I’m in Berlin again for the first time in 8 years which means two things:
- They let me out of Galaxy Studios for a bit
- It’s AES time!!!
This week was the 142nd AES Convention in Berlin. I was really excited to go to an AES convention for the second time and also to see some of my friends from Norway again that came down for the convention.
This convention is much smaller than the one I went to in New York City a few years ago, but there’s no shortage of talks; particularly, about ambisonics, binarual audio, multichannel audio and object based audio. Avid is showing off their new native Atmos mixing for Protools HD, which includes a heap of features and, I have to say, looks much more streamlined than the Auro 3D plugins I’ve been using back at Galaxy. I still find Atmos limiting, particularly for music and soundscapes, because it is restricted to 48kHz and is not able to have channel based audio in the top channels; however it definitely has a lot of good applications particularly for broadcast and customization. It would be great to properly work with it someday!
Sennheiser also had a lot of talks promoting their new AMBEO line, which includes an ambisonics microphone and the KU 100 binaural microphone/dummy head. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser himself delivered the Heyser lecture, which outlined the journal of audio from mono applications to the modern day.
In fact, the whole event felt very future leaning, with many talks looking at the trials and tribulations of working with audio for VR, 360 video, and new approaches and applications for binaural recording including broadcast (BBC and Radio France in particular are looking at this), enhancing descriptive video services, and improving monitoring systems for conductors. It’s started to get me thinking a lot more about when I’m done at Galaxy– I really love working with immersive audio, but the practicality is that it has to work on headphones; there aren’t many people that are able to set up a 9.1 studio in their home. I definitely can’t afford one, so if I want to listen to any of my 9.1 mixes again, I’ll need to render it on headphones!
This has all gotten me thinking a lot more about working with 360 video and VR as well. I think it’s time I dig into my computer science background and pull out those coding skills 😉