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Fairlight, DTS Introduce 3DAW

Fairlight 3DAW’s 3-D Panner

Fairlight in Sydney, Australia, and DTS, Inc. announced the release of Fairlight’s new 3DAW, a 3-D audio production platform with native MDA mixing and format support. DTS worked with experts in the content creation community to create the MDA specification, an open next-generation audio format.

The new Fairlight 3DAW is a turnkey solution based on Fairlight’s Crystal Core Media processor and software. It offers audio engineers with a ready-to-go, creative tool to design sound in both object-based or channel 3-D mixing methods. The system provides onscreen 3-D panning via a plug-in, as well as extensive monitoring functions. 3DAW is able to generate a diverse range of mixes ranging from stereo, 5.1, 7.1, 9.1+2, DTS Neo:X, as well as an object-based mix (MDA). A separate tablet control application allows for easy previewing and demonstration of audio output to verify and display the results of the creative process.

In January 2013, DTS publicly announced its intent to provide MDA as an open object-based audio authoring format, as the pro audio industry looks to avoid a format war for next-gen content creation and cinema delivery. Fairlight’s 3DAW enables sound designers to mix object-based audio in unrestricted 3-D space, monitor on any configuration, and output in DTS’ proposed future specification—MDA. Additionally, Fairlight’s 3DAW will feature the ability to mix soundtracks for DTS Neo:X, a channel-based audio solution designed to support up to an 11.1 speaker system.

Fairlight states that the MDA specification is currently being proposed to international standardization committees as an alternative to today’s closed proprietary solutions. MDA allows every sound element of a soundtrack to be mapped in 3-D space, storing all of the spatial and behavioral information of each sound element as metadata. Mixing audio with MDA as opposed to other surround sound platforms allows a soundtrack to maintain the exact spatial characteristics of the audio as intended by the mixer.

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