— berlin sonic places

Peter Cusack

The soundscape simulator is designed to represent the soundscape of real locations, such as Kollwitzplatz and Schendelpark in Berlin, in 4-channel surround sound. It is not intended as totally accurate re-creation, but one where the significant sounds of places and their spatial positions can be heard and where users can experiment and play with different combinations and mixes by moving the sounds around with a mouse.

The simulator allows:
–Individual sounds, or groups of sounds, to be added or removed from the whole to judge the effect of their presence or absence.
–The level of individual sounds to be controlled, so that the effect of more or less of a particular sound can be heard.
–The spatial position, either left/right or front/back, of individual sounds to be changed.
–Sounds new to a location’s environment to be mixed in to test against those already present.

Technically the system plays from a computer through 4 loudspeakers placed in a square. Visually a map, plan or satellite image of the location is displayed on the screen and coloured spots representing sounds can be dragged into position with the mouse. The sound’s loudspeaker position mirrors it’s visual position. The listening sweet spot in a 4-channel system is usually the centre, but it can be as valuable to hear from the sides or walk around.

For Module I of Berlin Sonic Spaces the soundscape simulator has been set up to represent Kollwitzplatz and Schendelpark, Berlin. The background atmospheres and specific sounds that you hear were almost all recorded in these places.


Simulator programming:  Daisuke Ishida
Recordings: Sam Auinger, Thomas Koch, Peter Cusack, Klaus Hamlescher.
modul I | 30. June 2012