The last three weeks I spent in Florida working with a 10-speaker dome configuration were invaluable. But for reasons both musical and practical, I won’t be adopting the dome in my current workflow.
Some of my requirements that prohibit use of the dome include:
- ease in travel and setup
- flexibility in performance
- sharing and distribution (i.e. web playback)
But most of all, the dome seems best suited to aesthetically-focused acousmatic music. By contrast, the music I create relies heavily on creating the illusion of real acoustic instruments and is otherwise rooted in a traditional, performance-based musical heritage.
That said, the dome has inspired a few important changes to my studio. Specifically, I’ve expanded the available stereo image with two additional speakers placed roughly at three and nine o’clock.
I suspect that a more detailed multi-channel image originating from the concert stage can overcome the aforementioned obstacles while providing the desired benefits. So far, my studio experiments have been very promising, but I’ll need to develop some repertoire and try it out in real performance spaces to know for sure…