An extension library for the SuperCollider programming language
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ATK for SuperCollider3 : Read Me

This is the SuperCollider3 version of the Ambisonic Toolkit (ATK). It can be used with SuperCollider3 on OSX, Linux and Windows, and is distributed as a Quark package with sc3-plugins components, and other dependencies.

The Ambisonic Toolkit (ATK) is intended to bring together a number of tools and methods for working with Ambisonic surround sound. The intention is for the toolset to be both ergonomic and comprehensive, providing both classic and novel algorithms to creatively manipulate and synthesise complex Ambisonic soundfields.

The tools are framed for the user to think in terms of the soundfield kernel. By this, it is meant the ATK addresses the holistic problem of creatively controlling a complete soundfield, allowing and encouraging the composer to think beyond the placement of sounds in a sound-space and instead attend to the impression and image of a soundfield. This approach takes advantage of the model the Ambisonic technology presents, and is viewed to be the idiomatic mode for working with the Ambisonic technique.

We hope you enjoy the ATK!

For more information please visit the Ambisonic Toolkit website or send us an e-mail. See also Introducing the Ambisonic Toolkit for an overview on working with the ATK for SuperCollider3.






  • ATK for SuperCollider3 requires version 3.9 or later. Download the latest version here, or fork the source code at GitHub.


atk-sc3 Quark

The ATK for SuperCollider3's classes, extension methods and documentation are distributed via the atk-sc3 Quark. Start by reviewing the Quark installation instructions found here. See also Using Quarks.

With git installed, you can easily install the atk-sc3 Quark directly by running the following line of code in SuperCollider:



The ATK's compiled UGen component releases are available from the sc3-plugins releases page.

Place the downloaded SC3plugins folder in your Extensions folder. On Mac OS X, this resolves to:

~/Library/Application Support/SuperCollider/Extensions

You may need to create the Extensions folder if it does not already exist.

On other platforms, you can find where this is by running the following line of code in SuperCollider:

// post the directory in which to move the SC3Plugins folder  
// alternatively, SC can open it for you  
// (assuming it already exists! - you may need to create /Extensions)  

Kernels, Matrices & Recordings

Additionally, the SuperCollider3 version of the ATK has further dependencies:


Source code

You can build the ATK for SuperCollider UGen components from the sc3-plugins source-code.


If you are using Ambisonic Toolkit with Reaper as well, the convolution kernels and matrices are installed in the same place and have the exact same content. We do not expect this to cause any conflicts.

If you want to take a look at the installed files and do not see the Library folder in Finder, please press the ALT button while clicking the "Go" menu in Finder. The Library folder will show up as an additional option.


Need Some Sound Files to Play Around With?

You can find a collection of sound files here. (Download as part of installation):


Additional sound files can be grabbed from these fine sources:


And most of the catalogue of Nimbus Records are UHJ recordings:



Feedback and Bug Reports

Known issues are logged at GitHub.

If you experience problems or have questions pertaining to the ATK for Reaper plugins, please create an issue in the ATK-Reaper issue tracker.

If you use the plugins for some project, please let us know. We plan on adding a gallery of example artistic and creative projects that make use of the Ambisonic Toolkit.


List of Changes

Version 4.0.3

Version 4.0.2

  • Issue fixes:
    • Remove CTK dependency from kernel loading routines.

Version 4.0.1

  • Documentation Updates:

    • README: add Michael McCrea as named contributor in Author & Copyright notices.
  • Issue fixes:

    • Correct Quark file dependencies

Version 4.0.0

  • New features:

    • Soundfield Analysis: Real-time soundfield features and vectors
    • Soundfield (matrix) transform display
    • B-format Audition / Player
  • Refactoring:

  • Documentation Updates:

    • README updated to reflect recent changes and installation instructions.
    • Fix broken Decoder k links
    • Fix -newZoomH2n encoder links
    • AtkMatrix - remove duplicated methods & hide -type
  • Issue fixes:

    • Class library: fix inline warnings

Version 3.8.0

  • New features:

  • Documentation Updates:

    • README updated to reflect recent changes and installation instructions.
    • Document decoder k and microphone pattern equivalences, both in terms of keywords and numerical values.
    • Update Intro-to-the-ATK & imaging figures. Transform plots now illustrate rE rather than rV, which is more closely tied to perception.
    • Update Help with Server -numOutputBusChannels advice.
    • Update various broken links in Help.
    • Include details on delay introduced by use of kernel encoders & decoders.
    • More verbose Help for SynthDefs and NRT.
    • Update Help Files for Multiple SRs.
    • Help now uses -degrad & -raddeg for unit conversion.
    • README: add contributors. List under release in alphabetical order by first name.
  • Issue fixes:

    • Score NRT kernel bug fixes
    • Support for SR = 176400
    • AtkMatrix.initPeri, (re-)fix for shelfK 3D.

Version 3.7.2

  • New features:

    • Ambisonic exchange: 1st-order Ambisonic exchange encoders & decoders. These support channel orders: ACN and SID; normalization: N3D and SN3D. Added to support evolving VR standards.
  • Documentation Updates:

    • ATK has a new web page! Update links in Intro-to-the-ATK.
    • README updated to reflect recent changes and point to current web page and installation sources.
    • Wiggins credit: Corrected to 5.0 coefficients (only)

Version 3.7.0-beta

  • Refactoring:
    • ATK speed-up: Optimizations for higher speed UGen matrix calculation.
    • Generalize FoaEncode and FoaDecode behavior: now more able to support subclass extensions

Version 3.7.0-alpha0

  • New features:

    • Spreader & Diffusion kernel encoders: Frequency spreading & phase diffusion. Requires download of new kernel distribution.
    • Cross-platform support for user and system support directories. Required by kernel encoders and decoders.
  • Issue fixes:

    • Fix clicks on .kr transforms: ATK transform UGens operating at .kr clicked when angle arguments wrap.
    • Fix for FoaPsychoShelf signal passing
    • Fix for shelfK 3D, AtkMatrix initPeri: was assigning shelfK for the psycho acoustic shelf filter to be the values appropriate for 2D in all cases. Now corrected for 3D.
    • Fixes for incorrect kernel paths.
  • Refactoring:

    • ATKMatrix: save path before freeing kernel
    • Binaural decoders: Update to CIPIC, Listen and Spherical interfaces to support newly diffuse field equalised HRTF decoder kernels. You'll download the new kernels.
    • Assure channel arrays are flat for signal passing.
  • Documentation Updates:

    • CIPIC decoder: now diffuse field equalised.
    • 3rd party HRTFs: kernel licensing notice update
    • Pampin "On Space" credit updates
    • SCDoc errors & broken links, formatting & tidying

Version 3.5

  • First Public Release as part of the sc3-plugins project!

A note on the ATK's version numbers: Versioning for the atk-sc3 Quark adheres to the familiar system known as Semantic Versioning. In contrast, as part of the sc3-plugins project, the versioning for UGen components is synced to the release numbers assigned to sc3-plugins releases.

As SuperCollider3's plugin system continues to develop, we expect to adopt Semantic Versioning for all components when it is possible to do so.





Copyright the ATK Community, Joseph Anderson, Joshua Parmenter, and Michael McCrea 2011, 2016-18.


The development of the ATK for SuperCollider3 is supported by DXARTS, Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media.

The filter kernels distributed with the Ambisonic Toolkit are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) License and are copyright the Ambisonic Toolkit Community and Joseph Anderson, 2011.


Version 4.0.3

  • Michael McCrea (@mtmccrea)
  • Eirik Arthur Blekesaune (@blacksound)

Version 4.0.2

  • Michael McCrea (@mtmccrea)
  • David Granström (@davidgranstrom)

Version 4.0.1

  • Joseph Anderson (@joslloand)

Version 4.0.0

  • Joseph Anderson (@joslloand)
  • Julian Rohrhuber (@telephon)
  • Michael McCrea (@mtmccrea)

Version 3.8.0

  • Daniel Peterson (@dmartinp)
  • Joseph Anderson (@joslloand)
  • Michael McCrea (@mtmccrea)

Version 3.7.2

  • Joseph Anderson (@joslloand)
  • Luis Lloret (@llloret)

Version 3.7.0-beta

  • Nathan Ho (@snappizz)
  • Tim Blechmann (@timblechmann)

Version 3.7.0-alpha0

  • James Harkins (@jamshark70)
  • Joseph Anderson (@joslloand)
  • Joshua Parmenter (@joshpar)

Version 3.5

  • Jonatan Liljedahl (@lijon)
  • Joseph Anderson (@joslloand)
  • Joshua Parmenter (@joshpar)



Third Party Notices


Diametric Decoder Theorem (DDT) decoding

Support for Gerzon's Diametric Decoder Theorem (DDT) decoding algorithm is derived from Aaron Heller's Octave code available at:

Benjamin, et al., "Localization in Horizontal-Only Ambisonic Systems" Preprint from AES-121, 10/2006, San Francisco

Implementation in the SuperCollider3 version of the ATK is by Joseph Anderson.


Irregular array decoding

Irregular array decoding coefficients (5.0) are kindly provided by Bruce Wiggins:

B. Wiggins, "An Investigation into the Real-time Manipulation and Control of Three-dimensional Sound Fields," PhD Thesis, University of Derby, Derby, 2004.


CIPIC HRTF Database (University of California)

V. R. Algazi, R. O. Duda, D. M. Thompson, and C. Avendano, "The CIPIC HRTF Database," in Proceedings of the 2001 IEEE ASSP Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics, New Paltz, NY, 2001.

"The CIPIC HRTF Database - CIPIC International Laboratory." [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 07-Jul-2011].

CIPIC Notices:

Copyright (c) 2001 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved



Further, the Regents of the University of California reserve the right to revise this software and/or documentation and to make changes from time to time in the content hereof without obligation of the Regents of the University of California to notify any person of such revision or change.

Use of Materials

The Regents of the University of California hereby grant users permission to reproduce and/or use materials available therein for any purpose- educational, research or commercial. However, each reproduction of any part of the materials must include the copyright notice, if it is present. In addition, as a courtesy, if these materials are used in published research, this use should be acknowledged in the publication. If these materials are used in the development of commercial products, the Regents of the University of California request that written acknowledgment of such use be sent to:

CIPIC- Center for Image Processing and Integrated Computing University of California 1 Shields Avenue Davis, CA 95616-8553


Listen HRTF Database (IRCAM)

"LISTEN HRTF DATABASE." [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 07-Jul-2011].

IRCAM Notices:

Copyright (c) 2002 IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique). All Rights Reserved

Use of Materials

The Listen database is public and available for any use. We would however appreciate an acknowledgment of the database somewhere in the description of your work (e.g. paper) or in your development.


Olivier Warusfel, Room Acoustics Team, IRCAM 1, place Igor Stravinsky 75004 PARIS, France