3D Sound Object

The 3D Sound Object works with acoustic properties of the space, instead of against them. It has complex multi-directional radiation characteristics, a bit like a real acoustic instruments do, projecting sound simultaneously in multiple directions from a single location. This produces natural and life-like sounds, as the the room acoustics take over to create a spacious effect by adding reflections, particularly when used in a acoustically live space like a church or hall.

Such a site-specific approach to sound reproduction offers opportunities for new artistic expression, and it has become a main area of interest into artistic research and production for me over recent years. The 3D Sound Object poses various stimulating challenges, the overriding one being the loss of a certain amount of control, as the sound experience is greatly influenced by the venue and the listener’s location in the room.

The 3D Sound Object has been developed by Paul Geluso and its three-dimensional speaker technology is similar to B format Ambisonic microphone technology. The 3D speaker array consists of six full range co-axial drivers in separate air-tight enclosures, with each speaker having its own power amplifier. The system has three basic modes:

  • XYZ mode – speakers are used in pairs to reproduce 3 bipolar signals
  • Cardioid mode – speakers are used as single units
  • Omni mode – all speakers are used at once, in phase.

By adjusting phase and level relationships between speakers, acoustically complex and multi-directional sound sources can be created. This means that 3D sound synthesis techniques can be created that utilise the complex phase relationships between the synthesis engines. This will create 3D sounds that are unique and unlimited, when all 3D aspects of the synthesized sounds is modulated in real-time to create evolving soundscapes.

I have used the system in several works and performances, but most notably in Revolving Circles for four violins and laptop, where performance material is assigned to the performance floor. The performance is determined by the players’ walking trajectories, and the playing is in turn processed and sent to the 3D Sound Object. This achieves a symbiotic situation of space, movement and sound diffusion, and provides the audience with a rich 3D audio-physical experience.

With the aim to explore further possibilities, I am re-designing sound synthesis techniques, ao. to incorporate into the sound engine those complex phase relationships that the 3D Sound Object allows for.

Blog entries

  • Towards a natural sound amplification

    Half-way through my composer-in-residence with Icelandic Caput Ensemble, a further two compositions will be forthcoming in 2020. Dealing with structural [...]

  • Composer-in-residence with Caput Ensemble

    I am thrilled beyond words to initiate a two-year period as composer-in-residence with the Icelandic Caput Ensemble, one of Europe’s best ensembles [...]

  • Album releases final third of 2018

    Four albums will be released with my music this fall, covering all the aras that I am active in. Already out is the physical release of ‘Engage and [...]

  • Beyond Borders

    On a grant from the Danish Arts Council I began working in May 2017 with the Leipzig based band ITOE. The collaboration named Beyond Borders will end [...]

  • Great reviews for ‘Venus’

    The ‘Venus’ album, now out on dacapo, has received some excellent reviews. Culture Catch has it as one of 2015’s best classical releases [...]

I have over the years released a considerable amount of music as composer, flute and laptop performer and producer on digital and physical media – vinyl, cassette, CD, DVD. You will find all this material including listening links on the recordings page.

The programming I am doing for my own electronica and interactive music performance purposes has let me into research topics that have spun off a few snippets of generally useful software. This is available in the toolbox page.

Finally, the 3D Sound Object is a sound diffusion concept that holds very interesting artistic promises, and I am discussing the concept and pieces I have made on the 3D Sound Object page.