MIEM Spat: touch interface based on geometric shapes for amplitude-based sound spatialisation


The MIEM Spat app introduces an innovative way to spatialise music and sounds, during a live performance or in the studio.

In concert halls that contain fifty or more speakers, 3D sound spatialisation – also called sound diffusion – effects are usually created using mixing consoles. The main technique consists in associating each fader of the mixing console to a unique speaker, in order to control the volume of each speaker. Thus, spatialisation movements are limited as ten fingers cannot control more than ten speakers.

MIEM Spat introduces apps for touch interfaces, to replace hardware mixing consoles and usual faders. Combined with MIEM Editor, the system allows you to draw free-form shapes on the screen, and to associate these shapes to your favorite spatialisation effects.

Demo of MIEM Spat and MIEM Matrix Router VST (inside Reaper). Binaural simulation of an 8-speaker system.

Then, the live spatialisation performances come from the interaction between your fingers and these shapes. MIEM Spat can compute complex spatialisation trajectories in real-time, and can also help you create, interpolate and discover new spatialisation effects.

MIEM Spat is made for pure amplitude-based music spatialisation, to diffuse the music in speakers without digitally altering the sound. This means that it is not intended to work with more complex spatialisation engines, such as IRCAM Spat or Dolby Atmos multi-panners. To control the numerous parameters of such spatialisation engines, the most adapted MIEM interface is MIEM Play.

Get the MIEM Spat app

To get the app for iOS, Android, Windows or macOS, please go to the downloads page.

Important: MIEM Spat cannot produce sound spatialisation on its own! It is an OSC controller, which controls a spatialisation plugin (MIEM Matrix Router) inside your DAW. It also requires you to get the MIEM Editor desktop application to build and upload your spatialisation sessions to mobile platforms.

MIEM Matrix Router plug-in (VST/AU)

The MIEM Spat app computes and interpolates amplitude-based spatialisation effects, but it is not intended to work alone. It is actually a remote OSC controller for a plug-in called MIEM Matrix Router. Available as VST and AU audio plug-ins, for 8, 32 or 64 input and output channels, the plug-in applies the spatialisation within your Digital Audio Workstation.

The Matrix Router plug-in is fully described in the Other apps and plug-ins page of this website.

To get the last version of MIEM Matrix Router VST/AU plug-ins, please go to the downloads page.

Block diagram of the MIEM Spat system, with the MIEM Matrix Router plug-in running inside your DAW

To properly setup the system and get an ultra-low spatialisation latency, please follow the steps described in the manual [in french only at the moment].

MIEM Editor

Moreover, because MIEM Spat is designed as a robust and stable controller for live spatialisation performances, it does not allow you to edit the sessions (the .mspat files) that you will play.

To create and edit spatialisation sessions, you must use a desktop application called MIEM Editor, available for download for Windows and macOS. This application creates session files (with the .mspat extension) that MIEM Spat can read and play.

To transfer files from Windows/macOS to an iPad or iPhone, you can use a cloud service such as iCloud.

To transfer files from Windows/macOS to an Android tablet or smartphone, you can use a cloud service such as Google Drive, or connect the Android device directly to your computer via USB.

MIEM Editor is required to create, modify and configure your spatialisation sessions

To get MIEM Editor for Windows or macOS, please go to the downloads page.

Within Editor, you can draw custom shapes for touch interactions.

Then, each shape will represent a particular “state of sound spatialisation”. A state of spatialisation can be:

  • The sound comes from only one particular speaker
  • The sound comes from front or rear speakers only
  • No sound comes from any speaker
  • The sound comes from a particular set of speakers that you find interesting…

In MIEM Spat, the states of spatialisation are represented as matrices that route any input to any output, with the desired amplitude. It is then simple amplitude-based spatialisation. Examples are given below:

Basic spatialisation state: input 1 (probably the left channel of a track) is routed to output 1 (speaker 1)
Another basic spatialisation state: input 2 (probably the left channel of a track) is routed to output 1 (speaker 2)
Full-octophony spatialisation: the 2 channels of the stereo input track are routed to the 8 output speakers, for a total volume of 0.0 dB FS

For example, it is possible to start from your favorite spatialisation states. First, you can define the routing matrices within the Editor, then you can link them to the shapes.

When moving your fingers on the screen, you can now create and discover new spatialisation states from the ones you defined! MIEM Spat also allows you to perform multi-source, multi-speaker spatialisation with a single finger on a touch screen.

For more information, or to participate in the research project as an artist, tester or developer, please contact us.