SHERICAL SPEAKER ARRAYS and SenSAs

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Essential to the development of subtle gestural performance interfaces are equally responsive sonic displays; they are of central importance in the feedback loop between physical gesture and sonic response. The sonic display must reinforce the nuance of physical gesture and offer localized sonic feedback for the performers on stage.

As we integrated electronics and computation into our improvisations with "interface,", our conventional sound system grew, eventually completely obscuring our acoustic beginnings. We recently replaced our P.A.-style system with a set of six spherical speaker arrays of various sizes, including three 14-inch spheres, a 12-inch sphere, an enormous 22-inch sphere (bubba), and an 8-inch tweeter-ball. These speakers, strewn about the stage in various configurations, function much like instrumental sources and create a sound field somewhat similar to a conventional chamber ensemble. The spheres localize our sounds, providing distinct points on stage for listeners and performers to grasp, yet also fill spaces and encourage listeners to walk among us; the typical plane of separation created by stage and P.A. system is non-existent. Consequently, these speakers render the concept of "monitoring" irrelevant; there is no need to create a "monitor mix" since the speakers and room do it automatically.

I also have a configuration of 4 spheres that I use in solo performance.

More information on spherical speakers and Sensor/Speaker Arrays can be found on the "alternative voices or electronic sound" website by Trueman, Bahn, Cook, and, in the paper, "interface: electronic chamber ensemble," by Bahn and Trueman.

UPDATES:

ASA2003 powerpoint "inside-in, alternative paradigms for sound spatialization"

Curtis Bahn and Stephan Moore