Spatial Audio

Comprising half of the theme Sonification // Spatialization, EMPAC’s expertise in spatialized audio will be on display at ICAD 2024. The building’s state-of-the-art spatial audio systems include a 512-channel wave field synthesis array with the highest spatial aliasing frequency in the world and multiple permanently installed fourth-order ambisonic arrays. The program will see a special session on spatialization in sonification as well as demonstrations of EMPAC systems and capabilities over the course of the week.

Conference attendees are invited to utilize these systems in showcasing their own work.

Details about available systems can be found below. Please reach out with any questions to the spatial audio special session chairs at

Available Audio Systems

The primary systems that will be available for ICAD 2024 are a higher-order ambisonics (HoA) array (3rd or 4th order) and a wave field synthesis (WFS) array. Each system confers advantages and trade-offs.

The HoA array allows for movement of sound sources in three dimensions, while the WFS array is limited to the horizontal plane at ear height. However, the WFS array has a homogeneous sound field and is therefore less concerned than the HoA array is with a central “sweet spot”. Additionally, the WFS array is capable of producing “focused” sources, sound sources perceived to be emanating from a point in front of the array (i.e. between the listener and the loudspeakers). If you are unsure of which system might be more appropriate for your application, please do not hesitate to reach out to the session chairs,

Participants are encouraged to adhere to one of two methods for inputting to the arrays:

Dante: a computer utilizing the Dante Virtual Soundcard or a provided two-channel Dante dongle will be able to input directly to the Dante-connected systems.

Provided audio interface: a multichannel (likely 8-channel) USB audio interface will be available to provide input to the Dante network.

Each input channel will function as an independent, moveable sound source in space. We utilize the IRCAM software Panoramix and library Spat5 to manage the placement and rendering of sound sources along the array.

Higher-order Ambisonics

More details on the HoA array coming shortly.

Wave Field Synthesis

More details on the WFS array coming shortly.