PLASA Show London 2016

Beyond Surround – immersive sound techniques

Joan Amate shares at PLASA Show London 2016 Amate Audio experience developing and working with immersive sound techniques

Following Amate Audio’s recent cooperative development work with Eurecat Technology Centre of Catalonia – a leading European scientific engineering research centre – in the real world implementation of its SFËAR immersive live sound production encoding technology, which was premiered at this year’s Sonar festival in Barcelona, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Joan Amate was invited to appear on the panel of the Beyond Surround – immersive sound techniques seminar, at the recent PLASA show in London’s Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre.

Within the seminar’s general brief of exploring and explaining technological developments “refreshing the parts traditional audio cannot reach, using talent tracking and DSP to create 360° mixes”, Joan Amate gave a presentation about the SFËAR showcase at Sonar, and the possibilities that the technology offers for producing live events with full immersive audio. 

The Sonar show case deployed 25 Amate Audio JK26A+ compact 2-way cabinets, each of which incorporated the company’s prototype SA3D DSP engine – developed in cooperation with Eurecat – employing a distributed DSP approach to realise a fully scalable immersive sound system.

The ensuing panel discussion examined the possibilities for both replay of pre-recorded / pre panned immersive soundtracks and live sound panning in live events, the necessity for artists and producers to create specific content for such implementations. 

“I explained that what Amate Audio had created was specifically enabled hardware to eliminate the reliance on fixed FOH processing capabilities within the mix computer, in determining the potential scale of an application,” says Joan. 

“Concerning scalability to the extent of large arena systems, we discussed that tests still need to be done to determine whether specific loudspeaker designs will be required for that purpose. Long propagation paths of the sound through the air might be a limiting factor for the proper localization of the rendered sounds. However, the algorithms are already scalable to larger or smaller systems.”