The virtual orchestra composed of speakers
The virtual orchestra composed of speakers
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Walking through the virtual orchestra
Walking through the virtual orchestra
[Click to enlarge image]

What if all of the musical instruments in an orchestra were replaced by the same number of speakers?

"Autumn Fantasy 2008," which realized this sound system, will take place from Oct 11 to 21, 2008, at Kanagawa Science Park (KSP) in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Prior to the concert, Lead Sound Co Ltd, which developed the sound system, "Sympho Canvas," had a press conference.

The system, which uses 64 speakers, is equivalent to a 64 channel surround system. This is the second concert by the company, following the first one held during the Christmas season last year. The pieces being played this year are totally different from those in the past year, and a story composed of voice and music has been added to the concert.

Lead Sound obtained the cooperation of Hibino TIC for the development of the system. Lead Sound aims to use the system in music education as well as to install the virtual orchestra performance system in urban facilities with limited space.

As for the sound system, each of the speakers is assigned to a musical instrument in an orchestra, such as a string, woodwind, brass and percussion. For example, the sound of the violin is produced from a speaker assigned to the violin and the sound of the trombone is produced from a speaker assigned to the trombone, for example. The combination of the speakers makes up a virtual orchestra.

The speakers are laid out in a manner similar to a real orchestra. The two rows closest to the audience are the strings, and the next two rows are occupied by the woodwinds. The following two rows accommodate the brass section, and the row in the back are percussion. There are also speakers that produce singing voices.

Therefore, when you listen to the violin part in the music, the violin sound will only come from the speaker located in the position where the violin players would be seated in an actual orchestra.

In this concert, the audience is allowed to walk between the speakers, which stand in neat rows. If you approach a speaker and listen to the sound coming out of it, you will find that the speaker is producing the sound of a specific musical instrument.

You will feel as if you are walking among the orchestral performers during the performance. A number of chairs are prepared between the speakers so that the audience can feel just like listening to the orchestra performance sitting side by side with the players.

Reverberant sounds add reality

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