Dr. Peter D’Antonio created the RPG Diffusor along with a new Live-End-Dead-End design for control rooms, using a ‘Reflection Free Zone,’ RFZTM, in 1983, which still remains the de facto design standard today.
D'Antonio began his career as a diffraction physicist at the Naval Research Lab, NRL, in 1967. A musician and composer with an interest in recording, D’Antonio designed and built the Underground Sound Studio in his home in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, he became intrigued with the possibility of using diffusing surfaces based on a mathematical number theory, initially developed by Carl Friedrich Gauss in the 18th century, to diffuse rather than absorb the reflected sound from the rear wall of his control room.
D’Antonio was familiar with these new, periodic diffusing surfaces. They were 2-D versions of the 3-D crystal lattices he was studying using X-ray diffraction. Then, while working as a diffraction physicist, he incorporated RPG Diffusor Systems.
“The RPG Diffuser, which was inducted into the music industry’s TECnology Hall of Fame this year, was the first innovation inspired by our mission of ‘expanding the acoustical palette through a continued commitment to fundamental acoustics research,’” D’Antonio said. “Recording studio owners and designers were quick to embrace these revolutionary units. They proved highly effective in improving room acoustics and they provided handsome aesthetic enhancements as well. We literally launched a new industry.”
D’Antonio retired from NRL in 1996 to devote full time to growing RPG from a pioneer in the recording industry to providing new solutions in the general architectural acoustics market. Over the past 30 years, RPG Diffusor Systems innovations have changed the face and the sound of recording, broadcast, and performance environments. Today, a wide array of RPG products enhance a range of acoustic environments around the globe.
RPG recently instituted a new management team. D’Antonio is now chairman and CEO. Two long-term RPG team members have been promoted to senior management positions. John Groth has been appointed president and CFO, and Jeff Madison has been named executive vice president. Research continues to contribute to RPG product advances.
The firm has pioneered a three decade long progression of developments, now considered indispensable to architects and acousticians. Today, an assessment of the need for improved acoustics is beyond just the professional audio recording and broadcast studio enclave. RPG products are employed by a client base that encompasses schools, corporate boardrooms and auditoriums, concert halls, motion picture and live performance theaters, Houses of Worship, home theaters, stadiums, restaurants, and the burgeoning Project Studio market.
“On-going dialogues with professional organizations such as the Audio Engineering Society, the Acoustical Society of America, and SynAudCon, coupled with long-term relationships with leading architects and acousticians have inspired a number of our new products over the years,” D’Antonio said.
The RPG Diffusor System has continued evolving to include a wider range and performance sound diffusors. RPG has also developed a wide range of innovative absorbing surfaces.
The Modffusor eliminates the limitations of the original QRD and represents diffusive performance. Waveform is a patented range of curvilinear shapes for wall or suspended cloud installation. Topakustik and Topperfo are key elements in sound absorbing wood plank and panel systems.
“Newer products like Quietstone, an innovative approach to utilizing recycled stone aggregate or glass to control noise, sound reflections and excess reverberation, and Clearsorber Foil, and DeAmp, transparent sound absorbers with microperforations and micro-slits, respectively, illustrate the validity of our philosophy of dedicated R&D,” D’Antonio said.
Architects improved the sound quality in new public and private buildings allowing RPG products to perform acoustical services in international projects. These include The New York TimesCenter, designed by Renzo Piano, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Jungle City, NY’s acclaimed destination recording studio, Sony Computer Entertainment America, San Mateo, CA, the Jazz At Lincoln Center Complex, and SFJAZZ Center a 35,000 square foot ‘sanctuary for jazz,' in San Francisco.
“We consider the past 30 years a prelude to the next 3 decades,” D’Antonio added. “Sophisticated new research, measurement and simulation tools and innovative new acoustic materials are constantly being introduced. Awareness of the critical role performed by acoustics in our social, business and entertainment worlds has never been higher. Our commitment to on-going research and our state-of-the art measurement facilities for determining the absorption, scattering and diffusion coefficients are increasingly productive. RPG’s staff of mathematicians, acousticians, musicians and architects continues to guide our firm towards more breakthrough developments; and to on-going improvements to products already established as industry standards. The future looks good to us, and we’re dedicated to making it sound even better.”