The AES 140th International Convention Committee has announced that Spatial Audio expert Rozenn Nicol will deliver the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France. The lecture, titled “The Immersive Audio Revolution: From Labs to Mass-Market,” which will address the major developments in spatial audio in recent years, is the latest in the Heyser Lecture series, first established in May 1999 by the AES Technical Council and the Board of Governors in conjunction with the Richard Heyser Scholarship fund. At each convention, this lecture brings eminent individuals in audio engineering and related fields to speak on a relevant topic of choice.
Nicol’s lecture will help reinforce the Immersive Audio theme at the upcoming Paris convention, noting many of the changes and opportunities in the field. With the many developments in spatial audio over the past 25 years, and after more than 50 years of stereophony, new technologies such as Wave Field Synthesis, Higher Order Ambisonics and Vector-Base Amplitude Panning have been introduced, demonstrating promise of an enhanced 3D audio experience, where virtual sound sources can be accurately synthesized in any direction. With the development of various loudspeaker formats for multichannel audio reproduction, increasing channel counts and placement schemes, including height channels, offer improvements in sonic immersion and sound spatialization. In parallel, a burgeoning assortment of tools is available for the capture, editing, coding and reproduction of spatial audio. Because these developments require increasingly complex setups of loudspeakers, immersive audio faces the risk of being limited to movie theaters, amusement parks and other public spaces. Fortunately, a new step was recently reached with the binaural adaptation of any multichannel audio format to headphone listening. Pioneering experiments by radio and television organizations (BBC, Radio France, France Télévisions) show that immersive audio is very close to achieving mass market penetration. More »