speaker.motion: A Mechatronic Loudspeaker System for Live Spatialisation

Johnson, Bridget and Norris, Michael and Kapur, Ajay

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper provides an overview of a new mechatronic loudspeaker system: speaker.motion. The system affords automated positioning of a loudspeaker in real-time in order to manipulate the spatial qualities of electronic music. The paper gives a technical overview of how the system’s hardware and software were developed and the design criteria and methodology. There is discussion of the unique features of the speaker.motion spatialisation system and the methods of user interaction, as well as a look at the creative possibilities that the loudspeakers afford. The creative affordances are explored through the case study of two new pieces written for the speaker.motion system. It is hoped that the speaker.motion system will afford composers and performers with a new range of spatial aesthetics to use in spatial performances, and encourage exploration of the acoustic properties of physical performance and installation spaces in electronic music.