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Dave Malham
Honorary Fellow



Dave Malham's professional interests are in digital audio and related computing systems, post-stereo multidimensional sound projection systems such as Ambisonics, electroacoustic music and recording engineering. He worked in the Department of Music from 1973 to 2012 and was Experimental Officer in the Music Research Centre with special responsibility for the Music Technology Group, which he helped found in 1986.

During the 1980s he was responsible for the hardware and low level software that enabled the Composers Desktop Project computer music system to be realised on Atari ST computers. He developed this into the Audio Design SoundMaestro digital audio editing system. Since then he has been responsible for the design of the Focusrite Blue245 20 bit, the Audio design PB4 18 bit and PB4+ 24bit stereo audio ADCs, as well as the microcontrollers, sensors and RF link technologies for the RIMM project and the hardware for Craig Vear's "Singing, Ringing Buoy" project. He has written a number of VST plugins for Ambisonic processing, the "MRC Stereometer" which implements Bob Katz's K-system metering system as a VST plugin and, with Matt Paradis, the "ambilib" Ambisonic processing library for PD as well as Max/MSP.

His research relates to digital audio, signal preservation, sound spatialisation and recording techniques. He has engineered 18 LPs and CDs and has edited several others. His research topics include advanced sound spatialisation technologies, the applications of spatialisation systems in musical composition and the development of sensing devices for musical performance applications. He has been an Audio Engineering Society member since 1975 and he has a patent, WO02085068, for the Ambisonic Sound Object Format.


Full publications list

  • '3-D acoustic space and its simulation using Ambisonics' to be published in 'Proccesing and perception of spatial quality of sound and music', part of the 'Music and science' collection of Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina, due Summer, 2008 (in Spanish)
  • Malham, D.G. 'Music in Space', AES Italian section Annual Meeting, Parma, November 2007 (Invited Presentation)
  • 'Three-Dimensional Acoustic Displays In A Museum Employing WFS (Wave Field Synthesis) And HOA (High Order Ambisonics)', A. Farina, A. Capra, P. Martignon, S. Fontana, F. Adriaensen, P. Galaverna, D. Malham, 14th International Congress on Sound and Vibration - Cairns (Australia) 9-12 July 2007'From Imagination to Impulse - eight decades of progress in the compositional uses of spatialised audio' (Invited Paper) 23rd. Nordic Sound Symposium, Bolkesjø, September 2007
  • Benjamin, E and Malham D.G. ' Introduction To Ambisonics', Tutorial Session plus two demonstrations, AES 121st. Convention, San Francisco, October 2006 (Invited Presentation)
  • "Multichannel Music Production And Presentation With The Ambisonics Method', Multichannel sound reproduction seminar, La Casa della Musica, Parma, October 2006 (Invited Presentation)
  • ‘Cutting the cord - In-circuit programmable microprocessors and RF data links free the performer from cables' Proceedings of ICMC2003, Singapore, October 2003, pp.57-64 Download: Article [pdf]
  • 'Space in Music - Music in Space' MPhil thesis, University of York, April 2003
  • 'Towards Reality Equivalence in Spatial Sound Diffusion' (invited paper) Computer Music Journal, Volume 25, No. 4, Winter 2001, pp31-38
  • 'Spherical Harmonic Coding of Sound Objects - the Ambisonic ‘O’ Format', Proceedings of the AES 19th International Conference, Schloss Elmau, Germany June 21-24, 2001, pp54-57
  • 'Surround sound, yesterday, today and tomorrow' : Chapter in the Microphone Data Book, published by Rycote. 2001
  • 'Full Reality Surround Sound - the Challenge of the Future' (Invited Paper) Institute of Acoustics conference on Reproduced Sound, Stratford upon Avon, November 2000
  • Two presentations at the CREATE symposium on SOUND IN SPACE, March 2000, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 'Higher order Ambisonic systems for the spatialisation of sound' Proceedings, ICMC99, Beijing, October 1999
  • 'Homogeneous and nonhomogeneous surround sound systems' (invited paper),proceedings, AES UK Second Century of Audio Conference, London, 7 -8th June 1999
  • 'Sound Spatialisation' (invited paper) Proceedings of the First COST-G6 Workshop on Digital Audio Effects (DAFX98) Barcelona November 1998, pp 62-70
  • 'Approaches to spatialisation' Organised Sound, Volume 3, Issue 02. August 1998. pp167-177
  • 'Sound in Space', Resonance - the journal of the London Musicians Co-op, summer 1998.
  • 'The Role of the single point Soundfield Microphone in surround sound systems',proceedings, AES UK Microphones and Loudspeakers Conference, pp52-57, London, 16-17 March 1998
  • 'Optimising the Performance of 20-bit audio ADC's', preprint 4262 , 100th AES Convention, Copenhagen, 11-14 May 1996
  • 'Ambisonics in the New Media - The Technology Comes of Age', (invited paper), proceedings, AES UK Audio for New Media Conference, pp95-101, London, 25-26 March 1996
  • '3-D Sound Spatialization using Ambisonic Techniques' Computer Music Journal, 19;4, pp 58-70, Winter 1995 (with Myatt, A.)
  • '3-D sound for virtual reality systems using Ambisonic techniques' VR93 Conference invited paper. London April 1993
  • 'Specialised test equipment for Ambisonic sound systems' Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics Autumn Conference on Reproduced Sound 8. Windermere 1992
  • 'Control software for a programmable soundfield controller' Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics Autumn Conference on Reproduced Sound 8. Windermere 1992 (with John Clarke).
  • 'Experience with large area 3-D Ambisonic sound systems' Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics Autumn Conference on Reproduced Sound 8. Windermere 1992
  • 'Studio Report' ICMC Montreal 1991 pp (with Tony Myatt,Richard Orton,Ross Kirk)
  • 'Progress in the Application of 3-Dimensional Ambisonic Sound Systems to Computer Music' ICMC Montreal 1991 pp (with Richard Orton)
  • 'Ambisonics - A Technique for Low Cost, High Precision Three Dimensional Sound Diffusion' ICMC Glasgow 1990, pp 118-120.
  • 'Computer Control of Ambisonic Soundfields' Preprint No. 2463(H2] presented at the 82nd AES convention 1987 10-13 March, London.
  • 'Digital audio - the challenge of the 80's' Invited lecture, York Association for Science Education Conference, January 1986.
  • 'Digital Audio in an education environment' London Sony Broadcast/HHB/Studio Sound 'Digital Information Exchange' conference - invited paper. December 1985
  • 'A 24 bit, 10 MIPS digital signal processor' Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics Autumn Conference on Reproduced Sound Windermere 1985. pp 165 - 170. - details of the design of our digital signal processor module (Chaired first session on digital audio)
  • 'The Spacio-Acoustic Processor' . Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics Autumn Conference on Reproduced Sound Windermere 1985. pp 165 - 170. - details the design of a dual 16 bit processor, digitally controlled Ambisonic processor.
  • 'York's Digital signal processor' Invited paper at the Royal College of Music's conference 'Electronic Music and Computers' January 1985 (with Rob Wills).
  • Hi-Fi for Pleasure magazine, February,April,May,June,July 1984. Five articles giving a comprehensive overview of the theory and practise of digital audio.
  • 'Digitally Programmable Soundfield Controller' Studio Sound, Vol.26 no.2, February 1984, p.75 - details of our NRDC 'seedcorn' funded project.
  • 'It's all in Code', with Barry Fox. Hi-Fi for Pleasure, Vol.10 no.1, January 1982. pp63-68 - layman's guide to digital audio.
  • 'Tech. Spec. 1 - Levels, Test Tones and the dB', EMAS Newsletter, Vol.3 no.4, January 1982 pp8-9.
  • 'Digitally Speaking', Hi-Fi for Pleasure, Vol.9 no.8 August 1981, pp.32-33 - speculative article on the possibilities for digital loudspeakers.
  • 'Tech. Spec. - Ambisonics for Electronic Musicians', EMAS Newsletter, Vol.3, no.2, May 1981, pp.8-9.
  • 'Save Our Speakers', Hi-Fi for Pleasure, Vol.9 no.4 April 1981, pp.54-55 - constructional article on a loudspeaker overload protector.
  • 'Strands of Thought', Hi-Fi for Pleasure, Vol.8 no.3, March 1980, pp. 84-89 - technical review and laboratory tests on speaker connecting cables.
  • 1973-76. Occasional series detailing the construction of an electronic music synthesiser - in 'Hi-Fi for Pleasure'


  • 'A Fit Of Mirth' Zanfona, Zanfona,1998
  • 'Stamford Bridge Big Band' , Stamford Bridge Big Band, 1997
  • 'Christmas Cheer', The York Waits, Brewhouse Music, 1996
  • 'The City Musicke', The York Waits, Brewhouse Music, 1994.
  • 'The Punk's Delight', The York Waits, Huntsup Records, 1992
  • 'Gran Partita, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart', Alan Hacker and the Music Party, NatoRecords, 1987
  • 'Ripon Cathedral Choir and Organ 2', Music From Ripon, 1983
  • 'Durham Cathedral Choir', Directed by Richard LLoyd, Music From York, 1983
  • 'The Organ at York Minster 3', Francis Jackson, Music From York, 1983
  • 'The Organ at York Minster 2', John Scott Whitely, Music From York, 1983
  • 'The Choir of York Minster', music by Francis Jackson, Music From York, 1982
  • 'Tournee Du Chat', Tony Coe, Nato Records, 1982
  • 'A Portrait of York Minster' , Music From York, 1981
  • 'The Teddy Bears' Picnic', The Chapter House Choir, Music From York, 1981
  • 'The Whispering Wind Band', Music From York, 1981
  • 'Peace with the Father', The Singers and Musicians of St. Michael- le-Belfrey, Mustard Seed Recordings, 1980
  • 'Ripon Cathedral Choir', Music From York, 1980
  • 'Sounds of Ampleforth', Music From York, 1980
  • 'The Organ at York Minster', Francis Jackson & John Scott Whitely, Music From York, 1979
  • 'Organ Music from York' Charles Macdonald and John Scott Whitely, Music From York,1978
  • 'With Thanksgiving', The Singers and Musicians of St. Michael-le-Belfrey, Mustard Seed Recordings, 1978