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Re: Immersive sound

On 23 feb 2007, at 07.44, Qua Veda wrote:

>  While there are such beautiful threads right now,  I thought it  
> might be a
> good time to ask about this.  Like many of you, I'm fascinated by  
> sound, and
> also by 'music'.  One experience I'd like to create in live  
> performance -
> either in my home studio/music room,  or small venue,  is a sense  
> of being
> "immersed in the sound".    I'm not really referring to 'surround  
> sound' ,
> but a multi-channel system may be required.
> Maybe a rear channel with a little delay added (reminiscent of the old
> quadraphonic "ambient" speaker idea).
> What do you think?
> -Qua

I share your interest for immersive sound! That trick you're  
describing, a rear channel with a little delay added, is indeed very  
powerful!  I have used it on surround DVD soundtrack recordings. But  
I have never had a chance to try it live, which I would really like  
to do some day.

A couple of years back I suggested an annual Swedish/Danish  
electronic music festival to put me up for a surround concert, my  
idea was that the venue should provide at minimum two stereo PA  
systems and that I should simply assign different looping tracks in  
Mobius for different speaker locations. This never happened though,  
but in 2005 I was lucky to be in the audience at the looping festival  
in Zürich to hear flutist Stefan Keller. Stefan had brought his own  
little PA for the rear stereo position - attacking the audience from  
behind. He was using an EDP, two repeaters and a TC Electronics  
FireworX and he simply cabled one stereo output from a Repeater to  
the rear PA system (i.e. the same simple solution I had been  
suggesting the other festival). I think everyone that was in Zürich  
listening to Stefan's, concert will chime in with me that those  
sparse "loops from behind" did a lot. I think this concept, with  
particular "rear loops", is better for a live application compared to  
the concept you mentioned; feeding the rear stereo pair with the same  
audio as the front, but a little delayed (if you're not particularly  
interested in creating a fake room that appears to be bigger than the  
actual physical room). You could expand that setting a lot more than  
Stefan did in Zürich, like for example recording into many loops at  
the same time - both front and rear loops - and then eventually delay  
the rear ("slip" on repeater and Mobius). There are lots of stuff  
that would be fun to test out on such a system;  reversing the rear  
loop or pitch transposing it, just to name a few.

Well, one year later I got called in for that particular festival I  
had suggested to build a round stage with multi channel PA's  
surrounding the audience and they put me up to play in a concrete  
underground room that was managed by the Danish artist collective  
http://ambiunix.komponent.dk. And that was truly awesome! These guys  
had 18 audio channels covering left, right, front, rear, and the  
ceiling. Then they had written their own PD patches to distribute a  
simple stereo feed over this system. While I played some usual live  
looping over a stereo output, another guy was manipulating the  
surround system from a laptop running that certain PD patch. The  
experience, both on stage and at the audience position, was being  
inside the sound, freely floating in a three dimensional sound  
universe. I won't waste more list bandwidth by describing their  
system, but anyone interested can find pretty detailed information at  
their web site.

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
www.looproom.com (international)
http://tinyurl.com/2kek7h (latest music release)