Open City Documentary Festival

360° Spatial Audio Production: Advanced Techniques

Nov 13 — Dec 18
5 evenings, over 6 weeks
£300 / £275 students / £250 UCL students

For more experienced practitioners, explore advanced techniques and principles for creating high-quality soundtracks for 360° videos.

In this practical evening course you’ll explore advanced techniques and principles for creating high-quality soundtracks for 360° videos.

You’ll learn practical techniques for capturing spatial audio, using industry standard tools including A-Format microphones, Zoom field recorders, the Facebook Audio 360 suite of tools, the Reaper digital audio workstation and many more state of the art spatial audio tools.

You’ll learn how to perfect advanced techniques for recording, editing and mixing ambisonic spatial audio, and combining the finished for delivery on multiple platforms and outputs.

By the end of the course, you should have the theoretical knowledge and artistic skills to produce engaging immersive audio scenes.

The course involves lectures covering theory and approaches plus practical exercises. There’s an emphasis on helping you to get excellent results quickly and highlighting common problems you may encounter.

Sessions are held on Wednesday evenings, from 7 to 9 pm, over five weeks. There will be a break on Wednesday 11th December.

Course content

Each session will cover the following:

Session 1 – Advanced concepts in spatial audio

  • Spatial audio theory and applications
  • Advanced human hearing, head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), and psychoacoustics
  • Advanced Ambisonics and other spatial formats
  • Critical listening exercises and understanding what the medium can offer
  • Using 360 audio as a creative storytelling tool to increase immersion

Session 2 – Advanced recording techniques for 360° video and VR

  • Recording audio for 360° video and VR
  • Advanced onset, wild-track, and spatial sound design techniques
  • Advanced A-Format, native B-Format lapel radio microphones, other spatial recording methods and using field recorders

Session 3 – Advanced editing and manipulation of 360 audio

  • Advanced editing and automation of spatial audio with Reaper (digital audio workstation)
  • Advanced use of the Facebook Audio 360 workstation suite of plugins and tools
  • Other freeware 360 audio tools including AmbiX, Blue Ripple and IET
  • 360 ambisonic reverberation and room simulation

Session 4 – Advanced spatial mixing, immersive sound design, music and headlocked stereo

  • Spatial mixing and automation in Reaper
  • Immersive sound design techniques and resources
  • Use of reverberation for increased realism
  • Basics of binaural headphone delivery and speaker arrays

Session 5 – Exporting, encoding, and muxing for delivery

  • Exporting master audio mixes from reaper
  • Target output levels, optimisation, and good monitoring practices
  • Encoding and muxing for multiple delivery platforms including Youtube, Facebook, and Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays.
  • Uploading, sideloading and checking before final delivery
  • Future developments and ways to stay current

Who this course is for:

To attend this course you should have the following experience:

– Understanding of complex multi-channel workflows
– Basic understanding and usage of Reaper DAW
– Basic understanding of Spatial Audio technologies, such as Ambisonics, VBAP, WFS
– ideally completed the introduction to spatial audio course



Jack Reynolds

Course Tutor

Jack is a specialist in spatial audio with decades of experience in all aspects of audio engineering, acoustics, electronics, music performance and production, sound design, mixing and mastering. He runs SohoVR Audio with clients including Nokia, Google and SkyVR. Jack now works for the BBC, helping deliver the majority of their Virtual Reality and 360 video experiences and also runs Reynolds Microphones Ltd, making high quality recording studio and ambisonic microphones. Jack also teaches the audio part of the UCL MA in Immersive Factual Storytelling.