Concept

3D immersive audio, the future of live entertainment

Imagine yourself at a show where the sound no longer arrives from the stage in a regular stereo image, but immerses you in an entirely new experience, placing you at the heart of the performance. Astro Spatial Audio’s object-based approach unlocks this potential, using the starting points of Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) combined with psychoacoustic principles to deliver a reinvention of the live entertainment experience, fundamentally enriching the audience perspective, whilst liberating the sound designer and engineer.

For the sound engineer, the limitations of traditional sound reinforcement have long proven a source of frustration. As more visual elements of live entertainment have been pushed to the fore, audio technology has remained relatively unchanging – until now. With SARA II, we offer you the most powerful mixing platform available today for the creation of immersive, full 3D audio experiences within your daily workflow.

True object-based audio

Traditionally, audio productions are channel based, using the available loudspeaker layout (perhaps 5.1 or 7.1) to create great sounding productions. However, when we reproduce this production in a different room or an environment that lacks a similar defined loudspeaker set-up, that channel-based solution encounters a fundamental problem: the fullness of tone is lost, necessitating a remix of the entire production. For touring companies and live events, the losses in time can be significant.

Astro Spatial Audio presents an object-based audio solution whereby the system is able to adapt and scale to each production, fitting to the venue and maintaining the fullness of tone irrespective of the loudspeaker layout.

The loudspeaker setup is treated as a framework that provides an “acoustic canvas” – effectively creating the entire environment rather than simply playing back prescribed channels. The more speakers, the higher the resolution. Rather than optimising the signals between the loudspeakers (channels), the sound engineer now can focuss his or her attention on the audio objects – literally each strand of audio passing through the mix.

The SARA II Premium Rendering Engine takes care of the rest. SARA II calculates the position of each audio object around in the 3D performance space relative to the loudspeaker framework in real-time and in an extremely high resolution.

As a result, the engineer can now create immersive experiences by mixing the objects and their characteristics (including their spatial position, their level in the mix, their diffuseness etc), rather than worrying about individual channels. Astro Spatial Audio provides the key to unlock the full creative potential of an audio experience.

What is an audio object?

In the simplest explanation, it is an intelligent audio file!

To create this intelligent file, we generate so-called metadata: unique information that belongs specifically to each individual audio object, such as the gain, the type of source, its spatial position and more. The audio signals are then wrapped in this metadata to transform them into audio objects.

Using the principles of Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) combined with advanced psychoacoustic processing, during reproduction these audio objects are recalculated in real-time relative to the specific speaker layout at hand. The result is a creative freedom for the sound engineer during production and reproduction, with no artificial audio effects such as the loss of fullness of tone or colouration.

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