AES Section Meeting Reports

Toronto - May 28, 2019

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This event explored the world of immersive audio with a wide variety of exclusive presentations on the state of three-dimensional audio by leading professionals in the field.

Bryan Martin was host and moderator, and one of the presenters.

David Dexter, Director of SIRT, spoke first and his topic looked at the background of SIRT. He went over the program portfolio, and included topics such as grant applications and eligibility. David's presentation ended, like all of this night's presentations with a brief question and answer session.

Ron Lynch discussed the state of immersive theatre installations. Focusing on North America, he went over history and development of sound in cinema, covering topics from phonograph synchronization to IMAX and Dolby Atmos. Concentrating on the post production aspect, he looked at equipment used to create immersive mixes. Finally, he pointed out compromises with home systems.

Bryan Martin, next led an in-depth discussion on the psychoacoustics of human 3D perception and advanced 3D recording techniques. He presented recent research conducted in sessions at McGill University's Studio 22 covering vertical imaging, microphone arrays, placement and routing, and listening tests, to name a few topics.

His breakthrough was to think vertically as opposed to horizontally. During the Q&A session some points coming up were that instruments don't radiate symmetrically. Traditional compression and EQ techniques in immersive are not effective. If compression must be applied the parallel approach was a possibility. The key to success is a great recording and (image) coherence — wide bandwidth microphones yield the highest quality spatial images.

After a networking and socializing break, Hugo Larin gave an outline of IRCAM's 3D audio engine "SPAT Revolution". His talk included history and development, as well as software demonstrations and listening sessions. The software plugin supports all major Digital Audio Workstations in a variety of formats.

Jim Anderson closed out the evening presenting a listening session of recent recording projects made with producer Ulrike Schwarz over the specially set up audio system. Some of the artists included Patricia Barber, Jane Ira Bloom, Bebo Valdes, Sammy Nestico, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. He seconded Bryan's assertion that the best results for immersive audio are making high quality recordings. The presentation included photos from the various recording sessions. The final audio was by a new piece by composer Gisle Kverndokk's "Symphonic Dances". Mr. Anderson acknowledged everyone who made this event possible.

Bryan closed the evening by thanking the presenters, organizers, and the attendees.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society