Facilities at SARC

The Sonic Arts Research Centre building houses

Sonic Laboratory

SARC is home to the world famous Sonic Laboratory.  Often remarked as a 'cinema for the ear'.  The Sonic Lab is a specialist acoustic space designed to provide a unique and exciting listening experience, in fact, the auditory equivalent of an IMAX cinema. Forty-eight loudspeakers, strategically located, will project and move sounds throughout the space, including underneath the audience. No other auditorium for sonic art performance and experimentation currently exists with this revolutionary feature. The provision of this facility gives Northern Ireland a unique and pioneering role in a rapidly developing field.

This facility enables research teams to develop and implement cutting edge initiatives in the creation and delivery of music and audio. 

The Sonic Laboratory's uniqueness is vested in the degree of flexibility it can provide for experiments in sound diffusion (the relaying of sounds through a large complex of loudspeakers) and for ground-breaking compositional and performance work within a purpose-built, variable acoustic space. 

The configuration of the space has been recently upgraded to alow the mixing and playback of Dolby ATMOS surround sound mixes.  Used in film, music and virtual reality.  

As an engineering research facility, the Sonic Laboratory will provide unparalleled opportunities to develop and test new ideas relating to loudspeaker design, loudspeaker placement, music perception, music interaction, delivery and diffusion. 

Please note if visiting the Sonic Lab:

The ground level is a metal grid that allows sound to come from the basement level.  It is therefore advised not to wear heels. 
 Food and drink is not permitted in the lab

View the specifications of the Sonic Laboratory

Sonic Lab Specifications

Harty Room

With a splendid hammer-beam vaulted roof and warm acoustic, the Harty Room (seating 120) is situated within the Music building where the regular lunchtime recitals and evening concerts take place.  It is also the main rehearsal space for choirs and orchestras at Queen's.

The room has a video link to the Harty Studio from where recordings can be controlled. 

It houses two full-concert Steinway grand pianos, a double-manual harpsichord, fortepiano, chamber organ and many percussion instruments.




The SARC building contains several purpose-built studio spaces designed and acoustically treated by ARUP acoustics:

Control Room
Directly adjacent to the Sonic Laboratory is a control room allowing the Lab to be used as a recording studio. The two rooms are linked by 48 microphone lines and a vision panel. The control room features an AMS-Neve DMC Digital Mixing Console, 5.1 PMC monitoring, an Avid ProTools HDX system with a wide range of plug-ins, and a TC Electronic System 6000 effects / mastering unit. SARC’s extensive microphone collection includes microphones by Neumann, DPA, Schoeps, Sennheiser, AKG and Soundfield.

Surround Studios:
There are two surround studios at SARC for multi-channel composition / sound design. Surround 1 is equipped with an AVID S6 console and Dolby Atmos 9.1.4 Genelec monitoring.  Surround 2 features 8.1 channels of Genelec monitoring.  Both studios are equipped with an Avid ProTools HD system with a wide range of plug-ins, and an Apple workstation running a wide range of audio software applications.
Surround Studio 1 has also been designed in accordance with ITU recommendations (ITU-R BS 1116) to double as a critical listening room.

Stereo Studios:
There are a further four stereo studios for individual composition / sound design work. Each studio includes an Avid ProTools system, and an Apple workstation running a wide range of audio software applications.

Additionally there are two dedicated machine rooms which house all of the studio workstations and a central tieline room containing over eighty tielines which interlink each of the studio spaces at SARC.

Sonic Arts Research Centre
School of Arts, English & Languages, Chloreen Park, Belfast, BT9 5HN
Tel: +44(0)28 9097 4867  Email: sarc@qub.ac.uk

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