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RE: Octophonic sound system

At 9:44 PM +0200 6/28/01, Junkie G wrote:

>       Does anybody thinking of a connection
>       between the 3D audio and looping ?
>       Anybody has had any experience with such
>       a set up ?

A lot of early works using tape delay systems also used multiple amps 
and speakers. Pauline Oliveros on others at the San Francisco Tape 
Music Center in the 1960s did a lot of pieces that way. It made 
particular sense for those low-buged guerrila electronic days when it 
was probably more common to have tape decks with built-in speakers 
than professional PA systems with decent mixers.

We used to do performances in the mid-70s with surround quad and 
dual-deck 4-track tape delays. Playback from the first deck would go 
into the front speakers and playback from the second deck would go to 
the rears, so we had both short and long delays.

I did a lot of performances in the '80s using surround quad and 
multiple digital effects. The most fun was the Diamanda Galas gigs, 
where she used four microphones, each routed to a different speaker 
and to a different effect, and I would play freely with the routing 
of the effects outputs. I'd even route one effect to another, 
sometimes building up complex feedback networks on the fly.

I did one theater piece with a multichannel system loaned by Yamaha. 
I had three DMP7 automated mixers, a TC2290, and an H3000, with 
multiple microphones hanging throughout the space (a huge warehouse 
that was part of the Santa Monica Museum) and (as I recall) an 8 
channel speaker system. The mics picked up the actors voices and I'd 
loop and otherwise mangle them and circulate the results throughout 
the space.

I did some similar things in San Francisco on a couple of big 
productions with a group called New Music Theatre. It was a similar 
setup (also with Yamaha support - thanks, Joel!) and also involved 
actors and singers.

I haven't done much of this recently, but I've just acquired eight 
small speakers to do surround in my studio and this will probably 
lead to more live multichannel work.

An advantage to using multichannel sound systems with looping is that 
different sound layers can be articulated spatially,thus avoiding 
muddy textures. If you set up a system which keeps the dry signal and 
processed or looped signals unmixed you can place each "voice" where 
you want it. This can be done with relatively modest equipment, since 
having more speakers allows you to keep the individual levels down. 
You can get by with smaller (and cheaper) individual components.

Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202