In 1986, Steve Ellison, formerly of LCS Audio, now Meyer Sound Laboratories Inc., invented a novel amplitude panning algorithm using barycentric coordinates to derive equal power speaker gains among collections of triplets of loudspeakers. Since the algorithm’s invention and first implementation, the software, originally called SpaceNodes, later renamed SpaceMap(R), has undergone many refinements and iterations, with later versions used for live sound reinforcement to control analog matrix mixers, and subsequently implemented on three generations of digital audio mixers. Over the two decades that followed the software’s first commercial iteration in the early 1990s, the authoring and control constructs and graphical user interface underwent several practically-driven improvements that transformed a simple barycentric panning algorithm into a powerful and elegant solution for large-scale abstract spatial sound design.

MIAP is a suite of externals for MaxMSP and Pure Data that provides a new and expanded implementation of Meyer Sound’s SpaceMap abstract spatialization software. These objects provide virtually all of the expressive depth of Meyer’s SpaceMap as a spatial sound control tool, while also providing a new vehicle (via MaxMSP and Pd) for the exploration of new applications/implementations made possible by the tool’s “manifold-interface” approach. Several examples of such expanded implementations are provided in the download package (such as binaural encoding, variable reverberation and audio decorrelation).

For an excellent brief history of SpaceMap, read Steve Ellison’s 2013 article in Lighting and Sound America“20 Years of Audio Origami”

A paper on the MIAP suite was published in the Proceedings of the 137th AES Convention, Los Angeles, California:  “MIAP: Manifold-Interface Amplitude Panning in Max/MSP and Pure Data”

by Zachary Seldess