Affordable Speaker Arrays for Education and Artists

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, and Michael Mulshine

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

  • Year: 2023
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Track: Papers
  • Pages: 206–211
  • Article Number: 29
  • PDF link

Abstract:

We present an affordable, lightweight, and highly portable multichannel audio solution for surround sound applications and installations. The system was developed for the “Sound in Space” course, taught by on of the authors at CCRMA in the winter quarter of 2021, when education was fully remote. Students in the course were able to listen to and create surround sound compositions from their homes or dorm rooms. Beyond the course, artists have demonstrated the versatility and creative affordances of this cheap, lightweight, and highly portable setup in sound installations and other custom speaker arrays. Such an affordable and versatile system has the potential to provide more students and artists access to spatialized sound production and multichannel audio in their work, enabling deeper technical education and creative applications ranging from Ambisonics to sound installations. Importantly, the transportability and ease of assembling this system enables multichannel audio work to be developed outside of the physical confines of academic institutions, including in spaces like apartments, garages, the outdoors, and more. This paper steps through the process of creating such a system, detailing the challenges faced and reflecting on the affordances in educational and creative usage.

Citation:

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, and Michael Mulshine. 2023. Affordable Speaker Arrays for Education and Artists. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. DOI:

BibTeX Entry:

  @article{nime2023_29,
 abstract = {We present an affordable, lightweight, and highly portable multichannel audio solution for surround sound applications and installations. The system was developed for the “Sound in Space” course, taught by on of the authors at CCRMA in the winter quarter of 2021, when education was fully remote. Students in the course were able to listen to and create surround sound compositions from their homes or dorm rooms. Beyond the course, artists have demonstrated the versatility and creative affordances of this cheap, lightweight, and highly portable setup in sound installations and other custom speaker arrays. Such an affordable and versatile system has the potential to provide more students and artists access to spatialized sound production and multichannel audio in their work, enabling deeper technical education and creative applications ranging from Ambisonics to sound installations. Importantly, the transportability and ease of assembling this system enables multichannel audio work to be developed outside of the physical confines of academic institutions, including in spaces like apartments, garages, the outdoors, and more. This paper steps through the process of creating such a system, detailing the challenges faced and reflecting on the affordances in educational and creative usage.},
 address = {Mexico City, Mexico},
 articleno = {29},
 author = {Fernando Lopez-Lezcano and Michael Mulshine},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression},
 editor = {Miguel Ortiz and Adnan Marquez-Borbon},
 issn = {2220-4806},
 month = {May},
 numpages = {6},
 pages = {206--211},
 title = {Affordable Speaker Arrays for Education and Artists},
 track = {Papers},
 url = {http://nime.org/proceedings/2023/nime2023_29.pdf},
 year = {2023}
}