the team in October 1998.
The result of their passion and knowledge of music and physics is the Tassman, a fully-modular software, integrating analog and acoustic sound synthesis modules with an easy-to-use, intuitive, hardware-like interface. The Tassman yields sounds that could not be created in real life, through the manipulation of acoustical formulas. Intriguing to individuals in a variety of professions, the Tassman is a stellar example of the benefits of melding art and science.