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ELC Audio Engineering
1534 N Dorsey Ln Tempe, AZ 85281


I started ELC Audio Engineering while a graduate student at the University of Arizona (UA). Because I was designing and building research and clinical equipment for the UA (in addition to government agencies, private industry, and hospitals), I needed a way to 1) get paid for my work and 2) ensure intellectual property protection. Creating a business / business name provided both of these.

E, L, and C are my initials (Eric L. Carmichel*). ELC is shown schematically in the company's logo (E for electromotive force, L being the usual designator for inductors, and C for capacitance). My slogan was “Engineering for Better Hearing,” but “When Overkill Isn’t Enough” became the unofficial slogan. (One piece of equipment designed for the USAF had the unofficial slogan tied to it.) *Note: Yes, Carmichel, not Carmichael, is the correct spelling of my last name.
While pursuing my MS degree, I worked as a contract employee for the McCulloch Corp. It wasn't too long before I was given the title Vice President of Electrical Engineering. Unfortunately, this was a short-lived title because McCulloch changed ownership in 1999: The McCulloch name was purchased by the Jenn Feng Industrial Co., Ltd. (Taiwan). Instead of becoming a full-time employee under McCulloch's new ownership, I continued my consulting business, and serendipitous events led to one US patent, development of a clinical device (ultimately sold to PENTAX Medical Company), several magazine articles, being hired twice as an expert witness, and a plethora of ideas. The ideas never stop...
My interest in hearing science and communication disorders continued well beyond my graduate studies. While exploring cochlear implants (and developing a new processor strategy with an integrated LCP electrode array), I recognized that many studies regarding hearing in noise could benefit from the use of periphonic sound systems and appropriate, real-world stimuli. As hearing aid (HA) and cochlear implant (CI) technology advances, more sophisticated methods of testing will be needed to demonstrate the purported improvements in HA and CI design. Studies are now underway to show in an objective, scientifically-valid manner the benefits of binaural implantation and hybrid (bimodal) hearing devices.
Implementing a periphonic sound system for improving the external validity of hearing research is no easy task--as an example, take a look at Oticon’s impressive surround system (click
The Hearing Journal for access to photos and article). Constructing such a system isn’t practical for the majority of hearing researchers, so I set forth to find the recording and playback methods that would best serve the research community. To focus on this endeavor, I created a separate business and named it Cochlear Concepts. I am also exploring studio recording and live sound engineering, and am working with a few of the top names in these related industries.

KEMAR (Knowles Electronic Manikin for Acoustic Research) goes out for fresh air. 


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