Jim Cousins' background
Sound Improvement Services
I began my engineering career with Smiths Industries and studied electronics
and systems engineering at Brooklands as part of a student apprenticeship. Involvement in vibration analysis and feedback design in
Smiths’ well equipped environmental test laboratory intensified my interest in electronics and acoustics.
completing my studies I joined a small medical electronics company, Electronic and X-ray Applications Limited, where I worked on nuclear
and ultrasonic diagnostic systems.
Hearing and speech research
Experience of the medical world, especially in ultrasound, and my growing interest in electro-acoustics
helped me secure a position developing auditory test equipment as part of a five year, MRC funded, auditory perception research project
under the leadership of J.A.M. Martin and Prof. DT Kemp.
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A sensible approach to sound quality
Midas also manufactured bespoke recording consoles for artists like Oscar Peterson and Frank Zappa. My Frank Zappa design was installed in Frank's mobile studio for live concert recordings.
I started designing remote controlled theatre consoles at that time. These consoles found their way into the National Theatre and the London Coliseum. I also designed bespoke theatre consoles for the musicals Evita and Cats.
I rejoined the commercial world as the research project drew to a close, joining Theatre Projects for a brief spell before taking up the post of technical manager of Midas Audio Systems. I was responsible for the design of manual and semi-automated sound mixing consoles for live sound, broadcast and recording.
Those early days at Midas Audio Systems were exciting times; working with bands like Pink Floyd for the original production of The Wall and with Supertramp on the Breakfast In America tour.
The project gathered valuable data on the hearing processes and our
findings helped improve understanding of the ear-brain system.
This later led to the discovery of the Kemp echo, a low level sound emitted by the inner ear in response to a stimulus.
echo is important in the verification of brain function, the study of tinnitus and in the early diagnosis of hearing problems in babies
and patients with communication difficulties.