AmbiPlay~ // 2021
Software for Ambisonics Playback / Decoding in Standard 2D Speaker Arrays
Information (Updated February 2021):
FOR PATCH: Contact me for a link to download the patch via the contact form; this will be my primary method of distribution until I can build a section on this site to start distributing patches and other tools that I create in the future, or which I have already created.
The intention of this tool is to facilitate simple playback and decoding of ambisonics files quickly and easily to a variety of standard 2D multichannel speaker arrays. Setup is minimal, requiring the user to simply select the input file details, select the desired output speaker array from the list, and then simply drag their file into the indicated area, set the volume, and use the playback tools provided including the navigation bar (with timecode included). Speaker routing outputs are indicated in the monitor accordingly, and can be adjusted if desired. It is also important to note that this tool is not intended as a “mathematically perfect” method of decoding ambisonics, but rather as a great tool that helps you make use of the flexibility that ambisonics provides. After all, sometimes you show up to a festival and that eight-channel ring you were told would be there turns out to be only quad, or you find you need to port a piece from one speaker array to another very quickly; this tool is intended as a perfect way to do that.
Also included with this tool is a recording function, which is designed to create fixed decoded versions of ambisonics pieces for specific speaker arrays. Clicking the Record box will arm the recording and prompt you to enter a file name; then simply select WAV as your format. Clicking "save" from the dialog window starts the recording process, which automatically saves a file with the number of channels to match your selected speaker configuration, and is routed to match the numbers on the display.
1) This patch is offered "as-is", and without any guarantee of continued support or warranty. Feel free to use it and edit it as desired to suit your needs. Further, this patch was explicitly designed to limit the need for additional abstractions and / or knowledge of Max/MSP. As such, don't judge the patch guts too harshly, I wanted it all in one brutally simple user- friendly patch, which caused some messy (but functional) solutions.
2) This patch makes use of research and externals from IRCAM and ICST. The required external patches / objects have been included in this directory for your convenience if you only want to use the required elements. However...
3) This patch was designed and tested on Mac OS X, and the externals included in the above described directory are the mxo (mac) versions. My personal recommendation is that you download and install both the ICST ambisonics package and Spat5 package in full for best results, though this will be required for this patch to function correctly on Windows. Both are free; the ICST ambisonics package is available through the "package manager", and the Spat5 package is available from IRCAM once you create a user account on the forum.