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Installing in Førde, and a new 4-channel EQ

2016-06-12

2016-06-10_12

I am currently in Førde with Jeremy Welsh, installing a new version of “Atmospherics” at Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum. We will be using the beautiful “Høgsalen”, and this is the biggest exhibition space that I have ever worked in, 150 m2 with 7 meters to the ceiling. I have installed 20 speakers surrounding the space, 10 near the ceiling, and 10 near the floor. I will be working with 1st and 3rd order ambisonics, and based on initial listening tests I expect to be able to work with the vertical dimension of sound fields to a degree that I have seldom done before.

Initial listening tests also revealed that the space has an acoustic character of its own, with pronounced flutter echoes caused by sound waves ricocheting between the front and back walls. There’s also a pronounced build up of resonances in the deeper mid range, and I’ll need to tune and filter material to the space. In such a large space this is to be expected, and an important part of the development of content on site is the tuning of sound material so that it works well with the acoustics of the space.

Fortunately we have more time for installing than I am used to; close to two weeks. The initial listening tests caused me to kick of a development effort that I have wanted to do for several years: Build a 4-channel equalizer for processing of ambisonic B-format signals. Using the cookdsp library for Reaper JSFX development, this has progressed much faster than expected, and asfter two days I now have a fully working first version of the EQ.

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With further use and testing I am sure that the user interface can be improved further, but it will do for now. I expect it to be a huge improvement to the creative workflow in terms of tuning and mixing several layers of simultaneous layers of ambisonic sound material. I also know that this is an investments that will pay dividends for several years to come.

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