Iain Laird BSc(hons) Music Technology and Audio Systems Design (University of Derby), 2006; MA in Sonic Arts (Queen’s University, Belfast), 2007; PgDip Acoustics and Noise Control (Institute of Acoustics, Distance learning), 2009

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


School of Simulation and Visualisation



Iain Laird
Concept visualisation of a Virtual Performance system

Iain Laird


Iain Laird

The use of Virtual Performance Systems to investigate the effect of room acoustic phenomena on solo performers.

Supervisors: Dr Paul Chapman, Dr Damian Murphy (University of York)

It is well established that performing musicians will adjust their playing technique during a performance according to the acoustic feedback they hear in a performance space as a result of their instrument’s sound. A critical part of concert hall stage design is the appropriate arrangement of reflecting surfaces which allow the performers to hear this feedback from the performance space.

A Virtual Performance System (VPS) is a space that allows a musician to practice in a virtual version of a real performance space in order to acclimatise to the acoustic feedback received on stage before physically performing there. The system utilises 3D real-time audio effects in conjunction with acoustic measurements and models to reconstruct the effect of playing on stage for a solo musician.

This work aims to construct a VPS using ambisonic reproduction techniques in order to investigate the effect of different stage designs on the playing technique of different performing soloists.

Iain is a part-time PhD researcher working in the SoundLab (a dedicated auralisation suite) at the Digital Design Studio. He also continues to work there as a Graduate Engineer for Arup Acoustics with the majority of his work centred on creating 3D acoustic simulations of interior spaces and infrastructure spaces. His work at Arup also extends to using 3D spatial audio for sonic art exhibitions and has assisted numerous local sound artists to develop their work.

Iain is an associate member of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) and a student member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES)

Laird, I., Murphy, D.T., and Chapman, C., "Energy-based calibration of virtual performance systems", Proc. of the 15th Int. Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-12), York, UK, Sept. 17-21, 2012.

Laird, I., Murphy, D.T., and Chapman, C., "Spatial Accuracy of a Virtual Performance System", Proc. of the Baltic Nordic Acoustics Meeting (BNAM2012), Odense, Denmark, Jun. 18-20, 2012.

Laird, I., Murphy, D.T., Chapman, C., and Jouan, S., "Development of a Virtual Performance Studio with Application of Virtual Acoustic Recording Methods", Proc. of the 130th AES Convention, London, UK, May 13-16, 2011, Convention paper 8358.