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Surround Sound: A Chance for Enhanced Creativity [A Workshop from the AES 119th Convention]

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[Feature Article] Chairing a panel of experts from popular and classical recording fields at the AES 119th Convention, Martha de Francisco, independent producer and professor at McGill University, introduced the idea that surround sound can bring about an opportunity for enhanced emotional involvement in reproduced music. Taking an example from 14th Century art, she showed how painters moved from a lack of awareness of space and perspective (or at least an inability to represent it) to producing paintings including such factors within a relatively short space of time. With the advent of stereophonic recording, engineers had been given limited resources to represent depth in reproduced sound, but this was largely limited to representations of relative distance and fell far short of the experience of depth encountered in concert halls. Everett Porter of Polyhymnia International also pointed out that a good argument for surround is that it causes people to forget about the reproduced sound quality and start to concentrate on the music. “Surround is a good way to get people involved in recorded music,” he said. These sentiments were reinforced by Akira Fukada who thinks that the aim of the recording engineer is not only to transmit the musical performance to the listener, but also to convey the musical content in an involving way. In surround, he suggested, reproduced sound is not tiring to listen to.

JAES Volume 54 Issue 6 pp. 540-541; June 2006
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