This Guy Invented a Sound System That Lets You Dance 'Inside' Music

Xergio Córdoba's Ego system allows people to "experience total physical immersion in the music".
August 17, 2016, 9:00am

Xergio Cordoba. Image courtesy of Xergio Cordoba

This article originally appeared on VICE Spain

Xergio Cordoba wants to help you get high enough to feel perfectly at one with music. And he says he's got a better way to do that than plying you with drugs; he thinks his new sound system, "Ego", could do the trick. Ego turns the floor, ceiling and walls of nightclubs into subwoofers, making club-goers feel as if the beats and bass are running through their bodies.

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I interviewed Cordoba last year about his other invention – a system that allows you to play music really loudly without your neighbours noticing – so got in touch again to find out more about Ego.

VICE: How did the idea for Ego come about?
Xergio Cordoba: Ever since I started going to clubs – and then working as a DJ and a music producer – I've wanted to feel music with greater intensity. I wanted the relationship between music, sound and the audience to be more intimate. I've been working on this idea at my mastering studio, where I did a lot of research and developed projects such as Live Mastering and Masn´live©, which also involve psychoacoustics.

How do you plan to enhance the music experience with Ego?
By turning the whole club into a song, so the audience dances inside the music and feels the music inside them at the same time. It does that by having every surface of a room actively emit sound.

How do you get all the walls and the ceiling to emit sound?
It's a 7.4-channel system, but with lots of speakers and subwoofers in each channel, where the conventional stereo signal converts to this format. In short, the ceiling consists of 360º sound systems and the entire floor is a subwoofer that lets music go through you, from your feet to your head. The front part is made of 32" subwoofers and mid and treble speakers. The sides and the back have somewhat smaller subwoofers. Audio signals are modified to generate the most complete spectral sound, so it's much richer in nuances.

Do you think there's enough demand for something like that?
I do. I was in Ibiza recently, where I was asked to come up with proposals for a new club on the island, and I think Ego could be great for a place like that. It's not about distracting the audience with sound effects or visuals, but about creating a constant and consistent experience – integrating music, sound and audience.

Has anyone created anything similar before?
Every invention is a product of what came before it. There have been other projects trying something similar, but as far as I know there's nothing of this magnitude – nothing getting so close to the concept of being one with the music.

Could you describe the feeling you are trying to achieve with Ego?
I want people to experience total physical immersion in the music. Sound usually comes to you from the front, and then it's reinforced at certain strategical points in the room. Ego manages the sound in such a way that it rises from the ground to your head, runs through your legs, belly, torso, arms and your head – and down from the ceiling – like it's raining sound. And while you're feeling that, you'll see 3D video recreations of sound waves coming out of the speakers.

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It sounds pretty complex. What stage is the project at?
It is under development, and it really is very complicated. But I'm working with great people around the world. Ego isn't for just any club, because it requires a certain infrastructure.

Do you think this system will take electronic music to new audiences?
I think it'll do more than bring it to a new audience – I think it can take music back to its essence. You won't need oversized, bloated line-ups for events any more – the music itself becomes the headliner.

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