4DSOUND is a spatial instrument.
Beyond being an advanced sound distribution system, 4DSOUND includes an integrated chain of sound processing and physical modelling that can be used - and abused - in highly flexible ways by composers, performers, sound designers, programmers and hackers to create and perform with space.
4DSOUND has developed real-time processing modules that define over 200 spatial parameters of sound. The modules allow control over the following aspects of sound:
- positioning of sound sources in an unlimited spatial continuum
- sculpting the physical dimensions of sound sources
- composing spatial movement trajectories of sound sources
- generating spatial movements of sound sources through physical modelling, wave shape modulations, algorithmically driven gestures or responsive behaviour
- spatial sound perception, such as the perception of distance, elevation, angle, speed, phase shifts and diffusion of the sound source in space
- sculpting spatial acoustics by designing virtual walls, their distance, depth and material characteristics
- global transformation of the spatial field, such as transposing, rotating, ploding and folding multiple sound sources at the same time
4DSOUND has been constructed as an open-end spatialisation format that also allows to be controlled by custom-built and third-party software. Spatial sound control can therefore be merged with a variety of workflows and creative processes - from detailed composition of the spatial attributes of sound on a timeline, to on-the-fly spatial mixing of a live music performance and interactive systems that are responsive to the behaviour of listeners.
Resulting from the accessibility of the format and the variety of projects 4DSOUND has developed over the years with artists and programmers, a colourful and diverse collection of interfaces and instruments has been developed specifically for the system. The approaches range from gestural control of sound in space using LeapMotion and Arduino sensors, devices that measure bio-physical and brain-wave data to establish a direct connection between the inner body and the outer space, real-time tracking systems of people moving in the space and custom-built instruments in softwares such as Max/MSP, Supercollider, PureData, Processing and Kyma to control 4DSOUND’s spatial properties.
All parameters of 4DSOUND are communicated via OSC data protocol (Open Sound Control). The control of the system therefore allows easy integration with other software and hardware controllers, such as music production software, mobile media apps and real-time tracking systems.
The OSC data structure of 4DSOUND can also been used as a versatile way to talk back and forth between different platforms. 4DSOUND’s OSC.Mapping software provides a hub where all incoming and outgoing OSC data from multiple devices and softwares that are sharing the same network can be connected, scaled and smoothed to communicate with each other. Using OSC, direct communication between 4DSOUND and game engines, virtual reality devices and visual systems has been established.