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The Project AUDIENCE

Sounding with AUDIENCE

Scientific and Technological Production

Call for Works, Contributions and Opportunities

Team, Colaboration, Support, Partners, Associated Projects and Groups



Sounding with AUDIENCE

To recreate or display a sound field in space, we use a set of loudspeakers disposed around the place where listeners will be (the listening area). The speakers can be positioned using some possible geometric configurations, preferable in regular geometries, such as as cubics or rings.

The system requires the AUDIENCE software running in a computer with one or more mutichannel soundboards (with at least 4 output channels) and cabling for distribution of the audio signals till each loudspeaker. Each loudspeaker corresponds to a processed audio channel in the system. Also it is possible to use more than one computer, so as to balance the processing load and to distribute the soundcards.

The AUDIENCE software is a complete auralization engine. It allows the integration with the audiovisual application through messages exchange via TCP/IP, also having the possibility of passing/updating parameters through functions called from within the application code. The software allows to edit the sound space, the ambience, the desired immersion degree/level, the spatial encoding format, and the output configuration of the loudspeakers.

The pictures below show an auditory scene containing a listener and 3 acoustic instruments surrounding, and the patch built over the AUDIENCE PD to produce and to sound this scene.

Acoustic scene with 3 instruments: drums, guitar and electric bass

The system can be adapted or be scaled to sound several environments, as theaters, auditoriums, audiovisual spaces for exhibitions, museums, musical shows, producing coherent sound fields for an audience of several people, as well as also can be adapted to take care of the individual earphones. The system also can be scaled to allow the manipulation of many sound sources and can manage their position in the space and the hearing experience of each one of them independently.

Additional experiments over the PD platform have been done to create interactive environments for the auralization of several sources simultaneously, using an intuitive graphical user interface, integrated to the patch of functional blocks, and with real time access, as shown in the picture below:

Patch done on Pure Data for the auralization of 3 sound sources

Spatial sound services based on the AUDIENCE system are already available. The auralization platform is being incorporated as souding solution for immersive VR in many associated projects.

In general lines, a sound project with AUDIENCE is initiated with the specification of the requirements of the space and of the applications. This will allow the specification of the necessary equipment (the hardware). After the acquisition and installation of them, the main software and accessory programs are installed, and then it is designed and created an application-oriented patch in the AUDIENCE specific for the purpose (e.g.: one patch specific for the auditory scenes that will be auralized). A final phase of calibration and integration with other components of the final application concludes the process.

To have the AUDIENCE system sounding your application or space get in touch with us for a viability study, and for conceiving a sound design specific to your needs.


Projects sounding with AUDIENCE

The AUDIENCE is the sounding and auralization machine used at the Digital Cave of the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (USP).

A fixed octophonic setup installed around the CAVE structure permits the generation of 3D sound fields and the experience of complete immersion (8 loudspeakers, in cubic configuration, positioned at the corners).

Besides this fixed configuration, other are also possible to mount on demand, by using reconfigurable (repositionable) stands for the loudspeakers. The picture below shows such one reconfigurable positioning, using wooden stands.

Flexible loudspeaker positioning at the corners of the CAVE, and respective audio distribution gear

Reconfigurable positioning for loudspeakers in front of the CAVE

Repositionable wooden pedestals (also with changeable height) allow to modify geometry, the position, number and the arrangement of loudspeakers, to explore with greater flexibility other loudspeakers configurations. The whole distribution system is shielded, cables, panels and connections were especially adapted by Cabos Golden. Sounds are played with high-fidelity shielded Lando loudspeakers, which exhibit a great quality/size figure. The amplification system uses Sankya multichannel amplifiers, with very low-noise. A new 8 channels amplifier is being developed in partnership with Sankya, to be used in the Digital Cave.

The auralization engine, core of the AUDIENCE system, is being integrated to a new virtual reality navigator under development at the Digital Cave. Both systems (visualization and auralization) use open/free graphical engines and audio DSP platforms. The picture below shows an audiovisual scene that is being modeled in the current project. This virtual world will have several sound sources auralized with the AUDIENCE.

Scene of "Largo da Sé", audiovisual reconstruction of hystoric sites of São Paulo downtown


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