All about 3D Enhanced Surround Technology

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The 3D Enhanced Surround Technology (3D-EST) is based on the fact that the old 5.1 and 7.1 setup of speakers are not able to provide a realistic sensation of audio three-dimensionality. Even Dolby and DTS are starting to suggest new setup of speakers that include a highest level in positioning. 3D-EST is a new way to produce 3D soundscapes that lets you do a final uncompressed mix of your 3D audio compositions, a mix that can be reproduced on cheap home theaters 7.1  (or better 9.1). To do this 3D-EST uses DTS HD Master Audio codec for blu-ray, since that is the "best sounding" not compressed codec available on the market and it is available on the totality of 7.1 home theater systems on the market.
Necessarily, the arrangement of the speakers must meet the requirements from the old 5.1 and 7.1 formats, for compatibility reasons, but with two important differences. First, the 7.1 that we consider as a start setup is the one including Lh and Rh speakers, in a few words another highest left speaker exactly over the Left lower one and another highest right speaker exactly over the lower one on the right. Second, the channels normally used for the center speaker and sub-woofer are used instead to connect two rear speakers, even the latter will be positioned exactly over the speaker Left Surround and Right Surround, respectively.
In this way we obtain a double quadraphonic set on two levels of speakers and we really have a 3D audio environment, very similar to the ambisonics cube setup but still compatible with stereo sources.
We mentioned Ambisonics, and this fact is the technique we use to record live events, with the only sense to change the angle between the left and right virtual microphones during decoding of the recording.
To change, add or even create from scratch our soundscapes in 3D, we use a hardware called X-spat box2. This workstation is a powerful cluster of digital floating-point algorithms controllable via MIDI or USB, all editable in real time. Expandable at will up to 64 output channels, is without doubt the most powerful hardware dedicated to the 3D spatialization who is on the market today.
But the 3D soundscapes created in  3D-EST are not bound by the provision of speakers that we have just described. X-spat box2 can adapt any 3D soundscapes to any irregular setup of speakers other than the original. What we need is a multi-channel player that can reproduce safely and easily any 3D-EST soundscape. A&G made it, and is called X-spat player.
The future of 3D Enhanced Surround Technology will be written by Luigi Agostini Digital Solutions starting from January 2012, after the close of A&G Soluzioni Digitali. The new challenge is to deal with emotional computing and interactive music composition and reproduction, and the project is called "The Sensible Room".


  • Best wishes to our friend Augusto... Augusto Gentili has left the team on December 2011 to be able to follow exclusively his "A&G Sync" project, and the A&G Soluzioni Digitali has been closed, so ...
    Posted Dec 31, 2011, 8:36 AM by Luigi Agostini
  • Available on internet the first 3D-EST discs... available also the first compilation in 3D-EST, "A World of Soundscapes",selected by the commission of FKL for "Keep an Ear On" 2011.Featuring ...
    Posted Jul 3, 2011, 8:58 AM by Luigi Agostini
  • 3D-EST presented in Livorno to AES Italy members
    Posted Apr 25, 2011, 2:55 AM by Luigi Agostini
  • The prototypes are installed... In the first days of December 2009 three X-spat boX2 prototypes have been installed at "Auditorium Chiti" of Istituto Musicale Mascagni of Livorno. The full working 3D-EST system ...
    Posted Jan 21, 2010, 8:45 AM by Luigi Agostini
  • Yoursoundscape and the Gaia Scienza... From the 14th to the 20th of December 2009, at the Gaia Scienza Bookstore in Livorno, a 3D-EST system composed by one X-spat player and eight speakers has ...
    Posted Jan 21, 2010, 8:52 AM by Luigi Agostini
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A&G Soluzioni Digitali was created in 1995 by Augusto Gentili and Luigi Agostini as a provider of turnkey solutions for all professional audio digital operators. It quickly grew to become one of the best known and respected companies in the field of B2B distribution, with over thirty authorised outlets all over Italy. Through the years they have been distributing big brands like Apogee Electronics, Audient plc, Lynx Studio Technology and Rupert Neve Designs, and have taken part in innumerable trade fairs both in Italy and abroad (you may even recognise yourself in our Photo Gallery).

In 1998 the company created a parallel branch devoted to research and development in the field of three-dimensional multi channel audio applications, working with engineering concerns like Giorgio Gaber’s Goigest and the Universities of Pisa and Florence. Following a project financed by the European Union and denominated E.A.S.Y (Expandable Audio Spatialisation sYstem, 2001) Tetrapc TTN European Community Project, A&G Soluzioni Digitali acquired the rights for a technology developed by Luigi Agostini, promptly patented in Italy and currently being extended abroad:



Working on these bases, the Company created and marketed their first system consisting of a PCI card and Windows software developed by the Livorno based company Rigel Engineering, and distributed in conjunction with Clever-e. The I.M.E.A.S.Y system (Interactive Modular and Expandable Audio Spatialisation sYstem) was presented to the public during the 109th Audio Engineering Society Convention in Los Angeles, from the 22nd to the 25th September 2000.

This product became obsolete within three years and in 2004 was replaced by a card for the famous Apogee Electronics Rosetta 800 converter. The expansion card was called Spatialisation X-series card. It was one of the first professional products to be based on the firewire chip by the Swiss company Bridge-co. The card had some innovative features that have later been adopted in other similar products by big brands operating in this sector. Moreover A&G could claim the distinction of being the first “third party” company of Apogee Electronics, the undisputed world leaders for the production of audio converters.

From the ashes of the Spatialisation-X-series card was born the first version of the X-spat boX. In the last two years the R&D activity of A&G has been focused on 3D-EST software and hardware. Augusto Gentili has left the team on December 2011 to be able to follow exclusively his "A&G Sync" project, and the A&G Soluzioni Digitali has been closed, so the 3D EST project will be continued only by "Luigi Agostini Digital Solutions" starting from January 2012.