A Cappella Ambisonics

Here is my final project for Stanford Music 220a.

The whole quarter so far, we have been discussing ambisonics, and I kept wondering what it would be like to mix a vocal recording in 4 channels. Since I love a cappella, I decided to record an a cappella song and pan it in 4 channels. I chose the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of the release of their album "Magical Mystery Tour," which was just a couple weeks ago on Nov 26, 2017.


To make this piece I first arranged the song in a notation software and recorded each part in pro tools. I recorded 6 parts total: the solo, the solo tracked a second time, three backing parts, and a vocal percussion part. The two solo lines come in through the front left and front right channels. These parts appear to approach the listener from a distance. This in addition to the double tracking makes it sound reverberant and mystical. For the three backing parts and the vocal percussion, I chose to pan them in a circle-- each one starting at a different channel so they never overlap.

In arranging the song I specially tried to include excerpts of cascading "boms" in different parts, so each one comes out through a different speaker surrounding the listener for a psychedelic effect. Enjoy with headphones!