Technology                                                 

Find out what's behind IOSONO 3D Sound

  • In sound reproduction, it has always been a goal to create a more plausible and immersive reproduction of sound. In the development from Mono to Stereo to Surround many different speaker layouts for multichannel audio formats have been proposed - 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, 11.1 or 22.2 are just a few examples. The numbers of speakers have continuously increased but the limitations of multichannel formats have remained unchanged. Surround reproduction relies on the listener to be evenly spaced between the speakers for the full effect to be heard. But moving outside this small area, the so called “sweet spot”, causes the illusion to collapse. A problem on the production side is that while content is produced for specific formats, it is adapted to non correct setups during reproduction. Further, venue operators need to install a new system at every new development to play back reasonably. With IOSONO’s technology the limitations of multi-channel formats belong to the past and listeners will experience soundscapes of incredible vividness, clarity and quality.

    Rendering & Reproduction

    The unique approach of Barco's IOSONO technology for sound reproduction effectively removes the speakers from the equation, reproducing individual sounds not just around the listener, but inside the room, outside the room and overhead in any direction, placing acoustic objects accurately in three-dimensional space. The IOSONO CORE audio processor is a comprehensive device for rendering object based audio for the realization and control of any type of surround sound format or reproduction system. At installation, the room is measured for speaker positions, audience area, and screen size if needed. A map is made from this information and loaded into the processor. The frequency response of each individual speaker channel is precisely optimized so that tonal balance is maintained no matter where a sound comes from.

    The IOSONO rendering algorithm dynamically assesses the position and movement of each individual object and its relationship to the described speaker positions and listening area. At reproduction, the IOSONO CORE renders the objects (sounds and spatial data) for proper presentation depending on the environment (room shape, number and position of loudspeakers, screen size, etc.) or for the application (WFS, standard stereo playback, 5.1, binaural, etc.).

     

  • Object Based Mixing

    Barco Audio Technologies has changed the standard methods of working with spatial sound - introducing the object-based approach for creation and reproduction to the industry in 2006. For creation, we have had developed an intuitive tool set for object-based scene description. Audio objects (sounds) are described with three-dimensional coordinates and a variety of other source traits. The audio objects are kept individual, along with the descriptive spatial data without defining the balance into specific speakers. Source audio can use normal recording multitrack techniques as well as surround microphones and most any method of recording. The Spatial Audio Work Station plug-in provides all the tools necessary for defining the object-based scene. Object-based mixes can use a single layer of speakers or have multiple layers for creating periphony (sound with height) or the inclusion of special channels for effects like animated characters in museum attractions.

    The level of sonic immersion created with an IOSONO sound system is extraordinary as objects can be automated by the sound designer to move freely inside, or outside, of the room. For example a nearing thunderstorm can be perceived as approaching from the distance or the sounds of the raindrops can be placed falling on the heads of listeners. The technology behind the creation of IOSONO 3D sound is based on the principles of Wave Field Synthesis and the related research by Fraunhofer. It was perceptually optimized with several patented new methods for spatial audio reproduction developed by Barco Audio Technologies.

    Publications

    Below is selection of publications by Barco Audio Technologies. Please contact us in case of interest.

    • "Design and integration of a 3D WFS System in a cinema environment including ceiling speakers", F. Melchior, S. Mauer, M. Dausel, DAGA, Düsseldorf 2012
    • "Design and Realization of a Reference Class Loudspeaker Panel for Wave Field Synthesis", S. Mauer, F. Melchior, 130th AES Convention, London 2011
    • "A Novel Framework for Simulation and Auralization of Massive Multichannel Systems", F. Melchior, L. Altman, A. Neidhardt, J.R. Menzinger, S. Mauer, Paper presented at DAGA, Düsseldorf 2011
    • "Object-based Audio Production for Planetarium. A New Tool Set for Content Exchange", F. Melchior, J. Bärwolf, IPS, Alexandria 2010
    • "Design and Implementation of an Interactive Room Simulation for Wave Field Synthesis", F. Melchior, C. Sladeczek, A. Partzsch, S. Brix, Paper presented at the 40th AES Conference 2010