• The generation of panning laws for irregular speaker arrays using heuristic methods

      Wiggins, Bruce; University of Derby (Audio Engineering Society, 2007-06-25)
      Currently, the ITU standard surround sound speaker arrangement is based on an irregular 5 speaker array. However, this may change to an irregular 7 speaker array (as is now the standard on computer hardware) or more in the future. The Ambisonic system, pioneered by Micheal Gerzon, among others, in the late 1960’s, is very well suited to situations where the end system speaker configuration is not fixed in terms of number or position while also offering a simple way (via energy and velocity vector analysis) of quantifying the performance of such systems. However, while the derivation of the decoders is well documented for regular speaker arrangements [1], optimising the decoders for irregular layouts is not a simple task, where optimisation requires the solution of a set of non linear simultaneous equations, complicated further by the fact that multiple solutions are possible [2]. Craven [3] extended the system to use higher order circular harmonics and presented a 4th order Ambisonic decoder (9 input channels), although the derivation method used was not presented. In this paper a semi-automated decoder optimisation system using heuristic methods will be presented that will be shown to be robust enough to generate higher order Ambisonic decoders based on the energy and velocity vector parameters. This method is then analytically compared to Craven’s decoder using both energy/velocity vector and head related transfer function based methods.
    • 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.
    • Seeking best practice for education and training in the recording studio

      Vandemast-Bell, Paul; Werner, Duncan; Crossley, John; University of Derby (Audio Engineering Society, 20/08/2015)
      This paper reflects on the delivery of a module in recording studio practice. The module is intended to equip level 5 students with the necessary skills to undertake final year project work whilst introducing aspiring recording artists and music producers to a career in industry. These goals are compounded by the expectations of accreditation bodies that work in partnership with academic institutions to raise the standard of graduates entering into the business of music recording and production. Drawing on the authors’ educative experiences and observations the paper highlights the challenges posed by the tension between training and education, and investigates the potential for novel approaches to curriculum design.