I have done a search of the question database and I wasn't able to find if what I'm looking for is possible, tho it really should be.

When talking about sound holography, in most SurroundSound systems you can position each individual sound feed at its own location in the sound stage. I would like to implement this in a Google Hangouts video call. I want to separately position the various incoming feeds of the call (accessible via an API) at different places in the listening space.

Giving calls a SurroundSound aspect would fix a problem that I have experienced while in video calls. I find that the centre-stage feed that is currently the norm of many of these VOIP services (Google Hangouts specifically) is very detrimental when you have more than one person talking, since it is difficult to differentiate between voices when one's ears are denied the "SurroundSound" that they are accustomed to having in face-to-face multipersonal conversation settings. All I want to do is is apply a "position" to a feed as it comes in.

I realize I am using terms that aren't as technical as a professional would prefer, but I am really surprised that this isn't something that is out there already. Ideally, this would work for both your typical computer speaker setups (badly, I realize, as opposed to a fully realized 5.1 system) as well as headphones. But if it would only work in headphones, that would work perfectly.

Are there "sound codes" or something that I can have an API apply to a sound feed as it comes in to position it (working similar to, say, a pitch shift, or something like that) that I can apply? I really want this to happen in real time if I can do it.

Thanks in advance for any help. Sorry about the wall of text.

  • 3
    I'll wait a little to see how people respond, but I highly expect this is off topic as it is a programming question concerned with software APIs. It is not really a sound design issue, but rather an issue with trying to programmatically position audio in a piece of software. It is probably a much better fit on SO.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 16:01
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about sound design but about programming. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 18:38
  • @neilfein Maybe migrate it to SO?
    – Stan
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 14:00
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this isn't about sound design.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


Whislt I agree it's more a programming question than sound based I'll answer it from a Music Technician point of view.

Short Answer Not easily.

Slightly Longer Answer: Through hangouts itself you can't do it. To get access to all the feeds you'd either need to be at Google itself monitoring every source, then use a panning tool in a DAW or environment like Max/MSP to control each source (possibly look into using B Format based plugins then binaurally encode/decode them into stereo) or you'd have to self program some crazy setup to get all of said feeds separate to your account and do all of the above.

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