New Sound Research is Bringing 3D Sound into Your Living Room

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DuncanS

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This was posted on the IEEE pages. http://electronics360.globalspec.co...ch-is-bringing-3d-sound-into-your-living-room

A move on from Dolby Atmos, but will this 'new' object orientated surround idea take off? What often really puzzles me is people will watch films & play games with 5.1 rigs, but don't listen to music in surround. Crazy :confused:

Computer vision and sound experts at the University of Surrey have demonstrated “Media Device Orchestration,” an innovative home audio system that enables users to enjoy the immersive audio experience by using all the available devices in their living room.
The Media Device Orchestrations (MDO) concept has been developed at Surrey in collaboration with the Universities of Salford and Southampton and BBC Research & Development.
Using the MDO concept, the researchers have demonstrated that a 3D or ‘spatial audio’ experience can be achieved by employing everyday home devices in the living room, like a laptop, smartphone or wireless mini-speaker. The technology works by isolating different objects within audio content and connecting them to separate speakers available around the room.
The concept could allow consumers to enjoy films, games, programs and music in a more immersive, multi-layered and exciting way.
It is possible to create 3D listening experiences using current spatial audio technology, but it requires a complex set-up involving many speakers located at the exact points in relation to the listener. Because of the limitations, the technology cannot easily be replicated in a domestic situation and is usually limited to specialist environments like cinemas and theme park experiences.
The MDO research is part of a five-year S3A project, funded by EPSRC that is aimed at delivering a step-change in quality of audio consumed by the general public.
The development of immersive spatial audio systems has been a major focus for the audio research community and the audio industry in recent years for a few reasons. With the invention of advanced home video technology like the 3D television, there is a need for audio technology to ‘catch up’ in order to match the viewer’s experience. At the same time, the growth of virtual reality (VR) for video games and other applications creates demand for a sense of sound that surrounds the user.
Along with the ‘channel-based’ sound production (in which the reproduction system is fixed before the content is broadcast), ‘object-based’ audio is a recently emerged type of sound production on the commercial market, like the Dolby Atmos. Object-based audio technology has enabled the S3A researchers to access a separate part of an audio scene and intelligently routes them to improve the user experience.
The University of Surrey combines expertise in the computer vision and machine listening and sound perception. This has enabled a user-focused solution rather than a lab-based approach.
Dr. Philip Jackson, senior lecturer in machine audition at Surrey, said, "Most consumer audio transmitted into our homes is in the form of two-channel stereo which uses basic principles that have been around for over 130 years. To date, sophisticated multi-channel audio techniques have not helped to improve the listening experience for the general public. Our aim is to take spatial audio out of the lab and into people's homes, and give users the impression of being at the heart of the action while in their living room."
The MDO concept is being further developed by the S3A team in order to automate the process of ‘labelling’ sounds and connecting them with the available speakers.
 

jimfisheye

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Oh. So it's a system to play the Flaming Lips album Zaireeka!
(Which was mixed to 'work' with multiple systems of various different quality as opposed to an actual surround mix meant for a single surround speaker array.)

What often really puzzles me is people will watch films & play games with 5.1 rigs, but don't listen to music in surround. Crazy :confused:

Agreed! Surround sound is for music. I rarely listen to surround with movies. I'm not sure why so many people ended up in opposite land with that one either.
 

surround.sound.enthusiast

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It may be that old chicken or egg first dilema that has plagued the multi-channel formats for most of their lives: not enought releases to capture consumer interest, and not enough consumer interest to release more.

That appears to have been the recurring issue of the past 20 years or so. Coupled with that sometimes exorbitantly pricey releases turning off consumer interest.

At least unlike the quad days, lack of effective hardware does not seem to be contributing this time around.

And I apply that to 3-D video as well.
 

DuncanS

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Agreed! Surround sound is for music. I rarely listen to surround with movies. I'm not sure why so many people ended up in opposite land with that one either.

Maybe I'm crazier than most :mad:@:, but I rarely watch a film with surround on. I find surround distracts from the film, whereas I find it enhances music!
 

leevitalone1

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Oh. So it's a system to play the Flaming Lips album Zaireeka!
(Which was mixed to 'work' with multiple systems of various different quality as opposed to an actual surround mix meant for a single surround speaker array.)



Agreed! Surround sound is for music. I rarely listen to surround with movies. I'm not sure why so many people ended up in opposite land with that one either.

If you ignore movies in surround you are cheating your self out of a great experience. Especially certain films, I can't tell you how many times I got up to answer the door or phone when it was not needed. Or the time I thought the cat knocked my stuff off the shelf, .Like any production be it audio or visual, shit in shit out. But, some movies are really worth it. Especially now with lossless audio tracks, my thing is the immersion of sound. Of course music is my favorite way to employ 5.1. Of course, but using it on other media - some games are specifically made in 5.1. I would not call it a waste, rather a way to use the audio systems to it's full ability's.
 

Wunlow

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It may be that old chicken or egg first dilema that has plagued the multi-channel formats for most of their lives: not enought releases to capture consumer interest, and not enough consumer interest to release more.

That appears to have been the recurring issue of the past 20 years or so. Coupled with that sometimes exorbitantly pricey releases turning off consumer interest.

At least unlike the quad days, lack of effective hardware does not seem to be contributing this time around.

And I apply that to 3-D video as well.

Most here know this, but multi-channel (3 channels or more) audio in cinemas has been around longer than 2 channel stereophonic audio in the home.

Regarding the nasty chicken and egg scenario- one big, big thing that helped with the early consumer adoption of Surround Sound for movies was the single sound format / single inventory approach. The Dolby Stereo matrix meant there was one 35mm sound mix, and it was Dolby Surround or Dolby Surround compatible encoded. For 99% of cases, there were no incompatible competing matrix systems at the time for movies. This also meant there was no dual inventory. Barring rare exceptions, literally every stereo mix for a given feature was the Dolby Stereo / Dolby Surround encoded mix on laserdisc, and VHS and Beta hi-fi. (*)

Quad audio never had this luxury, and 3-D bluray, while designed to be 2-D compatible, often ends up as a two disc set with the second 3-D disc being locked at the authoring stage so it plays on 3-D displays only. Most IMAX 3D and vitage 3D titles are authored to be 2-D compatible, but if from the onset *all* 3-D bluray releases were single inventory or at least all authored to be 2-D friendly, it well could have helped the format.


(*) It was only after the fact that consumer Dolby decoders popped up, and those early ones in the mid-80s were horrible. My full logic SQ decoder did a better job decoding Dolby Surround at the time.
 

keywhiz

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Love surround for my TV shows and movies as much as I do music! But the reason people don’t listen to surround music is that dedicated listening is a lost endeavor.

Even stereo is going the way of the dinosaur, for the most part, what with the popularity of Bluetooth speakers and “smart speakers”.
 
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