F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve provided valuable information to enhance your understanding of immersive audio and assist in selecting formats tailored to your needs.

What are sonic tools?

Sonic tools are immersive unordinary listening experiences you can use to change your emotional state, increase brain elasticity and reshape your perception of the acoustic environment.

How do the sonic tools work?

By immersing yourself in the sonic content your brain will be stimulated or entrained. The Spatial Audio component enhances the experience.

We invite you to experiment and see how your state changes after listening to the different experiences.

What are the benefits?

Improved mental wellbeing

Increased creativity 

Improved focus and concentration

Enhanced cognitive function

Reduced stress levels

Deep relaxation

Better sleep
More acceptance or less resistance towards unwelcome sounds

Why is there no video on the mp4?

 

We choose to not add video because we want you to focus on the listening. By closing your eyes the effects of the auditory experience are enhanced. 

Can I buy or listen your content somewhere else?

You can find all of our sonic tools and the content in specific immersive audio formats only on our website. On the streaming platforms you can find a selection of our catalogue in a binaural audio format for headphones. 

Why Dolby Atmos and not other immersive formats?

We are using the Dolby Atmos format because it is widely supported by the majority of audio devices, making our content accessible. It’s important to note that while there are other immersive audio formats on the market, some of which are superior to Atmos, we have chosen this platform to maximise accessibility. We keep the option open to release content in other formats to broaden our offering.

which devices are compatible with your content?

HOME THEATER

The audio formats we use for home theater systems are:
– Dolby Atmos Digital Plus (Lossy)
– Dolby Atmos TrueHD (Lossless)

 

Dolby Atmos TrueHD uses the MKV (Matrioska Video) format or in online streaming content, Dolby Atmos TrueHD may be present with the extension “.mkv” or “.mp4”, depending on the specific configuration.
Dolby Atmos Digital Plus uses the MP4 format.

  • Dolby Atmos Digital Plus:
    • Compression: Dolby Atmos Digital Plus uses lossy compression, which means that some audio data is discarded during the compression process.
    • Data Loss: As a lossy format, Dolby Atmos Digital Plus incurs some loss of audio information, but the level of loss is designed to be imperceptible to the human ear.
    • Bitrate: The bitrate for Dolby Atmos Digital Plus typically ranges from 384 to 768 kbps, depending on the specific implementation and the streaming service.
  • Dolby Atmos TrueHD:
    • Compression: Dolby Atmos TrueHD, on the other hand, utilizes lossless compression, preserving all the original audio data without any loss during compression.
    • Data Loss: Being a lossless format, Dolby Atmos TrueHD does not introduce any loss of audio quality, providing a more accurate representation of the original sound.
    • Bitrate: The bitrate for Dolby Atmos TrueHD is generally higher compared to Dolby Atmos Digital Plus, and it can range from 4 to 18 Mbps, depending on the complexity of the audio content.

CONCLUSION:

In summary, the choice between TrueHD with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Atmos DD+ depends on specific needs, with TrueHD offering maximum lossless audio quality, while Dolby Atmos DD+ provides good quality with broader compatibility across a variety of devices.

 

SMART SPEAKERS

For listening to our immersive content with smart speakers or sound bars, we recommend Dolby Atmos Digital Plus in MP4 format.

Dolby Digital Plus is widely used by streaming and broadcast services to deliver surround sound audio at lower bitrates.  Dolby Atmos audio in Dolby Digital Plus is typically encoded at bitrates between 384 and 768 kbps.

 

The ability to play Dolby Atmos TrueHD files depends on the specific technical capabilities of the soundbar or smart speakers in question. Dolby Atmos TrueHD is a high-resolution audio format and requires specific hardware and software support for proper playback.

Some soundbars and smart speakers may support Dolby Atmos, but not all of them can handle the TrueHD format. It’s important to check the specifications of the device and the supported features. Some products may offer simulation or reconstruction of Dolby Atmos without supporting the TrueHD format.

If you want to fully enjoy the Dolby Atmos TrueHD audio experience, it’s advisable to use a dedicated audio system that supports this format and is compatible with the audio sources you are using.

VR GAME / 360° MOVIE

For your 360° video or immersive video game, the format is Ambix. 

Ambix is an Ambisonic audio format that represents a three-dimensional sound field comprehensively. 

Ambix is commonly used in immersive audio productions, such as 360-degree videos, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). Its spherical representation offers an engaging and realistic sound experience

**Professional Audio Production:** Audiophiles and professional recording studios may use Ambix to capture and reproduce a wide range of spatial details in sound.

**Post-Production:** Ambix can be employed in audio post-production for applications like film sound design, advanced music production, and the creation of multi-channel audio content.

**Compatibility with Other Immersive Technologies:** Ambix is often integrated with other immersive technologies, such as motion tracking systems and 3D graphics, for a comprehensive and synchronized audio representation with the visual environment.

In summary, the Ambisonic Ambix format is designed to provide a comprehensive and three-dimensional audio representation, making it suitable for a wide range of immersive and professional applications.”

HEADPHONES / HEARABLES

We offer the finest spatial audio quality for headphones. No need to have an account on music streaming platforms.
Just choose the FLAC or MP3 format and then download the track to your phone / Tablet / PC and connect your earpiece. Our audio is available for headphones, pods, and hearables connected to Mobile Phones, tablets, Laptop PC or Multimedia Players.

For listening our content with headphones or hearables the audio formats are two : 

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a compressed audio format that differs from traditional lossy compression methods. Unlike formats like MP3 or AAC, FLAC is a lossless compression, meaning it retains all the original audio data during compression without sacrificing quality. The compression in FLAC is achieved by encoding redundant data more efficiently rather than discarding it.

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) format is a widely used audio file format that employs lossy audio compression to reduce the file size while maintaining a good level of sound quality. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and has become the de facto standard for online digital music files. MP3 files are about 1/10th the size of uncompressed audio formats like WAV or AIFF, making them ideal for streaming over the internet and storing large music collections. The format allows for the storage of music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other audio content, and is supported by a wide range of devices and operating systems. 

 

PC LAPTOP TABLET

For listening to our immersive content WITHOUT HEADPHONES OR HEARABLES with your computer / laptop or tablet the audio format is Dolby Atmos Digital Plus in mp4 format.

Dolby Digital Plus is widely used by streaming and broadcast services to deliver surround sound audio at lower bitrates.  Dolby Atmos audio in Dolby Digital Plus is typically encoded at bitrates between 384 and 768 kbps..

It is necessary to use a media player that supports Dolby Atmos and the associated audio formats. Some popular media players such as QuickTime,  VLC, Windows Media Player and some Blu-ray playback software can handle Dolby Atmos audio files, but it is important to ensure that your PC’s operating system and audio settings are configured correctly for Dolby Atmos support.

SOUND INSTALLATION

If you would like to have a sound installation for your event or space, whether temporary or permanent, please contact us by e-mail 

What type of audio format do I need
to use with my device?

Binaural audio (FLAC-MP3)

For Headphones / Hearables only.

Is an audio format for spatial audio over headphones, earphones and hearables.

The binaural audio format is the simplest and most cost-effective way to delve into the realm of immersive audio. Listening with headphones of any type and quality (clearly, higher-quality headphones provide more details and precise sound localization) positions this format as the most widely used.

This is made possible by Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) rendering, which translates complex spatial mixes in the left and right channels to create a realistic immersive audio effect in headphones.

 

For listening our content with headphones or hearables the audio formats are two :

FLAC and MP3.

 

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a compressed audio format that differs from traditional lossy compression methods. Unlike formats like MP3 or AAC, FLAC is a lossless compression, meaning it retains all the original audio data during compression without sacrificing quality. The compression in FLAC is achieved by encoding redundant data more efficiently rather than discarding it.

 

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) format is a widely used audio file format that employs lossy audio compression to reduce the file size while maintaining a good level of sound quality. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and has become the de facto standard for online digital music files. MP3 files are about 1/10th the size of uncompressed audio formats like WAV or AIFF, making them ideal for streaming over the internet and storing large music collections. The format allows for the storage of music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other audio content, and is supported by a wide range of devices and operating systems.

 

Atmos TrueHD (MKV-MLP)

for Home Theater | High quality Sound bar 

 TrueHD with Dolby Atmos requires compatible audio and video devices for full utilization. This includes Blu-ray players, AV receivers, soundbars, and home theater systems that support Dolby Atmos and TrueHD.

 

Dolby TrueHD, also known as MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), is a lossless audio codec used widely on HD and UHD Blu-ray Discs. Dolby TrueHD supports up to 24-bit audio and sampling rates from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz. Dolby TrueHD supports up to 7.1 audio channels as well as Dolby Atmos immersive audio. 

 

Many modern media streamers from popular brands such as Nvidia Tv Shield, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and others often support the “audio passthrough” feature to allow the unaltered transmission of audio to your external audio system.

It is advisable to check the product specifications or device settings to confirm the presence of this function.

 

 

MKV (Matroska)

 

The MKV audio format is compatible with high-quality audio tracks, including advanced codecs like Dolby TrueHD, commonly associated with Dolby Atmos. This means that MKV audio tracks can incorporate lossless audio in Dolby TrueHD format, providing a high-quality sound experience, including the capability for three-dimensional object-based audio with Dolby Atmos.

 

Additional features of compatibility with Dolby Atmos TrueHD:

 

1. Dolby TrueHD: MKV can host audio tracks in Dolby TrueHD format, which is a lossless audio codec used to maintain the highest possible sound fidelity.

 

2. Dolby Atmos: Dolby TrueHD is often associated with Dolby Atmos, allowing for the playback of three-dimensional object-based audio. MKV audio tracks incorporating Dolby TrueHD can, therefore, deliver an immersive and spatial audio experience.

 

3. Extended Compatibility: MKV’s flexibility in supporting various audio codecs contributes to its ability to handle advanced audio tracks like Dolby TrueHD, making it suitable for high-definition audio content.

 

In summary, MKV’s compatibility with Dolby TrueHD, including support for Dolby Atmos, expands options for the distribution and enjoyment of high-quality audio content through this multimedia format.

 

 

 

MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing)

 

The MLP  audio format is a lossless audio codec developed by Meridian Audio. It is known for its lossless compression capability, allowing for the reduction of audio file sizes without compromising the original audio quality. The MLP format was initially developed for the high-fidelity audio industry and is commonly used in high-quality media such as DVD-Audio.

 

Key features of the MLP audio format:

 

1. Lossless: MLP offers lossless audio compression, meaning that all original audio data is preserved during the compression and decompression process.

 

2. High Fidelity: Due to its lossless nature, the MLP audio format maintains high-fidelity audio quality, making it suitable for audiophiles seeking top-notch audio experiences.

 

3. Usage in DVD-Audio: MLP was initially used as the primary audio format on DVD-Audio discs, providing high-resolution audio and advanced surround channels.

 

4. Multichannel Support: It supports multichannel configurations, allowing for the playback of surround audio on home theater systems.

 

5. Compatibility: While the format is best known for its use in DVD-Audio, it can also be employed in other contexts that demand lossless audio.

 

 

Atmos DD+ (MP4)

For Soundbar | Smart speakers | Sound bars | PC Tablet | Home Theater

MP4 audio files with Dolby Atmos DD+ can be played on devices compatible with Dolby Atmos. These may include soundbars, home theater systems, AV receivers, and Dolby Atmos-enabled audio devices ( smart speakers , tablet and PC laptop )

 

Playback Devices: Compatibility is contingent upon the playback devices and applications. Many modern soundbars, AV speakers, and audiovisual devices support Dolby Atmos DD+ through MP4 files.

 

It is crucial to verify the specifications and capabilities of audio devices to ensure support for MP4 files with Dolby Atmos DD+.

Ambisonics (WAV-AMBIX)

For immersive media | VR Games | 360° movie | Sound Design | Sound Installation

Ambix is commonly used in immersive audio productions, such as 360-degree videos, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). Its spherical representation offers an engaging and realistic sound experience.

Our recordings are made with third-order ambisonic microphones (TOA)*

Use cases of ambisonic format:

– Professional Audio Production: Audiophiles and professional recording studios may use Ambix to capture and reproduce a wide range of spatial details in sound.

 

– Post-Production: Ambix can be employed in audio post-production for applications like film sound design, advanced music production, and the creation of multi-channel audio content.

 

– Compatibility with Other Immersive Technologies: Ambix is often integrated with other immersive technologies, such as motion tracking systems and 3D graphics, for a comprehensive and synchronized audio representation with the visual environment.

 

In summary, the Ambisonic Ambix format is designed to provide a comprehensive and three-dimensional audio representation, making it suitable for a wide range of immersive and professional applications.

 

* Ambisonic orders refer to the number of microphone capsules in a spherical array used to capture three-dimensional audio. Increasing the order adds more capsules, enhancing precision in spatial audio recording.

 

SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

How do I place an order?

Select the products you wish to purchase, add them to your cart, and then proceed to checkout. You’ll be prompted to enter your shipping information and choose a payment method to complete your order. 

Is it safe to use my credit card on your site?

Yes, we use SSL encryption to protect your personal information and ensure that your credit card details are secure. We use Stripe as a payment provider. 

Do you offer international shipping?

Yes, we ship to many countries worldwide.
Shipping costs and times may vary depending on your location.

How do I return an item? (Phygital)

To return an item, please contact our customer service for a return authorisation  and instructions on how to send your item back to us.

When will I receive my refund? (Phygital)

Refunds are processed upon receipt and inspection of the (returned) item(s). Please allow a certain number of days, usually 5-10 business days, for the refund to be credited to your original payment method.

Can I order a product that is out of stock?(Phygital)

Unfortunately, you cannot order products that are out of stock. However, you can request to be notified when the item is back in stock.

How do I use a promotional code?

You can enter your promotional code called coupon code at checkout. The discount will be applied to your total purchase amount.

What do I do if I have a problem with my order?

If you have any issues with your order, please contact our customer service team for assistance. We’re here to help resolve any problems you may encounter.

How long does it take to receive the download link after purchase?

The download link is typically sent immediately after the purchase is confirmed. Please allow a few minutes for the email to arrive and check your spam folder if you can’t find it.

Can I download my purchased audio file more than once?

Yes, you can download your purchased digital products 3 times. Access your account to find the download links in your order history.

Are there any restrictions on the use of the digital product I purchase?

Yes, digital products and specifically audio files are subject to copyright and usage restrictions. You’re allowed to use them for personal use only, unless otherwise specified. Redistribution or resale is strictly prohibited. We sell separate licences for events, spaces and business use. Please contact us for more information. 

Can I return a digital product / audio file?

Due to the nature of digital products, returns are generally not accepted. However, if you experience technical issues or are dissatisfied with your purchase, please contact our customer service for support.

What do I do if I'm having trouble downloading or accessing my digital product?

If you’re experiencing difficulties with downloading or accessing your digital product, please ensure you have a stable internet connection and you’re using a compatible device. If problems persist, contact our customer service for assistance.

How can I transfer the audio file to my device?

You can transfer the audio file to your device using a USB connection, via cloud storage, or through any file-sharing method supported by your device. Detailed instructions can vary depending on your operating system and device model.

How do I unsubscribe from your newsletter?

You can unsubscribe by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any newsletter email.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept various payment methods including credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), PayPal, and sometimes bank transfers or payment upon delivery, depending on the region. We also accept crypto payments. 

Can I change or cancel my order?

You can change or cancel your order within 24 hours after placing it. Please contact customer service as soon as possible to make any changes. In the case of a digital order it is important that the product has not been downloaded or opened. 

How can I track my order?

Once your order has been shipped, we will send you a tracking number via email. You can use this number to track your order through the carrier’s website.

What is your return policy? (Phygital)

We accept returns within 14 days provided the items are in their original condition and have not been used. Please refer to our return policy page for more details.

What should I do if my order arrives damaged or defective? (Phygital)

If your order arrives damaged or defective, please contact us immediately to arrange for a replacement or refund.

What are the shipping costs? (Phygital)

Shipping costs vary depending on the size of your order and your location. You can view the shipping costs at checkout before completing your order.

How do I create an account?

You can create an account by clicking on the my account link or filling in all the details on the checkout page. 

How do I access my audio after purchase?

After completing your purchase, you’ll receive an email with a download link. You can also access your download link by logging into your account on our website and navigating to your order history/ downloads.

What should I do if I haven't received my download link?

If you haven’t received your download link within a few minutes of purchase, please check your spam or junk email folder. If it’s not there, contact our customer service for assistance.

What happens if the audio is updated after my purchase?

If a product is updated, we’ll send you an email notification with a link to download the updated version at no additional cost.

How do I ensure compatibility of digital products with my device?

Please check the product description for system requirements and compatibility information in the FAQ before making a purchase. If you’re unsure, contact our customer support for guidance.

How can I play the audio files I've purchased?

You can play the audio files on any device that supports the file format you’ve downloaded, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and dedicated digital audio players. Please also see the FAQ about the audio file formats.

Is there a limit to the number of devices I can play the audio file on?

No, once you’ve purchased the audio file, you can play it on any and as many devices as you own. However, sharing the file with others who have not purchased it is against our terms of use.

What are the benefits of creating an account?

Creating an account allows you to check out faster, track your orders easily, keep a history of your purchases, and receive updates on promotions and new products.

Can I get a refund if the audio file doesn't work?

If you experience technical issues with your audio file that we can’t resolve, we may offer a refund. Please contact our customer service to discuss the issue and find a solution.

Listening Session

What’s is a listening session?

A listening experience is a guided listening session where the audience actively and intentionally listens and engages with the auditory content.

It is more than just hearing; it includes the emotional, intellectual and sensory responses that occur as they immerse themselves in what they listen to. A technique is introduced called natural listening to engage with sound even more. 

The experience can be of different lengths, using different audio devices:

From basic entry-level headphones to immersive spaces equipped with surround sound systems, compatible with home theater systems or non-linear setups for multi-channel surround.

A curated selection of original sonic tools from our catalogue forms the basis of the experience. 

The sessions are provides as a short talk, workshop with different sonic tools or a full length listening session. 

What kind of experiences do you offer?

Our immersive listening sessions introduce natural listening and explores the influence of sound with our sonic tools. We’ve created three types of sessions to help you navigate through the options.

The sessions below have been designed based on our research and expertise and the feedback of users, and are seamlessly integrated with the original content in our catalogue.

From Ecstasy to Trance
This experience draws inspiration from ancient healing rituals and the undefined realms of advanced sound journeys. It is a full length listening session where the audience preferably lies down or sits comfortably. 

Natural listening
Ranging from Sound Walking through cities to immersive nature sounds, binaural beats to traditional sound healing, this listening session focuses on sound as a sonic tool with dynamic, natural and unconventional soundscapes to focus, relax or change your emotional state. 

Beyond stereo
This educational workshop explores the opportunities of immerse sound and the 360 environment for cultural heritage, creative processes or business models. This workshops dives deeper into all aspects and opportunities of Spatial Audio and draws upon our whole catalogue.

What kind of events have you been involved?

Flower of Sound has been involved in a wide range of events for different audiences.
To name just a few: from business conferences (such as the GTD Summit) to music festivals (Nameless / Heroes ) to museums (Day of the Researcher, Science Museum In Milan) to innovation/tech conferences (such as Linecheck Milan, Business Innovation Hogeschool Utrecht and Most wanted Berlin).

What kind of technology Is needed?

We have developed immersive listening experiences using different audio devices.

The choice depends on the desired purpose and the nature of the listening session, whether it is in-person or online, temporary for festivals or events, or permanent for wellness spaces or cultural institutions.

From simple headphones to IoT systems with proprietary software, from mixed reality experiences to surround speaker arrays, the technologies used are diverse.

Are the experiences suitable for my space?

We have experiences to suit different spaces and budgets. As the choice depends also on the desired purpose and the nature of the experience we kindly ask you to contact us using the form to discuss the options.

Can you make tailor made listening sessions?

Each of the experiences can be used for a listening session.
In the case our catalogue is not sufficient or you would like a tailor made soundscape or sound journey we can discuss the possibilities to create a new listening experience.

GLOSSARY

IMMERSIVE AUDIO

Spatial audio

Spatial audio refers to the technology and techniques used to create a three-dimensional auditory experience. It involves the accurate placement and movement of audio sources within a virtual or physical space, simulating the way sound is perceived in the real world.

Key components of spatial audio include:

  • Positional Audio Rendering: Utilizing algorithms to precisely determine the location of audio sources in three-dimensional space, allowing for realistic placement and movement of sound objects.
  • Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF): Incorporating HRTF, a mathematical function that models how the shape and characteristics of the human head and ears affect the perception of sound, to enhance spatial localization.
  • Binaural Rendering: Employing binaural recording and playback techniques to create a sense of directionality, depth, and immersion by capturing the subtle cues that the human auditory system uses to locate sound sources.
  • Ambisonics: Implementing Ambisonic technology, which captures a full-sphere sound field, to reproduce sound in a way that considers the listener’s position within the audio environment.

Spatial audio finds applications in various fields such as virtual reality, gaming, cinema, and music production, aiming to enhance the listener’s experience by creating a more immersive and realistic soundscape.

Ambisonics

The binaural format is an audio recording and playback technique aimed at creating a three-dimensional sound experience for the listener. Using dedicated microphones and/or software, the sound is processed to simulate the natural temporal and tonal differences when the sound reaches the human ears.

This approach seeks to replicate the sense of spatiality and directionality in sound, providing a more engaging and realistic listening experience. The term “binaural” derives from involving both ears to create the illusion of a three-dimensional sound source.

Binaural audio

The binaural format is an audio recording and playback technique aimed at creating a three-dimensional sound experience for the listener. Using dedicated microphones and/or software, the sound is processed to simulate the natural temporal and tonal differences when the sound reaches the human ears.

This approach seeks to replicate the sense of spatiality and directionality in sound, providing a more engaging and realistic listening experience. The term “binaural” derives from involving both ears to create the illusion of a three-dimensional sound source.

HRTF

HRTF, or “Head-Related Transfer Function,” is a mathematical function that describes how sound is altered as it travels from the source to the listener due to the anatomical features of the head and human ears. Essentially, HRTF takes into account how sound interacts with a person’s head and ears before reaching the inner ear.

In binaural audio format, HRTF is widely used to create a realistic three-dimensional effect where sound appears to come from different directions, similar to natural listening. This technology aims to replicate the human listening experience, allowing the perception of the direction and distance of sound sources in the virtual environment.

Personal or Custom HRTF

Customized HRTF tailors the mathematical representation of sound based on an individual’s ear anatomy. This involves measuring an individual’s ear and head features, detecting ear responses to sound, processing the data, and implementing the personalized function in binaural audio experiences. Anatomical details such as auricle shape and head angle play a crucial role in shaping the individualized perception of spatial sound.

WFS (Wave field synthesis)

Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) is an audio reproduction technique based on the physical principles of diffraction and interference of sound waves, allowing for the creation of a synthetic sound field that precisely simulates acoustic waves as if they were coming from real sound sources in physical space. This method relies on emitting sound waves from an extensive array of loudspeakers positioned around the listener, calculating the delay and amplitude of each signal so that the sound waves constructively add up at the listening point, creating the illusion of sound sources positioned in three-dimensional space.

FORMATS

MP4

MP4, or MPEG-4 Part 14, is a multimedia container format used for compressing and distributing audio and video files. Concerning immersive audio, MP4 supports advanced codecs such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, enabling the incorporation of spatial sound information. This allows for the creation of a three-dimensional audio experience where sound can be perceived from various directions, including the use of speakers positioned above the listener.

Using MP4 for immersive audio brings advantages in contexts like video production, virtual reality, gaming, and other advanced multimedia applications. This format serves as an effective distribution method for high-quality audio content, providing a richer and more engaging sound experience for the user.

FLAC

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a compressed audio format that differs from traditional lossy compression methods. Unlike formats like MP3 or AAC, FLAC is a lossless compression, meaning it retains all the original audio data during compression without sacrificing quality. The compression in FLAC is achieved by encoding redundant data more efficiently rather than discarding it.

AAC

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is a compressed audio format known for its advanced coding techniques. It achieves efficient compression by employing sophisticated algorithms that remove redundant audio data without significant loss of quality. AAC is particularly recognized for delivering high-quality audio at lower bit rates, making it a popular choice for various applications such as digital music streaming and mobile devices. The compression used in AAC allows for reduced file sizes, optimizing storage and bandwidth while maintaining a pleasing audio experience.

AmbiX

Ambix is an Ambisonic audio format that represents a three-dimensional sound field comprehensively. Here are detailed features of the Ambix format and some of its potential applications:

Ambix is commonly used in immersive audio productions, such as 360-degree videos, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). Its spherical representation offers an engaging and realistic sound experience.

MKV

The MKV (Matroska) audio format is compatible with high-quality audio tracks, including advanced codecs like Dolby TrueHD, commonly associated with Dolby Atmos. This means that MKV audio tracks can incorporate lossless audio in Dolby TrueHD format, providing a high-quality sound experience, including the capability for three-dimensional object-based audio with Dolby Atmos.

AC‐4

The AC4 (Audio Codec 4) audio format is an advanced audio codec developed by Dolby Laboratories. It is designed to provide high-quality audio at lower bit rates compared to some earlier audio formats. AC4 supports a wide range of audio configurations, including surround speaker systems, object-based audio, and immersive technologies like Dolby Atmos.

Key features of the AC4 format include the ability to dynamically adapt to available bandwidth, delivering optimal audio quality based on transmission conditions. Additionally, AC4 supports the compression of audio objects, allowing for a more detailed and personalized representation of the sound scene.

EAC 3

The EAC3 (Enhanced AC-3) audio format is a lossy compression audio codec developed by Dolby Laboratories. EAC3 is an advanced version of the AC-3 (Audio Codec 3) format, providing improvements in compression efficiency and audio quality. It is commonly used for the transmission of surround sound audio on digital channels, such as those used in streaming services, digital television broadcasts, and optical discs like DVDs and Blu-rays.

EAC3 supports surround sound up to 7.1 channels and features like dynamic compression, allowing it to maintain high audio quality even at lower bitrates. This makes it suitable for applications that require optimal audio quality under limited bandwidth conditions, such as the distribution of multimedia content online

MLP

The MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) audio format is a lossless audio codec developed by Meridian Audio. It is known for its lossless compression capability, allowing for the reduction of audio file sizes without compromising the original audio quality. The MLP format was initially developed for the high-fidelity audio industry and is commonly used in high-quality media such as DVD-Audio.

MP3

The MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) format is a widely used audio file format that employs lossy audio compression to reduce the file size while maintaining a good level of sound quality. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and has become the de facto standard for online digital music files. MP3 files are about 1/10th the size of uncompressed audio formats like WAV or AIFF, making them ideal for streaming over the internet and storing large music collections. The format allows for the storage of music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other audio content, and is supported by a wide range of devices and operating systems. 

MIXED REALITY

SPATIAL COMPUTING

Spatial computing is a concept that refers to computer systems and technologies designed to understand and interact with the three-dimensional space surrounding them, incorporating elements of the physical world into the digital environment. This technology aims to enhance user interaction with the digital world, overcoming the limitations of traditional interfaces based on two-dimensional screens.

Key elements of spatial computing include:

  • Space Detection and Monitoring: Using sensors, cameras, and other detection technologies to understand the geometry and dynamics of physical space.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Integrating digital elements such as images, text, or 3D objects into the physical environment in real-time through devices like AR glasses or smartphones.
  • Virtual Reality (VR): Creating a completely digital environment that replaces the physical world, offering an immersive experience through devices like VR headsets.
  • Three-Dimensional Human-Machine Interface: Developing user interfaces that allow users to interact with digital objects more naturally using gestures, movements, or voice.
  • Positioning and Motion Sensors: Using sensors like gyroscopes and accelerometers to monitor the position and orientation of devices or users in space.

Spatial computing finds applications in various sectors, including gaming, design, training, medicine, and more. The goal is to create a more intuitive computing experience where users can interact with the digital world similarly to how they interact with the real world.

3 DOF

The term “3DOF” stands for “Three Degrees of Freedom.” In the context of virtual reality (VR) or simulation, it refers to the number of movements or orientations that an object or device can have in space. The three degrees of freedom include rotations around the longitudinal (roll), lateral (pitch), and vertical (yaw) axes.

 

In short, a system or device with 3DOF can tilt, rotate, or move along these three directions but cannot perform translations forward, backward, or laterally in three-dimensional space.

 

For example, a VR headset with 3DOF might allow the user to tilt their head up and down, rotate it from side to side, and turn it around, but it cannot physically move forward and backward in the virtual space. This is in contrast to 6DOF (Six Degrees of Freedom) devices, which also add translations in the three spatial axes, enabling more complete and natural movements.

6 DOF

The term “6DOF” stands for “Six Degrees of Freedom.” In contexts like virtual reality (VR) or simulation, it indicates the capability of an object or device to move freely in all three dimensions of space and perform rotations along the principal axes. The six degrees of freedom include translations forward/backward, right/left, up/down, and rotations around the X, Y, and Z axes. This capability enables a more immersive experience, allowing users to interact more naturally with virtual or simulated environments.

DOLBY ATMOS

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is a proprietary object-based audio format and platform developed by cinema technology giant Dolby Laboratories. Atmos is actually a network of connected systems including special mixing software, specifications for cinema speaker arrays, and even immersive audio hardware for home listening, such as Atmos-equipped AV receivers and sound bars

Object Based Audio

Object-based audio is another spatial audio format that works in a fundamentally different way than ambisonics. While ambisonic format is still technically channel-based, object-based audio considers each sound as an object that can be moved around a virtual space.

Bed

Bed is a pre-mixed or stemmed audio channel that incorporates multi-channel panning, eliminating the necessity for specific panning through Dolby Atmos metadata.

It’s channel based

Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Digital Plus is widely used by streaming and broadcast services to deliver surround sound audio at lower bitrates. Stereo audio in Dolby Digital Plus is typically encoded at bitrates between 96-128 kbps. Dolby Atmos audio in Dolby Digital Plus is typically encoded at bitrates between 384 and 768 kbps.

Dolby TrueHD

Dolby TrueHD, also known as MLP, is a lossless audio codec used widely on HD and UHD Blu-ray Discs. Dolby TrueHD supports up to 24-bit audio and sampling rates from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz. Dolby TrueHD supports up to 7.1 audio channels as well as Dolby Atmos immersive audio.

TrueHD supports Dolby Atmos, enabling playback of sound from all directions, providing a three-dimensional object-based audio experience.

As Dolby TrueHD is a lossless audio codec, the data rate is variable. For example, Dolby TrueHD bitrates average around 6,000 kbps for Dolby Atmos at 48 kHz with peak data rates up to a maximum of 18,000 kbps for high sampling rate multichannel content.

BWF

Broadcast Wave Format. An extension of the Microsoft Waveform Audio Format (.wav) file format to include metadata important to broadcast applications. This format is specified in EBU Tech 3285.

Downmix

Process of producing a device-specific output mix when the number of process channels is greater than the number of output speakers on the device. 

ADM

ADM (Audio Definition Model):

A metadata model outlined in ITU.R.BS.2076 that defines audio file formats based on channels, objects, or scenes.

ADM BWF

ADM BWF (Broadcast Wave Format) Audio Definition Model:

An extension of the Microsoft Waveform Audio Format (WAV) file format, incorporating metadata crucial for broadcast applications, as specified in EBU Tech 3285.

PCM

PCM (Pulse Code Modulation):

A technique for converting analog signals into digital binary pulses by sampling the analog signal, quantizing each sample independently, and converting the resulting quantized values into a digital signal.

Dialnorm

Dialnorm (Dialogue Normalization):

Loudness metadata set during encoding, historically based on measuring the overall loudness of dialogue in content. While this remains true for traditional film and television, in music, it’s based on the overall loudness of the content.

LKFS

LKFS (Loudness K-weighted relative to Full Scale):

A unit of loudness measurement standardized in ITU BS.1770, facilitating audio level normalization for broadcast content by providing a gated average loudness measurement over an audio program. 

For long-term measurements, LKFS is equivalent to LUFS.

LUFS

LUFS, which stands for Loudness Units Full Scale, is a relative volume measurement unit used to assess the loudness level of an audio signal compared to the maximum allowable level (full scale). LUFS is primarily used for audio level normalization in audiovisual content such as television and radio broadcasting, music streaming, and music production. Measuring loudness in LUFS ensures that volume levels are consistent across different audio tracks and content, thereby enhancing user listening experience and reducing the need for manual volume adjustments during playback. LUFS has been standardized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Recommendation ITU-R BS.1770 and has replaced other volume measurement units, such as dBFS (decibels Full Scale), in many sectors of the audio industry.

LTC

LTC (Linear Timecode)

A timecode developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), offering a time reference for editing, synchronization, and identification purposes.

EBU

EBU stands for “European Broadcasting Union.” It is an international organization that represents the interests of public radio and television broadcasters in Europe. The EBU plays a significant role in the field of audio by establishing standards and recommendations for audio production, distribution, and broadcasting. In particular, the EBU has contributed to defining technical standards and audio formats used in the broadcasting industry, ensuring compatibility and quality of audio services throughout Europe and beyond.

ITU

ITU stands for the International Telecommunication Union. It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for setting global standards and regulations for telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICTs). In the context of audio, the ITU plays a crucial role in developing and maintaining standards related to audio coding, compression, transmission, and quality assessment. These standards ensure interoperability and compatibility among audio devices and systems worldwide, facilitating seamless communication and exchange of audio content across different platforms and technologies.