Re: On 8 speakers

Subject: Re: On 8 speakers
From: JL Anderson (
Date: Mon Jan 25 1999 - 14:39:02 EST

On Mon, 25 Jan 1999, JF Delannoy wrote:

> The 3d dimension seems neglected; is it because of technical
> difficulty? (e.g. in having a loudspeaker underneath the audience;
> but, then, one could be satisfied with horizontal-and-up).
> Also, is there no device to reflect the sound with enough clarity/fidelity?

Ambisonic surround sound technology has from its beginnings (early 70's)
include the vertical dimension in its storage (B-format) and reproduction.

In december BEAST presented works from Ambrose Field (Pyrotechnics) and
myself (Kyai Pranaja) using 8-channels of ADAT to replay full 3D
soundfield experience.

The interesting thing about ambisonics is that the composition and
storage of a full 3D piece is concerned w/ directions only, not speaker
feeds. So the four channels of B-format contain a complete 3D sound
field. For playback these channels are decoded for 4+ channels for
horizontal only or 8+ channels for full 3D. So there are many playback
options depending on the venue/resources available for performance.

And wait, theres more... theres a microphone from SoundField, ltd which
records B-format!!!

For more info see

At york theyve done a lot w/ ambisonics, including making a performance
tool for the SGI O/2 called lamb. Csound examples are also available
from york.


Aside from the small number of channels necessary to store the complete
sound field, there are a number of tools/techniques - including rotations
and "zooming" into particular points in the sound field. Very cool.

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