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Most often when you go to a rock concert, what you're hearing is a mono mix. Your stereo may not have the volume that the big boys have, but it's got way more fidelity.

So what would a live concert be like in surround sound? You know: the whole home theater experience--only a lot bigger and just a bit more, um, interactive.

Close your eyes and you swear the guitar's right behind you. Meanwhile, the singer's standing exactly two feet away on a diagonal with your left temple, and she's whispering in your ear. Then imagine you're not the only thing that's dancing: the bass, keys and vocals move precisely through the room as well, through the magic of audio imaging. They spin around. They fly.

Open your eyes. Go check out the Tech--the Lulu Tech Circus to be precise, this Friday through Sunday, Sept. 27-29, at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. It's a place for the audio digerati to check out new toys: digital recording studio soft and hardware, digital wind instruments, psychotropic MIDI visuals, and live concerts--in surround sound--each afternoon by a spectrum of six electronica and electronic-influenced bands. Vortexian and Lisa Ray hold forth Friday afternoon; with the Celtic tinge of North Elementary and electronic hip hop of Oedipus Dick on Saturday. Things close Sunday with Freeside and the documentary ambience of Project Bluebook. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and young adults (ages 12-17). Call (800) 277-0495 or visit www.lulutechcircus.com for more information. --Byron Woods

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