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Audio Engineering Society

24th International Conference on Multichannel Audio
June 26-28, 2003, Banff, Canada



by Ralph Glasgal


It took 25 years for stereophonics to seriously begin to replace monophonics. It is likely that a similar period will be required for Ambiophonics to replace or at least supplement stereophonics and its twin brother 5.1. But the development of digital signal processors and algorithms able to process digital audio in real time, without audible distortion or noise, has now made it feasible and practical for music/movie lovers to enjoy and recording engineers to deliver greater physiological verisimilitude in music and video recording. Recordings already made with the various varieties of Ambiophones can be demonstrated to all who are interested or doubting. Ambiophonics provides binaural realism and a normal stage perspective when reproduced via one or more Ambiopoles. Ambiovolver driven surround speakers easily provide surround ambience without requiring media bandwidth or recording session bother. Ambiophonic recordings should need no spot microphone support, panning algorithms, artificial reflections, or HRTF manipulation and consume just two media channels for classical music or four or six if rear and/or overhead sound stages are desired. Best of all, not only is Ambiophonic reproduction of existing CDs and LPs superior to stereo triangle reproduction but Ambiophonic surround reproduction of 5.1 DVDs and SACD is also psychoacoustically superior and easier to implement than the ITU 5.1 speaker arrangement. However, Ambiophonics is for domesticity and is not suitable for large group listening applications.


Major contributions to advancing this technology and making Ambiophonics a living reality have come from Angelo Farina, Ole Kirkeby, David Wareing, Anders Torger, Robin Miller, Enrico Armelloni, and Jose Javier Lopez. They represent Italy, Denmark, Wales, Sweden, USA, and Spain and the Universities of Parma, Southampton, and Valencia. Their support has been unstinting.

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