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Bay Area Computer Music Technology Group (BArCMuT) Presentations

  • Sep 11, 2008 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Thank you to Mike Leahy / EGR Software at The Bubble (in SOMA, SF) for hosting this months event. Please note that there is a 37 person limit this month and you must RSVP yes or no (not maybe). PRESENTATIONS:

- Mike Leahy will present on The Bubble's 32 speaker 3D ambisonic sound array. An overview of past Ambisonic installations and construction efforts of The Bubble will be presented. In addition existing VST based control software and a 3D game demo utilizing Ambisonics projected via the 3D array will be previewed. Discussion on spatial audio hardware and future work will also be covered including open source aspects.

- Barry Threw will present on the K-Bow and integrated software. The K-Bow is a sensor bow for stringed instruments. Combined with a standard violin, bass, cello, or viola the K-Bow allows traditional instrumentalists to seamlessly access the unlimited sound world that a computer provides, while utilizing the virtuosity built from years of practice. The K-Bow gathers information about a performance through several sensors including an X Y and Z axis accelerometer, grip sensor, tilt sensor, playing pressure, distance from the instrument and gesture recognition. A suite of software lets a musician control the sound of the instrument, record with herself, or send the information to other standard music software.


"The Bubble" is a brand new R&D media facility conveniently located in San Francisco in the Soma district close to public transportation. The main feature is a 32 speaker 3D sound array built specifically to create new and affordable audio software and hardware applications for Ambisonics and related technologies. The studio also features mastering grade monitoring (Lipinski), a large projection screen with 1080P projector, various video cameras for computer vision applications, and four silent moving lights providing cross media exploration possibilities appropriate for venue and home theater environments.


MIKE LEAHY - Has a computer science degree and specializes in real time audio and graphics development in Java and C/C++ for embedded hardware. He is active on various cultural fronts from pop culture to more esoteric compositional pursuits. As a composer Mike has gravitated towards techniques in microtonality and spatial audio. In the past several years spatial audio has become his primary focus as it provides exciting possibilities and an unbounded horizon that both pop culture and the academic community have not widely utilized beyond rudimentary offerings of simpler surround technology. To further this vision, Mike founded the Bubble to provide a space for Ambisonic research and an advanced platform to create new cutting edge spatial audio hardware/software geared towards the masses at affordable costs for DJ/producers, composers, venues and home theater environments.

On the pop culture front, after spending his formative years in the SF industrial scene Mike has spent 10 years as an electronic dance music DJ/producer/promoter in San Luis Obispo and SF. As a DJ/producer Mike, AKA Catharsis, has approached the dance floor from an uncompromising position - retaining an intense vinyl based techno DJ mixing style that is all but disappearing while dropping sounds that push the audience beyond the status quo. See for mixes/tracks, and more info on pop culture activities.

BARRY THREW - ( http://www.barrythrew... ) is a technologist who develops tools that enable immersive and interactive digital media artwork. He works with the BEAM Foundation ( http://www.beamfounda... ), a non-profit music technology think tank building technology to further interactive music performance; and is also an main engineer and developer with Recombinant Media Labs, an SF facility for the production and presentation of surround cinema. If there is ever any free time left over, he makes electronic sound art, and enjoys soundscapes that suspend time and suggest space.

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  • Glen

    Great diversity and venue. Presentations could have been smoother and more focused, but they added character. Better demo's would have rocked it off the charts.

    September 12, 2008

  • Craig

    Fantastic as usual! I learned a bunch about ambisonics, which was fascinating.

    September 12, 2008

  • Dave B.

    The K-Bow was very interesting but the presentation wasn't very good. The speaker and violinist should probably have rehearsed in the venue first, so that more things would work right. The room lighting was wrong. The screen saver was distracting. The distorted violin sounds were horrid and extremely loud. Still, the product looks very cool.

    The second guy wasn't able to show his computer screen, so he described his software, which sounded interesting. He's programming in Squeak Smalltalk, which is very cool.

    The multiple speakers, spatial sound demo was very cool. The software was fascinating, and the sound was great. Thanks for opening your space to us. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to thank you personally.

    September 12, 2008

  • Douglas M.

    All the presentations were good and interesting. I particularly liked Mike Leahy's look at surround sound, ambisonics and real time positioning of sound elements computationally.

    September 11, 2008

  • barry t.

    In addition to what is sure to be a awesome surround experience, I will be giving a early look at a new sensor bow for string instruments, the KBow. We'll see how they can be used to help classical musicians get into electronic music, and how together they can enable rich interactive music performance.

    August 28, 2008

  • peter n.

    oh, man, this would have been a great birthday present...but I'll be outta town. Dammit - looks great!

    August 28, 2008

  • creatura

    awesome... are complete beginners welcome? (Hi Mike!)

    August 28, 2008

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