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Ward-Beck Systems Blog

  • Please check your audio signal even if it is digital

    “Digital everything” makes the world run smoother, faster, cheaper and trouble free.  This is true for the most part, but when something goes wrong, it can be anything from a minor annoyance to a major train wreck.

    Audio signals get converted from analog to digital to ease transmission, distribution and storage and significant savings can be realized when audio is handled in the digital domain.  Digital technology also makes it possible to transport large numbers of signals (audio, video and control) in a single stream.  So a word from the once bitten twice shy, check your signals before you convert to digital and after you convert back to analog.

    Test gear, to check your signals, is available with varying degrees of sophistication and levels of cost.  Since we are audio guys, we’ll highlight an inexpensive and highly portable solution that should be in every audio specialists’ toolbox.

    Born out of the need to give the chief engineer at the radio station his ears back when the transition to digital started, is the BitBuddy.  This compact, battery powered and belt clip included audio monitor is equipped with a stereo analog input as well as an AES digital input.  Plug your headphones in and you can listen to a stereo analog audio signal or an AES digital signal.  A simple stereo LED meter indicates signal levels while the LED status/error display gives information about the  digital signal  and can identify any digital errors that are detected.

    For set up and installations, meet the BitSpitter, a companion to the  BitBuddy.  This compact, portable battery powered device generates a stable test tone in both analog and digital audio formats that can be fed down transmission lines, into amplifiers or A to D and D to A converters.  The digital test tones have selectable sampling rates and the ability to send invalid bits that test the receiving input circuitry of the destination device.

    With a BitSpitter at one end and a BitBuddy at the other, we offer an efficient, affordable solution to ensure that your cable installation is correct and that your amplifiers and transmission gear are operating to specification.  The  BitSpitter or BitBuddy may be purchased separately or ask us about the BitKit which provides both units in a convenient carry case complete with one IMP-1M and one IMP-1F impedance converter to adapt your units for use in 75 Ohm BNC installations.

    Ward-Beck Bit Kit - Email us for more information on how to get one!

  • Introducing Parts & Accessories section of our E-Commerce store!

    We often get customers contacting us looking to purchase spare/replacement parts used in older Ward-Beck products. At Ward-Beck, we value our legacy, and to make it a little easier for these clients to find parts for some of our older products, we have listed the most requested parts on sale on our E-Commerce website, under the Parts & Accessories section.

    Each parts has listed in its Product Description what Ward-Beck products it is used in.

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  • Making Match-ic! Production pictures of our new microAMP and microMatch

    We are busy getting the metalwork together for our microAMP/110, microAMP/75 and microMATCH from our micro lineup of products. Time to build some! This is a bit of walk-through of our design and production process for creating these products.

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  • Ward-Beck Systems CADsoft Eagle Open Audio Product library growing

    A new Ward-Beck Systems CADsoft Eagle Open Audio Product library is growing rapidly.  As customers are sending in designs we can now design and arrange systems with much greater precision and accuracy.

    CADsoft is a CAD design suite capable of quick interconnect and error detection.

    A public library will be soon available!

    Screenshot 2015-06-23 13.44.52 Screenshot 2015-06-23 13.45.00 Screenshot 2015-06-23 13.45.51 Screenshot 2015-06-23 13.46.12 Screenshot 2015-06-23 13.27.35 Screenshot 2015-06-23 13.55.22

  • Big VU meters on display

    Our BigVU meters were on display at the 2015 MMVAs last night, on the side of Dome Productions' Pacific Truck.


    For more information on the bigVU meters, and how to preorder them, please fill out the form here, or watch out for order information coming soon at!

  • TOMS Workshop - Happening Tomorrow!

    Toronto Modular Synth Workshop the inaugural event is happing tomorrow hosted by the fine people over at 2Egress Sound and Design.   There will be performances from local talent at the first event.  There will be there sharing of knowledge from leading professionals within the city.  There will be the opportunity to trade some Eurorack modules, and there will be some talks by special guests and classes by professional tradesmen related to Eurorack and the music industry.

    This is going to be a great event!

    Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 2.26.53 PM

  • Analog Audio - How does it work?

    Electron microscope slow-motion video of vinyl LP shows the inner workings of record players, and how they make tiny grooves and bumps into audio.  Enjoy!

  • Canada Music Week Visitor: GGGarth Richardson

    Garth Richardson at Ward-Beck Systems

    During Canada Music Week, producer / engineer and Ward-Beck Systems console enthusiast Garth Richardson came to us with an upgrade request. His Ward-Beck Systems L3204 console, formerly owned by the renown Kill Bennedy,  needed more gain on the direct outs.
    Bill Kennedy - Ward-Beck Systems L3204 Mixing console
    Garth's attention to gain structure lead him to need 4dB more from the WBS-L_M470A direct line output, factory set to 0dB relative to -15dB in hand position.  After a visit at the factory we came up with a solution tailored to fit the M470A module.

    Introducing the WBS-L-GGGain add on for the
    WBS-L-M470 microphone pre-amp modules. 
    Ward-Beck Systems - GGGain designed for Garth Richardson

    The WBS-L-GGGain adds 4dB of gain to only the direct out.  It was important not to throw the busses out of alignment.  By replacing the R104 and R105, the use of a WBS Legacy inspired Booster amplifier design, the task is accomplished preserving the character of the channel strip Garth enjoys.  The design is very similar to that used within the M470 Mic pre-amp fader receiver.

    Ward-Beck systems M470 output schematic

    In order to be customer installed, a hole must be drilled into the PCB; luckily a spot without traces was nearby.  The WBS-L-GGGain has (7) leads that easily connect to the PCB for line in/out and power.  Ward-Beck Systems - GGGain designed for Garth Richardson overlaid on an M470 microphone pre-ampThe first production run will be this month.  Once they are test department approved, they will be install ready.  Several extra GGGain modules will be produced and made available in our new online marketplace.  We look forward to working on projects like this one for Garth and welcome others like it.   Ward-Beck Systems - First By Design.  

  • Modification of IMP-16 Impedance Panel at Customer Request

    One of our customers requested a modification of our standard IMP-8M8F impedance panel, containing 8 BNC to XLR female baluns and 8 BNC to XLR male baluns, into a custom panel of 10 BNC to XLR male baluns and 6 BNC to XLR female baluns (IMP-10M6F). At Ward-Beck's our in-house production facility and metal shop means that we can absolutely accommodate custom requests like these for our clients. Off we set to work!

    We started with a standard IMP-8M8F panel:

    In order to modify the IMP-8M8F into custom 10-male 6-female panel, we had to take two of the female (BNC to XLRF) assemblies, and replace them with two extra male (BNC to XLRM assemblies). We happened to have two male baluns assembled in stock to start from, with one slight issue.

    Finally, after the modifications were complete, we had our custom IMP-10M6F panel!

    A comparison of the two:

    We think it came out great, and hope that the customer gets a lot of use out it!

    Don't hesitate to contact Ward-Beck Systems if you need a custom modification of one of our existing product. With an in-house Engineering, Production and Metal House team, we are ready to give your custom needs our best shot!

    Send a request to if you have a custom request!

  • A big order for a big customer!

    All ready to ship out a big order to one of our favourite customers! Our new POD14Bs seem to be running out fast...get them while they are in stock, if you are looking for a dual analog-to-digital converter that is both affordable and of professional quality!


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