Suzanne Ciani is an electronic music pioneer, composer, sound designer responsible for iconic sounds in commercials and video games, AND not only a pioneer but someone who is still leading the pack today with amazing modular performances.

But what you won’t get to really know about Suzanne’s performance until you attend one of her concerts is that all her shows are strictly quadraphonic, and the experience is amazing.

That experience can be recreated in the studio, so I set out to create series of videos about creating quadraphonic music and performance.

Here’s Part 1 of that series – a master class with Suzanne Ciani. Suzanne’s gear of choice for quadraphonic is a Buchla system, which is rare and expensive. In Part 2 I’ll show how you can get similar results with any DAW, a few things that are unique to Ableton Live, and, if you’re into Eurorack, a few ways to perform quadraphonically with standard and specialized modules.

0:00 Intro
1:30 History of Quad
3:30 Venues
4:30 Quad vs 5.1
6:30 Minding space
9:50 Using 227e
13:00 Reverb
14:30 Swirl control
15:50 Multiple motions
19:00 Illusionary space
19:40 Effects (H9)
25:40 Too much motion?
27:00 Some snippets
35:40 Decoding Quad


  1. How can you share a quadraphonic recording? VCV Rack is outstanding for quad.

    1. Author

      Yes, VCV is awesome for this!

      Sharing files quad recordings is indeed a problem. The easiest way would be to share your VCV project 🙂 otherwise, share 4 wav files (or 2 stereo). The other options are 5.1 encoding, but playback maybe spotty depending on the capability of the decoder in question. Movies have been doing 5.1 for quite some time, which is basically just quad and two more channels.

  2. Thanks! Fascinated by this topic and looking forward to your series!

    1. Author

      Thanks – by the way, if you’ve created something in quad for VCV rack and want to share it, feel free to send the project file over (email in “about” section). I want to cover VCV in the next video too – happy to share what you made and give credit/link to where ever you want

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