SpatialSound and planar speakers for the perfect sound experience

Press release / September 11, 2014

Fraunhofer IDMT shows at this year´s IBC from September 12 until 16 new tools for production and reproduction of high-quality sound and spatially precise audio recordings. For the first time at the IBC, the institute exhibits a new, intuitive user interface which enables an easy, resource efficient and personal-ized production and configuration of audio content. The institute presents spa-tial sound scenes – almost invisibly played through planar speakers, which combine slim design and powerful sound.

Dank seines superflachen Gehäusedesigns fügt sich der Flachlautsprecher des Fraunhofer IDMT nahezu unsichtbar in seine Umgebung ein. Thanks to the super-slim design, planar speakers can almost invisibly be integrated.

With its new technologies SpatialSound Stage, SpatialSound Wave and SpatialSound Control, Fraunhofer IDMT is able to offer innovative solutions for directional and three-dimensional sound emission for stages, live shows, planetariums, clubs, and theme parks.

These technologies are the result of the research expertise of the Ilmenau-based institute in the area of spatial audio reproduction technologies. Thanks to the
SpatialSound Stage system, spectators can immerse themselves completely in what's happening on stage. Regardless the stage size the viewers can follow the position and movements of the actors acoustically. Furthermore, consistent sound quality and the correct spatial image are guaranteed for every seat in the auditorium. Among others, the operators of the world's largest lake stage in Bregenz use this innovative technology.

At the trade show, the institute presents the SpatialSound Wave concept for compact and efficient spatial sound reproduction in mobile or fixed installations. The freely configurable system works with any arbitrary loudspeaker arrangements - still guaranteeing a realistic acoustic impression. This can be achieved with sound objects which can be freely placed around the listening area, allowing sound engineers to design an acoustical scene with plenty of effects. The system impresses visitors of the Hamburg Planetarium on a daily basis, for example, during the planetarium's dramatic 3D video and sound shows.

The intuitive SpatialSound Control user interface complements the SpatialSound technologies. It allows simple production of audio material while using resources efficiently. The system offers sound engineers various integrated apps for production and demonstration purposes as well as for live events. Thanks to the web-based multi-client solution, the software can be used by several people at the same time and can be controlled via various devices, such as PCs, tablets, or smartphones. In the area of live production, in particular, sound engineers can save a lot of time thanks to the straightforward configuration of the system.

"The benefit of the new SpatialSound Control is to make work easier for sound engineers. It makes creating spatial sound scenes child's play within no time at all. A helpful feature is that the user interface can be freely customized and adapted to the user requirements in question", explains René Rodigast, head of the group Professional Audio at the Fraunhofer IDMT.

For spatial sound reproduction a lot of loudspeakers are necessary. Therefore the institute developed a space-saving solution – a planar speaker technology. This technology offers a powerful sound combined with a less than 1-inch-depth enclosure design. The Fraunhofer speaker technology works with an innovative array concept using miniature transducers. The presented planar speakers at the IBC cover a frequency range from 100 Hz to 20 kHz. Because of the scalable design and size, the speaker can be adjusted to the particular acoustic requirements. Form, material and cloth fabric can be customized.