This year’s Sonar+D festival in Barcelona saw Eurecat – the technology institute renowned for its ground breaking work in the world of immersive sound technology – unveil its incredible SFËAR 360˚ live sound technology in a large demonstration space, as part of the Market Lab programme of lectures and events.
A key component of the SFËAR demonstration was Amate Audio’s specially developed SA3D DSP platform in all 25 of the JK26A+ compact high performance 2-way cabinets that were rigged around and above the demo space.
SFËAR is based on an algorithm that enables binaural soundfield encoding of audio signals, such that they can be panned throughout a 3D soundfield, either in production, replay or live performance. In the Sonar+D demonstration, electronic music from a number of artists was both played out “live” via SFËAR – with sounds being panned through a complete hemisphere of sound (an acoustically transparent might enable SFËAR replay throughout a complete sphere) – or replayed with the SFËAR panning programmed within the mix.
real possibility of advancing large-scale sound systems far beyond current stereo-based capabilities and experience
Amate Audio’s prototype SA3D DSP platform incorporates a dedicated FIR filter processing engine. Interfacing with the SFËAR algorithm, it enables the speakers to perform as an integrated SFËAR replay system, allowing sounds to be steered seamlessly throughout a hemisphere of sound, independent of the positioning of individual speaker cabinets and the number of actual speaker cabinets.
Vice President and Chief Technical Officer Joan Amate, explains, “Together, SFËAR and SA3D enable the design and development of 3D immersive sound systems in large spaces, whether for live performance, club sound, events or AV installations; both indoor and outdoor.
“Distribution of the required speaker processing within the speaker cabinets makes such systems infinitely scalable. It also makes a system qualitatively adaptive. You can create a system with a minimal number of cabinets but as you move closer to the optimal number of cabinets, you decrease the load on the DSP in each cabinet with a resultant improvement in both sound quality and the 3D immersive effect.
I believe it can become a unique selling point for festivals to house
“We are supporting the work of a number of organizations that are pioneering innovations in professional sound reproduction. SFËAR provides the real possibility of advancing large-scale sound systems far beyond current stereo-based capabilities and experience.
“In my view, success will depend on artists experiencing it for themselves and then creating original work that exploits its possibilities. I believe it can become a unique selling point for festivals to house. Fortunately there are a lot of tools at our disposal to bring this technology to the market, so it’s the perfect time to make a start.”