Spatial sound, ambisonics and surround sound are an important area of research at TheISRO. Since 2017, TheISRO studio has been home to the 3D sound lab built by Felix Deufel with the help of Umashankar Mantrawadi and Yashas Shetty. The 3D sound lab features a 32 channel audio system, which is one of India’s first such systems. The lab has access to ambisonic microphones for recording ambisonics and in surround – courtesy of Brahma Microphones. The Lab is open to the public to use. If you are interested in using the 3D lab to explore immersive audio for your project, please use this form to get in touch with us. The construction of the Lab was supported by the BangaloreResidency program at the Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore and (Art)ScienceBLR.
READ FELIX DEUFEL'S EXPERIENCE BUILDING THE LAB
Invited by The Indian Sonic Research Organisation (The ISRO) and Goethe-Institut /Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore, I had the chance to live and work as a BangaloREsident in Bangalore for two months in September and October 2017. During my stay, I focused on my main project, the establishment of the 3D Soundlab Bengaluru and holding the first 3D audio workshop there. I also had the chance to collect a huge archive of field recordings and played two sound performances and a DJ set. Yashas Shetty, the head of the Art Science Lab Bangalore, as well as Umashankar Manthravadi, an expert in 3D audio recording techniques were a big support and great collaborators for my projects.
The 3D Soundlab Bengaluru (3DSB):
I first considered bringing a 3D sound system to India to hold workshops and for performances, which was not possible for several reasons. Anyway, what would have been the benefit for artists to participate a 3D sound workshop and not have access to a 3D sound system afterwards? That was, when the idea came up of setting up a 3D soundlab in Bangalore, which would be freely accessible for artists, musicians, composers and audio engineers permanently.
Two months for planning and building the lab was clearly too short a time, but I did not know yet how complicated it was to import equipment from abroad or even receive it on time. That was one lesson I learned soon: we never heard again about one order from China, another delivery was freed from the customs and UPS loops by a very patient workshop participant in the last minute before the opening event of the 3D Soundlab. Anyway the project was a lot of fun and went very well! The rooms of the Art Science Lab Bangalore at Srishti Institute for Art, Design and Technology were generously provided as working space and I received strong support from the team.
After we received and sourced all the components, such as loudspeaker drivers, cables, connectors and wood, the speakers and rack amplifiers were built and cables configured. We installed the system with 30 loudspeakers in the room and did the first sound checks and tests. The system was ready for the workshop, which took place in the last week of October, with Yashas Shetty and Umashankar Manthravadi as co-hosts.
The results of the participants were presented and celebrated at the official opening event of the 3D Soundlab Bengaluru with many guests. All in all, seven performances and installations were presented, also Yashas and I presented our second musical collaboration, based on field recordings I did during my stay and improvisation on the piano. The event and the opening of the fully functional 3D Soundlab was a very special moment for me and a great finale to my bangaloREsidency!