[LR-06] (1992)The LR-06 was a servo recorder with wide-ranging applications, from level recording of noise and vibration to characteristics measurement of various acous-tic instruments, and even linear recording of electric voltages. Compared to conventional level recorders, the LR-06 incorporat-ed digital technologies to offer numerous functions.[NL-04] (1991)The NL-04, a key model in the history of Rion sound level me-ters, could be connected to the memory card unit of the DA-05, developed at the same time to make digital recordings of sound levels for extended periods.[NL-06] (1997)The NL-06 was an integrating ordinary sound level meter equipped with a display having a linearity range of 100 dB and a memory card slot. The model was developed to respond to the need for continuous measure-ments of equivalent continuous sound pressure levels follow-ing the enactment of the Basic Environment Act.[NL-18] (1995)A precision integrating ordi-nary sound level meter, the NL-18 was a high-performance multi-function model with two internalized circuits for sound level measurements that allow users to measure sound pres-sure peak values or take mea-surements using impulse time constant, in addition to measur-ing equivalent continuous sound pressure levels. It featured two liquid-crystal displays.its status as a manufacturer of acoustic measuring instruments. Thus, Rion kick-started several development projects that would bridge the gap between being a maker of sound level meters and becoming a maker of acoustic measuring instruments.Development of the NA-20 included the following innovations: a poly-mer lm microphone; a meter-type indicator oering a wide range, high-speed, and precision performance; a precision eective value detection circuit; and a housing with superior acoustic performance. A cadre of elite engineers pushed all core components of the sound level meter to the next stage.The period of rapid economic growth for Japan lasted until the burst of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. Around this time, industrial growth also came to a screeching halt. As the growth of acoustic and vibration measuring instrument businesses slowed, in response to the diversication of measuring applications, such as for monitoring, diagnos-ing, and prevention, demand for more advanced measuring instruments grew. The LR-06 was a level recorder that answered these needs.“Level recorders can capture temporal changes in noise on recording paper. They allow the user to determine the environmental impact of certain sounds at a given site. For example, measurements of road traf-c noise can be aected by a cawing crow or a passing ambulance. The magnitude of the impact of such events on a measurement depends both on their sound level and how often they occur. Therefore, the user may note on the recording paper a crow cawed at a particular point so that the corresponding data can be removed from the analysis. The procedure is pretty analog, but since conditions in the eld were liable to change by the minute, making recordings on paper proved quite convenient. In any case, the people working in the eld in those days preferred data on paper. The LR-06 also featured digital technologies that allowed simulta-neous data recording on a memory card in parallel with analog recording and automatic time printing.”Another key model in the history of sound level meter development at Rion was the NL-04 ordinary sound level meter. Users could make digital recordings of sound levels over an extended period simply by connecting it to the DA-05 memory card unit developed at the same time. This model paved a new road to post-measurement data processing.“Level recorders were large and boxy and often cumbersome to carry into the eld with the sound level meter. The data recorded on the memory card of the DA-05 could be played back later to create a hard copy using the LR-06, which was developed at the same time. This was an innovation that made measurement activities in the eld less laborious.”Both the NL-04 and LR-06 won high acclaim for their functions as advanced measuring systems, winning the Good Design Award in 1991 and the 1st Technical Development Award by the Acoustical Society of Japan in 1993.“For each new model, I always think about what new feature I can real-ize—about how to stay one step ahead within the current state of the art.”With amendments of the Environmental Quality Standards for Noise in 1998, the drafting of JIS Z 8731 in 1999, which stipulates procedures for describing and measuring noise, and amendments of the Noise Regula-tion Act in 2000, the equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level (LAeq) became the index for noise evaluation.“The change of the index for noise evaluation was a major turning point in sound level measurement. Evaluating equivalent continuous sound pressure levels requires continuous measurements over extended peri-ods. This expanded demand for automated measurement systems. Shift-ing market trends always present opportunities for technological leaps. In this case, they led to a major transition in our measuring instruments: extended recordings made possible by proprietary data compression and extraction technologies and convenient data processing using personal computers.”A new series of sound level meters followed.“The NL-21 series, released in 2001 to become a frontrunner in the global market, was an epochal product imbued with the ambition of our devel-opers to produce a next-generation sound level meter for the 21st cen-tury. The ve models in the series, from the agship model to the base model, shared a common platform. Users could add various functions 8

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