"This is one of those projects that started with the phrase" wouldn't it be nice if ...? ", Laughs Steven Kemland from FACE PROJECTS. “In the Auralisation Sound Lab, on the first floor, where polyphonic music is studied, we have installed a self-assembled surround system with no less than 20 speakers. "
Visitors can play old polyphonic compositions and, if desired, pick out certain pitches or voices. We had to write a special operating software to make this practically possible, because the music contains up to 64 voices. At the same time, we have ensured that even for non-technically skilled people the installation is very easy to operate via a tablet. A true challenge! The Interactive Sound Lab on the second floor is a singing and recording space. It is something special because singers can perform polyphonic pieces in a simulation of the specific acoustics of the rooms for which the music was written at the time. This is done through a system that can add reverberation by recording voices and playing back with or without delay and with the addition of reverb - depending on the selected room. Of course, complete polyphonic pieces can also be recorded, with the intention of getting an extremely realistic idea of how they could have sounded.
Technically this was a very challenging project, but this is what drives us and what we like to do! ”
Making this advanced audio project happen would not have been possible without the Alamire Foundation, KU Leuven and the Library of Voices.
The Alamire Foundation was established in 1991 as a partnership between KU Leuven, Musicology Research Unit and Musica, Impulse Center for Music. As an international study center, the Alamire Foundation has set itself the goal of stimulating, coordinating and conducting scientific and practical research.
The foundation focuses specifically on music and musical life in the Netherlands and Belgium from the Middle Ages to the 1800s. Special attention is paid to the mapping and making available of unknown or unexplored material. With the use of state-of-the-art methods, also in the field of digitization, this musical heritage is conserved, studied and valorised. The music, in handwriting or print, is made accessible through traditional publications such as inventories, facsimiles, text editions and via innovative digital databases. The scientific discussions and conclusions find their way to monographs and professional journals, including the Journal of the Alamire Foundation. Collaboration and contacts with the academic and professional world, heritage institutions and the cultural sector result in international conferences, music labs, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and multimedia applications.With the Library of Voices and its sound labs the Alamire Foundation both broadens and deepens the operations of the Musicology Research Unit, KU Leuven and its partners ESAT-STADIUS and LIBIS.
The project contains among other things 48 Martin Audio 6,5” CDD speakers, 4 CDD LIVE 8 speakers, 6 Powersoft Ottocanali 4K4 amplifiers, TiMax S64, Astro Spacial unit, 8 Audio Technica AT4051b cardioid condenser microphones and Triad-Orbit stand systems and clamps. All combined with custom solutions developed by the FACE PROJECTS team.