Spatial Audio Seminar
This intensive seminar offers musicians, composers, audio engineers, and programmers the rare opportunity to study the fundamentals of multi-channel spatial audio in pristine acoustic environments. Participants will experience multiple large spatial audio systems, including Wave Field Synthesis, High-Order Ambisonics, and Binaural audio.
Researcher Markus Noisternig (IRCAM), professor Chris Chafe (Stanford), Rama Gottfried, and other guests will join EMPAC’s audio staff in dissecting technical and artistic concerns in the creation and presentation of high-count multi-channel sound projection. Using the full capabilities of EMPAC’s sonic infrastructure, including over 700 channels of audio and EMPAC’s Wave Field Synthesis array, the seminar will consist of lectures, roundtables, listening sessions, workshops, and performances.
The first week of the seminar is an open forum for participants of all backgrounds and experience levels to dive into general concepts, workflows, and control mechanisms related to spatial audio. Topics will include introductory, intermediate, and advanced patching for IRCAM’s SPAT software, in-depth discussions of Wave Field Synthesis, Ambisonics, Binaural and Transaural audio, 3D audio recording and mixing, and more.
The second week of the seminar is a wave field synthesis workshop giving a limited number of participants focused time and hands-on access to the system in order to develop new creative work.
WAVE FIELD SYNTHESIS
EMPAC’s Wave Field Synthesis array was constructed in 2016 and consists of 558 independently controllable speakers spread across 18 portable and reconfigurable modules.
The workshop will take place throughout the EMPAC building, granting participants access to a range of sophisticated audio systems in a variety of acoustic settings. Three venues will be outfitted with high-channel-count audio arrays, including:
- 1,200-seat Concert Hall
with 64-channel Ambisonic array.
- Large absorptive studio
(66’x51’x33’; 315m2, 12m high) with two 186-channel Wave Field Synthesis arrays (one frontal linear array and one overhead linear array) and 25-channel Ambisonic array.
- Large diffusive studio
(44’x55’x18’; 230m2, 9m high) with 186-channel Wave Field Synthesis Array.
TOPICS TO BE COVERED
Spatial Audio Platforms
- Wave Field Synthesis
- High-Order Ambisonics
- Binaural and Transaural Audio
- 3D audio recording and mixing
Participants should be musicians, composers, audio engineers, or programmers with interest in multi-channel composition. Familiarity with MAX is suggested, but not required.
There will be two open-to-the-public performances during the first week. More information will be available later this spring on the specifics.
WHAT TO BRING
- Attendees to the workshop should bring a computer and applications they are comfortable using for creating
- Dongles to connect laptop to Ethernet cable
Where + When
Held across EMPAC’s venues, the seminar will run from 10AM–6PM each day. Performances will be held TBD. Coffee, lunch, and parking included for attendees only.
Lodging accommodations are available on campus for those traveling to attend. Checkin will be open on the 8th and checkout available on the 14th for those who want to arrive the day before / leave morning after workshops.
- $600 Includes: lectures, performances, and coffee, lunch, snacks each day.
- $810 Includes: seminar registration as well as single room lodging for six nights on the Rensselaer campus.
- Registration is FREE for RPI Faculty and Students with a valid RIN Please contact John Cook to make arrangements 518/276.3921 or email@example.com
HOW TO REGISTER
Registration for Lecture Week will open on March 1 and close on June 6. You will be considered registered once we receive payment. To pay for lecture week by check, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Markus Noisternig is Researcher at IRCAM, CNRS, Sorbonne Universities–UPMC in Paris, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Electronic Music in Graz, and also lecturer at the Karlsruhe College of Arts and Design. As an undergraduate and postgraduate, he studied electrical engineering and audio engineering as well as computer music composition at the University of Technology and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. As an artist, Noisternig has participated in numerous collaborative projects with well-known composers and ensembles of New Music, which have performed in key European festivals.
Chris Chafe is a composer, improviser, and cellist, developing much of his music alongside computer-based research. He is Director of Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). At IRCAM (Paris) and The Banff Centre (Alberta), he pursued methods for digital synthesis, music performance and real-time internet collaboration.
Rama Gottfried is a lecturer of computer music and instrument design at UC Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), where he completed his PhD in music composition in 2015. In 2012, he was a composer in residence at IRCAM working on aesthetic applications of Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) and Higher Order Ambisonics (HOA). This year he is continuing his spatial composition research as a composer in residence at IRCAM and Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM).
Bobby McElver is a sound designer and composer for theater and dance in New York City. He was a company member of The Wooster Group from 2011-2016. Current associate with Andrew Schneider. Co-creator of Andrew Schneider’s YOUARENOWHERE and EMPAC-commissioned AFTER, which featured EMPAC’s Wave Field Synthesis arrays at EMPAC and The Public Theater.
Edgar Choueiri is professor of Applied Physics at Princeton University where he is Director of two research laboratories: The Electric Prolusion and Plasma Dynamics Propulsion Laboratory (where he works on advanced propulsion for deep space spacecraft), and the 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics (3D3A) where he works on spatial audio. He is the author of more than 200 scientific articles and publications and the recipient of numerous awards.