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Behind the Scenes

A Shift In Perspective: Immersive Audio

Minnesota Orchestra Head Audio Engineer Jay Perlman at the sound booth | Photo by Josh Kohanek

The Minnesota Orchestra is partnering with Klang Technologies and DiGiCo to deliver This Is Minnesota Orchestra audiences an all-new dimension to the live-viewing experience: immersive audio. But what does this mean? 

“Klang’s audio software was originally designed for musicians that wear in-ear monitors to give them a sense of where they are on stage,” said Minnesota Orchestra Head Audio Engineer Jay Perlman. “It derives its 3D imaging by encoding binaural processing directly to the stereo signal. We are using it differently to give the audience an immersive experience instead!”

Simply put: we’re giving you the experience of hearing the Minnesota Orchestra from the perspective of the conductor. 

Perlman got the idea to experiment with immersive audio after watching a band’s livestreamed performance during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He thought the concept would translate well to orchestral music, and after piloting the program during a 2020 episode of This Is Minnesota Orchestra, he found it definitely did. 

“I could get a lot more technical and describe the process,” Perlman said, opting instead to describe the science as being "based on the study of the way our brain perceives location.” 

When you tune into a This Is Minnesota Orchestra livestream via our social media channels or on our Digital Concert Hall while wearing your favorite pair of headphones, you’ll get Perlman's real-time immersive audio mix in your ears. This experience is only available during concert livestreams, but you can hear it for yourself through the rest of the 2022-23 season and beyond! See the entire This Is Minnesota Orchestra line-up and let us know what you think of the immersive audio experience on social media.