Category Archives: Ambisonics

Taking Ambisonics into Theatre

Today I was involved in a collaboration between a local theatre company (Tinderbox) and my department at SARC. There are a few Sonic Arts people involved and we’re working with writers to create four scenes/plays that will make use of the Sonic Lab we have here. The challenge is to avoid just doing a radio play (or acoustmatic composition) and find where theatre and sonic arts can meet. Continue reading


DAFx13 – Maynooth

A short post today:

I’ve had a paper accepted to DAFx-13┬áin Maynooth, Ireland this September. I’ve a few reviews to make but it I’m looking forward to it! I still waiting to hear if it’s a poster or a presentation.

It presents the results of the listening experiment I did in February for Ambisonics. It’ll be nice to get back to a conference and hopefully engage in some interesting discussions!

I almost feel like a real academic!

Busy, Busy, Busy…

So we’re only at March and I think I’ve already let my “update this blog at least one every 2 weeks” target slip… Oh well, I’ll have to try harder!

I’ve been busy working on a conference paper with the main conclusions of my listening experiment. It’s limited it 6 pages in length and it’s actually quite hard to fit everything into that sort of space.

SARCoder – Ambisonic Decoder

I’m going to try get working on the decoder VST again. It’s really stalled and I need to get back to it – there’s not much point having two encoder VSTs without a decoder (although there are others out there). The first version I get released will probably be pretty basic but once I can get it into a good form I’ll be able to add new features more easily.

Continue reading

How’d you get all the way up there?! (Illusion of Elevation)

“But the car door slammed halfway up the wall!”

This was the reaction one person had after listening to a scene of a radio drama by one of my colleagues from the MA I did a few years ago (listen to it here) that played using 3rd order Ambisonics in the Sonic Lab in SARC. The thing is, this elevation of some sounds is present even for a 2D representation.

Continue reading

First Listening Experiment Finished

Today I’m finishing up my first listening experiment for my PhD. It tested two different Ambisonic systems for different conditions to compare their robustness for localisation.

I have to say, I haven’t gone through the results in detail but the comments from the participants have been incredibly useful and illuminating.

I still have to make my way through mountains of results but just from the feedback I feel like I’ve really learned so much about how people perceive the systems.

Now I just need to brush up on my statistics for the analysis!

Music via Ambisonics

Late last year I was playing around with some songs I’ve recorded and doing some quick 3rd order Ambisonic mixes. It got me thinking about what I wanted to use Ambisonics for and how best to present my songs using it.

[Just as a side note, I’m talking here about “pop” music mixes, not electro-acoustic music where use of spatial audio is much more widespread.]

For example, do I want to use the full 360 degrees (or full sphere if were doing 3D) for the sounds or is it better to stick with a frontal sound stage and just use surround for ambience, which is common in 5.1 music mixes?

Continue reading

Ambisonic Decoder Progress Update

There’s not been much in the way of news about the VST plugins recently so I thought I’d post a quick update. I’ll make my excuses and then say what I’ve been working on.

First comes the excuse. I’ve been busy. I know it sucks as an excuse. The problem is that the VSTs are a side-project for me that can be useful for my PhD but when they’re not they have to go on the back burner. Unfortunately I’ve been very busy designing an experiment involving Ambisonics to work much on the VSTs.

But aside from that I should give a quick update of what’s to come. My plan is to release an Ambisonic decoder to go with the two encoders. It’ll allow loudspeaker position selection, choice of listening options (with 1 or 2 bands with user selected crossover frequency) like Basic, Max rE and in-phase, up to 5-the order decoding, stereo bounce down, near field compensation and selection of the spherical harmonic weights used (eg N2D, SN3D etc.).

I’m sorry about the delay but I’ll try my best to make available as soon as possible. If I’ve missed any essential features then let me know d I can try to work them in. Until then, if anyone is dying format decoder, you can send me an email and I can send you a copy of my old decoder. It’s basic and a bit cumbersome but does the job.