background image

Spat 4.1.5: Spat done right

November 23, 2009


Verison 4.1.5 of the Ircam Spat Max/MSP library for live spatialisation was released a week ago, as part of the Ircam Forum Studio software, available on a subscription basis. After some initial tests, I am really impressed: This is Spat done right.

Almost all functionalities have been turned into Max externals and the interface totally redesigned with easy to use access to complex sets of spatialisation techniques. And of course, it’s a bit thrilling to see DBAP included among the spatialisation techniques available. Here’s a list of changes in 4.x according to the Spat documentation itself:

Version 4.x of Spat~ is a major turning point in the software development (the code was completely rewritten) to provide flexibility in the program’s architecture and offer effective user interfaces. The main functions and the characteristics of the version 4.x are :

  • a large number of objects can be modulated and scaled (up to 64 inputs/outputs)
  • intuitive control interfaces facilitate the configuration of the loudspeakers setup and
    the manipulation of the sound sources
  • IrcamVerb: a new multichannel reverb (Stereo, 5.1, etc.) with the habitual control
  • a large family of panning techniques (quad, 5.0, octophony, simulation of XY, MS or
    AB recordings, VBAP 2D or 3D, DBAP, Ambisonic B-format and higher orders, 3D
    binaural with compensation of close field effects, surround LRS/LCRS, etc.)
  • improvement of the reverb quality (reverb tail is less “metallic”)
  • complete documentation of the externals and patches
  • takes full advantage of the new features of Max 5 (attributes, management of the
    presets with pattr)
  • modules for coding/decoding that manage different formats (ambisonic, transaural,
    surround, UHJ, etc.)
  • a better coherence in the architecture and the management of messages
  • low CPU consumption