New 4DSOUND System Inspired By Nikola Tesla

4DSOUND is a new immersive audio system that allows for evolving changes in three-dimensional positioning of sound.

Despite the emergence of professional and consumer surround-sound systems, most live performances still rely on stereo (or even summed mono) sound, with an audience hearing most of the music from one direction.

4DSOUND is built from expansive array of speakers, a Max-based core, and custom Max for Live devices that allow for sound to be positioned anywhere within the system’s space.

In the video above, 4DSOUND founder Paul Oomen talks about its conception, and Martin Stimming discusses performing with the system.

In the second video, below, Ableton Creative Developer Salvador Breed explains some of the technology that powers 4DSOUND, and how Max for Live is at the core of control of the system:

4DSOUND will be featured at this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event. You can find out more about the system at the 4DSOUND site.

Stimming has shared a high-quality, binaural recording of his full set. You can listen to the set via the embed below:

Note: To get an approximation of the spatial effects, headphones are required.

Technical details:

MFB Tanzbär, Clavia Nordrack2, TeenageEngineering OP-1, Arturia Microbrute and AbletonLive as master clock, sampler and midi sequencer.

Stimming notes, “Everything on the 4D sound was tweaked by hand in real-time, as well as the whole arrangement. I preprogrammed some chords and grooves on my machines though.”

12 thoughts on “New 4DSOUND System Inspired By Nikola Tesla

  1. Any project name checking Nikola Tesla twerks my interest cortex but I always feel slightly cheated if there’s no risk of harm to the participants.

  2. That reminds me, stadium concert of “The Australian Pink Floyd”, which was actually very nice, but some sound effect (Welcome to the machine) were in “3D” and because of different speaker distances from me and thus different delays, it did not sync in my ear so was a bit disturbing.

    You know, even with your home cinema you should define distances from speakers, and that is just a few meters. Just saying for comparison.

  3. I saw a demo of the Multi Angle Sound Engine (MASE) at ADE back in 2005, a multichannel 3D sound system designed for club use. I’ve no doubt that this is the future of sound as computers get cheaper and more powerful but artists need to be able to write music for the system and the cost is too high for home systems at the moment. I’d propose a simple quad system to get this up and running, something a home musician can set up and compose for.

    More info on MASE here–multi-angle-sound-engine.html

    1. Agree 100%. The music I wrote for 8-channel is WAAAY different than anything I’ve done in stereo. In fact, it can only really exist in 8channels. Since surround formats aren’t ubiquitous, there isn’t much incentive for electronic artists to write for this medium so I’m skeptical we’d be seeing any sort of meaningful deployment of surround in the club space unfortunately.

  4. Impressive, but, uh, I still have to listen to this in stereo. 😀 The next real advance should be in affordable surround speaker systems. Synthesizers are chomping at the bit to be fed into such systems. I have 5:1 surround in Logic, but so what? Unless you write for a theater system, its useless. Yes, you can concoct a reasonable listening facsimile at home, but probably in increments of four figures at each step for a while. I’ve seen some quad shows and they’re something to behold, but until that sort of spatial-modification setup can be had as a non-zillion-dollar package, its just a concert oddity at best. Wouldn’t you just cream yerself to run Nave or a Kaoss pad through that, mmmmmm, Surroundeo……

  5. Simple sounds my balls. What would’ve worked really well was complex glitchiness with lots of morphing filters going on and moving around the space in interesting pattens. They should let Mr. Bill have a go at this thing, or Steelan. Filter sweeps moving all the way to the back wall and back would feel like they were going through the listener. Something this futuristic deserves music that is futuristic, not that crap that this dude was playing. Reversing sounds would’ve worked well too. Anything with some damn modern sound design, it’s 2014 ffs, get with the times.

  6. On the plus side, this guy probably just guaranteed himself a job with any of the many museums, amusement parks, malls, etc that are already doing this sort of thing at much more specific and goal-driven levels. But as for multi-channel music? Not in our lifetimes. We’ve had the ability to do this since (arguably) the early 70s, and people never take to it. “Surround Sound” in the wild just doesn’t hold up like it does in controlled environments… and also… the average listener doesn’t care enough to spend the time/money on it.

  7. There’s a lot going on with sound immersion. 4D sound is ok, but there are couple of venues and works that already worth a try. Get on this presented at Mutek, Montreal 2013. Totaly crazy. Satosphere in montreal has 157 loud speakers..way more immersive space, that would fit better with natural space accoustic/physics (spheric). I think unlike previous post that something is moving with multi channel production.

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