P.A.I.R.S., 2016-2017. Portable ambisonic impulse response system, recorded ambisonic impulse responses, research paper. 24.6 x 19.7 x 14.4 inches/12:28 minutes.
Ambisonics, or 360º sound, is a surround sound audio technology that incorporates the vertical axis in addition to the horizontal. It has been around since the 1970’s but due to the space and processing power required it never established itself in the consumer market. Now, thanks to the abundance of powerful personal computers, ambisonics is making a resurgence. In this project I explore recording in ambisonics using a soundfield microphone by capturing impulse responses, or sonic snapshots, of acoustically and historically interesting buildings. These recordings are used in convolution reverb, a software audio effect which, when audio is run through, simulates that audio playing in the recorded building. With ambisonics, the addition of the vertical axis allows sounds to be virtually be placed anywhere in the room, including above and below the listener. While ambisonics is currently used predominately in virtual reality, it has the potential to expand into education, film, and music. Until recently this technology has been inaccessible to consumers and there are few definitive introductory resources. This paper serves as a gateway into ambisonics for consumers, audiophiles, composers, film makers, video game designers, and early adopters.
His research explores ambisonics–360º audio–through capturing impulse responses, or sonic snapshots, of acoustically interesting sites around the Bay Area. His work has been published in Matchbox Magazine, eScholarship.org, and twice in Berkeley’s Arts + Design book.