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AES Paris 2006
Saturday, May 20, 09:00 — 11:30
W1 - DESIGN, PROCESS, AND FUNCTION IN HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO
John Dawson, Arcam
Neil Harris, NXT
Malcolm Hawksford, University of Essex
Bill Miller, Linn Products
Mike Story, dCS Ltd.
With the growth of high resolution audio the enabling electronics and associated processing require ever higher levels of performance. This workshop will discuss a number of key technological and theoretical factors and present a variety of expert views targeted on the critical areas that ultimately limit system performance. Included will be topics on converter systems and fundamentals related to both LPCM and SACD, the amplifier-loudspeaker interface, digital equalization in a high resolution environment, and the loudspeaker-room interface. The workshop will include presentations from leading individuals who have extensive experience in the field of high performance audio enhanced no doubt with some controversial views.
Saturday, May 20, 09:00 — 11:00
W2 - FROM 5.1 TO FIELD SYNTHESIS: COMPATIBLE CAPTATION AND RESTITUTION SYSTEMS
Jérôme Daniel, France Telecom R&D
Arnaud Laborie, Trinnov Audio
Renato Pellegrini, Sonic Emotion
Günther Theile, IRT
Traditionally, spatial recording and reproduction had been possible with several approaches:
— Binaural, which has the great advantage fo being stereo-compatible by definition
— Ambisonics, providing a good result for a little number of channels (2, 3 or 4), but requiring encoding and decoding at both ends of the transmission chain.
— "Cinema" style discrete 5.1 surround, which is very simple to understand and implement (each channel is fed by one microphone, and is delivered to one loudspeaker), but produces results quite worst than the first two methods.
— WFS or other wavefront reconstruction systems, requiring large arrays of closely-spaced loudspeakers, and being usable only with synthesized soundtracks (a WFS microphone has not yet been developed fully).
For several years the four systems above did compete. Discrete 5.1 substantially won the battle regarding the soundtrack of films and videos, but the mass production of music in 5.1 format never did start, also due to the "war format" between DTS-CD, DVD-audio, and SACD. Only musical DVD-videos have been mass-produced until now. Binaural, Ambisonics, and WFS systems were used just in research labs or in sophisticated theme parks.
Now a novel method approaches the scene: HOA (High Order Ambisonics). This is not as inexpensive as 1st-order Ambisonics, as now the channel count is between 16 and 25. But it is still much lower than what required by WFS, and HOA is a full 3-D system, while WFS is horizontal-only. This means that the HOA candidate is the practical winner in a new arena: computer-driven sound recording and reproduction. This is a field that is rapidly growing, both for musicians and for end-listeners. The number of recording or playback sound systems that incorporate a powerful PC is increasing steadily, and the next generation of "silent" computers, based on low-power dual-core processors (initially developed for laptop computers) will win the last barrier preventing computers to be used as the main "music machine" in any environment: the fan noise.
The goal of this workshop is to explore what can be already done now, addressing the huge installed base of "home theater" systems configured (more or less properly) for playback of discrete 5.1 soundtracks: do these new "high resolution" methods still provide significant advantages for creation and delivery of musical content, or we need to wait the next generation of computer-based home media centers for exploiting their full
Saturday, May 20, 11:00 — 12:00
Saturday, May 20, 14:00 — 17:00
W3 - LISTENING TEST SOFTWARE
Jan Berg, Luleå University of Technology - Sweden
Sean Olive, Harman International - USA
Francis Rumsey, University of Surrey - UK
Gilbert Soulodre, Communications Research Centre - Canada
Nick Zacharov, Nokia - Finland
As knowledge about the listener experience of audio applications is fundamental in research and product design within the audio field, methods that can be used for evaluation of perceived sound quality are essential to utilize. In order to capture and quantify listener experience, different methodological approaches are implemented in listening test software.
This workshop introduces the scientific rationale behind selected test procedures. In addition, examples of software that are used to facilitate listening tests are shown, such as listener training, quality attribute generation, testing of car audio, ITU tests, etc. Following the presentations the software is demonstrated and the audience is encouraged to get hands-on experience of the different applications.
Sunday, May 21, 08:30 — 10:30
W4 - IS AUDIO-VIA-IP READY FOR PROFESSIONAL AUDIO?
Lars Jonsson, Swedish Radio
Greg Massey, APT
François Ragenard, Radio France
Claude Verleene, TDF
The transport of audio over synchronous networks, such as ISDN dial up or E1/T1 dedicated circuits has become state of the art for all type of transmissions such as reporting, distribution, and contribution. Telecommunications infrastructure moves toward IP as seen by Voice-over-IP services and announcement of big telcos to switch completely to packet-orientated services within a certain period of time. Some have already announced the termination of ISDN services. This workshop will discuss possible migration paths toward audio-over-IP offering the pros and cons from different perspectives, such as broadcasters, carriers, service providers, and equipment manufacturers.
Sunday, May 21, 09:00 — 12:00
W5 - REFERENCE OR PREFERENCE METHODOLOGIES IN THE SUBJECTIVE EVALUATION OF AUTOMOTIVE SOUND SYSTEMS
In recent years there has been an increasing level of debate as to whether preference or reference investigations (for instance, fidelity tests) are most appropriate when evaluating the quality of automotive audio products.
With the aim of faithfully recreating an original audio event, many manufacturers turn to fidelity-testing as a means of establishing a (quasi-objective) measure of perceived audio quality. Although beneficial where an obvious reference exists (for example, when comparing a degraded sample with an unprocessed original), the rationale for conducting fidelity testing in automotive audio is less clear: What, for example, are the elements that constitute utmost fidelity in terms of automotive audio? Does a measure of audio quality (with respect to a known reference) provide the ultimate gauge of a successful automotive audio system? What do the numbers on a fidelity scale actually mean? In measuring the fidelity of an automotive reproduction, is there a danger of overlooking qualities in the sample that are different to the reference and yet potentially more pleasing to the listener? Would an indication of unstructured listener preference be more useful?
In considering the above questions, workshop panelists will reflect on the goals of automotive audio and how the attainment of these goals can be achieved using subjective methods. Following a brief introduction to the arguments and questions of interest, individual panelists will present their rationale for conducting fidelity or preference testing. Limitations to both methods will also be provided and research suggesting similarities between audio quality and preference will be summarized. The workshop will conclude with a brief discussion on why the question of what we should be measuring depends on our specific goals at the time. Methods for conducting the most appropriate test to fit the circumstances will be outlined at this stage.
Sunday, May 21, 13:30 — 16:00
W6 - BINAURAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR MOBILE APPLICATIONS
David Gallagher, QSound
Ole Kirkeby, Nokia Corporation
William Martens, McGill University
Jan Plogsties, FhG
Andrew Reilly, Lake
Mobile phones have evolved in recent years from basic voice communication devices into advanced multimedia computers that are able to handle demanding signal processing tasks in real time. The use of stereo headphones or stereo speakers has enabled the mobile device to take advantage of binaural technology, which provides immersive sound experiences for a variety of applications and use cases. These applications range from stereo widening of music over 3-D ring tones to full 3-D positional audio for mobile games. This development is further accelerated by industry programming interface standards such as the Java JSR-234: ”Advanced Multimedia Supplements.” This new application programming interface augments the existing mobile media specification with mechanisms to control audio effect processing in real-time, including 3-D positional audio and reverberation.
This workshop will focus on how binaural technology can be used in mobile devices, what are the future applications, and the underlying technical challenges. Key industry and academic experts will discuss their perspectives on evolution of binaural technologies for mobile applications.
Sunday, May 21, 16:30 — 18:30
W7 - FUTURE OF DIGITAL RADIO BROADCASTING
Sylvain Anichini, Radio France
Martin Coggin, BT Livetime
Jørn Jensen, NRK, Norway
Kazuho Ono, NHK, Japan
John Sykes, BBC World Service - UK
DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) was launched in the early 1990s. However, it seems that digital radio broadcasting is not widely accepted by ordinary listeners. This workshop tries to show the various issues on digital broadcasting from the aspect of technical matters and broadcasting services. The panel will introduce the current situation of digital broadcasting and discuss the future of digital broadcasting.
Monday, May 22, 08:30 — 11:00
W8 - SURROUND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCTION WITH HEIGHT
Wolfram M. Burgert, 2+2+2 - Switzerland
Arnaud Laborie, Trinnov Audio - France
Jeff Levison, DTS - USA
Wilfried Van Baelen, Galaxy Studios nv - Belgium
Wieslaw Woszczyk, McGill University - Canada
While two-dimensional surround sound such as 5.1 is becoming popular among various audio industries, some three-dimensional sound systems have been proposed. Height information is one of the essential issues for developing an advanced surround sound system. In this workshop panelists who have many experiences of three-dimensional sound reproduction will discuss the various topics concerning height and elevation on sound recording and reproduction.
Monday, May 22, 11:00 — 13:30
W9 - MPEG SURROUND—RECENT PROGRESS IN PARAMETRIC CODING OF MULTICHANNEL AUDIO
Jürgen Herre, Fraunhofer IIS
Steve Church, Telos Systems
Martin Dietz, Coding Technologies
Christof Faller, Agere Systems / EPFL
Frank Lott, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Werner Oomen, Philips Research
Heiko Purnhagen, Coding Technologies
One of the notable recent advances in the audio coding area is called Spatial Audio Coding, and describes systems for high-quality parametric coding of multichannel audio signals. Based on an improved understanding of binaural perception and related synthesis techniques, this approach enables a bit rate-efficient and backward compatible representation of multichannel audio which accommodates the transmission of surround sound even for applications with a very limited bit budget, including digital audio broadcasting and Internet streaming. The workshop will discuss the current state of technology (most notably the technology under standardization in ISO/MPEG Audio), open challenges and applications.
Monday, May 22, 11:00 — 13:00
W10 - FILLING THE GAP BETWEEN LOUDSPEAKERS AND ELECTRONICS
Ronald Aarts, Philips Research Laboratories
Mark Dodd, GPAcoustics, KEF & Celestion - UK
Jan Abildgaard Pedersen, Lyngdorf Audio - Denmark
Gerhard Pfaffinger, Harman/Becker Automotive Systems - Germany
Most loudspeakers use a magnet with voice coil, cone, and suspension in a format that has changed little over many decades. In contrast, the digital signal processor (DSP) has only recently become important in loudspeaker systems. The implications of using DSP on signal amplification, equalization, active cross-over design, linearization, and protection are discussed. DSP-based protection may allow the passive transducer to be operated up to the physical limits while handling any audio input with impunity. Nonlinear loudspeaker motor distortion may be reduced by appropriate filter design. The loudspeaker system frequency response, variations in ambient temperature, and softening of suspension materials can be compensated adaptively. Further improvements may be achieved by use of DSP-based crossovers and also by DSP filters correcting, to some extent, the low frequency room response. DSP filters also allow the direction of beams of sound to better cover the audience area. All this gives new degrees of freedom for reducing the enclosure size, increasing the output while maintaining acceptable quality, improving power efficiency, and optimizing the sound reproduction into the 3-D-space. Finally the workshop addresses practical concerns of digital implementations (cost, robustness, simplicity) in loudspeaker products.
Monday, May 22, 14:00 — 16:00
W11 - RECORDING AND STORAGE SYSTEM FOR BROADCASTING AND POSTPRODUCTION
Chris Chambers, BBC
Foued Berahou, INA—Inatheque de France
Ivar Poijes, Swedish Radio - Sweden
David Zitzmann, Radio France
Audio recording and storage systemS for broadcasting and postproduction are constantly changing. This workshop gives an overview of the current situation of recording and storage systems for broadcasting and postproduction. Panels will then discuss issues on recording systems and the future of broadcasting and postproduction.
Monday, May 22, 16:30 — 18:30
W12 - HUMAN FACTORS IN THE DESIGN OF AUDIO PRODUCTS AND SYSTEMS
Durand Begault, NASA Ames Research Center
This combined workshop/tutorial will begin with a primer on the design of audio products and systems, intended to serve as an introduction to the question of "What audio engineers should know about human factors". From there, we will review existing resources and successes to aid designers and provide an overview of design and testing methodology and discuss a range of user interface paradigms that go beyond the generic graphical UI. [Pending arrangements, the session will also include a series of case studies, describing from both a user and designer perspective the "what" and "why" certain interfaces are successful.
Monday, May 22, 16:30 — 18:30
W13 - NEW CHALLENGES IN AUDIO QUALITY MEASUREMENT
Catherine Colomes, France Telecom R&D
Ian Dennis, Prism Sound
François Ragenard, Radio-France
With the increased diffusion of MP3 Players, Podcasting, 3G and 3.5G Mobiles with inbuild audio and video players (DVB-H) and Triple-Play (featuring IPTV or Video-over-IP) a number of new ways of audio delivery to the consumer have become A reality. New devices enter into the living room, like WLAN-based Audio Servers, which—unlike classical HiFi equipment—are based on PC technology. This trend toward IP-based transmission of encoded voice, audio, and video, either stand-alone, or audio accompanying video presentations, challenges established "best practice" methods for audio quality measurement. Equipment manufacturers, content providers as well as audio professionals must face a variety of new hardware designs, new transmission artIfacts, and finally new ways of presentation. For example, flat panel displays (LCD, Plasma) apply significant video processing and, as such, introduce a source of delay for A/V presentation. IP-based transmission may even cause varying delay, which will amplify lip-sync problems when compared to conventional TV. How do we tackle these new challenges by appropriate audio quality measurements? This workshop will try to present state-of-the-art conventional and advanced testing methods and pinpoint attempts to monitor and improve perceived audio quality.
Tuesday, May 23, 09:00 — 12:00
W14 - GAME AUDIO: TURNING RESEARCH INTO REALITY
Pete Harrison, Creative Labs
Richard Jacques, Composer
Jason Page, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Simon Pressey, Ubisoft Montreal
Audio for computer games poses many unique challenges. The need to provide adaptable, varied, and interactive content in real-time requires careful design and implementation at all stages. Most, if not all, fields of audio engineering play a role in progressing the future of game-audio. This workshop has a number of aims: (i) To illustrate how game audio is currently implemented and what techniques are used; (ii) To investigate the future of game-audio as technology boundaries change over the next 10 years; (iii) To encourage a dialog between the game-audio industry and other audio researchers or professionals.
This workshop is presented by a panel of industry experts involved in the creative and technical aspects of game audio. The workshop covers all areas of game audio including sound design, hardware, tools, and music. A number of demonstrations and real-world problems will be presented and serve as a context for exploring the future of game-audio. Most importantly, the workshop concludes with a panel discussion where we will address some of the key-areas for the future. The discussion will explore how future research and development may have direct applications both within and outside of game-audio. The audience should come away with a clear understanding of what currently can and cannot be achieved and what the games industry sees as its future challenges. Audience participation is strongly encouraged!
This workshop will be of interest to people involved in many areas of audio including: sound design, composition, recording, studio practice, signal processing, spatial audio, digital audio, network audio, audio coding, audio perception, audio synthesis, multichannel audio, and human interfaces.
Tuesday, May 23, 14:00 — 16:00
W15 - MOVING TO 5.1 BROADCAST: HOW TO FASCINATE THE LISTENER?
Susanne Rath, IRT
Florian Camerer, ORF
John Rutledge, Consultant
Manfred Petersen, Hessischer Rundfunk
Gilles Pezerat, Radio France
Bosser Ternström, Swedish Radio
This workshop will show the situation of 5.1 broadcasting today. It will give an overview to the possibilities producers have but also their limitations. Additionally, the entire process from production to the listener will be shown.
Tuesday, May 23, 15:00 — 17:00
W16 - TEACHING AUDIO SKILLS EFFECTIVELY
Jason Corey, University of Michigan
Eddy Bøgh Brixen, EBB-consult
Mark Drews, University of Stavanger
Theresa Leonard, Banff Centre
Geoff Martin, Bang & Olufsen A/S
The teaching of audio engineering requires a balance in the presentation of theory and practice. From a theoretical point of view, there are many subject areas that are relevant to the study of audio engineering, including acoustics, psychoacoustics, analog and
digital electronics, digital audio technology and signal processing, audio signal flow, and music. Practical experience with recording techniques, technical ear training, recording sessions, live sound, theater sound design, broadcast audio, as well as hardware and
software design can be equally as important as theory in the pursuit of audio engineering.
Educators usually must balance factors such as these when considering education in audio. The panel will present and consider various aspects of audio education and discuss methods and philosophies of teaching in this field.
|(C) 2006, Audio Engineering Society, Inc.