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Ambisonics in Theater Sound Design: An Exploration in Spatializing Audio Through Ambisonics Technology

Emma Kellermann Travis Houldcroft New Media Studies Eastern Connecticut State University 83 Windham Street, Willimantic, Connecticut 06226

This project was put together with the intention of being used in ECSU's Spring 2018 Theatre Production, The Wolves. The goal was to explore the use of ambisonics spatialization in theatre sound design and create an immersive soundscape using the results. Ambisonics is 360 degree audio, allowing a more specific placement of sounds than conventional surround sound. Where surround sound is composed of a speaker ring on a single horizontal plane, ambisonics allows audio to be placed on the vertical plane as well. This allows height and depth due to the cube-style speaker structure. The research conducted helped guide me to the right conclusions and form a proper equipment setup and sound clip spatialization. Ambisonics requires a minimum of nine speakers, eight arranged in a cube with one above, but can be expanded to an unlimited amount of speakers, while maintaining the cube structure. Each sound file is placed in a sequence software and is then internally routed to a spatialization software (Spat by IRCAM) to be encoded into ambisonic format, arranged in a graphic environment where every audio clip exists as an object that can be positioned in the 3D space and then decoded in order to be sent to the speakers to project the sounds in the space. This piece is composed of indoor soccer sounds to create a soundscape that places the audience in the indoor soccer dome. Along with the study of the spatialization techniques of ambisonics and Spat, my research also included multiple days of field observation at an indoor soccer complex to take notes on the most common sounds found in that environment and how they travel within the dome. This project gave me the opportunity to investigate using ambisonic spatialization and develop a realistic simulation of the soundscape of an indoor soccer complex.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Emma Kellermann

Institution: Eastern Connecticut State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Theatre/Drama

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7167