Wave Field Synthesis in Max/MSP?

    May 23 2011 | 11:24 pm
    Dear all, I am not familiar with Wave Field Syntesis, but I would like to try this approach in order to spatialize some sounds along tridimensional trajectories. Actually I am searching for something similar to the Ambisonics tools for Max/MSP (provided by ICST), where it is posible to define trajectories for virtual sound surces.
    Is there is an external in Max/MSP to do this with WFS? So far I was not able to find it.
    And above all, is WFS appropriate for this purpose?
    If I have correctly understood this type of technique requires lots of loudspeakers. I use a surround system composed by 16 loudspeakers difining a 3D cube....and my goal would be to move sound surces using this configuration.
    Thanks in advance

    • May 24 2011 | 3:29 pm
      I think cosm might do what you want... http://www.allosphere.ucsb.edu/cosm/gallery_examples.html
      Although I am not sure if it outputs things into separate discrete channels. I think it mixes everything to two channels.
    • May 24 2011 | 10:22 pm
      Hi, thanks for your answer but in COSM there is no Wave Field Synthesis as I asked...there is instead Ambisonic.
      Is there anyone who can suggest a Max/MSP external to perform WFS?
    • May 25 2011 | 8:42 am
      Hi Luca,
      I don't know of a Max object that implements WFS, however I don't think WFS would be an appropriate technique given your setup. Basically with WFS you are synthesizing wave fronts. The smaller waves required to synthesize the desired wave front are produced by a large number of loudspeakers fixed at equidistant positions along the perimeter of the listening space. Your 16 loudspeakers arranged in a cube suffer of two problems:
      1 - 16 are not enough speakers to synthesize a wave front, especially if you need to locate them along the perimeter of a listening space. Assuming a square perimeter you would have 4 speakers per side. Clearly not enough.
      2 - you have them arranged in a cube which - for obvious reasons - also is not ideal.
      Even though WFS is indeed a very interesting technique I find its limitations lie in the practical/physical issues associated with it.
      I think that a technique such as Ambisonic is much better suited for your setup.
      - Luigi
    • May 25 2011 | 1:08 pm
      So why would you not want to use Ambisonics tools for Max/MSP?
    • May 25 2011 | 4:51 pm
      Dear Luigi, thanks a lot, studying a bit this type of synthesis I arrived to the same conclusions.
      @Antony: I already use the Ambisonics tools for Max/MSP, but my goal was to compare their performances with those of other synthesis techniques, for the particular task of footsteps sounds delivery.