International Computer Music Conference 2016 Papers Track

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short overview of parametric loudspeakers array technology and its implications in spatialization in electronic music

In late December of 1962, a Physics Professor from Brown University, Peter J. Westervelt, submitted a paper called Parametric Acoustic Array (Westervelt, 1963) considered primary waves interacting within a given volume and calculated the scattered pressure field due to the non-linearities within a small portion of this common volume in the medium (Croft & Norris, 2003, p. 6). Since then, many outputs of this technology were developed and applied in contexts such as military, tomography, sonar technology, artistic installations and others.
Such technology allows perfect sound directionally and therefore peculiar expressive techniques in electroacoustic music, allowing a very particular music dimension of space. For such reason, it’s here treated as a idiosyncrasy worth to discuss on its on terms.

This paper is organized as follows. A theoretical framework of the parametric loudspeaker array is first introduced, followed by a brief description of the main theoretical aspects of such loudspeakers. Secondly, there is a description of practices that use such technology and their applications. The final section describes how I have used it in my music compositions.


Jaime Reis     web site
INET-md / Festival DME


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