UK – Innovate Audio, creator of the popular panLab software, will show its latest spatial audio solution at the PLASA Show in London (3-5 September, Olympia). The new development, called panLab Console, is a software solution that adds spatial audio functionality to a range of live mixing consoles.
Cost and time constraints currently put spatial audio technology out of reach of smaller applications. Now, however, panLab Console presents a straightforward solution for more users than ever before. Put simply, panLab Console takes the proven panLab algorithm and applies it directly to the mixing console itself. It allows audio to be spatialized through existing hardware, without requiring expensive, dedicated processors. The solution is designed to be so simple to setup, users can be up and running in under five minutes.
“It enables people to deploy amplitude-based panning with the kit they already have,” says Innovate Audio’s Daniel Higgott. “It’s about allowing people to start using spatial audio on those projects – the ones where it might be nice to have, but where budget and time pressures say you can’t have it. We’re making spatial audio available to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it.”
Aimed initially at shows where relatively simple panning effects would be a benefit, and where the processing involved will not overload the capabilities of a mixing desk, the user interface has the potential to offer a great deal more. In applications where external processors are a budgetary option, panLab Console is also proposed as an interface to be used in conjunction with top end spatialisation systems. “With panLab Console, you have a choice,” says Higgott. “Our algorithm can integrate with the console, spatialising channels directly. However, when we built out that functionality, we also had to build a really nice set of recall and automation tools. So, those tools can be used directly with third party spatial processors if needed.”
He adds, “The software will turn almost any digital audio console into a spatial audio renderer. We want to open up the world of spatial audio to more creative sound designers and help them to become familiar with using our products with a console. We want to offer them a super-easy-to-use interface. Obviously, there are limitations to how much you can do with your existing hardware, so when you’re ready to, you can use the same interface, but with your more grown-up processor.”
In creating panLab Console, Innovate Audio has addressed various challenges. Aside from actually connecting with a variety of leading console brands, these have included: matching objects on the panner with mixer inputs and outputs; the creation of automation functionality such as snapshots and trajectories (previously handled by QLab); and allowing automation to be recalled remotely via OSC, MIDI and Timecode inputs. panLab Console also marks the transition of the panLab user interface to work in 3D, rather than 2D, with the algorithm upgraded to include the height axis.
Innovate Audio will be at the PLASA Show in London, on stand A32, as part of the ‘PLASA Show Introduces’ zone, created as a focal point for small yet exciting businesses.