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SOUNDOME in Thomastown

December 15, 2016




Last weekend I was invited by Anthony Hobbs to visit Thomastown in Ireland in order to check out the SOUNDOME. This is a geodesic dome with speakers fitted in the joints. The brainchild of Tom Watts, the current test implementation has 46 loudspeakers installed.

The geodesic dome structure is perfect for 3D ambisonic spatial audio. Currently the dome has triplets of speakers linked with the same audio signal, reducing the number of independent channels to 16. In future development it is planned to make all channels independent, in which case the dome should be able to support 5th order ambisonic.

Saturday was used as a showcase event, and Sunday it was all mine to explore. Having figured out channel and speaker configurations, and how to communicate with the sound card, I was able to play back a number of files and works, my own as well as works presented in recent MULTI concerts. Even though I did not get time to fine-tune the system, the results were convincing and promising. I see a great potential for the SOUNDOME as a portable outdoor attraction at festivals etc.