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Soundspace / Spacesound (Research into Sound and Space)

Research at Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

The Soundspace / Spacesound project focuses on the perception of the spatial distribution of sound and an interdisciplinary approach to the notion of “space orchestration”. The principal point of interest for the research team is such spatial distribution of sound sources (loudspeakers or musical instruments) that works like a living instrumental organism, engulfing listeners within the listening space – as opposed to the traditional ‘opera-glass’ layout of concert halls. The project explores three lines of technological/ compositional strategies of manipulating space with sound. They are the distribution of sound in space using loudspeaker systems, software strategies of spatial distribution in real time, and special strategies of analysing spatial aspects of sound and the possibilities for their transferability between physical spaces.

This project includes the development of a robotic loudspeaker system for interactive spatial sound distribution. At the same time, a publication of the same name was prepared and released to a warm welcome among a broader expert audience, bringing this new perspective of the relationships between music, sound and space to the domestic environment.

Robotic speaker system

The robotic speaker system draws on the tradition of a ‘loudspeaker orchestra’ (acousmonium). Since traditional acousmonia have been positioned within fixed installations inside concert venues, the HAMU research went further to emphasise the compositional and performance-based potential of speaker systems as a musical instrument. The SpeakerHEAD – Robotic Speaker System postulates two quite innovative solutions, which have not been designed before:

The Robotic Speaker System helps to bring a loudspeaker orchestra to a real concert situation via a mobile set up, which enables composers and musicians to work with 3D surround sound anywhere. As a ‘top of the roof’ part of the acousmonium, the robotic speaker head can be placed anywhere at the highest point of any hemispheric ambisonic system, and can be controlled live via any OSC-device, in our case using an easy open-source touch-surface iPAD control interface. As such, an ambisonic listening experience is no longer reduced to a fixed concert hall installation, and can interact with site-specific concert situations for both performers and listeners.

The Arduino-based Robotic Speaker System is controlled via an open-source platform and allows for moving four directional top-elevation speakers in real time within an azimuth of 180° each. It lends itself to being used by a large community of musicians. As such, it emphasises the performance potential of live sound diffusion, which can be used / developed by any user out of the academia and may help the arrival of low-cost surround speaker system applications, which can otherwise be combined across dedicated and not easily accessible venues and music / academic institutions.

Team leader & members

Composition Department at The Music and Dance Faculty of AMU

Selected publications

  • Rataj, Michal – Hořínka, Slavomír – Trojan, Jan – Dvořák, Tomáš. Zvukoprostor – Prostorozvuk. Praha: Nakladatelství AMU, 2018. 241s.


Music and Dance Faculty of The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
Composition Department
Malostranské nám. 13
118 01 Praha 1
Czech Republic

More information


Akademie múzických umění v Praze