The
Basics
Computer
Audio
The
Details
System
Configuration
The
Credentials
The
Development
The
Music
The 3D Audio
Experience
Headphones
vs. Speakers
The
Appendix

THE BASICS

I use the quadraphonic mixing feature of Cubase Pro, not available in any other Cubase version, to create multiple quadraphonic planes around and through a sound cube. Now I know that does not sound like anything out of the ordinary - that is the purpose of the quad mixing feature, is it not?

But what I have done that is so different is that I manipulate that quadraphonic feature to create a digital discrete octophonic three dimensional audio system where sound can not only be positioned anywhere in the 3D space but also can be moved in any direction in that 3D space.

This concept occurred to me while I was listening to some of my musical compositions mixed in a digital quadraphonic environment and I wanted to hear a sound move vertically instead of only across the horizontal. So I asked myself what it would take to expand that digital quadraphonic environment to include the elevation element. So I started to consider the concept and realized that expanding quadraphonic to octophonic by using two multichannel sound cards in what I am calling a “stereo quadraphonic” configuration would also automatically create a three dimensional audio cube/space. And I have been working on creating a functioning prototype of the concept ever since.

My first experiments in that direction were with older Cubase versions and I built and tested an initial prototype that confirmed a proof of my concept - that a simple but powerful desktop computer is actually capable of combining and manipulating the outputs of two multichannel sound cards to create a discrete and real-time addressable 3D audio environment.

The prototype is based on the octophonic sound cube model (eight speakers in the corners of a rectangular space) PLUS I have added a separate quadraphonic subwoofer system, so I call the concept “Octophonic+”. The actual name I have given the 3D sound system itself is "Stereo Quadraphonic 3D" - or SQ 3D for short – because in its simplest explanation it is exactly that – Stereo Quadraphonic audio planes.

Briefly, I install two identical SoundBlaster PCI sound cards in a desktop computer running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and I use the kXProject sound card drivers and ASIO4All v2 software to address all the outputs on both sound cards using primarily digital audio workstation software but also other audio software applications. I then configure eight of those outputs into a sound cube arrangement to match the speaker layout. AND because each of the sound cards have six output channels my stereo quadraphonic configuration combines the remaining four sound card outputs to create a separate quadraphonic subwoofer system as well – as one of my musical philosophies is "Bass you can feel in your bones."

For an illustrated version of the above installation and configuration procedure, visit -

www.sq-3d.com/intro2.html


The
Basics
Computer
Audio
The
Details
System
Configuration
The
Credentials
The
Development
The
Music
The 3D Audio
Experience
Headphones
vs. Speakers
The
Appendix

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by Chaz Williams
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