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Spat~ : a comprehensive toolbox for sound spatialization in Max

Thibaut Carpentier 1 
1 EAC - Espaces acoustiques et cognitifs
STMS - Sciences et Technologies de la Musique et du Son
Abstract : Ircam's Spatialisateur, frequently dubbed spat∼, is a suite of audio tools dedicated to real-time sound spatialization, artificial reverberation, and sound diffusion. It has been developed at Ircam since the early 1990s, and it primarily operates in the Max environment. It is packaged as a comprehensive toolbox1 of audio processors, control objects, and graphical user interfaces. Typical fields of application include concerts, mixing, post-production, virtual reality (VR), sonic installations, sound design, etc. The software suite is developed through Agile methods, and it continuously integrates state-of-the-art technologies, research outcomes from the Acoustics and Cognition Team (formerly Room Acoustics Team), and feedback from users – sonic artists and sound engineers. As the application is built as a long-term project, its development roadmap tackles multiple concerns: improvement of existing features, implementation of new functionalities, maintenance (adaptive, corrective, and preventive), optimization, architecture refactoring (in order to improve maintainability and extensibility of the code base), etc. This paper offers an overview of the toolkit, with an emphasis on the current version, spat∼ 5, released in 2018. First, we present the framework and underlying space-time- frequency model of spat∼. This framework has been established since the inception of the tool, and has been perpetuated over the releases. Next, we detail the primary features of the toolbox, with a highlight on Ambisonics technology as this has received significant attention in recent years. Section 4 briefly enumerates a number of handy tools, also part of the spat∼ package, that form a complementary apparatus for the production of spatialized media. The foundation of spat∼ is a powerful C++ library that is mostly host- and platform-independent. This software library is indeed embedded into several environments such as Open Music, o7, Flux:: Spat Revolution, Matlab, or PureData. Section 5 outlines some specifics of its integration within Cycling’74 Max5 host framework.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 27, 2021 - 8:24:15 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:45:05 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 7:21:29 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-03356292, version 1


Thibaut Carpentier. Spat~ : a comprehensive toolbox for sound spatialization in Max. Ideas Sonicas, João Pedro Oliveira, 2021, Electroacoustic Space - Reflections - Tools for its design, 13 (24), pp.12 - 23. ⟨hal-03356292⟩



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