b<>com audio solutions presented at the Paris 2016 AES

From June 4 to 7, the AES (Audio Engineering Society) convention, the most important European event for professional audio, was held in Paris. b<>com was there to exhibit its sound spatialization technologies at the Merging Technologies stand. This Swiss company specializes in manufacturing digital audio interfaces in hardware and software form.

For over 25 years, the Swiss manufacturer Merging Technologies has developed audio and video mastering, production, and post-production solutions for media and entertainment professionals. It is primarily a supplier of audio workstations (DAW, for Digital Audio Workstation) and has a major presence in France (with clients like RFI, Radio France, and France Télévision). Merging approached b<>com to incorporate the Ambisonic technologies developed by the IRT into its Pyramix audio workstation.

In order to facilitate the adoption of Ambisonic technology by professionals, b<>com’s teams have developed a software suite that can be integrated into post-production workstations. This suite allows content creators to position sources in a sound environment and apply spatial processing to them. These audio plugins perform most of the processing, from sound capture to rendering on speakers or in a headset (binaural).  

The many assets of the HOA format

The Ambisonic format has drawn growing interest in the field of Virtual Reality, because it lends itself quite well to rotating the sound field, and therefore tracking head movements. HOA technologies make it possible to effectively represent a rich sound scene in a spatialized, realistic format. This format is also conducive to reproducing environments that contain a large number of sound sources, because it offers both precision and realism, while using a reasonable number of audio channels. The format is ideal for all applications that call for an increased sense of immersion, such as movies, games, or television. Opportunities also exist in the world of industry: Audiology (auditory prostheses) and immersive teleconferencing.

Spatial audio AES Paris 2016

A professional document devoted to 3D audio

The AES also provided an opportunity to release the white paper "Audio: The Other Dimension of Virtual Reality," a practical, professional tool for the technologies, constraints, and challenges associated with 3D sound. It was written by the b<>com ‘s Advanced Media Coding Lab, and particularly Clément Cerles, a sound engineer. Available right now via the form, it is excerpted from “Making your first Virtual Reality/360° Video Movie”, published by François Klein and Génération Numérique (from the medias Mediakwest and Sonovision) which will be released this autumn.

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