Auracle is a voice-controlled, networked sound instrument that enables users to control a software synthesizer with their voice and to interact with each other in real time over the Internet. This paper discusses the historical background of the project, beginning with Neuhaus' ‘virtual aural spaces’ in the 1960s and relating them to Barbosa's conception of ‘shared sonic environments’. The architecture of the system is described in detail, including the multi-level analysis of vocal input, the communication of that analysis data across the network, and the mapping of that data onto a software synthesizer.
Not only is Auracle itself a collaborative, networked instrument, but it was developed through a collaborative, networked process. The project's development mechanisms are examined, including the use of existing tools for distributed development, the creation of custom development applications, the adoption of extreme programming practices, and the use of Auracle itself as a means for communication and collaboration among developers.