Celestial Dynamics Audio-Visual Installation – Stargazing Live 2013

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the Stargazing live event at University of Derby (see here and here) then you’ll also get the chance to experience Celestial Dynamics, a higher order Ambisonic and visual installation setup in the Markeaton Street building.  Developed by Michael Brown, and using the WigWare higher order Ambsionic plugins and source material from the Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager 2 recordings.  If you’re attending this free event, it’s running MS017 🙂  Some stills from the video are shown in this post, and the poster to be shown alongside the installation can be found at:

[Download not found]

F4 - Uranus Filter

F5 - Celestial Dynamics 04

F6 - Celestial Dynamics 10

2nd and 3rd Order WigWare

I’ve currently got up to 4th order versions of my panners and decoders.  Attached to this post is a link to the 2nd and 3rd order Panners (encoders).  There are two versions of each order:

  • A 2D 2nd order version that outputs 5 channels of 2nd order Ambisonic goodness (W,X,Y,U & V)
  • A 3D version that outputs 9 channels (W,X,Y,Z,R,S,T,U & V)
  • A 2D 3rd order version that outputs 7 channels (W,X,Y,U,V,P & Q)
  • A 3D 3rd order version that outputs 16 channels (W,X,Y,Z,R,S,T,U,V,K,L,M,N,O,P & Q)
These panners use the Furse Malham weightings.  More info can be found here.

If NFC (near field compensation) is set to OFF then as the source is moved into the middle, the directional compenents are turned down (centre sources comes out of every speaker equally when decoded). If NFC is set to a distance, then the
distance parameter then controls the distance filtering which applies LF boost (proximity effect) as the source moves closer to the middle.

Download them by clicking
this link (2nd order PC)–>  [Download not found]
Or this link (3rd order PC)–> [Download not found]
Or this link (2nd order Mac)–> [Download not found]
Or this link (3rd order Mac)–> [Download not found]

Any questions, please post in the comments.  Decoders to follow….

WigWare Ambisonic Plug-ins Update

I’ve updated the PC versions of my 1st order plugins to incorporate a number of bug fixes already present in the Mac versions.  I’ve also optimised the code a little, and improved the near field compensation and distance filtering to be, well, correct and glitch free (not very noticeable in 1st order….2nd order to come!)  Also, these are now compiled using Microsoft Visual Studio as Audacity didn’t like Borland Builder compiled versions……

[Download not found]
[Download not found]
[Download not found]

Comments/bug reports and general feedback always welcome!


Website Hacking Update

It’s taken some time, but as I’m getting a few hits on my website from people searching for information on the malware that was inserted onto my website, I thought I’d make what we’ve found out so far public.

As mentioned already, the malware most obviously installed on the website was reported as Trojan:JS/BlacoleRef.BG and Exploit:Java/CVE-2012-0507.AV.  After cleaning these javascript rogues off my site several times, they kept coming back (the excellent Securi Sitecheck Scanner is an invaluable tool, here!).  The rogue scripts are added to legitimately running javascript files and are picked up straight away by Google Chrome (which I use) and Microsoft Security Essentials (which I use at home).  It was the fact I use Chrome which alerted me to the problem in the first place.

So, how did the hackers get in?  It seems that the security breach was due to Parrallels Plesk Control Panel which the web server my site is hosted on uses as it’s web based interface.  I finally tracked down this information from this excellent website, and it’s an interesting read:

Unmask Parasites Blog

It seems that the Plesk vulnerability was compounded by the fact that the password list in plesk is stored in plain text!!!!!!  This meant that the hackers potentially had access to all the plesk passwords on the server (including ftp etc..)  So, unless all passwords on the server (which may well host multiple sites!) were reset, the hacker could get back in and read all the passwords again!  One interesting addition, is that we discovered extra scripts in the cgi-bin directory of websites on the server which seem to be similar to other distributed denial of service attack type scripts.

Anyway, now Plesk is patched and upgraded and all the passwords on the server have been reset, normal service should resume!

Sounds in Space 2012

We have a programme change in the Sounds in Space 2012 event.  We are pleased to announce that John Crossley will be talking to us about the 5.1 mix he carried out for Imogen Heap (called Neglected Space which was featured on the Xizi She Knows single) which utilised both Pro-tools and 4th order Ambisonics.  It’s not too late to register for the event!  See details here!

Website Compromised 20th – 22nd June, 2012

I’m very sorry to report that my website was hacked and was delivering malware between 20th – 22nd June, 2012.  Google Chrome picked it up straight away, and my virus checker (MS Security Essentials) cleaned instantly, but if you have visited the site recently, it would be a good idea to clear your browser cache and run a full virus scan.  The two exploits are reported as being:


Looking at more details of the CVE exploit, it seems that it could have been targeting Macs, but I can’t be sure.  For example, see this link, while the BlacoleRef is targetted at Windows (see this link for a different variant of the same trojan).

If your OS patches and anti-virus are up to date, then there shouldn’t be a problem, but please check to be sure.

After discussing the issue with my web host, we think we have identified how the exploit happened, and fixed the issue (my first attempt at cleaning the virus worked, but the site got reinfected soon after….it’s all clean now).   The free Securi Sitecheck website scanning tool was invaluable in this task, and for this free service, I thank you!

Sorry about this if it’s caused you any issues….normal service should now resume!

Sounds in Space Programme Available

The programme for the FREE Event Sounds in Space, is now available (it may still be tweaked, however, but the general timings for the day are fixed!).  This research symposium has speakers from the BBC, talks about Binaural Sound Art (with a 48-way binaural demo….bring your own headphones!) and aurilisations of Sonic Crystals, among other things!  Have at a look at the Sounds in Space page for details.

Sounds in Space 2012

The Sounds in Space 2012 Page with full details, and more information as we get it (programme, etc.) can be found at:

Sounds in Space 2012

The Creative Technologies Research Group are proud to announce the 2nd Sounds in Space Symposium is to be held on 2nd July, 2012.

A Research Symposium – July 2nd, 2012
University of Derby
Markeaton Street Campus

Exploring spatial sound arts practice, the symposium will present a number of original spatial sound works and present details regarding the technical, practical and aesthetic aspects of spatial works.

The event is FREE, and light refreshment and lunch is provided.  To register for a place (numbers are limited) please email Jessamie Self at j.m.self@derby.ac.uk 

Call for Participation

If you’re interested at presenting/demonstrating at the event, please email me at b.j.wiggins@derby.ac.uk by 5pm on Monday 28th May 2012. Abstracts should be around 150 words in length and submitted as a standard Word document.   Please also provide a 100 word personal summary (to be used for publicity purposes) for all contributing personnel.   For more details, please look at the Sounds in Space 2012 Page.

HTML5 Audio Tag and Surround Sound

I’m going to add quite a bit of content to this site soon, and have been looking into ways of embedding surround sound audio. The HTML5 Audio tag looks ideal for this and, it seems, some browsers will support 5.1 surround files….hooray. However, they all seem to support different format surround files……booo! Anyway, as a test, try the embedded players below.

Initial findings:

  • Chrome on PC – seems to successfully downmix to stereo and play multi-channel OGG, AAC and WAVE versions
  • Chrome on MAC – same as above EXCEPT, it doesn’t downmix to stereo, it only reproduces front channels (including Centre)
  • Firefox on PC – recognises ogg….refuses to play anything. Nothing else recognised (shame on you, firefox)
  • Firefox on Mac – plays ogg correctly in multi-channel, but over stereo reproduces front left out the left speaker and Centre front out of the right speaker! Doesn’t recognise any other formats.
  • Internet Explorer 9 on PC – correctly plays and downmixes AAC and WAVE versions (from what I can tell)
  • Internet Explorer 8 on PC – doesn’t recognise anything
  • Safari on Mac – Doesn’t play OGG, plays the rest. Downmixes to stereo including all channels, but downmixes AAC and WAVE by just routing surround Left and Right to the left and right front speakers, but seems to do a more complex downmix of AC3 to the front left and right (includes phase shifts by the sounds of it!)

This is a simple 5.1 test file with Microsoft Anna reporting speakers to you….

Ogg Vorbis :
AC3 :
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