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4DSound: The Next Dimension In Music

Amsterdam's 4DSound is changing the way we enjoy shows


How can someone effectively fill all of the space in a room with music? This question has plagued 4DSound founder Paul Ooden for years, and it has inspired him to create one of the greatest developments in music technology of the last 100 years.

As stated on the 4DSOUND website: “4DSOUND enables you to walk through space and experience sound from all directions... Sounds move around, above, beneath and in-between the listeners. Led by your ears, you’re encouraged to explore the space. You can move between blocks of sound, touch lines of sound, and walk through walls of sound.”

Complete with 48 speakers, 9 sub-speakers, and 57 channels, artists can utilize all of its components solely by their Ableton setup used during their live show. From there, the system translates music into sonic images. As seen in the video, the performance uses a set of tools including devices in Ableton Live, a live 3D graphic visualizer, and an iPad interface that was developed to provide alternative system control. With so many options available for programming and dynamics, 4DSound is designed powerfully enough for the artist to move the sound without interfering too heavily with their performance.

To get a better understanding in what 4DSound is, the video below gives a first hand look at a live performance by Stimming using the speakersystem, along with a brief interview with its founder on the idea behind it all.

This incredible development in live shows will undoubtedly change the way we experience an artist's set, but there are still have a few questions about the actual implementation of the speaker system worldwide that should be taken into account. In the video, the venue was quite small, and it wasn't overpacked with fans and attendees, but what is going to happen when this moves into larger venues or really packed nightclubs? Could there be a "redesign" resulting in the speakers being suspended from the ceiling to reduce people’s interaction with them? What is the quality of the sound outside of the column zone?

4DSound will be hosting a series of live performances and demonstrations for an entire week before Amterdam Dance Event later this October. All I know is that a round trip flight from Boston to Amsterdam is $1068, and its €20.00 for the mind-blowing experience.

Enjoy the full set performed by Stimming for the 4DSOUND show.

[H/T Ableton]

Written by Kyle Brown

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