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

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In late December of 1962, a Physics Professor\from Brown University, Peter J. Westervelt,\submitted a paper called Parametric Acoustic Array 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. 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.
In 2010-2011 I composed the piece "A Anamnese das Constantes Ocultas",
commissioned by Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa, that used a
parametric loudspeakers array developed by engineer Joel Paulo. The same technology was used in the 2015 acousmatic piece “Jeux de l'Espace
” for eight loudspeakers and one parametric loudspeaker array.
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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICMC 2016 Proceedings
Place of PublicationUtrecht, The Netherlands
PublisherHKU University of the Arts Utrecht, HKU Music and Technology
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print) 978-0-9845274-5-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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