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360 Spatial Audio Production: Advanced Techniques

  • 10 hours
  • 5 evenings (7pm to 9pm) - over 5 weeks
  • 13 May 2019

Overview

In this practical evening course you'll explore advanced techniques and principles for creating high-quality soundtracks for 360 videos

You'll learn practical techniques for capturing spatial audio, using industry standard tools including Sennheiser microphones, Zoom field recorders, the Facebook Audio 360 suite of tools and Reaper digital audio workstation.

You'll learn how to perfect your techniques for recording, editing and mixing ambisonic spatial audio, and combining the finished mix with a 360 video, ready for delivery.

By the end of the course, you should have the knowledge and practical and creative skills to make high quality spatial audio productions, add them to video and deliver onto multiple platforms.

The course involves lectures and practical exercises. There's an emphasis on helping you to get excellent results quickly and highlighting common problems you may encounter.

Sessions are held on Monday evenings, from 7 to 9pm, over five weeks (13 May to 17 June 2019, with no class on 27 May due to the bank holiday).

This course is run by the Open City Docs School, based in UCL's Department of Anthropology.

Who this course is for

To attend this course you should have:

  • understanding of complex multi-channel workflows
  • basic understanding of, and experience using, Reaper DAW
  • basic understanding of spatial audio technologies, such as Ambisonics, VBAP, WFS
  • worked on at least one 360/VR project

This course follows on from the course 360 Spatial Audio Production: an Introduction, going over the same material but in greater depth.

If you are unsure about your experience level, please get in touch with ripley@opencitylondon.com

Course content

Each session will cover the following:

Session 1 - Advanced concepts in spatial audio

  • Fundamentals of spatial audio
  • Advanced human hearing, head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), and psychoacoustics
  • Key differences between spatial and traditional audio
  • Ambisonics and other spatial formats
  • Learning how to identify ‘good’ and ‘bad’ spatial audio
  • Critical listening exercises and understanding what the medium can offer
  • Using 360 audio as a creative storytelling tool for increased immersion

Session 2 - Advanced recording techniques for 360 video

  • Recording audio for 360 video
  • Advanced onset, wild-track, and spatial sound design techniques (Sound Particles)
  • Advanced A-Format, and lapel radio microphones and using field recorders
  • Spatial foley recording
  • Use of voiceover and headlocked stereo (diegetic vs non-diegetic)

Session 3 - Advanced editing and manipulation of 360 audio

  • Advanced editing and automation of spatial audio with Reaper (digital audio workstation)
  • Advanced use of the Facebook Audio 360 workstation suite of plugins and tools
  • Other freeware 360 audio tools including AmbiX, Blue Ripple and IET
  • 360 ambisonic reverberation and room simulation

Session 4 - Advanced spatial mixing, immersive sound design, music and headlocked stereo

  • Spatial mixing and automation in Reaper
  • Immersive sound design techniques and resources
  • Use of reverberation for increased realism
  • Basics of binaural headphone delivery and speaker arrays

Session 5 - Exporting, encoding, and muxing for delivery

  • Exporting master audio mixes from reaper
  • Target output levels, optimisation, and good monitoring practices
  • Encoding and muxing for multiple delivery platforms including Youtube, Facebook, and Samsung Gear VR
  • Uploading, sideloading and checking before final delivery
  • Future developments and ways to stay current

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should:

  • be familiar with in-depth concepts and advantages of spatial audio as well as commonly used terminology
  • understand the different approaches required for producing audio for 360° video
  • be familiar with the layout and toolsets available in Reaper and the Facebook 360 workstation, automating audio objects to follow moving actors within a 360° video
  • be able to use the more detailed controls within Reaper to automate an audio source to follow an object within a 360° video
  • understand the signal flows required for ingesting, editing, spatialising and automating the movement of audio sources in the 360° soundfield
  • understand the variations between the platforms and how to ensure the finished product performs optimally on each platform

Cost and concessions

This course fees are:

  • £300 - full price (external applicants who aren't students)
  • £275 - external students
  • £250 - UCL students

A discount is available if you book this course and the introductory course. Please contact ripley@opencitylondon for more details. 

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Course team

Axel Drioli

Axel is a freelance immersive audio designer and producer who has worked on international 360 and VR projects. Recent clients include include Mixed Immersion, Visualise, Picture this Production, 1.618 digital, and Pebble Studios. He's currently tutoring at UCL on the MA Immersive Factual Storytelling course.


Jack Reynolds

Jack is a specialist 360 audio engineer at SohoVR, CEO of Reynolds Microphones, musician and sound designer. He's president of the UCL Audio Engineering Society.


Course information last modified: 08 Mar 2019, 12:12

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