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Spatial Audio Seminar

Jul 09, 2018 - Jul 13, 2018




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.


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 in the EMPAC building, granting participants access to a range of sophisticated audio systems and acoustic settings. Two venues will be outfitted with high-channel-count audio arrays, including:


  • Wave Field Synthesis
  • High-Order Ambisonics
  • Binaural and Transaural Audio
  • 3D audio recording and mixing
  • SPAT


There will be two open-to-the-public performances during the first week.