John M. Eargle

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John Morgan Eargle (b. 6 Jan 1931 Tulsa, Oklahoma; d. 9 May 2007 Hollywood, California) was an Oscar and Grammy-winning audio engineer and a musician (piano and church and theater organ). He was the Chief Engineer for Delos International, author of seminal textbooks on audio, a consultant (and vice president of engineering) for 31 years at JBL, and past president and fellow of the Audio Engineering Society.[1]

Eargle and his colleague, Mark E. Engebretsen (born 1942), can be directly credited for the revolution in cinema sound reproduction after 1980. They presented a paper to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers demonstrating new concepts in cinema loudspeaker design. This led directly to developments culminating in the THX sound system developed by Tomlinson Holman (born 1946). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded the two, and a third colleague, D. B. (Don Broadus) Keele, Jr. (born 1940), a Scientific and Technical Award (a Technical Oscar) in 2001:

... for the concept, design and engineering of the modern constant-directivity, direct radiator style motion picture loudspeaker systems. The work of John M. Eargle, D.B. 'Don' Keele and Mark E. Engebretson has resulted in the over 20-year dominance of constant-directivity, direct radiator bass style cinema loudspeaker systems.[2]

Career timeline[edit]

February 1977 Vice President Product Development, James B. Lansing Sound, Inc., Northridge, California[3]

Growing up[edit]

During his teenage years while at Texarkana High School in Arkansas, Eargle worked part-time for Paul Klipsch in Hope, Arkansas, which was about 30 miles from his home. Eargle graduated with honors from Texarkana High School in 1948.

Recordings[edit]

Eargle engineered more than 250 CD releases, many for Delos International, including the Seattle Symphony, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Westminster Choir, the chamber orchestras of Los Angeles, New York, and Moscow, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

Eargle recorded soloists that include John Browning, Arleen Auger, Janos Starker, Garrick Ohlsson, Carol Rosenberger, and Bella Davidovich.

During the 43rd Grammy Awards (February 2001), Eargle won a Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Classical his Delos recording of Dvořák’s Requiem and Symphony No. 9 performed by the New Jersey Symphony OrchestraZdenek Macal, conductor.

A jazz aficionado, Eargle engineered recordings by Joe Williams, Red Holloway, Ruth Brown, Clark Terry, Tommy Newsom, and Etta James. His recording of Joe Williams for Delos, titled Nothin' but the Blues won a Grammy in 1984 for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male, and his recording of Ruth Brown for Fantasy Records, Blues on Broadway, won a 1989 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female.[4]

Education[edit]

Music

Eargle studied music at the University of North Texas College of Music (1948 to 1950), the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Music, 1953), and the University of Michigan (Master of Music, 1954).
His brother, Robert Gray Eargle, said that John Eargle had perfect pitch.[5]

Scientific & engineering

After serving in the military, Eargle studied electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering 1962) and engineering at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Master of Engineering, 1970). His thesis at Cooper Union, under the direction of Professor Daniel M. Schutzer (born 1940), was titled Four-Channel Stereophonic Transmission Over Two Normal Audio Channels. He also studied acoustics with Cyril M. Harris (1917–2011) at Columbia University.

Selected publications[edit]

Academic textbooks

  • Handbook of Recording Engineering
Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (©1986)
Second edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York (©1992)
Third edition, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (©1996)
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston (©2003)
Fourth edition, Springer Science+Business Media, New York (©2005)
  • The Microphone Book
Focal Press, Boston (©2001)
Second edition, Focal Press, Oxford, United Kingdom (©2004)
  • Music, Sound, and Technology
Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (©1990)
Second edition, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (©1995)
  • Sound Recording
Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (©1976)
Second edition, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (©1980)
  • Electroacoustical Reference Data
Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (©1994)
  • Handbook of Sound System Design
ELAR Publishing Co., Inc., Commack, New York (©1989)
  • Loudspeaker Handbook
First edition, Springer Press (©1997)
Second edition, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston (©2003)

Other publications

  • Audio Engineering for Sound Reinforcement, coauthored with Chris Foreman (paperback), Hal Leonard, Milwaukee (©2002)
  • The JBL Story: 60 Years of Audio Innovation, Hal Leonard, Milwaukee (©2006)
  • JBL Sound System Design Reference Manual
Coauthored with George Lee Augspurger, published by JBL (©1982) (based largely on the Sound Workshop Manual, by George Lee Augspurger, born 1929, published by JBL, ©1977)
Second edition, coauthored with George Lee Augspurger, published by JBL (©1986)
Third edition, updated by John Eargle (©1999)

Academic papers

Other scientific publications

Affiliations[edit]

References[edit]

General references

  • Who's Who in Technology, Sixth edition, Two volumes, Gale Research, Detroit, 1989
  • Who's Who in Technology, Seventh edition, Gale Research, Detroit, 1995
  • Who's Who in Technology Today, Third edition, Four volumes, edited by Jan W. Churchwell (born 1942), J. Dick & Co., Highland Park, IL, 1982
  • Who's Who in Technology Today, Fourth edition, Five volumes, edited by Barbara A. Tinucci (born 1932), Research Publications, J. Dick Publishing, Lake Bluff, IL, 1984
  • American Men & Women of Science, A biographical directory of today's leaders in physical, biological and related sciences, 18th edition, 1992-1993, Eight volumes, R.R. Bowker, New Providence, NJ, 1992
  • American Men & Women of Science, A biographical directory of today's leaders in physical, biological and related sciences, 19th edition, Eight volumes, R.R. Bowker, New Providence, NJ, 1994
  • American Men & Women of Science, A biographical directory of today's leaders in physical, biological and related sciences, 20th edition, Eight volumes, R.R. Bowker, New Providence, NJ, 1998
  • American Men & Women of Science, A biographical directory of today's leaders in physical, biological and related sciences, 21st edition, Eight volumes, Gale Group, Detroit, 2003
  • American Men & Women of Science. A biographical directory of today's leaders in physical, biological and related sciences, 22nd edition, Eight volumes, Thomson Gale, Detroit, 2005
  • American Men & Women of Science. A biographical directory of today's leaders in physical, biological and related sciences, 23rd edition, Eight volumes, Thomson Gale, Detroit, 2006
  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Third edition, 1996-1997, New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who, 1996
  • Who's Who in the West, 15th edition, 1976-1977, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL, 1976
  • Who's Who in the West, 16th edition, 1978-1979, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL, 1978
  • Who's Who in the West, 17th edition, 1980-1981, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL, 1980
  • Who's Who in the West, 18th edition, 1982-1983, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL, 1982
  • Who's Who in the West, 19th edition, 1984-1985, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL, 1983

Inline citations

  1. ^ Claire Noland, John Eargle, 76; Award-Winning Audio Engineer, The Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2007
  2. ^ John M. Eargle Dies, Musical America, May 16, 2007
  3. ^ Business & People – John Eargle, The Los Angeles Times, February 7, 1977
  4. ^ In Memorandum: John M. Eargle, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 55, No. 6, June 2007
  5. ^ In Memorandum: John M. Eargle, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 55, No. 6, June 2007