There are several ways of creating a sound experience that is pleasant to the listener. Normally, we have been using traditional methods to distribute sounds such as stereo and multichannel audio mixes. Nowadays, a newer technology is reaching success: Spatial Audio. Different terms can be used to refer to it: 360 audio, 3D audio, immersive sound, virtual sound, among others. The key factor in all this is being able to find a system that allows sound to come from all directions around the listener and therefore, create an immersive and interactive experience.
Facebook 360 Work station
First, let’s define some of the key concepts to understand more about this technology

Binaural Audio

Binaural audio technology allows a listener the opportunity to experience a full 360 immersive experience through headphones. It takes into account the physical characteristics of the human head to define proper cues that allow this to happen.

B-Format Ambisonics


Ambisonics is a way to describe a complete sound field on a 360-degree sphere. It can be described as a method to record, mix and reproduce multidimensional audio.
The most common format for Ambisonics is known as B Format. For this, the sound field is composed of 4 axis or channels. (W,X, Y and Z). If a listener is situates in the center of the sound field, this axis reflect the following:
W: Omnidirectional Channel
X: Left and Right
Y: Up and Down
Z: Back and Forth

A Format Ambisonics

Once we count with the recording signal on A format, we convert it to the standardized B Format. There are three different orders for this and the higher the order, the more defined the sound field will be for the listener.
First Order Ambisonics: 4 Channels
Second Order Ambisonics: 9 Channels
Third Order Ambisonic: 16 Channels
Ambisonic B-Format
A first order ambisonics file consists on 4 channels. The first one will transport the signal amplitude and the other 3 will be responsible for the directionality within the 360 sound field.
Stay tuned, we will keep learning more about Ambisonics and VR Audio !
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