Workshop on Spatial Audio

of Jan 2018, 23:28

This Saturday the 12th of January I will be giving two presentations on spatial audio for the Tupper Festival in Barcelona, Spain. They will be at 10:00 and 12:00 respectively and last for roughly two hours. Together with Gerrard Erruz we will introduce audio producers, musicians and other that may be interested into the basics of what constitutes 3D Audio. The talks will be held in Sfëar's Barcelona studio premises in Spanish with limited availability, so if you're interested act soon!

For my own part, I will give an overview of the common technologies, grouping them into channel based (5.1 to 22.2), scene based (Ambisonics) and object based (VBAP and WFS). Care will be taken to point out the strengths and flaws in each so the participants will better learn to choose the right one for their specific purposes. Additionally, we will compare VBAP and several orders of Ambisonics with one another and learn what the qualitative differences there are. Finally, we will look into commercial solutions available on the market, now having learned the backgrounds of what they claim to be based on.

For the second part, Gerard will introduce the participants into the simulation of 3D audio over headphones, commonly referred to as binaural. Since we humans hear with only two ears, the ability to hear spatially in all directions has to somehow be possible with seemingly limited apparatus. The secret lies in both the spatial distance on each side of the head and primarily in the shape of the outer ear, the pinnae. By measuring the effects produced by the pinnae and reproducing them, we can simulate sound arriving at the listener from any direction.

Together, this two hour presentation should give a good overview of the current trend that is 3D audio. With companies like Dolby investing in this area and cinema in general pushing towards more immersion continuously, it has been shown that interest in this field has grown heavily in the last couple of years. We hope to give an insight in what these technologies and methods require and what they provide.