Hearing Varese's Poeme Electronique inside a virtual philips pavilion
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Topic of this paper is an interactive sound reproduction system to create virtual sonic environments to visual spaces, called Virtual Audio Reproduction Engine for Spatial Environments (VARESE). Using VARESE, Edgard Varèse's Poème électronique was recre- ated within a simulated Philips Pavilion (a construction originally designed by Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis for the 1958 World Fair in Brussels, then dismantled after its closing). The system draws on binaural sound reproduction principles including spatial- ization techniques based on the Ambisonics theory. Using head- phones and a head-tracker, listeners can enjoy a preset reproduc- tion of the Poème électronique from their individual standpoint as they freely move through the virtual architectural space. While VARESE was developed specifically for its use in reconstructing Poemè électronique, it is flexible enough to function as a standard interpreter of sounds and visual objects, enabling users to design their own spatializations. The system runs on a standard laptop PC with a modern graphics card, using Miller Puckette's computer music software Pure Data (pd), plus an extended graphic interface (running equally on Linux and MS Windows operating systems and featuring a maximum of five sound sources using Ambison- ics).