Innovate Audio, the creator of the popular panLab software, showcased its latest spatial audio solution at the PLASA Show in London (3-5 September, Olympia). panLab Console, a software solution integrating spatial audio functionality into a range of live mixing consoles, was a highlight of the innovative PLASA Introduces Zone.

During the show, panLab Console received a commendation from the judges of the prestigious PLASA Awards for Innovation, acknowledging its contribution to the field. Innovate Audio’s Daniel Higgott explained, “It enables people to deploy amplitude-based panning with the kit they already have. 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.”

The solution, designed to overcome cost and time constraints associated with spatial audio technology, simplifies the process of deploying spatial audio, making it available for a broader user base. By applying the proven panLab algorithm directly to the mixing console, panLab Console allows audio to be spatialized through existing hardware, eliminating the need for expensive, dedicated processors. The setup is remarkably simple, enabling users to be up and running in under five minutes.

Initially targeted at shows where simple panning effects are beneficial without overloading the capabilities of a mixing desk, panLab Console offers a versatile user interface with potential applications beyond its primary scope. In situations where external processors are a viable option, it serves as an interface compatible with top end spatialization systems.

Higgott emphasized, “The software will turn almost any digital audio console into a spatial audio renderer. We want to open the world of spatial audio to more creative sound designers and help them become familiar with using our products with a console. We want to offer them a super-easy-to-use interface.”

In the development of panLab Console, Innovate Audio addressed various challenges, including compatibility with leading console brands, matching objects on the panner with mixer inputs and outputs, and creating automation functionality such as snapshots and trajectories. The transition of the panLab user interface to 3D, an upgrade from 2D, marked a significant advancement, with the algorithm now incorporating the height axis.

During the PLASA Show, Innovate Audio showcased panLab Console at stand A32, part of the ‘PLASA Show Introduces’ zone, highlighting innovative businesses in the industry.