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The SARC Building and Facilities


The Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) has, since it was officially opened by Karlheinz Stockhausen during the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music in April 2004, seen a dramatic growth in research activities and interests. The Centre, the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the UK, has brought together over fifty researchers working in the fields of music, computer science and electrical and electronic engineering into a world-class research group.

An established centre of excellence dedicated to the research of music technology, SARC is a unique interdisciplinary environment which has united internationally recognised experts in the areas of musical composition, digital signal processing, performance technologies, acoustics and sound art.

The Centre is established in a purpose-built facility located alongside the engineering departments of Queen's University Belfast. SARC’s centrepiece, the Sonic Laboratory, provides a unique space for cutting-edge initiatives in the creation and delivery of music and audio. The Sonic Laboratory's uniqueness is vested in the degree of flexibility it can provide for experiments in 3D sound diffusion and for ground-breaking compositional and performance work within a purpose-built, variable acoustic space.

Construction of the SARC building began in July 2002 and was completed in October 2003. Since its opening, the Centre has won an award for construction excellence from the Construction Employment Federation (CEF) and a commendation at the 2004 BIAT (British Institute of Architectural Technologists) awards for technical excellence.

Sonic Laboratory
The Sonic Lab

SARC hosts a regular concert and seminar series which acts as a focal point for an international research culture with over 30 PhD students. The building also houses students in the BSc Music Technology making it one of the largest and most active facilities in areas relating to sound and new technologies. SARC is a research centre within the  School of Arts, English & Languages at Queen's University.


The Sonic Arts Research Centre building houses

  • stereo and multi-channel studios
  • computer labs
  • motion capture lab
  • meeting rooms
  • seminar spaces and 
  • the world’s first Sonic Laboratory.