S3A: Future Spatial Audio for an Immersive Listener Experience at Home
S3A is a major five-year UK research collaboration between internationally leading experts in 3D audio and visual processing, the BBC and UK industry. Its goal is to enable listeners to experience the sense of "being there" at a live event, such as a concert or football match, from the comfort of their living room through delivery of immersive 3D sound to the home.
EPSRC Grant Ref: EP/L000539/1
Start date: 2013
End date: 2019
Further information about the project and its partners can be found at s3a-spatialaudio.org
The IoSR researchers contributing to this project are:
Project Outline (IoSR)
Recording engineers have often sought to reproduce the spatial properties of sound fields, and this has led to the development of a range of technologies. Two-channel stereo has been common for some time, but systems with a higher channel count (including rear and height loudspeakers) are also in use and, recently, there has been a move towards loudspeaker-agnostic methods using audio objects. Perceptual evaluation, perception-related measurement, and perceptually informed processing, can enhance the quality of new types of audio reproduction system and can enhance listener experience.
Our work has: ascertained which attributes of reproduced spatial audio are most important to listeners, modelled perceptual attributes in terms of their physical correlates, developed perceptual-model-based audio metering, developed perceptually optimised algorithms to enhance key attributes. Details can be found in the publications listed below.
- J.Francombe, T.Brookes, R.Mason, "Determination and validation of mix parameters for modifying envelopment in object-based audio", Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 66(3), pp.127-145, 2018.
- J.Francombe, J.Woodcock, R.J.Hughes, R.Mason, A.Franck, C.Pike, T.Brookes, W.J.Davies, P.J.B.Jackson, T.J.Cox, F.M.Fazi, A.Hilton, "Qualitative evaluation of media device orchestration for immersive spatial audio reproduction", Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 66(6), pp.414-429, 2018.
- J.Woodcock, J.Franombe, A.Franck, P.Coleman, R.Hughes, H.Kim, Q.Liu, D.Menzies, M.F.Simón Gálvez, Y.Tang, T.Brookes, W.J.Davies, B.M.Fazenda, R.Mason, T.J.Cox, F.M.Fazi, P.Jackson, C.Pike, A.Hilton, "A Framework for Intelligent Metadata Adaptation in Object-Based Audio", AES International Conference on Spatial Reproduction—Aesthetics and Science, 7–9 August 2018, Tokyo, Japan.
- Francombe J, Brookes T, Mason R, "Evaluation of Spatial Audio Reproduction Methods (Part 1): Elicitation of Perceptual Differences", Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 65(3), pp.198-211, 2017
- Francombe J, Brookes T, Mason R, Woodcock J, "Evaluation of Spatial Audio Reproduction Methods (Part 2): Analysis of Listener Preference", Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 65(3), pp.212-225, 2017
- J.Francombe, R.Mason, P.Jackson, T.Brookes, R.Hughes, J.Woodcock, A.Franck, F.Melchior, C.Pike, "Media Device Orchestration for Immersive Spatial Audio Reproduction", 12th International Audio Mostly Conference on Augmented and Participatory Sound and Music Experiences, 2017
- J.Francombe, T.Brookes, R.Mason, "Automatic text clustering for audio attribute elicitation experiment responses", AES 143rd Convention, 2017
- J.Francombe, T.Brookes, R.Mason, J.Woodcock (2016) "Determining and Labeling the Preference Dimensions of Spatial Audio Replay", IEEE QoMEX 2016, Lisbon, Portugal
- Francombe J, Brookes TS, Mason R, Melchior F, "Loudness matching multichannel audio programme material with listeners and predictive models", 139th International AES Convention, 2015.
- J. Francombe, T. Brookes, and R. Mason, "Perceptual evaluation of spatial audio: where next?", in Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress on Sound and Vibration, Florence, Italy, 12-16 July 2015.
- J. Francombe, T. Brookes, and R. Mason, "Elicitation of the differences between real and reproduced audio", in Proc. Audio Engineering Society 138th Convention, Warsaw, 7-10 May 2015.
- P.Coleman, P.J.B. Jackson and J. Francombe, "Audio object separation using microphone array beamforming", in Proc. Audio Engineering Society 138th Convention, Warsaw, 7-10 May 2015.
- J. Francombe, T. Brookes, R. Mason, R. Flindt, P. Coleman, Q. Liu, and P.J.B. Jackson, "Production and reproduction of programme material for a variety of spatial audio formats", in Proc. Audio Engineering Society 138th Convention, Warsaw, 7-10 May 2015.
Download resourcesThe S3A data archive is available at www.s3a-spatialaudio.org/datasets.
Additionally, the S3A multi-channel reproduction system comparison dataset is a set of six 20-second audio excerpts, each in seven different spatial formats. If you would like to use this dataset, for non-commercial research use only, please email Dr Tim Brookes.