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Thursday, October 26 • 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Beam Me Up, Scotty: Transporting Musicians to Virtual Environments

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Virtual acoustics is a broad term describing the processing an audio signal with the characteristics of an immersive, simulated environment that envelopes the listener or performer. Over a multichannel speaker system, an active virtual acoustics system superimposes the acoustic impression of the simulated space on top of an existing physical one.

The Virtual Acoustic Technology Laboratory (VAT) Lab) at McGill University has been researching and developing innovative electro-acoustically enhanced spaces since 2005. Most recently, an acoustic system of 15 dodecahedral loudspeakers has been installed in a studio-sized space at the Schulich School of Music’s Immersive Media Lab. The VAT system uses a feedback canceller developed by researchers at Stanford and Limerick Universities that enables for the loudspeaker reproduction of room impulse responses of various acoustic spaces in a typical recording setting.

As part of the lab’s development, preliminary testing has brought a wide range of musicians into the studio to interact with the system who have, in the process, unlocked its application as a creative tool. Artists have reported feeling transported to concert halls, churches, and uniquely designed unreal spaces while inside the virtual environment. This presentation will give an overview of the technology accompanied by immersive playback of music recorded using the VAT system with the explanation of various microphone systems employed to capture the space.

avatar for Kathleen Ying-Ying Zhang

Kathleen Ying-Ying Zhang

McGill University
YIng-Ying Zhang is a music technology researcher and sound engineer. She is the first woman to be admitted to the Sound Recording PhD program at McGill University, where she is projected to graduate in 2024. She has experience in both on-set and post-production film sound, including... Read More →

Vlad Baran

McGill University

Aybar Aydin

McGill University

Gianluca Grazioli

McGill University

Wieslaw Woszczyk

McGill University

Thursday October 26, 2023 12:00pm - 12:45pm EDT