4DSOUND technology enables the production of sound holograms: highly vivid, spatial appearances of sound that enrich, augment or transform reality as we perceive it. Similar to visual holograms, it enables the listener to experience spatial depth and dimensionality in all directions, and from any perspective within the sound field. It provides a future standard for high-definition fully-interactive spatial experiences of sound.
Sound holograms deliver a richer, more complete message to the listener. It allows us to access a deeper awareness of how we perceive space - steering our attention not only to the sounds we detect, but also to the inner workings of our own perception. Listening becomes a process of unification between ourselves and space as a whole.
Spatial Audio Framework
At the heart of 4DSOUND technology is a proprietary audio framework that defines sound as dimensional objects in space. Sound sources are modelled and processed according to their size, shape and physical behaviour in space - producing sound holograms. The framework enables far-reaching customisation for a range of sound applications and products to be built upon, integrated and experimented with.
Sound holograms are scalable for output systems with any amount of channels, ranging from binaural audio for headphone usage to multi-channel systems with over a hundred speakers. This approach allows for spatial sound productions to be transferred directly from studio usage to large scale public events and spatial installations, without the need for in-between conversion and adaptation of content.
Systems can also be configured to any spatial shape - including standard setups such as surround- and dome-shaped systems, as well as non-standard and a-symmetrical setups variations. The framework can also be used to set up hybrid systems - multiple grids of speakers, in integration with other media such as light, sensors and actuators, are controlled as an intelligent space.
Shaped by experiences gathered from over a hundred user-cases, 4DSOUND has developed an extensive suite of tools that provide intuitive and accessible control over highly complex spatial attributes of sound.
4DSOUND allows users to design virtual worlds - and to animate sound events and sculpt interactions within these worlds in great detail. The tools are specifically designed to encourage thinking in spatial dimensions and to directly control the experiential reality of sound in space. The aim is to free the creative process, allowing users to transcend the limitations of technically-oriented, site-specific aspects that come with managing multi-channel speaker setups.
The control of 4DSOUND can be transferred to other interfaces through OSC (Open Sound Control), enhancing the interactivity and immediacy of spatial sound composition and performance. Spatial sound control can thus be integrated with a variety of workflows and creative processes - from detailed composition of the spatial attributes of sound in digital audio workstations, to on-the-fly spatialisation of live music performances and interactive installations that are responsive to the behaviour of listeners.
Examples of future-oriented control systems built with 4DSOUND include using real-time brainwave and biophysical data to establish a direct connection between the inner body and the outer space, real-time sonic tracking of movement behaviours and a dedicated VR composition environment to physically sculpt sound trajectories in space.
Omnidirectional Sound Environment
For over a decade, 4DSOUND has pioneered the design of fully omnidirectional sound environments, created by installing equally distributed grids of speakers vertically and horizontally through space. A 4DSOUND system enables a social listening area without a ‘sweetspot’ - the experience remains coherent and convincing from any position in space, not only in the centre. We do not hear sound coming from speakers, but sounds appear in space as entities with a tangible physical presence.
4DSOUND systems are encompassing environments where sounds are around, above and beneath us. Sounds can move into a distance far beyond the space we are in, or come intimately close to our bodies. Led by our ears, we are encouraged to explore the space - moving between blocks of sound, touching lines of sound and walking through walls of sound.
Bloomline Acoustics has been 4DSOUND’s research and development partner since many years - their extraordinary OmniDrive omnidirectional loudspeakers and OmniWave Continuous Phantom Imaging technology pair perfectly with 4DSOUND’s audio framework and have been used in many of its custom installations.
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