A Calgary Audio-Technology Company is Making (Sound) Waves Around the World

With the launch of its new software, local audio innovators PK Sound continue to make a thunderous impact on the industry.

Illustration by Gust of Wind Studio.

Bella Concert Hall at the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts is one of the city’s most acoustically sophisticated venues. But, back in June 2023, an audience gathered at the Bella not for a performance, but to hear and appreciate the sound technology that amplifies and enhances the music.

The event was a local-market launch for .dynamics, the new live-sound software by Calgary-based audio-technology company PK Sound. A “soft launch” in name only, attendees were treated to a demonstration of the capabilities of .dynamics prior to its global online launch the following month.

It was another significant milestone for the local success story that originated as a speaker-rental company started by CEO Jeremy Bridge while he was in university. Two decades later, now headquartered in an expansive facility just east of the Calgary city limits in Rocky View County, PK Sound is known worldwide as a respected manufacturer and exporter of speakers and sound technology. Its flagship Trinity Black robotic line array system has pumped out sound at events such as the Essence Festival in the New Orleans’ Superdome and at outdoor electronic dance music (EDM) festivals like the Shambhala Music Festival near Nelson, B.C., and the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa, Fla., while the official global tour for the Broadway smash hit Hamilton amplified its hip-hop score with PK’s G30 subwoofers.

The company has built its reputation on innovation. In 2015, PK Sound patented the world’s first robotic line-source system — robotics within the loudspeakers control both vertical and horizontal directivity, meaning they can be adjusted to play sounds in varying directions to suit all kinds of venues, including massive stadiums and outdoor festival sites.

According to Bridge, .dynamics is an evolved version of the platform they patented back in 2015, combining every stage of the live-sound workflow into one software application, a step up from competitors that require multiple programs to achieve similar results. It allows for real-time configuration of speakers in any venue, powered by software that provides all-in-one access and control from one central location.

“Our industry’s typical workflow is very linear, so we called our software .dynamics, because it’s about a dynamic workflow that lets you work at your own speed and order thanks to real-time control and remote coverage,” says PK Sound partner and global brand manager Andrew King. “Without robotics, setting up speaker systems is a completely different process. You first have to simulate how your sound coverage will work, and then you try and fine-tune that and determine best coverage and then physically set that up.

“With .dynamics’ system, you would start with that simulation, but once the best configuration is determined, instead of physically setting up that system for coverage, it can be moved around when it’s in the air,” King says. “This allows for adjustments to be made remotely and in real time, which is the biggest difference from other systems/workflows used throughout this industry.”

PK’s admirers range from the sound-techs behind the scenes to those up front, making and performing the music. “PK Sound focused on a specific genre of music, which is bass-driven dance music, and created technology that enhanced its sound quality in club and festival settings,” says Calgary-based DJ and dance-music producer Joanna Magik. “As a result, many artists began requesting a PK Sound system for their performances, and PK became closely associated with these artists and immersive music experiences. This rightfully boosted the PK reputation globally.”

With .dynamics, the buzz around PK Sound will undoubtedly grow even louder. “It’s exciting, getting to fly the flag on the international stage and lean into where we’re from,” says King.

Learn more about the people and organizations moving Calgary forward with Avenue's Innovation Newsletter.

This article appears in the May 2024 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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