To accommodate a semi-permanent set up of the KA in Ed’s spare room (my studio in the crypt of a church in Highbury proved too low and narrow), Ed had calculated a maximum size of 2.8m-ish diameter, large enough to get a good separation between loudspeakers on each node, but a minor challenge to squeeze in and out of. While the KA could in principle hold 41 speakers, we decided to start with a 32-channel set up. To be able to drive 32 discrete channels of sound, a suitable sound card/ audio interface was required. The most cost effective solution we found was to use two sound cards, the LP-16 and Utrack24 by Cymatic. On the software side, to be able to create content which could be dynamically distributed across our 32 channels, we used the digital audio workstation (DAW) Reaper whose native plug-in Reasurround is a very capable and flexible surround panner. In Reasurround, a maximum of 64 tracks can be positioned and moved around any point in an XYZ environment, and an unlimited number of output channels can be assigned and positioned within the same XYZ geometry.
With the near full 3D speaker setup, we clearly pushed the envelope of sound experience beyond KA2. We played around with pop tracks by Ariana Grande, sonic experiences compiled of samples and field recordings and spatialized orchestral works. Some workled better than others, but it was beyond doubt that the listening experience was exponentially more immersive than the dusty 5.1 or Dolby Atmos, and we now had a setup ready to be tweaked and expanded.