Bob Stuart, the creator of MQA and co-founder of Meridian Audio, has been awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Prince Philip Medal for ‘his exceptional contribution to audio engineering which has changed the way we listen to music and experience films’. Stuart is the first audio engineer to receive the award in its 20-year history.

Previous recipients of the Prince Philip Medal include the inventor of the turbojet engine, Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle OM KBE CB FREng FRS; geothermal power innovator, Lucien Bronicki; and the electrical engineer who revolutionised fibre optics, Dr Charles Kao CBE FRS FREng.

Royal Academy Of Engineering

Commissioned by HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT, Senior Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Prince Philip Medal is awarded periodically to an engineer of any nationality who has made exceptional contributions to engineering through practice, management or education.

In accepting this award, Bob Stuart told us: “Audio engineering sits at an intersection between analogue and digital engineering, music and the human listener. My passion to enable great sound recording and playback has required a multi-disciplinary approach, but that quest to preserve and share music performances is very satisfying and important. I am honoured and humbled to receive this award from the Royal Academy of Engineering.”

Bob Stuart of MQA and Meridian Audio

MQA

Multi-Grammy Award winning Mastering Engineer, Bob Ludwig[ Bob Ludwig is, the owner of Gateway Mastering, the winner of 11 Grammy and several TEC awards and of the AES gold medal. He has worked with thousands of top artists and continues to do so. Bob advises the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy and shared his thoughts: “Bob Stuart is a connoisseur of both engineering and music and that is what sets him apart. He is like a mastering engineer – he knows what music is supposed to sound like, so he isn’t blinded by theory or technology. If something does not sound right to his ear he will quickly reject it and explore a more musical way of accomplishing his goals. The invention of MQA improved the sound clarity that was blurred by digital components and as a musician, I am so delighted for my ears to be the recipient of Bob’s creation and to use it in my work.”

Grammy-winning Producer and Engineer, Morten Lindberg[ Morten Linderg is a Grammy-winning, Norwegian sound engineer and producer. His 2L label specialises in the highest sound quality capture of classical music and jazz. 2L was an early and enthusiastic adopter of MQA in 2014 had this to say: “With the invention and development of MQA, Bob has provided audio engineers and music producers all over the world with a mindset and tools to work with digital audio in an holistic perspective. His interdisciplinary research combining neuroscience, psychology and advanced physics with audio engineering now makes it possible for music production to maintain true analogue qualities in the digital domain. Bob is the kind of person who goes beyond the call of professional duty and ‘becomes’ his work.”

George Massenburg[ George Massenburg Is Associate Professor of Sound Recording and Director of Video Production at McGill University and Adjunct Professor of Music Technology at Berklee College of Music. He serves on the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress and is a Fellow and Gold Medallist of AES. George has produced and engineered many recordings and has won three Grammy and one Technology Grammy awards., pre-eminent Producer, inventor and teacher, added:

“For decades, research in modern digital audio has been confused by outdated foundational precepts, misled by chimerical goals or commercial pressure and hampered by ever-so-slowly evolving knowledge in the fields of science and hearing perception. Bob Stuart has risen above these challenges time and time again.  Only the accomplished researcher whose heart and soul has been captivated by the sublime experience of superb, transparent music recording and reproduction could achieve so well what Bob has accomplished for so many years.

Our job as producers is to connect an artist’s vision and intent with listeners; the ability to share our work has been deeply compromised in the last 30 years, with a seemingly endless “lowering of the bar” of audio quality. Thus, I’m deeply impressed by the performance and technology of MQA — its faithful rendering of nuance, complexity, sound stage and detail, lifts the veil.  Knowing that my work can again be heard by an enthusiastic audience gives me a reason to go back into the studio.  I feel strongly that Bob’s work, in MQA will have a tremendous impact on the music industry.”

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