[Ardour-Dev] Wave Field Synthesis question

mazarick at bellsouth.net mazarick at bellsouth.net
Thu Dec 11 11:05:46 PST 2008

Although I would prefer to ask in a different forum, it appears most of the world's small population of WFS 
experts read this list, so I will ask my questions here (which is only tangentially related to Ardour).

A week or two ago, I had brought up the idea of using VSTs to control each channel's output for WFS.   It 
dawned on me a little later that I don't need 'real time' (for the most part) to control the adding of various 
sources to various channels, each source with a different delay in each channel.

Question 1:
Are the channel outputs of the other WFS systems 'pre-computed' in a non-realtime setup, or is there a
mixture of both (sources that don't move in non-realtime and sources that move computed in realtime)?  

Question 2:
Is there any ability to take a performance developed for one WFS facility and use it at another facility?   It 
seems like I read that MP4 was used, but it didn't instantly become clear whether the transport facility of 
MP4 was used to encode sources and the computation needed to support WFS would be done separately, 
or if using MP4 is simply a convenient way to store the setup for a site at the regular place where they store 

As an end goal, I would like to develop the capability of translating any ProTools session to Ardour (via wave files), mix it into an audio 3D space field, and share the results with other WFS setups 
(if they are interested in hearing it).   I do not know if there has been enough "critical mass" developed to
 achieve this yet (this is currently unlikely because of the very few WFS installations in the world).

Question 3:
As mentioned earlier, there appears to be very little way to hear a true WFS system in the US.   I am sort of 
going on 'faith' that WFS is a worthwhile goal.   Although not exactly WFS, I did receive a 'reason' to 
investigate this in the following note from one of the Linux driver developers for card I am using:

"...around 1995 I've been in Munich roaming around big sound equipment store.
 And there was a curved wall made out of around 1000 small speakers (1.5m wide and 2mhigh).
 There was also a mark on the floor that defined where you must stand.
 So now if you didn't stand on the exact spot -> lets say you stood 1 meter awaynothing
 special was happening -> just normal music playing.
 But if you stood on the spot you walked "into the sound".
 It was like you stood into a different matter. Like that the air wasn't the air anymore,
 but the most fascinating sound matter; as soon the music wasn't the music anymore,
 but a fluctuating matter that was all around you.
 I simply couldn't belive what I was hearing. So that definitely changed my perspective ofsound.
 And was one of the greatest experiences in my life - it's burned into my brains for ever. ;) "

I would guess that WFS should produce a similar experience.   Is this the type of experience 
that happens, or is it not quite that 'magic'?
I'll let you guys know that I have kindly been introduced to a great program called 'Wonder', but I haven't
had a chance to play with it very much.   I am currently busy figuring out why I can get three cards to work 
(for 24 channels), but four cards (for 32 channels) is causing a problem.

-Mike Mazarick

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