d&b conducts spatial audio workshop at Sydney Opera House

In August, d&b audiotechnik, in cooperation with National Audio Systems and the Sydney Opera House, conducted a two day workshop on spatialisation.

Ralf Zuleeg and John Taylor from d&b audiotechnik conducted the sessions with support from our own Shane Bailey and Dave Jacques from National Audio Systems (NAS). Gert Sanner from d&b Singapore office also provided backup and support.

“The intimate connection between audience and performers has always been at the heart of the opera house experience,” says Taylor, “but to evoke such intimacy for sound reinforcement performances has always been limited by the available technology.”

Sometimes referred to as Holophony or 3D Sound, sound spatialisation expands on the idea that loudspeakers are not simply reproducers of sound. In the workshop the team presented how each box can operate as a building block in a sound field: constructing soundscapes, simulating acoustic environments and generating virtual sound sources.

“In short, modern PA’s disable our natural ability to mix in our heads,” explains Taylor. “The source-oriented approach, as we are proposing, counters that disability. That can and should be an important part of the live music experience; allowing listeners that same discretion to mix at will, even in a sound reinforcement environment. The idea is to start a discussion about what is possible and where the benefits could be. In the end we all want to make the loudspeakers disappear and just hear the music. These demonstrations were an important starting point.”

Day one began with Taylor discussing the art of perception, how we hear music and what a conventional sound system does to that perception. This was then demonstrated by a live string quartet performance, by recording and playing back through different types of sound system configurations, from mono, stereo and ‘wall of sound’ to spatial sound. The next day the concept of spatialisation and spatial sound systems was explained in detail by Ralf Zuleeg and demonstrated with a five piece band, including a sound check explaining the required workflow.

The sessions were attended by many and varied interested parties from around Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand including professional audio system consultants and specifiers, touring sound engineers and rental partners, leading venue managers and owners, educational facilities and system integrators. Of course, as is typical of d&b and NAS hospitality, a good dose of fun and social enjoyment was provided after hours, we can’t show you any photos of that!

To participate in the next round of informative yet light hearted seminars and training from NAS please register with Bek Varcoe at projects@nationalaudio.com.au

d&b audiotechnik

Many thanks to AudioTechnology magazine for their write up, which can be viewed here.