2007/04/18, 12:49:32, UTC

 About me

My name is Jörn Nettingsmeier, I was born in 1975 and currently live in Essen/Germany. I studied music at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen and computer science at the University Duisburg-Essen. After 4 years as a sysadmin and having taught music theory at a local music school for 2.5 years, I'm now working as a live sound and video engineer and small-scale IT consultant.

I've taken an interest in Ambisonics since I met Fons Adriaensen at one of the first Linux Audio Conferences at ZKM in Karlsruhe. On my audio jobs I have often used MS stereo miking for grand pianos, guitars and choir to great effect, and the simple idea of extending this concept to periphony had a great appeal to me.

Early in 2007 I got myself a hexagon of Tannoy 5A speakers and have started to experiment with them. For decoding, I'm now using Fons' ambidec piped into an RME Digi 9652 which in turn feeds a Behringer Ultragain AD/DA (it's cheap and ok, but not very robust).

So far, the results have been mixed. My listening room is very small and the hexagon is not regular, and neither is the damping of the room. The diffuse ambiance is very nice, but localisation is imprecise, the bass response is a little weak and the coloration of the soundfield mike is definitely an issue. It takes a lot more tweaking, and I'm not yet fully convinced that the gained rear information is a good trade-off for the shortcomings when compared with really high-end conventional stereo. That said, I must confess that most of the music I'm currently interested in does conform to the western "sound-stage" paradigm anyways.

Still, it's a great learning experience. And with every new round of experimentation, the results improve. The speakers have vastly different responses, and my next project is to get individual impulse responses of them (measured in my listening room), and to use Fons's convolution engine to compensate for the differences once i have figured how to do to deconvolution...

At the Linux Audio Conference 2007 in Berlin, I got the chance to do live recordings with a real Soundfield microphone. The stereo renderings I did so far are very nice indeed. If this thing were a lot cheaper, it could be a very handy tool :-D

The planar surround renderings have not been as good, but that only goes to show my rig needs a lot more tuning.


Update: after more experiments, measurements and the application of Dennis Sbragion's DRC (Digital Room Correction) software, my rig has vastly improved. I'm currently writing a paper on DRC and Ambisonic rigs at home, which I hope to present at the Linux Audio Conference 2008 in Cologne.


Update: the AMBI@home paper is done, see http://stackingdwarves.net/public_stuff/linux_audio/ambi_at_home, and I've been a proud owner of a TetraMic for a few weeks. It's still not calibrated as precisely as I would like it to be, but the initial results are ok'ish. Some more work until I feel it's worth uploading, though.