Gaudio, an audio company currently leading the multi-billion dollar virtual reality market, introduced its latest technology last week at this year’s meeting of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in Los Angeles.
AES, held this year Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, has for more than 65 years been the world’s largest gathering of audio professionals and enthusiasts from more than 100 countries. This year, Gaudio CEO Dr. Henney Oh gave a keynote address on “End-to-End VR Audio Solution for a Fully Immersive/Interactive Experience.”
Gaudio, www.gaudiolab.com, presented internationally for the first time its binaural rendering technology that provides spatial audio for virtual reality content using regular earphones. The new technology localizes sound by making real-time calculations of distance and direction between VR device users and the sources of sound in a VR situation.
“Conventional 3D audio systems do not work on VR, since they cannot match the sound to the image whenever the user moves,” said Dr. Oh. “The spatial audio we’ve developed is all around you as sound occurs in real life. When you move around and turn your head the sound moves with you.”
Gaudio’s binaural rendering technology has been adopted as the international standard by the MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) committee after competing against global tech giants. MPEG-H is the international standard for transmitting and playing the immersive multimedia contents such as 4K UHD video and 3D audio, which were set from 2011 to 2015. This is the technology used for 3D audio headphones.
Gaudio differs from the competition in that its technology supports all and any combination of Ambisonics (scene-based), object-based or channel-based sound techniques. In addition to the horizontal plane, Ambisonics covers sound sources above and below the listener. Unlike other multichannel surround formats, its transmission channels do not carry loudspeaker-signals, already mapped at certain positions.
Instead, they contain a speaker-independent representation of a sound field called B-format, which is then decoded to the listener’s loudspeaker layout. This extra step allows the producer to think in terms of source directions rather than loudspeaker positions, and offers the listener a considerable degree of freedom (i.e., 3-DOF). In addition to that, the object-based sound renders each sound source comprising sound scene in real-time, which enables 6-DOF of a listener and eventually supports full interactivity.
Gaudio is in a unique position, as it supports both Ambisonics and object-based sound together — creating the most convincing, immersive sound as easily as possible with its own advanced binaural rendering technology, Gaudio Core.
“Most people don’t understand the importance of sound in the virtual reality and movie-making experiences,” said Dr. Oh. “Audio is much more important in VR than it is in conventional media. Positional audio is a key cue in VR storytelling. Due to the user’s freedom of viewpoint, sound is an important signal to direct viewer’s attention to a scene and story as the producer intended. Unlike conventional media, immersive audio is critical for the VR experience.”
Gaudio’s spatial audio technology works with both types of virtual reality content: Cinematic virtual reality concerns technology used in films, sporting videos, concerts videos, and consumer-led experiences. Virtual reality games is the VR technology that enables virtual reality gaming experiences.
Gaudio’s audio solution can easily be adopted by the existing aural production/consumption chain (sound acquisition goes into post production — mixing, mastering — and is then transmitted into the playing/rendering).
Gaudio Works is a Plugin for authoring tool used in post-production stages (i.e. software program for sound engineers and for content creators including film makers, game developers, and audio studios). Its beta version is currently available on the Gaudio website. Anyone can install and use it via Pro Tools. Gaudio Sol is an API that can either be installed on software or hardware and which enables users to listen to the sound placed at any point in 3D space depending on the context.
Gaudio Works can be used by movie and video developers such as HBO, Dreamworks, FOX, Warner Brothers, etc. and by game developers such as EA Sports, Blizzard Entertainment, Nexon and Wargaming. Gaudio Sol can be used by player developers such as YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc.; HMD producers such as Sony and Samsung; OS developers such as Microsoft, Apple and Google; and Chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm, Samsung and NVidia.
Gaudio is an audio company with technology that is currently leading the multi-billion dollar virtual reality market. The start-up is attracting interest in the virtual reality industry because of its advanced audio systems, which are state-of-the-art.
As the virtual reality phenomenon intensifies, there is an enormous need for advanced sound compatible with VR. Until recently, the virtual reality advancements came from technology that accentuated visual effects and 360-degree settings. Gaudio is leading the charge in developing systems that can provide a sonic experience equal in its reality and intensity.
According to Gaudio CEO Henney Oh, there hasn’t been a notable revolution in audio technology for decades. Gaudio’s plan is to capture the worldwide market in VR sound with an interactive audio experience perfectly suited to VR content.
The start-up has developed audio technology that provides spatial audio for virtual reality content using regular earphones.