Do you long for better, clearer, softer, wider audio with more oomph and better localisation? Do you wish this could be achieved today. We do. It can.
The sound format of the future is available now, for art, for live, for shows AND for recordings.
Since a little after the show business was invented, around the time of the first open air concerts by the Beatles or the Stones, stereo was created… for records and for broadcasting it was a good idea, probably. Before that, large open air shows did not really exist, nor mono, nor stereo. Small live shows had a beautifully detailed, real, sound image, be it acoustical or amplified, it was multichannel by essence. From classical music, to big bands, to rock: when listening to Paul you could see where Paul was standing, same for George or Ringo, or John. Then live audiences extended beyond the circa 500 pax technical limit and everything went south. The nice “backline” of VOX amplifiers became seriously underpowered and public address system had to be invented. Since then we listen to twin mono systems with bits of stereo in the center. But now, we have means of having both nice coverage AND power AND intelligibility AND localisation AND do all that for whatever number of PAX in the audience, nicely. With existing hardware, existing software, existing content and, a touch of knowhow. We at PAA Consulting call this Superdiff.
For shows, independent sources, voices, instruments mixed to several loudspeakers arrays, as according to the event needs. Then, the content can be recorded, encoded and distributed in an independent format, while still offering a faithful reproduction of the original acoustical space… that can then be played out on Facebook, Oculus or Youtube. Or on any multichannel loudspeaker system.
Sources: any sounds, voices, instruments in their independent multi-channel original form.
Mixing: a hardware or software mixer with almost as many output as input channels.
Broadcasting: live, in the studio or at home, as many loudspeakers as your room or your audience requires. This may range from a simple stereo headset for a single person to a large line array kit for a stadium. For Superdiff, we set the absolute minimum at about 7 channels of full-band loudspeakers, as an example.
Ideally, every loudspeaker in use shall address the entire audience area. As opposed to what usually happens in traditional systems. So you want to give coverage design extra attention and possibly offer array systems with extra wide horizontal and tightly controlled vertical coverage. So, unless a system is built in a tiny room, this seem to orientate your choices towards the use of single speaker columns or line source arrays, depending of distance and coverage needed. Interestingly, since several systems, say 7 at least, for creating your augmented immersive system, thus offering better SPL, signal to noise and distortion ratio, loudspeaker arrays can usually be scaled down when compared with traditional dual mono setups.
Yes, setting up a beautiful Superdiff requires special knowledge. To design the signal processing chain, select the appropriate tools and formats, create the speaker system and stage the sound.