Jim Addie has over 41 years in the audio industry, and over 35 years in the video industry. His engineering specialties are: custom equipment design, acoustic design and calibration, and system integration.
He’s worked for a number of radio stations, both FM and AM, serving as Chief Engineer for several. He was chairman of the John Hancock Center FM Committee for 10 years, during which he, along with engineer Bill Partyka, developed specifications for a radical new $1.5m combiner system for that facility, integrating the transmission of 10 radio stations to the Hancock broadcast antenna towers. The specifications were developed using computer simulation of the entire FM transmission and reception sytem, and resulted in the first RF combiner engineered from the standpoint of received audio quality. He has worked for such companies as CBS, Viacom, Infinity, and WGN Radio where he helped to install a new 50kW transmitter.
Jim worked for 15 years for WFMT, Chicago’s premiere classical music station (1977-1992), and contributed to the design and oversight of the construction of a state-of-the-art classical music broadcast facility, including the custom design of consoles and equipment within the studios. While at WFMT, he developed the first digital audio studio-transmitter link using CD quality uncompressed digital audio, and was the first to apply custom equalization and Dolby SR noise reduction to low cost telephone lines to permit high quality audio transmission. Jim was unofficially named “Engineer in Charge of Excellence” by one of the WFMT staff, who first used the title in an on-air interview. WFMT’s studios won the Best Station Award in 1981, as well as the coveted Peabody Award for Excellence in Engineering.
Jim’s interest in video began with early home Betamax VCRs. At one time he was responsible for maintaining nearly 30 units used for recording digital audio at WFMT using the Sony PCM-F1 and related converters. Jim entered the video production field in 1992 with a full-length documentary production, and has since produced 6 additional full-length documentariestwo about actor/activist Christopher Reeveand countless other industrial and instructional videos. He’s well versed in all aspects of video and film, from camera to projector, and all steps in between. He has personally owned a theatrical 35mm projector and film transport (which he designed and built) that he offered for festival showings. While uncredited, Jim was hired by the producers of "The Right Stuff" to make stereo audio recordings of a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago, which formed the backgroud sound layer for the ticker-tape parade scene in that movie.
Jim has designed circuits used in custom audio consoles, recording and broadcast equipment, In 1980 he designed a 3D sound device for recovering lost stereo imaging, and manufactured and sold many units as custom pieces. In 1982, with the advent of hifi audio tracks on VCRs, he built the first consumer surround decoder, again, on a custom order basis. The special equalization curve he developed for use in home surround decoders closely matches the THX ReEQ curve included later in the Home THX specification.
In 1978, Jim began his association and friendship with THX inventor, Tomlinson Holman while he was with Apt Corp. Jim commissioned Apt to build two custom version of the Apt-Holman Preamp for WFMT, which went on to purchase dozens of Apt products for their new studio. Tom later began working for Lucasfilm, and developed the theater sound system standards to be installed in theaters across the country, to reproduce the surround soundtracks for Star Wars films. The specifications for that system later became the basis for THX.
Jim and Tom have worked together on several projects over the years, including the 1997 IAMM conference where they presented the first large-scale demonstration of multi-channel music using a system and a demo program Jim engineered. Jim is THX Tech II certified and is the only TMH certified home theater technician in the country. TMH, Tom's professional services company, is the result of the past two decades of research in sound reproduction technology.
Since 2006, Jim has turned his attention to creating home theater environments, believing his long career and background have made him singly qualified to bring all the elements of excellence in engineering to the home market. He is still active as an engineering consultant in the broadcast industry. He remains the "Engineer in charge of Excellence".