Company Profile

Home | Company | Products | Sales | Support | What's New | SIGNAL in Science | Contact | Search




Engineering Design was founded in 1980 to address problems in instrumentation and measurement, physical acoustics, and digital signal analysis.

Since 1984, Engineering Design has been the developer of the SIGNAL family of sound analysis software. Applications include sound and vibration measurement, sound modeling and synthesis, animal behavior, perceptual cognition, human auditory testing, and neurophysiological experimentation.

Company projects include:

a multi-channel telemetry-based system to record and acoustically track bowhead whales on the arctic coast of Alaska

an 8-channel real-time system to monitor and detect free-ranging elephant vocalizations and discriminate vocalizations from noise

a two-channel ultrasonic recording and playback system with program-controlled attenuation and a total playback bandwidth of 1 MHz, for binaural stimulus presentation to bats

a closed-loop ultrasonic hardware system to return a bat signal in real-time with variable delay and frequency shift (accurate to 1 Hz out of 90,000 Hz) to simulate Doppler-shift frequency variation in the return echolocation signal, in order to study Doppler-shift compensation in the bat's neural system.

a hardware and software system for digitizing, archiving, testing and monitoring the long-term quality of the library of 27,000 animal sounds at The Ohio State University

a 64-channel data acquisition and closed-loop control system to stimulate and record the dynamic failure of a concrete wall under earthquake-level stress produced by a 330,000-pound mechanical ram

a data acquisition and analysis system to measure the ground-borne transmission of subway train vibration for the Boston subway system

a low-noise (-127 dBV), high-gain (100 dB) differential microphone and preamplifier system to record the acoustics of drosophila (fruit fly) wing beats

an automated analysis and classification system for the USDA, capable of recognizing and measuring eating events in free-grazing cattle from a continuous acoustic data stream. The goal is to estimate forage intake, model grazing efficiency and weight gain, and assess the economic viability of free-grazing livestock

low-noise, high-precision electronic instrumentation for studio recording, field measurement, and laboratory experiments


First SIGNAL system on the ice in Barrow, Alaska, 1984


Portable Real-Time Spectrogram system, circa 1996


SIGNAL and bioacoustics

SIGNAL was first used in bioacoustics to study bowhead whales in Alaska and songbirds at the Rockefeller University in New York.

Before SIGNAL, bioacoustical scientists had to splice magnetic tape to create stimulus signals and make acoustical measurements on printed sonograms with pencil and ruler. SIGNAL replaced that with a computer screen, a sound digitzing board and mathematical signal analysis, and opened a world of new measurement and experimentation tools.

This 1974 PBS NOVA video shows birdsong research during the decade before SIGNAL.

Notable SIGNAL bioacoustics research projects are described here.



Bioacoustical tools before SIGNAL, circa 1974


Client list


Engineering Design is the creator of the bioacoustical analysis programs SIGNAL, Real-Time Spectrogram (RTS), Event Detector, Event Analyzer, and Experiment Maker.

Our sound analysis software is used at over 200 research laboratories worldwide.




SIGNAL Bibliography


Visit our bibliography of papers using SIGNAL for bioacoustics and other acoustical analysis. These papers illustrate the power of SIGNAL and the range of its applications.



The principal and founder of Engineering Design is Mr. Kim Beeman, A.B. Harvard in English literature and B.S. M.I.T. in electrical engineering and acoustics.

Mr. Beeman has 35 years experience in instrumentation and measurement, digital signal analysis, software design, acoustical modeling, and analog transducer and circuit design.

Before founding Engineering Design, he worked for five years at Bose Corporation in acoustical research, on projects including the Bose noise-cancelling headphone, the Bose-General Motors automotive sound system and a noise-cancelling voice microphone for the U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet.

Outside the lab, he can be found kayaking San Francisco Bay, at the Pacific Film Archive, out on the trail or cooking dinner for friends.