Surround Sound: Techniques, Technology and Perception

Schloss Elmau, Germany

21 - 24 June 2001

Important information
Registration now open

Imagine the serenity of a luxurious, private lodge in early summer, nestled in a beautiful alpine valley on the German- Austrian border. Open the windows wide to the pure, refreshing mountain air. Listen. No hubbub from buses, cars, trains, or planes. This is what peace and quiet sounds like.

This is the Schloss Elmau conference center in Bavaria, Germany, site of the AES 19th International Conference, Surround Sound—Techniques, Technology, and Perception. The focus will be on the practical matters of surround sound for small-room reproduction. Here, 19th Conference Chair Günther Theile and Vice Chair Francis Rumsey will encourage the exchange of know-how and views between audio professionals, research scientists, sound engineers, sound technicians, producers, editors, performing artists, and manufacturers.

Lectures and discussions geared to practices and techniques will form a major feature, with supporting sound presentations in the seminar room, the 5.1-sound demonstration room, and a number of small special-demonstration rooms. Practitioners will have an opportunity to discover more about the engineering and perceptual issues that form the basis of modern recording technology and techniques. Researchers will be able to benefit from the input of practitioners, particularly in the realm of applications. Opportunities will be provided for replay of demonstration material to small and large groups, available into the late evening to enable more informal discussions.

Comprehensive Technical Program

At the opening session on Thursday afternoon and during the morning session on Saturday the papers and posters will cover 5.1 alternatives. Room simulation and artificial reverberation will be addressed in Friday’s morning session. Papers on Friday afternoon will discuss reproduction and evaluation and format conversion. The afternoon session on Saturday will delve into microphone and mixing concepts. The final session on Sunday morning will be devoted to perception. Workshops will be conducted on Saturday; in the morning Chris Cain and Tomlinson Holman will address the subject of the number of channels and in the afternoon Jörg Wuttke will evaluate the status of multichannel audio.

Concurrent to the papers sessions will be an extensive range of seminars and sound presentations covering the following subjects:

  • Premises for the Utilization of a Variable, Discrete 5.1 Main Microphone
  • Advanced Mixing Techniques for Multichannel Sound
  • Distance, Depth, and Hall Impression in 5.1 Surround Mixing
  • The Aesthetics of 5.1 Mixing
  • A Challenge to Multichannel Sound
  • Multichannel Sound Recording of Music: Practical and Technical Aspects
  • Studies on Main and Room Microphone Optimization
  • Practical Experience: 5-Channel Recording Techniques for Classical Music
  • Production and Postproduction of Multichannel Record-ings for SACD
  • Practical Surround Sound Production Part 1, Radio Drama
  • Practical Surround Sound Production Part 2: TV Docu-mentary
  • Mixing Techniques for Surround
  • Second Thoughts on Multichannel (3/2) Stereophony.

A full program of special demonstrations will also run throughout the four days of the conference giving attendees the chance to personally experience developing surround techniques. The exciting range of demos are as follows: Location B-Format Radio Drama; Ambiophonic Surround Reproduction with Traditional and Novel Two-Channel Microphone Techniques; Sonic Architecture; Surround Reproduction Using Flat Panels and Wave Field Synthesis Techniques; Subjective Evaluation of Encoding and Decoding Formats in Vehicles; Binaural Room Scanning and Binaural Room Modeling; and Audio Signals with Various Interaural Time Difference Fluctuations. A calendar, complete program with abstracts, and a registration form can be found by clicking on the links on the left.

A Conference Center Conducive to Learning

The residential conference facilities at this location create an extended opportunity for those involved in surround sound to meet without the distractions of daily work in an environment conducive to learning. During free time conference attendees can enjoy the bracing mountain air and the spectacular views of the surrounding scenery. Early risers may be able to squeeze in brief hikes to expand their lungs and fortify themselves for the packed program. The Schloss contains 150 guestrooms that will be available for the conference. Despite its remote location 100 km south of Munich, it is easily reached, lying between the two major international airports of Munich and Innsbruck. Both cities also offer good rail service to the area. Treat yourself this summer to a comprehensive look at the landscape of surround sound in a mountain retreat unsurpassed for its beauty and hospitality.