2006 HYDRA SystemHYDRA Soundcheck    |   January, 2006


HYDRA loudspeaker orchestra is a sound projection system designed for the performance of electroacoustic music with or without the participation of instrumentalists. A loudspeaker orchestra consists of loudspeakers distributed throughout a performance space used for the spatial diffusion of an electroacoustic work.

Diffusion refers to the practice of distributing sound throughout a space using multiple loudspeakers—usually with real-time control over the sound levels, equalization and placement of the sound. The source material may be live performers and/or stereo or multi-channel electroacoustic sources. The main goal of this practice is to introduce another element of interpretation into the performance of electroacoustic music, allowing for greater expressive communication with audiences. This requires a sound projection instrument sufficiently flexible to adapt to the needs of interpretation and to provide first-rate sound diffusion quality.

HYDRA is comprised of 40 loudspeakers placed all around the concert hall, distributed both horizontally and vertically, in order to provide a wide range of sound planes and perspectives. A single digital mixing console with 32 faders creates the possibility to control in real time the individual loudspeakers, or groups of them, which are especially configured for each work performed. 

Well established diffusion systems in Europe, with evolved performance practices, include the Acousmonium, conceived and developed at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (Radio France) in the early 1970s, BEAST (Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre) developed by Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham, GMEBaphone, IMEB, Bourges (France) and the loudspeaker orchestra of Musiques & Recherches in Belgium.

More on diffusion from Professor Tutschku (PDF)


HYDRA 2018

An in-depth conversation about performance with HUSEAC Director Hans Tutschku.
HUSEAC Technical Director, Seth Torres, assembles intimate rehearsal footage collected over a decade.

HYDRA 2015

Hans Tutschku & Tomonari Higaki fine tune the 2015 HYDRA Loudspeaker Diffusion System for SOUND IN SPACE.
This three night electroacoustic music festival was held in collaboration with Northeastern University at the Fenway Center in Boston, MA.