Siggraph 2007

This week I have been down at UCSD for Siggraph, and I have been engineering and helping with the audio installation for the new CAVE system at CalIt2/CRCA, along with Peter Otto, Trevor Muzzy, Adam Buress, Richard Bugg, and many other unbelievably talented people on the video side including Stephen Boyd, Ava Pierce, Jeff Kuramoto, and Jurgen Schulze, but that are too many for me to list them all. The cave is a 15 sided VR room, based on a pentagon, about 12 feet across, that is surrounded by stereo-scopic projectors — back projecting a virtual world that is resolved in 3D by special glasses.

We just finished building the cave this week, and my main focus was installing the audio system. The system is a 15.1 configuration, set up as 5 – 5.1 systems of Meyer Sound MM4 4-inch speakers. The top system is a middle speaker cluster that is located as a first reflection off the middle of the top screens. The second row is placed at the verticies of the pentagonal floorprint, and is a direct source to the listener. And the third group of five is housed in the floor of the cave, and points straight upwards. The sub is housed in a resonant enclosure under the floor of the cave.

After installing speakers, we set to work on the processing equipment…with an LCS Matrix 3 system, that does fantastic work calibrating the system.

The piece that we were supporting is called Screen, by Noah Wardrip-fruin, et al. It was previously presented at Brown University, in a four sided, four channel cave. Because of lack of scalability in the audio software, the entire project was re-written in the last four days specifically for this installation. Using ambisonic processing we were able to get extremely accurate spatialization even in this resonant structure, under extremely limited time constraints.

<a href=”http://www.noahwf.com/screen/index.html”>Screen</a>

The piece is themed on memory, and the dissolution of memory. Words fly at the viewer, and can be captured and broken by a real time interaction and head tracker. The audio supports the interactions.


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