Ambisonic Mixing Bowl

Ambisonic Mixing Bowl

Nick Gang, Wisam Reid

This project seeks to provide spatial audio artists and engineers with a tactile interface for real-time ambisonic panning. Users move and rotate physical magnetic objects around the surface of an acrylic dome. Positions and angles of rotation are tracked with an under-mounted camera and lighting system, processed with reacTIVision’s open source computer vision software, and sent to Spat to control the spatialization.  The dome’s spherical shape mimics possible source locations surrounding the listener. The sound source symbols inform the user of the state of the system, and allow for immediate changes in three dimensions with one gesture.

Git Repo:

Research Links:



Initial Sketch:

Initial Sketch

Progress Update 1:

  • Camera comes in + initial Max interface
  • For visual feedback swapped out sliders of pictslider (x/y)

camera max_int_1 max_mouth testpatch_pres

  • Stealing kitchen bowl as stand-in for dome, ordered acryllic hemisphere
  • Mounting camera module to cardboard box so it points straight up
  • Using larger box to prop up bowl higher
    • trying to find optimal height above camera
  • Starting to test effect of lighting on performance

box_setup_1 camera_mount shapes software_flow


  • Plugging x/y/rotation data into Spat, rotation controlling yaw
  • Testing two sources simultaneously, using noise for sound sources

box_setup_2 box_setup3 spat_int testpatch_pres_2


  • Sketching out box that will hold camera and lighting
    • Thinking of wood with lip that bowl can sit on
    • Lip could have FSRs to measure pressure on bowl


Progress Update #2:

Building the Box Top

  • Chose stainless IKEA bowl as vac form buck
  • Attempt 1:
    • Holes drilled in plywood square weren’t big enough
    • no suction around edge of bowl (second picture below).
  • Attempts 2-5:
    • Tossed plywood, placed bowl directly on platform
    • Increased heat in outer regions, they need to stretch more
    • Realized the bowl gets stuck in the acrylic. Had to make small crack to get it out

Vac_Form_Before Vac_Form_TestVac_Form_After Vac_Form_Clamped

  • Tried jigsaw for cutting acrylic against wood, no bueno
  • Clamping, scoring, and snapping works much better
  • Fixed crack in dome with acrylic cement
  • Laser cut two wood pieces to sandwich excess acrylic

Jigsaw_Cut Fixed_Crack Box_Top

Building the Box

  • Purchased nice looking poplar boards
  • Un-warped boards with clamps while screwing sides
  • Counter-synced screw holes so screw tops are inset
  • Wood glued sides together when final screw go in
  • Screwed on MDF Bottom

Wood_CartClamped Wood Screwing Bottom

  • Started oiling wood
  • Fit box top on interior wood blocks
  • Testing lighting in the listening room

Interior_Blocksimg_8911 Oiling_Wood Listening_Room_1 Listening_Room_2


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