The TiME Lab has at its disposal a 140 channel planar wave field synthesizing system (WFS) to render the acoustic part of any content with great authenticity. The WFS is an object-based multiple channel sound reproduction system. This enables audio reproductions to map sounds to their sources in the same way as they would be located in a non-artificial environment. With limitations, this even extends to the acoustic space between the speakers and listeners. In addition, the acoustic character of rooms or environments, such as those of churches or concert halls, can be realistically reproduced by wave field synthesizers – listeners get almost transported into these environments. In contrast to discrete playback formats (stereo, 5.1, 7.1 etc.), the WFS auditory sensation area is almost as large as the area enclosed between the speakers and the listeners. Another important fact is that there are no ‘sweet spots‘.
The WFS is downward compatible with all existing formats.
The technical realization in the TiME Lab of the Fraunhofer HHI essentially consists of the speaker arrays, the control computer, and the production system.
Audio Production Techniques
The design of WFS productions is similar to the designs of stereo or surround sound productions.
The difference of WFS productions is its focus, the creation of clearly separated individual signals. This fully exploits the advantages of object-oriented signal processing. In addition, the recorded signals should comprise little geometrical content to allow optimal flexibility and authenticity for the creation of the acoustic space by means of the wave field synthesizer.
Audio Production Environment
In the postproduction phase, a plug-in for the postproduction audio software ‘Steinberg Nuendo‘ enables the seamless transition to other production processes and transfer formats.