Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio
Virginia TechCollege of Liberal Arts and Human SciencesSchool of Performing ArtsICATCHCI

"And so the arts are encroaching upon one another, and from a proper use of this encroachment will rise the art that is truly monumental."
--Wassily Kandinsky

DISIS is the primary facility of the Creative Technologies in Composition and Multimedia Art Design track consisting of the main studio, a soundproof recording booth, storage space, and a faculty office. With a revolutionary studio model DISIS offers twelve silent high performance machines, the state-of-art 8.2 Genelec surround system and an Audio Vision HC display. This silent and sound-proof space houses research projects such as the twenty-four speaker Aural Matrix and Lemur multitouch surface, experimental hyperinstruments, and sensors. DISIS with its forward-looking design and unique OS-agnostic environment fosters outstanding student-teacher ratio, minimal learning curve, and unmatched cross-platform proficiency in Linux, OSX, and Windows. In conjunction with the co-located ICAT Cyberarts studio, the space offers over two thousand square feet of additional collaborative and research space.

DISIS offers a large volume of leading software packages, including Max/MSP/Jitter, PD, Logic, Sonar, Audition, Peak, Reason, Komplete and many more, hundreds of Gigabytes of sample libraries, and dozens of software synths and samplers. Linux stations complement the studio with literally hundreds of multimedia applications.

By coupling contemporary technology with traditional performance idioms, DISIS offers scientific research with focus on new music technologies for the purpose of betterment of the overall quality of life as well as a pursuit of new forms of artistic expression with special focus on interactive multimedia art.

Quicktime VR
360° Tour (3MB)



2 Custom-Built Silent Linux (Ubuntu) Workstations
5 OSX Workstations
5 Custom-Built Silent Windows XP Workstations

Station is Equipped with:

1 FA-101 Firewire Pro Audio Soundcard (10 I/O, MIDI, 2 Built-in Preamps)
1 Oxygen 61 MIDI Controller
1 LTB Proamp Discrete 5.1 Headset
1 48-Point TRS Patchbay

Main Audio-Visual System:

8.2 Genelec Sound System
1 Yamaha Motif ES8 (88-key)
1 Korg Triton Extreme with EXB-MOSS DSP Board (88-key)
1 Yamaha 01V96V2 Digital Mixing Console (DISIS)
1 288-point TRS Patchbay
5 RME ADI-D8 (D/A Converters)
1 RME Hammerfall 26-channel System
1 96" Audio Vision HC Retractable Screen
1 BENQ Low-Noise Projector
Dual KVM Switch for the Main Teaching Station (allows to dynamically switch between Linux, OSX, and Windows)
Wacom Intuos 3 (as a Persistent Whiteboard Interface)
Furman power conditioners

Mobile System:

1 Yamaha 01V Digital Mixing Console
6.4 Bose L1 Tower System
1 MacBook Pro
1 iMac
2 Mac Minis
4 FA-101 Firewire Pro Audio Soundcard (10 I/O, MIDI, 2 Built-in Preamps)
1 UA-101 USB 2.0 Pro Audio Soundcard (10 I/12 O, MIDI, 2 Built-in Preamps)
1 Sony Mini-DVD Camcorder
2 ESI Quatafire 610 Firewire Soundcards
3 Zoom H4 Portable Recorders with Core-Sound Binaural Microphone Pairs
1 BENQ Low-Noise Projector

L2Ork Hardware:

17 MSI Wind Netbooks (Running Ubuntu)
20 HP dm1z Netbooks
16 Custom-Built Hemi Speakers
3 Logitech Subs
10 UA-1G Soundcards
8 UA-1EX Soundcards
12 Custom Painted Nintendo Wiimotes (with Nunchuks)

Sensors and Supporting Equipment:

1 Lemur Multitouch Surface
1 Kenton Control Freak (MIDI Fader Controller)
2 Behringer FCB-1010 (MIDI Foot Controller)
1 Comprehensive Icube-X Sensor System
8 Imote Sensors (a.k.a. Crickets)
1 DISIS Piezo Pen
4 Nintendo Wiimotes (with Nunchuks)
5 Nintendo Wii Balance Boards

Other Miscellaneous Hardware:

DREAM 24-Speaker Aural Matrix (Yamaha MSP5)
16 Reconfigurable Studio Monitors
1 Wireless Security Microcamera
3 Logitech Wireless Cameras
2 Fire-i Webcams With Assorted Lenses and Custom IR Vision Package
1 Logitech Webcam
2 ADVC-300 Firewire Video Converters
1 SHURE Wireless Microphone
1 SHURE Wireless Headset
4 AKG C-1000 Configurable Microphones
and Other Assorted Microphones

The following is a highlight of some of the more mainstream software packages we support in DISIS:

Ableton Live + Max for Live
Adobe Audition
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Studio
Apple Logic Pro
Bias Peak Pro
Cakewalk Sonar
DVD Studio Pro
East West Gold Edition Orchestra
Final Cut Pro
NI Komplete
Propellerheads Reason
Siedlaczek's Classical Orchestra
Sony DVD Architect
Sony Vegas Pro
and many more...


•  There is over a mile of balanced TRS audio cable running through the four walls of DISIS. These are used to route up to 8 channels of audio from any workstation into the main 8.2 sound system.

Most of the workstations (with the exception of the two video editing stations which have a dual LCD setup) are connected to the main projection screen via a video switch. Users can cycle between stations via a simple press of a button.

To minimize potential noises caused by wiring, DISIS is equipped with 9 dedicated circuits and noise-free Halogen lighting system.
DISIS prides itself by having custom designed silent multimedia workstations that have been built from ground-up in-house as part of a Sustainable Silent Computing project. These machines cost us 50% less than the comparable OEM solutions, they use up to 60% less power while providing comparable or better performance, and are built (wherever possible) from environmentally friendly materials. Although these machines offer bleeding-edge performance, for their cooling needs they rely upon a single 1200 RPM fan. As a result, commonly the loudest sound that emanates from their cases are two internal Hard Drives spinning idly.
Due to considerable heat generated by the electronic devices hosted within DISIS, the studio has a dedicated highly efficient and reasonably silent cooling system that takes minutes to cool down the entire room to a desired temperature.