Headtracking for Binaural Ambisonic Playback

Low-Budget headtracker mounted on headphonesHere is a short tutorial about an inexpensive headtracking solution which you can use to improve the binaural listening experience with the ambix Ambisonic tools. The calibration software is currently Windows only, but the Pd patch is naturally cross-platform.

It uses the headtracker described here by Dennis Frie: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1677559
Parts: arduino nano, GY-85 sensor board.

A Pure Data patch provided by me receives the serial data from the Arduino based headtracker and sends OSC messages to the host of your choice. In this case I will describe the use within the digital audio workstation Reaper.

downloadFor the impatient, here is the Pure Data patch (use with Pd-extended):
pd-patch-headtracker-osc-sender


1)
First you have to get the Arduino and Sensor Board, some soldering and upload the firmware according to the instructions here.

Use the Axis Method for calibrationUse the provided Windows software to calibrate the tracker – for me the Axis Method works best. You might have to repeat the calibration from time to time.

2) Now you can use the Pd Patch I provide to communicate with the tracker. Use Pd-Extended to open it!
Download: pd-patch-headtracker-osc-sender
This patch will translate the serial data from the Arduino board to OSC messages.

reaper_control_surfaces3) Open up the Reaper preferences and add an OSC control surface. Important: Receive on port 8000 and Allow binding messages to REAPER actions and FX learn.

4) Add the ambix_rotator plug-in before ambix_binaural and use the OSC tracking data to control the parameters of ambix_rotator:
Click the Track Envelopes/Automation Button of thReaper Track Envelopes/Automatione Track with ambix_rotator to open up the Automation controls. Now click the Learn… Button next to the parameter Yaw.

Now you have to send a OSC message from the Pd patch to attach the correct message to Yaw, Pitch and Roll. Therefore don’t activate tracking yet (as it sends out all three messages Reaper OSC learn and Pd patchat once and thus does not allow to use the Learn functionality)
Instead click the buttons below OSC_LEARN in the Pd-patch to trigger single OSC messages.

5) You may have to change the serial port in Pd. First click the button list_dev to get a list of you serial devices. Enter the serial port id in the number box open_port.
Now you can activate head tracking and enjoy a stable binaural surround image. Use reset_orientation to define your zero degree direction.

ahead festival – observatory concert

observatory domeAs part of the ahead festival, the first public concerts will be held in the loudspeaker sphere of the VU observatory. Due to the limited space there will be three performances and registration for each date/time will be limited.
Entrance is free.

dates:
Thursday, November 21st – 19:00
Friday, November 22nd – 17:00, 19:00 and 21:00
additional date: Tuesday, December 3rd – 17:00 and 19:00

entrance free but please register: http://doodle.com/wsgbze2chat8gfcg

observatory outsidelocation:
Astronomical Observatory of the Vilnius University
M.K.Čiurlionio g. 29 (the last building in direction of Vingio parkas)
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/4wKD1

concert program:

Helene Hedsund (SE) – Miškas (2012)
ahead logoLukrecija Petkute (LT) – Dvi burnos (2013)
Aistė Vaitkevičiūtė (LT) – Spheral Motions (2013)
Jurgis Jarašius (LT) – Martlet (2013)
Julius Aglinskas (LT) – Within (2013)
Matthias Kronlachner (AT) – Table top (2013)
Domas Ruškys (LT) – In my circle (2013)
Ignas Juzokas (LT) – Gabalai (2013)
Gerriet K. Sharma (DE) – I_LAND (excerpt) (2007-2009)

Download the concert flyer as .pdf

This concert would not be possible without the substantial support of some people:

Vladas Vansevičius from the Astronomical Observatory of Vilnius University for providing the facilities!
Jurgis Jarašius for his help in setting up the loudspeaker system and cleaning up the observatory!
The Music Innovation Studies Centre of LMTA – Tadas Dailyda, Ričardas Kabelis and Mantautas Krukauskas.
Ignas Juzokas for lending various equipment!
The Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustic for their AllRad Ambisonics decoders.

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Award for best art exhibit at the ICT 2013

ICT stage loudspeaker sphereThe Music Innovation Studies Centre Vilnius (MiSC) [1] in cooperation with the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) Graz [2] received the award for the best art exhibit at the Information and Communication Technology fare from the European Commission in Vilnius.

The team from MiSC set up a sound sphere with 15 loudspeakers around and above the stage area.
Demonstrations about the Ambisonics spatialization technology and compositions by Gerriet K. Sharmstand of the music innovation studies centrea [3] and Jurgis Jarašius on stage as well as the Eigenmike® beamforming in combination with the 360deg „extended view“ [4] camera by Marian Weger and Peter Venus convinced the audience.

Links:
bernardinai.lt article
[1] http://misc.lmta.lt
[2] http://iem.kug.ac.at
[3] http://www.gksh.net
[4] http://extendedview.mur.at

Loudspeaker Sphere Observatory Vilnius University

observatory outsideIn cooperation with composition students of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre we are installing a 23 speaker loudspeaker sphere in the big tower of The Astronomical Observatory of Vilnius University. (Map: http://goo.gl/maps/4wKD1)

The first concert will be on November 21st 19:00 and November 22nd 19:00 and 21:00.
Entrance is free but please register here: http://doodle.com/6452iic4uuvtuczr

This is a (yet not very big) collection of information regarding this project.
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Music for fountains

music for fountainsSaturday, September 21st the second edition of muzika fontanams will be shown in Druskininkai, Lithuania.

I will present my live performance „spread!“, for 8 channel live electronics, lights and fountain.

For preparation have a look at the last performance: http://vimeo.com/66677493

muzika_fontanamsPieces for 8 channel sound, and a fountain with 141 led lights and 10 water pumps will also be presented by
Marius Čivilis, Tadas Dailyda, Jurgis Jarašius, Ignas Juzokas, Mykolas Natalevičius, Lukrecija Petkutė, Domas Ruškys, Marius Salynas and Dainius Veršulis.

FOF - Front Of Fountain  Pd controlling the Fountain  Protection against the Lithuanian weather

LAC 2013 – Ambisonics plug-in suite for production and performance usage

ambix_encoderToday i held my presentation about the ambix Ambisonics audio plug-ins at the Linux Audio Conference in Graz. This plug-in suite features cross-plattform Ambisonics tools for converting between different channel sequences and normalization schemes, encoding up to 7th order, rotating Ambisonics signals and binaural decoding with various virtual loudspeaker configurations in different venues.

The software has to be polished and will be released hopefully soon.

In the meantime you may have a look at the
paper ] or [ slides ].
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3mal3 – network concert

(C)2012 Laura Lapienyteelectronic music and network bridge concert

3mal3 – in the net
Wednesday, 23rd of May, 2012

live from Restoranas Jalta[1]Vilnius22:00
Matthias Kronlachner – electronics, sample piano, clarinet
Can Kazaz – electronics, recorder, toys

live from Postgarage[2] Graz21:00
David Pirrò – electronics, keyboards
Peter Venus – electronics, french horn
Marian Weger – electronics, zither
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  1. [1]Restoranas Jalta
  2. [2]Mittwochs-Exakt @ Postgarage Graz

documentation :: übersetzen – vertimas

Have a look at the trailer of the piece for dancer, sound and projection übersetzen – vertimas:

Sound optimized for headphone playback

technical details
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