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At AES: Immersive Education in Spatial Audio

VR, immersive audio and more are on the educational agenda at AES.

Spatial/immersive audio has been an important part of the audio landscape for years, particularly in movies and theme parks. But with the prevalence of high-end gaming systems and virtual reality, its role has increased significantly in recent months. This trend is being addressed with a four-day conference track that takes a deep dive on the subject, covering current trends, techniques and the various verticals that take advantage of it.

“The realm of new and emerging audio applications for interactive gaming and extended reality is one of the fastest-growing segments of the audio production industry,” says Steve Martz, director of global technology at THX Ltd., and chairman of this track. “Best-selling gaming titles continue to vie for top entertainment platforms among consumers, while extended reality applications—from high-end computing to mobile apps and streaming—bring new possibilities and insights to both new and old projects and productions.”

Here are a few of highlights from the program, but if you work in games or VR or any other kind of immersive audio, be sure to check out the entire track on the AES Convention website or in the show app.

Investigate immersive audio in action at “Immersive & Spatial Audio: IS01—Spatial Audio-Video Creations for Music, Virtual Reality and 3D Productions—Case Studies.” Moderated by Tomasz Zernicki, Zylia sp. z o.o., this panel presents professional audio engineers and musicians discussing their 360, 3D and ambient productions and how they combined the sound and the vision. This workshop will focus on the usage of spherical microphone arrays and the separation of individual sound sources in post-production. (Wednesday; 10:45 a.m.—12:15 p.m.; 1E17 [Surround Room]).

In “Game Audio & XR: GA04—Games v. Cinema: Grudge Match,” two leaders from cinema and two leaders from games discuss their respective audio design styles and see if there is any common ground or if the two genres are completely different. (Thursday; 10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.; 1E08)

No matter what we design for, sooner or later someone is going to listen to it on a phone. On Friday, “Immersive & Spatial Audio: IS09—Spatial Reproduction on Mobile Devices” presenter Yesenia Lacouture Parodi of HUAWEI Technologies Duesseldorf GmbH will discuss how it is possible to overcome some of the limitations we encounter when reproducing spatial audio with mobile devices, what kind of applications can benefit from the use of these technologies and what challenges remain for us to solve. (Friday; 9 a.m-10 a.m.; 1E08)

That barely scratches the surface of this deep track. Use the AES Convention app or visit to see all the educational offerings.