Re: Octophonic first

Subject: Re: Octophonic first
Date: Sat Aug 14 1999 - 08:15:19 EDT

This answer doesn't count, but 'Spectraphonia' was a 12 channel playback
system, with pieces played back in 12 channels, with three-channel light
organs (and strobe lights) on each channel. (On the old Expo 67 site, in
the summers of 1968 / 69 and maybe 1970.)

Berio recorded a performance of Sinfonia (4 movements) to 16 channels (in
London), which was mixed down to 12 channels at the (very, very old
Andre Perry studio on the South shore of Montreal). The alternate program
was "My Four Seasons" by Andre Gagnon.

A cube of eight loudpeakers in the middles, about 3 - 4 meters to a side.
Each corner had 4 Altec (800 Hz crossover) horns and woofers. There was a
100 Hz subwoofer in the middle, and subwoofers under the seats (benches)
on the four sides. The remaining four channels were in the corners of the
room. Ampex 16 channel, 2" machine, with a backup machine. 12 channels
Dolby A. 16 (?) Macintosh 100 watt amplifiers. A custom-designed control
channel for the lights.


In 1969 (?), the Berio was replaced by Peter and the Wolf (with panning!
- which required two 16 ch machines, 28 channels of Dolby A ... a
formula for a nightmare.)

Paul Pedersen (now in Toronto) was central to its execution.




>Dear friends and students of tape music:
>A leading question--win a prize (er, my thanks)!

>What was the first octophonic tape piece?
>I define "octophonic" as 8 channels of pre-recorded
>sound to be performed with 8 (or a multiple of 8) speakers
>placed strategically about/around the audience, so that
>an octophonic, spatial sound texture is intended/perceived.

>Please give a complete citation with your answer, including
>the name of the piece, its composer(s), date of composition,
>date and place of first octophonic performance, and technical
>data, if known.

>Octophony forever!
>Larry Austin

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