• Has Ambisonics come of age?

      Wiggins, Bruce; University of Derby (Institute of Acoustics, 2008-11)
      Ambisonics was developed in the 1970’s as a flexible, psycho-acoustically aware system1. Developed at the same time as Quadraphonics2, Ambisonics is an often mis-understood system that was far ahead of it’s time. Due to the ubiquity of surround sound equipment in modern computers and interest in live surround events becoming more widespread, is the time, finally, right for Ambisonics to come into its’ own? In this paper, the definition of what makes a system Ambisonic is clarified with reference made to the traditional energy and velocity vector theory, higher order systems and use in both the live and domestic environment. More recent developments by the author are discussed with respect to irregular Ambisonic decoder design (such as for the ITU 5.1 speaker array) and analysis using Head Related Transfer Function data showing the extra insight this can give into the performance of one, seemingly similar, decoder design over another. The freely available suite of VST plug-ins (comprising of decoders, panners and an Ambisonic reverb) created using this technology are also presented, with case studies of their use in student projects at the University of Derby.