the quad listening space

Quad, for me at least, is a simple and practical means of incorporating spatialization into a listening experience. I am fascinated by the idea of experimenting with the quad listening space as a composition and performance medium in its own right. As something more than an effect that is added after-the-fact to a collection of sounds. My work with the quad space began with the Immersion[] event series and continues to this day.

This is separate from the audiophile definition of quad, which is more along the lines of “Stereo Plus”. Quad allows us to work with an immersive environment that has no front, no back, no division between performers and listeners.

The definition of quad here is simply the arrangement of four sound sources around the listening area. This arrangement could be in the form of a square, with the sound sources at four opposing corners in a room. Another possible configuration could be in the form of a rhombus, with one point in front of the listeners, two points at the left/right center positions, and one point behind the listeners.The orientation of the listeners to the sound sources is another interesting composition element suited for experimentation.

What does the quad space sound like? Does it contain a music waiting to be discovered? What sort of sonic language can be developed to further define it? Our access to the raw materials of sound has changed dramatically since the emergence of electricity, and it’s only fitting that our use of sound has changed along with it.

Here are some current examples, and these recordings of the last Immersion[].  Both sets are stereo reduction mixes.