Recently, technologies for parametric coding of multi-channel audio signals have received wide attention under the name of “Spatial Audio Coding.” In contrast to a fully discrete representation of multi-channel sound, these techniques allow for a backward compatible transmission at bitrates: only slightly higher than common rates currently used for mono / stereo sound. Motivated by these prospects, the MPEG Audio standardization group started a new work item on Spatial Audio Coding. The paper reports on the reference model zero architecture, as it emerges from the MPEG Call for Proposals (CfP) and the subsequent evaluation of the submissions. The architecture combines the strong features of the two submissions to the CfP that were found best in this process.
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