sound - projection

Subject: sound - projection
From: Mr AJ Moore (
Date: Thu Oct 26 1995 - 12:10:49 EDT

This is a great topic to discuss because the performance of e/a music
is a) difficult b) expensive c) needing much more research with regard
to performance practice and automation.
>From first hand experience of sound diffusion you find yourself stuck
in the best seats in the house getting the best results. Sitting at
the back next to some old tannoy speaker that cant cope with new
"digital" bass and that churns out sound evey now and again when the
diffuser wants to fill the space or swing the sound round
will not be an exciting experience. We are limited not by range of
speakers rather by the fact that we must often perform in halls
badly designed for e/a music. However, the music provider must overcome
as much of this as possible. Indeed, when there are only 5 in the audience
one can be assured that all persons will get a similar experience to
the performer.

BEAST is a very powerful system to use. One particular aspect of it is that
the speakers have different characteristics and one often finds that
a certain ammount of uncontrolled diffusion takes place due to uneven

Our diffusion console, (custom built :) takes 4 stereo in's and sends
them to any output via a push button matrix. The placement of speakers is
something that changes from hall to hall and budget to budget.

I know that there are classes in diffusion at Keele university and that
an article will appear in CMJ on the subject by Dr. Alistair MacDonald.
I think it is important to stress the multi-loudspeaker orchestra situtation
but when composing do we think of "performance over loudspeakers in a
concert hall" or CD release and performance in my living room or a mix
between the two ?

I was interested to hear the Normandeau CD where there is a mix down of the
multi-track for home use and a mix for performance in the concert hall.
However this is the only case I know. Most two track pieces are not even
eq'd for CD as the majority of home listeners have two speakers with poor
response curves. (This means that we can now diffuse other people's works
by buying the CD which is an all together safer medium to work with.)

I hope some of the other sources help in the discussion.


Adrian J. Moore Music Department University of Birmingham Tel: +44 121 414 5784/5/6 (studios) Barber Institute of Fine Arts : +44 121 414 5781 (fax) Ring Road North Edgbaston www: Birmingham. B15 2TT England

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