Research Output
Development of a 3D audio panning and realtime visualisation toolset using emerging technologies
  This thesis documents a body of research that links the field of electro-acoustic diffusion and spatialisation with practice in the music and film post-production industries. Three research questions are posed:
"How can the physical user-interfaces used for panning by the music and film post-production industries offer creative alternatives to the fader-based hardware approach commonly used for electro-acoustic performance?"
"How can a Digital Audio Workstation (DA1l~ be used as an alternative to dedicated panning hardware?"
"How can emerging programming technologies offer creative alternatives to the MAX/MSP or hardware-based tools commonly used for sound spatialisation?"
This practice-based PhD addresses these questions by designing, developing and testing a set of hardware and software tools, the Requirement Specification for this 'Toolset' results from literature review and critical analysis of current systems to determine potential research gaps.. This analysis is followed by the selection of a suitable methodology for development and testing that allows the research questions to be explored effectively and results in the following Toolset:
OctoPanner: Amulti-featured eight-channel 3D touchscreen panner application for Apple's Mac OS X controlling a DAW hosted customisable VST 3D panning plug-in with C++ source code.
ShapePanner: A synchronisable shape-based sequencer application for Mac OS X inspired by Experimentalstudio's Halaphon. The user is ab{e to describe the movement of sounds in a 3D space using shape primitives such as lines and circles and thus extend the capabilities of the Toolset beyond realtime manual manipulation of sounds.
3DMIDIVisualiser: An application to allow the user to work without access to a multi-speaker system by enabling the movement of sounds to be viewed within a virtual room.
Foot Puck: Afoot-controlled panning controller enabling a musician to spatialise their instrument using foot movement.
Initial prototyping was achieved using Cycling `74's Max/MSP but the final applications are written using Apple's Cocoa environment and Objective C. This thesis gives close analysis and discussion of the various stages of research carried out; including the use of Apple's CoreMlDl and CoreAudio Clock OS X Core Services in a Cocoa application.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 December 2010

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    TR Photography


Ferguson, P. Development of a 3D audio panning and realtime visualisation toolset using emerging technologies. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



3D audio panning; realtime visualisation; technology;

Monthly Views:

Available Documents