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Monitoring multi-speaker levels

2005-08-12

Multispeaker_levelsI’ve missed a good and intuitive way of monitoring sound levels in multi-speaker setups for a very long while. Stacking level meters in different ways trying to resemble the actual setup has sometimes worked sometimes not. Today I’ve been creating a much better solution to the problem using Open GL in Jitter. Each loudspeaker is represented as a sphere. Position of each of the loudspeakers can be set freely using spherical coordinates. The color of the spheres indicate sound levels for each loudspeaker roughly indicating -60 dB to 0 dB by turning from dark grey to bright green on to yellow then orange and turning red in case of clipping.

The system is easy to configure and it’s easy to accomodate for varying numbers of loudspeakers in two and three dimentions.

Once we get past the 0.200 release of Jamoma we’re planning on creating modules for ambisonics spatialisation. This can easily be integrated as a Jamoma module.

I’ll be using various multi-speaker setups for two installations later this year at Verftet USF by the end of September in collaboration with Kurt Ralske and at Bergen Kunsthall by the end of November in collaboration with Karen Kipphoff.

In case anyone you want to give it a go you can download the patches as multispeaker_levels.txt and one_loudspeaker.txt. They were made in Max 4.5.5 Jitter 1.500 and I’m also depending on the Lobjects by Peter Elsea. They might work with earlier versions of Max/Jitter as well but I haven’t tested.

Update: A ziped archive can be found here.

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