Soundstack 2017

Becky Stewart helped me organise Soundstack 2017. She runs the Real Time Digital Signal Processing module at QMUL. Enda Bates is a technical and creative composer and lecturer at Trinity College Dublin.

Topics covered included binaural and multichannel audio, the cutting edge of 3D sound, as well as spatial audio for interactive applications, VR, AR, installations and performance work.

We hit 50% non-male gender balance!

The morning session covered the latest workflows for recording and producing spatial audio content for 360 video and VR, with a particular focus on Ambisonics theory and recording techniques, and spatial audio production using DAWs. The session covered the theoretical basis of Ambisonics, and how this is put into practice using freely available, cross-platform production tools such as the DAW Reaper, the Facebook Spatial Workstation, and the AmbiX plugin suite. Examples of recordings made with a number of different Ambisonic microphones were demonstrated, alongside a discussion of the practicalities involved in delivering a spatial mix for 360 video platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

The afternoon featured a hands-on session that introduced participants to the Bela platform and discussed the potential for using the platform as part of an interactive spatial audio system. Bela is a low latency embedded platform developed especially for real-time audio. Participants learned how to build wearable binaural audio system with real-time head-tracking using Pd with Bela, and a 9 DOF absolute orientation sensor. The sensor consists of an accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope on a single board. On the Adafruit breakout board that was used during this workshop there is also a high speed ARM Cortex-M0 based processor which gathers all the sensor data and does the sensor fusion required to get some meaningful data about the absolute orientation of the board. If you are interested in looking at the code from the workshop you can find it on Becky’s github repo.

Instructor – Enda Bates Enda Bates is a composer, musician, producer and academic based in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. In 2010 he completed a PhD entitled The Composition and Performance of Spatial Music at Trinity College Dublin, where he now lectures. His research work includes spatial audio for VR, spatial music composition and performance, the aesthetics of electroacoustic music, and the augmented electric guitar. His work has been performed by, among others, the Crash Ensemble, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Paul Hillier /Chamber Choir Ireland, Anne La Berge, the Doelen Quartet, Trio Scordatura, Ensemble Mise-en, Concorde, Darragh Morgan and New Dublin Voices

Instructor – Becky Stewart Becky Stewart is a Lecturer in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. She works with e-textiles and signal processing to build interactive, body-centric wearable computing systems. These systems often incorporate performance, fashion, music and/or design.