Skylark from Audio Codecs

With wireless transmission of audio ever more important, Audio Codecs presents Skylark – Offering an unrivalled combination of audio quality, super low delay and robustness to transmission errors

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Since the move from Analog to Digital music, there’s been a need for data reduction techniques. Whether it was for storage or transport, the music, radio and broadcast industries needed to reduce size. The eternal challenge with bit rate reduction algorithms is ensuring that the audio is not materially affected and is effectively identical to the original PCM content

The Challenge

For storage, as space became cheaper and more abundant, the need for compression has gone away. However, transport still needs compression and specifically real-time wireless connectivity where acoustic integrity, resilience / robustness and latency are all super critical. There continues to be a need for digital audio data compression in live performance applications for both music and program production.

In both use cases the performer, artist or actor may need a digital wireless microphone and possibly an In Ear Monitor (IEM). As the performer may have the mic attached to their body, there could be times when the link is compromised and the possibility of a glitch may occur. The RF spectrum may also be crowded, again which could result in a compromised link. The potential for problems could be increased when the return feed for the IEM is introduced.

Key Metrics

Digital audio data compression algorithms have 5 key metrics, and equipment designers often find they need to make choices in some of these areas when choosing a codec



Audio Quality


Bit Rate

Computational Resources

Details on Request

Who We Are

Find out more about the minds of the people behind Skylark

Peter Craven

Since childhood, Peter has been passionate about sound recording and reproduction. He made his first live recording in 1967 while still a student; his most recent in 2021. He holds a first in his primary degree in Mathematics and a doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford.

Peter has recently been awarded a Fellowship by the Audio Engineering Society, “In recognition of significant contributions over many years to signal processing technologies that advance high quality audio, and for co-design of the Soundfield Microphone”.

Malcom Law

Malcolm has always been interested in finding ingenious solutions to puzzles and represented the UK in the International Mathematical Olympiad winning a silver medal. He went on to study Mathematics and Computation at Merton college, Oxford and was awarded one of the few junior Mathematical Prizes in finals. After university he discovered that Peter Craven had a good supply of interesting puzzles and they have worked together ever since.

Jonny McClintock

Jonny McClintock has been involved with the commercialization of digital audio data compression for almost 30 years since he joined APT Ltd in the early 90’s. In that time, he’s been involved in professional audio with digital wireless microphones, radio broadcast studio to transmitter links and VO / ADR over IP and ISDN networks. His journey to Audio Codecs Ltd involves several companies, i.e. aptX Licensing, CSR and Qualcomm.

In that time, Jonny has signed over 1,000 license agreements, deployed aptX in over 12 billion consumer electronic devices and brought aptX to be the number one optional codec in Bluetooth.

P&M’s philosophy

Peter and Malcolm believe basing an audio codec around a large time to frequency transformation is a strategic mistake so have never got involved with the mainstream audio codecs. 


Introducing Skylark

Skylark was specifically designed to meet the application needs of radio microphones. Resilience to data transmission errors combines with tiny audio latency and an exceptional tradeoff between audio quality and bitrate, whilst transmitter battery life is preserved by modest encoder demands. Skylark is a well proven audio codec which has been used by many high profile digital wireless microphone manufacturers. The codec meets all of the needs for the performer and production team and is available on a variety of DSP platforms.


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