Talking to 24 speaker circular array with ardour

I am looking for a solution for a sound installation: I have 24 speakers in a circular array and I would need to “pan” a sound accross the speakers. It does not need to be ambisonics (but if that would be a solution I would also be happy with) I thought this is easy to realize in pure data but see now it is not. maybe ardour can have some clever routing for that?

Ambisonics is probably the easiest way to accomplish this in Ardour I think, utilizing existing plugins. I think you could probably do it in the VBAP panner as well, but am not sure, it’s been a while since I used it.


thanks seablade!! I m just reading about VBAP, is there a plugin for ardour or a jack client or something? I just found an implementation into supercollider…
I will check further on the ambisonics plugins, just found the ambdec plugins in their current state are not so easy to use (create a setup requires scripting etc. ) but maybe i just have to dig deeper…

Ardour’s default panner for more than 2 output channels is doing VBAP:

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ah nice, Ardour saves my life again :slight_smile:

I have difficulties setting up something like this:

a stereo track I would like to send to 24 speakers. what i thought would be the idea is: having a stereo track with 24 outputs that go to the master channel with 24 inputs and outputs, then i can pan as I wish. not sure if this approach is correct. I m just trying arround and I cannot get it sound… would be great to get an advice on that. or better ask on irc?

a little update, I m getting closer: I can add a mono track and pann it around , that is great. strange thing is when i add another track, the connections seems to be faulty and i have no sound. but i look into that again. I also cannot add a stereo track and get sound from that. in my final setup i would need something as a “stereo pair” of sound , that are always in opposite position to each other on the circle. not sure if that would be possible to achieve.

That sounds reasonable, I’d also bypass the panner on the master-bus.

When you have a master-bus with 24 inputs, all newly created tracks will automatically have 24 outs with a 1:1 connection. For existing tracks you’ll have to manually add outputs and connect them.

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@ x42 thank you so much for your help. i m getting closer, it seems to work and I try to demo the installation now in the studio with just 6 speakers in a circle, putting 4 more speakers to my usual stereo setup. what confuses me is the numbering in the panner. It is 1 3 2 5 6 4 starting with the L speaker in clockwise rotation. I guess this comes from surround 5.1. etc setups to have this numbering and speaker arrangement. In my case I would like 1-6 starting from the L speaker for example. is there a way to change this or do I need to change that on the hardware side? thanks. I m slow on wrapping my head around multichannel stuff as this is my first time with this problem.

ah i figured it out i think, I needed to re route everything in the routing grid to the right speaker, and now it works!

my next thing is: i want to have “stereo pairs” that are always the opposite speaker, means a pair of sound for example of speaker one and speaker 5, and then having this pair rotating over the speaker array. a stereo file it self seems to not do that but just occupies adjacent tracks automatically.

so here is a follow up again :wink: I find a weird automation problem where i m not sure if this is me or a bug:

I can control the azimuth and the width of the VBAP panner, and i can write automation that way, i.e. in touch automation. but when i playback the automation is not audible in touch mode. when i change to play mode, the whole track is silent. any explanation for this? how can i circumvent this behaviour?

There is no automation playback for the VBAP panner at this time.

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Thanks Paul for clarifying! Then I will just pan in realtime and record the output on a separate track.

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