Scene-Based Audio & Higher Order Ambisonics technology overview and workflows

Tech Review 2019

This article discusses how SBA and HOA can be used to implement NGA systems, producing any combination of TV, VR, and 360° video programme using a single audio workflow.

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Scene Based Audio (SBA) is a set of technologies for 3D audio that is based on Higher Order Ambisonics. HOA is a technology that allows for accurate capturing, efficient delivery, and compelling reproduction of 3D audio sound fields on any device, such as headphones, arbitrary loudspeaker configurations, or soundbars. This article introduces SBA and describes the workflows for production, transport and reproduction of 3D audio using HOA. The efficient transport of HOA is made possible by state-of-the-art compression technologies such as those contained in the MPEG-H Audio standard.

Examples of how SBA and HOA can be used by broadcasters to successfully implement Next Generation Audio systems, and to deliver any combination of TV, VR, and 360° video experiences using a single audio workflow are also discussed in the article.

The authors have all worked for Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and are actively researching advanced audio aspects such as  sound fields, beam-forming and perceptual coding, to name but a few.