Page  00000001 WONDER - a software interface for the application of Wave Field Synthesis in electronic music and interactive sound installations M.A.J. Baalman, M.Sc. Electronic Studio, Communication Sciences, University of Technology, Berlin, Germany email. Abstract Wave Field Synthesis is a novel technique for sound spatialisation. To make the technique usable for composers and sound artists, work has been done on creating an interface software to work with the technique. The program consists of a composition tool, a grid specification tool and a play function. The program is controllable via OpenSoundControl, making it possible to control the system from most commonly used programs for composition or live performance. 1 Introduction Wave Field Synthesis is a novel technique for sound spatialisation, that overcomes the main shortcoming of other spatialisation techniques, as there is a large listening area and no "sweet spot". In the paper presented last year (Baalman 2003), the first experiences for application of the technique in electronic music were described. In the present paper, the further development of the project is described as well as some work in progress for application of the technique in sound installations. A short, comprehensive explanation of the technique is given, a description of the system used in the project at the TU Berlin and the interface software, followed by a description of the sound installations that are in the process of being made. 2 Wave Field Synthesis The concept of Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) is based on a principle that was thought of in the 17th century by the Dutch physicist Huygens (1690) about the propagation of waves. He stated that when you have a wavefront, you can synthesize the next wavefront by imagining on the wavefront an infinite number of small sources, whose waves will together form the next wavefront (figure 1). Based on this principle, Berkhout (1988) introduced the wave field synthesis principle in acoustics. By using a discrete, linear array of loudspeakers (figure 2), one can synthesize correct wavefronts in the horizontal plane (Berkhout, De Vries and Vogel 1993). For a complete mathematical treatment is Daniel Plewe Electronic Studio, Communication Sciences, University of Technology, Berlin, Germany email: d Figure 1. The Huygens' Principle 7! Figure 2. The Wave Field Synthesis principle referred to Berkhout (1988, 1993) and various other papers and theses from the TU Delft1. An interesting feature is that it is also possible to synthesize a sound source in front of the speakers (Jansen 1997), something which is not possible with other techniques. 1Sound Control Group, TU Delft, Proceedings ICMC 2004

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