EMPAC Presents Second Annual Spatial Audio Summer Seminar

Troy, NY — The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is pleased to announce the second annual Spatial Audio Summer Seminar July 9-22. Co-presented by the Paris-based Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) and Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, the intensive seminar is a rare opportunity for musicians, composers, programmers, and audio engineers to study the fundamentals of multichannel spatial audio in pristine acoustic environments. Participants will experience multiple large spatial audio systems, including Wave Field Synthesis, High-Order Ambisonics, and Binaural audio.

Researcher Markus Noisternig (IRCAM), professor Chris Chafe (Stanford), and other guests will join EMPAC’s audio staff in dissecting technical and artistic concerns in the creation and presentation of high-count multi-channel sound projection. Using the full capabilities of EMPAC’s sonic infrastructure, including over 700 channels of audio and EMPAC’s Wave Field Synthesis array, the seminar will consist of lectures, roundtables, listening sessions, workshops, and performances.

The first week of the seminar is an open forum for participants of all backgrounds and experience levels to dive into general concepts, workflows, and control mechanisms related to spatial audio. Topics will include introductory, intermediate, and advanced patching for IRCAM’s SPAT software, in-depth discussions of Wave Field Synthesis, Ambisonics, Binaural and Transaural audio, 3D audio recording and mixing, and more.

The second week of the seminar gives participants focused time and hands-on access to these systems in order to develop new creative work. This portion of the workshop will be reserved for only a handful of participants who submit project proposals in advance. Submissions will be reviewed by workshop leaders and accepted based on the degree to which they utilize the capabilities of these spatial audio systems and the potential to realize the proposed project within the given time frame.

The workshop will take place throughout the EMPAC building, granting participants access to a range of sophisticated audio systems in a variety of acoustic settings. Three venues will be outfitted with high-channel-count audio arrays, including: a 1,200-seat Concert Hall with a 64-channel Ambisonic array; a large absorptive studio (66’x51’x33’; 315m2, 12m high) with a 186-channel Wave Field Synthesis Array and 25-channel Ambisonic array; a large diffusive studio (44’x55’x18’; 230m2, 9m high) with a 186-channel Wave Field Synthesis Array.

Online registration will open on March 1.

For more information, please visit empac.rpi.edu.

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities and technologies, and by breathing the same air. EMPAC hosts artists and researchers to produce and present new work in a building designed with sophisticated architectural and technical infrastructure. Four exceptional venues and studios enable audiences, artists, and researchers to inquire, experiment, develop, and experience the ever-changing relationship between ourselves, technology, and the worlds we create around us. EMPAC is an icon of the New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for cross-disciplinary research and learning at Rensselaer, the nation’s oldest technological research university.

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