Astro Spatial Audio to Demonstrate Object-Based 3D Sound with Third-Party Integration at Prolight+Sound 2018

March 12 2018, 03:10
Astro Spatial Audio (ASA) will highlight its brand agnostic approach to true object-based immersive audio when it returns to Prolight+Sound at the Frankfurt Messe, from April 10–13. The company will offer special presentations throughout the show, highlighting the deep integration between ASA's SARA II Premium Rendering Engine and third-party systems including TTA's Stagetracker II next-generation performer tracking, Alcons Audio loudspeakers, and QLab playback automation software.

In addition, Astro Spatial Audio will debut new v4.0 software, incorporating substantial improvements in loudspeaker management, matrixing and show control. An enhanced production module is also included within the update, offering advanced timeline editing in the shape of an automation editor, and a new event manager function to facilitate cue-based show sequences.

Astro Spatial Audio's return to Prolight+Sound follows an extremely successful start to 2018, including sitting at the heart of the audio design of The Band's Visit, the hit new Broadway musical, as well as playing a central role in the redesign of the Berlin Opera House. In Frankfurt, visitors will have a chance to discover precisely why ASA has fast become the choice of sound designers and engineers who wish to unlock the potential of their audio, without having to buy into a single loudspeaker brand.

All of this will be showcased in an entirely new demonstration of the Astro Spatial Audio object-based solution, featuring dedicated 3D mixes of some of the world's most loved songs, illustrating the power, flexibility and scalability of SARA II. The IP67-rated Stagetracker II will also be featured with previously unseen degrees of precision and ultra-fast vector-based RF tracking in all three dimensions for both sound and lights.

Stagetracker II uses discreet tags that can be easily concealed within a performer's outfit, and which broadcast to state-of-the-art RadioEye RF receivers. The resulting system is capable of following performers with such accuracy that the technology is ready not just for audio but also lighting and video camera systems. Up to 100 tagged performers can be tracked, and each individual tag can transmit up to 100 positions per second.

At the heart of the ASA solution, meanwhile, is the conversion of audio signals into audio objects. The SARA II Premium Rendering Engine, a 3U road and rack ready processor offering up to 128 MADI or 128 Dante configurable network pathways at 48kHz/24-bit resolution, uses extensive metadata attached to each audio object. The result is a precise calculation of that object's position within virtual 3D space, processed in real-time up to 40 times per second for each individual object, as well as that object's acoustic effect on the virtual space around it. The result for the engineer is a truly three-dimensional audio canvas on which to play.

"The seamless integration of our technology with our fellow manufacturers and maintaining a brand agnostic approach is at the core of the Astro Spatial Audio philosophy," comments Astro Spatial Audio Managing Director, Bjorn Van Munster. "But to really understand the transformative potential of object based immersive audio, you need to experience it for yourself. An exhibition like Prolight+Sound is an extremely challenging environment for us to work in which is why our visitors are always so impressed with the results we can achieve despite the surrounding noise! We look forward to once again welcoming everyone to our booth."
Astro Spatial Audio combines SpatialSound Wave (SSW) technology, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, and licensed to ASA, with the intelligence and power of the SARA II Premium Rendering Engine to bring a sophisticated spatial sound platform to the sound engineer. Delivering new creative options on tour with major artists and in theaters worldwide, ASA can already be found in venues as varied as houses of worship, planetariums, theme parks, museums, nightclubs, cruise ships and more.

Full demonstrations will take place throughout Prolight + Sound 2018 in Hall 3.1, booth A33/39.
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