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‘True’ surround audio for VR

The audio portion of a virtual reality experience is as important, if not more so, than the visuals in helping viewers navigate, aiding a story narrative and giving live event productions a more immersive presence.

French government-backed research institute b-com has devised a means to apply high order ambisonic audio to VR content with the aim of providing what it calls a ‘true surround sound’ for immersive video.

According to the researchers, the audio technology will bridge the critical gap for VR and 360 contents and enable the creation of content and experiences which can truly be said to be VR and 360 from a surround standpoint.

The technology is based on sound field encoding into higher order ambisonics and binaural rendering with head-tracking. A dedicated audio suite needs to be completed in order to cover the full audio workflow for virtual reality.