News

27 Oct 2021

Standardisation for Spatial Audio

With today’s entertainment consumer hungry for rich, immersive experiences, immersive audio continues to become a viable and sought-after element in various production workflows. However, the prevalence of so many platforms and proprietary communication languages has been a stumbling block to widespread adoption of spatial audio, and a challenge to interoperability amongst production tools. Indeed, to quote an old tech industry joke, the nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them.

Now FLUX:: Immersive, L-Acoustics, Radio France, and other major industry manufacturers have joined in an initiative to standardise Open Sound Control as a streaming protocol for interoperability among immersive audio systems.

The ITU BS.2076-2 Audio Definition Model (ADM) is a solution for the archiving and interoperability of immersive audio productions. ADM-OSC provides an implementation that follows the ITU standard, allowing the ability to stream positioning information of audio objects in real-time using the Open Sound Control protocol.

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Led by use cases from Radio-France, FLUX::Immersive and L-Acoustics have joined forces to initiate a common language to ease system integration within the production process.

“Since 2018, Radio France has been experimenting with object-oriented audio productions of electronic music concerts,” explains Hervé Déjardin, audio innovation project manager at Radio-France. “These trials have highlighted the need for a common protocol between the different elements of the chain. The objective is to be able to address the metadata streams to different rendering engines without using translators.”

ADM-OSC offers a universal communication language among object-based audio software for live and post-production. A technical workgroup with industry peers has been created to advance on this proposal and collaborate on the parameters. This workgroup has received the support of multiple manufacturers and the ADM-OSC language is currently implemented in some audio software.

As Hugo Larin, FLUX:: Immersive Business Director, explains, “Few things are more of a roadblock than trying to build an integrated workflow that incorporates multiple manufacturers and getting stuck in a proprietary communication portal. We felt there was a need to adopt a common communication, a common grammar, between industry peers.” With this in mind, FLUX::Immersive has added ADM-OSC as a supported input or output OSC communication option within its SPAT Revolution platform.

We clearly hear in the field the challenges of integrating multiple object editors and/or renderers delivering for various stream formats in a production,” Larin observes. ”Allowing for the selected tools of choice to interoperate in the environment of the day or at different stages of a project is one of the things that this audio object language can brilliantly achieve.”

Guillaume Le Nost, L-Acoustics Executive Director, Creative Technologies adds: “As an industry, we need to nail down the immersive workflow to enable the next generation of productions. I am really glad to see that many pro audio manufacturers have reacted positively to our initiative, from Digital Audio Workstations to Broadcast systems. I am really looking forward to providing a super strong ecosystem, where users can easily use several audio renderers at the same time, or easily move into post-production with ADM files at the centre of their workflow. It is still early days for ADM-OSC, but users and manufacturers can already try an initial ADM-OSC implementation in our L-ISA Controller software.”

A GitHub repository with specifications and a testing tool can be found at: https://github.com/immersive-audio-live/ADM-OSC

A panel discussion will take place at AES Fall Online 2021 on October 27th in the Immersive Audio program. To register, please visit: https://sched.co/ocEt

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