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International Conference on Spatial Audio 2011


The first International Conference on Spatial Audio (ICSA) took place with about 150 participants at the Detmold University of Music (Germany) between 10-13 November 2011.

The German Tonmeister Association (VDT) and the German and European acoustics associations (DEGA and EAA) in cooperation with the Erich Thienhaus Institute at the Detmold University of Music put a lot of effort in organizing this professional four-day convention.

The ICSA had been conceived to present all multi-channel recording and playback techniques currently available in a methodical approach and to provide an integrated experience for professionals and amateurs using practical recordings specifically made for that purpose. For this reason, the conference was an unprecedented event regarding its concept, complexity, and professional ambition.

One stage, one monitoring, and one control-room environment were set up with playback systems for each of the presented types. These allowed for aural comparisons during the conference. Plenary lectures, papers, and poster sessions grouped by subject introduced the basics and findings of current research. Workshops provided information on the practical implementation of the techniques as well as on their aesthetic and psychoacoustic effects on musical perception. The conference language was English.

Key features such as four parallel-driven monitoring rooms and more than 120 simultaneously used microphone channels for doing the music recordings give an idea of the tremendous efforts made in the run-up of the event. The objective was to create professional results using various recording techniques for reproduction using established as well as new playback approaches including multichannel stereophony, wavefield synthesis, ambisonics, 2+2+2, and Auro3D. At the recording stage, the challenge for the engineer was, for example, to find the appropriate compromise between aesthetic and technical freedom on the one hand and comparability of the systems on the other.

The ICSA targeted at sound engineers, researchers, lecturers, electro-acoustical engineers, and audio and sound-reinforcement professionals but also at amateurs interested in current developments in audio. Participants encountered a comprehensive scientific yet practical program with lectures, posters, and workshops as well as product papers by various pro-audio manufacturers.

As a highlight, special aural comparisons and comparative demonstrations of all current surround-playback techniques were performed and leading researchers and practitioners specialized in those techniques could be met. In addition, two concerts were performed by musicians who use WFS techniques in their compositions or took part in the recordings for aural comparisons, respectively.

All participants of the conference as well as educational and research institutions had access to the recordings made for the ICSA, so they can do more research on the chances and limits of the recording and playback techniques.


ICSA video documentation (german with english subtitle)

ICSA Exhibition

DirectOut Technologies
Foyer Sommertheater

Four Audio
Foyer Sommertheater

Foyer Sommertheater

Meyer Sound
kl. Seminarraum, ETI

TU Dresden
Foyer Sommertheater


ICSA Sponsors

ADAMSON, http://www.adamsonsystems.com (Public address system auditorium Sommertheater) AUDIO EXPORT, www.audioexport.de
(Second loudspeaker set-up in WFS studio)

DirectOut Technologies, www.directout.eu
(MADI-Infra structure for ICSA-Recordings, in Sommertheater and WFS studio)

Institut fr Rundfunktechnik, www.irt.de
(headphones for workshop)

Meyer Sound, www.meyersound.de
(Conference bags)

musikelectronic geithain gmbh, www.me-geithain.de
(Monitors for 3D-Audio gr. Seminarraum)

NEUMANN.BERLIN, www.neumann.com
(Loudspeaker set-up for 40-channel 3D-WFS/Ambisonics systems)



Gisela Jungen, Annette Peters, ICSA Secretariat
Dr.-Ing. Malte Kob, Chair of local organisation
Dr.-Ing. Günther Theile: Chair of VDT organisation
Malte Heins, Technical Chair of local organisation
Michael Sandner: Tonmeister of ICSA recordings
Jörn Nettingsmeier, Malte Heins: Technical Chairs of ICSA recordings
Guido Hahnke, Matthias Kieslich, Andreas Meyer, Jörn Nettingsmeier, Mario Otten: Room Chairs
Stefan Antonin, Sebastian Clobes, Hannes Fritsch, Guido Hahnke, Tobias Heß, Matthias Kieslich, Toygun Kirali, Sebastian Müller, Benny Reichert, Dominik Streicher: ETI Student helpers
Addlips!, Antares Ensemble, Brass ensemble HfM Demtold, Jan Croonenbrock, Andrey Doynikov, Antonia Feuerstein, Piotr Oczkowski, Harumi Saito, TenHagen-Quartett, Axel Wolloschek, Thomas Wypior: Musicians of ICSA recordings

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