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Case Study on Ambisonics for Multi-Venue and Multi-Target Concerts and Broadcasts

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Ambisonics is a production format that can be used for 3D audio. It is based on the representation of the sound field by decomposing it into orthonormal basis functions, called spherical harmonics. This representation allows for a flexible production process that is independent of the target playback system, be it loudspeakers or headphones. The concert night at the International Conference on Spatial Audio 2015 employed the Ambisonics format to distribute the concert to different venues and broadcasts in real time: a concert venue with a 29-channel loudspeaker system, a monitor venue with a 25-channel loudspeaker system, an outside broadcasting van with a 23-channel loudspeaker system, as well as a 5.1 mixdown and a binaural headphone mixdown for national terrestrial and satellite radio broadcasting. This flexibility is achieved by the computation of suitable decoder matrices and weightings. The success of the sound system at ICSA 2015 encouraged the authors to carry out a live 3D concert with Al Di Meola in July 2016 that included spatial real-time effects and transmission to a neighboring venue.

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JAES Volume 65 Issue 9 pp. 749-756; September 2017
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Permalink: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19204

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