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Metalab

Research & Development Lab

Fisheye view of metalab studios
METALAB
PROJECTS
Publications
Team and Partners

The Metalab, 20 years of innovation

Formed in 2002, Metalab is the research and development laboratory of the Society for Arts and Technology. Its mission is twofold: to stimulate the emergence of innovative immersive experiences and to make their design accessible to immersion artists through an ecosystem of open-source software.

Immersion, telepresence, video mapping and spatialized sound

Metalab's research programs are developed around the themes of telepresence, immersion, video mapping and spatialized sound. Like the rest of the SAT, the Metalab brings together residency program participants with diverse backgrounds and expertise, particularly in embedded systems, acoustics, computer science or deep learning. The projects developed here are often carried out in collaboration with artists and university research laboratories throughout Quebec and other locations abroad. These partnerships bring related knowledge and are at the origin of innovative digital practices.
Collaborer avec le Metalab

Research Programs

Reproducible and durable hybrid teleimmersion

This program aims to democratize teleimmersive technologies through the design and implementation of prototypes of hybrid teleimmersive experiences, that is to say allowing remote and in-person participation. It will also make it possible to explore the question of the conservation and reproducibility of these experiments.

Multisensory augmentation for social immersion

The objective of this program is to facilitate the creation of immersive and collective experiences that activate multiple senses. The multisensory augmentation of places allows for visible and audible virtual elements to interact with the participants. By designing and implementing prototypes of immersive spaces, this program will contribute to improving multidisciplinary creation processes.

An open-source software ecosystem

Metalab’s open-source software ecosystem aims to cover the entire production of distributed immersive content. This ecosystem supports Metalab’s research work as well as its partnerships. Developed with a view to sustainability, this scalable software involves video mapping, sound spatialization, group interaction as well as low-latency network transmission. All this software is made available to the general public under a free license.

→ Demonstration of our tools

Projects

New methods for broadcasting music with the OSM

This research project frames work on the creation of immersive high-fidelity sound experiences. During the previous SAV+R research program (2019-2022), the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) and Metalab developed and implemented new methods for capturing, processing and broadcasting pre-recorded symphonic music , allowing the listener to move around the orchestra, changing their listening perspective.

Residencies

The projects presented below are the result of creative research residencies aimed at exploring different artistic use cases around the technologies developed by Metalab.

Marie LeBlanc Flanagan

ComeWithMe

Who has never felt alone? ComeWithMe is a playful virtual exploration of the spaces between people. The installation translates the physical movements of “real world” individuals into a strange virtual world of animated sculptural forms and movements. Using a camera, AI-based body sensing (LivePose), spotlights and sound, ComeWithMe explores how we get closer to each other, connect and, sometimes, fail to connect with the people around us. Come with friends or make new ones!

Louis-Olivier Desmarais

PAX

PAX is a contemplative installation using several loudspeakers. An invitation to celebrate listening (in every sense of the word), meditation and contemplation in the form of immersion in the spirit and silence of a Benedictine abbey in the heart of downtown Montreal. Combining visual arts, lighting and spatialized music, presented exclusively using and the Audiodice sound system developed by Metalab which will be combined with traditional loudspeakers.

Samuel Thulin

Sweet Immersion

An immersive audio exploration created from data collected by the artist as a type 1 diabetic. This data directs the soundscapes and musical progression of the piece on multiple levels, from the micro-temporal scale to macro structural development. Through this systematic but not scientifically rational "sonification", the installation turns away from the usual biomedical orientation in the face of health data. She tries to convey the intertwined and non-linear temporalities of a body and invites listeners to explore the resulting metabolic sound space.

Guillaume Coulombe & Nina Parenteau

Podorythmie sensible

The "Ta ka boum - Ta ka boum" of tradition is unique among world music. Nina Parenteau and Guillaume Coulombe explore various technologies developed by the SAT's Metalab to artistically represent foot rhythm in traditional Quebec music. Their interactive installation presents effects of spatialization of image and sound, on three projection surfaces and with four loudspeakers. These effects were animated by their new multimedia foot rhythm board, as well as by a camera used with skeletal recognition software.

Charlie Leroy & Sébastien Samyn

Perspectives

Perspectives is an interactive multimedia installation that mixes art and technology to immerse us in a space where we, individually and collectively, have an influence. By playing with the principles of anamorphosis, AI selects detection and perspective games which encourages participants to adapt the content of the work according to their point of view. But what happens when several people are present? What social dynamics emerge? To what extent does the installation and, more broadly, the technology influence behaviors?

Équipe gagnante du Hacklab 2021

Percepto

For the ‘Technologies de la Fête’, a series of interfaces for electronic music was created. The Percepto team experimented with medical technologies, such as bio-sensors, in order to create physical interfaces, allowing people with disabilities to join the party by amplifying the sounds of movement. The project hopes to encourage empathy by listening to micro-movements, intentions and sound sources captured in the city.

Motus Domum

An immersive hybrid show

Motus Domum is a project in residence in the dome in collaboration with the research and creation teams of the SAT. The video documents a prototype device for an immersive hybrid dance and music show combining performers and audience on site and remotely. The concept developed during the residency will be used in subsequent development and creative efforts for the production of the artistic experience Motus Domum.

Design, Music, Technology: Zack Settel
Design & Dance: Peter Trosztmer
Design & Technology: Osman Zeki
Dance: Alida
Read more

Publications

2022. Taylor & Francis
The Effects of Interactivity on Learners' Experience in a Visually Immersive Display Context.
Salame, Y.; Léger, P.; Charland, P.; Merveilleux Du Vignaux, M.; Durand, E.; Bouillot, N.; Pardoen, M.; Deslandes-Martineau, M.; and Sénécal, S.
2022. Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts
Two datasets of room impulse responses for navigation in 6~degrees of freedom: a symphonic concert hall and a former planetarium.
Piquet, T.; Teyssier, H.; Ouellet-Delorme, É.; Duée, R.; and Bouillot, N. In 25th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects DAFx20, pages pp. 169-176,
2021. Computers in the Schools, Interdisciplinary Journal of Practice, Theory, and Applied Research
Riding through history: The effects of interactivity in learners' experience in a visually immersive display context (submitted).
Salame, Y.; Vignaux, M. M. D.; Charland, P.; Durand, E.; Bouillot, N.; Léger, P.; and Pardoen, M.
2021. 18th Sound and Music Computing Conference
Building Navigable Listening Experiences Based on Spatial Soundfield Capture
Zack Settel, Jean-Yves Munch, Gabriel Downs, Nicolas Bouillot
2021. 18th Sound and Music Computing Conference
Live Ray Tracing and Auralization of 3D Audio Scenes with vaRays
Émile Ouellet-Delorme, Harish Venkatesan, Emmanuel Durand, Nicolas Bouillot
2021. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction
An exploratory study on the impact of collective immersion on learning and learning experience
M. Merveilleux Du Vignaux, P-M.Léger, P. Charland, Y. Salame, E. Durand, N. Bouillot, M. Pardoen, S. Sénécal

All Metalab publications can be consulted in BibTex format.

Team and Partners

The Metalab team is made of developers, researchers and integrators, who work with professors, students, other researchers and research contractors. Our partners include artists, university research laboratories, schools, designers and industries. The expertise provided by these partners within the research programs help overall to enrich Metalab.

Research team

  • Alexandra Marin
  • Bruno Colpron
  • Christian Frisson
  • Édith Viau
  • Eduardo Meneses
  • Émile Ouellet-Delorme
  • Emmanuel Durand (co-director)
  • Michal Seta
  • Nicolas Bouilllot (co-director)
  • Thomas Piquet
  • Zack Settel

 

The work of the Metalab is examined by the scientific committee of the SAT:

  • François Borrelli: General Manager TechnoMontréal and Founding President of OblikMind
  • Jacques de Guise: Director of the Imaging and Orthopedics Research Laboratory (LIO). ÉTS and CR-CHUM
  • Wissem Maazoun: Director of Innovation, Partnership and Development of the Advanced Analytics Practice at Desjardins Group

News

Events
Thanks to Desjardins, scholarship are available to fund your tuition.
Oct 13, 2022
Events
25 years of creativity and innovation at the SAT
Oct 13, 2022

Contact us

Feel free to contact the METALAB team with any questions.