Open City Documentary Festival

An introduction to Spatial Audio (Online)

Mon 24 October, 11AM-4PM
Mon 31 October, 11AM-4PM

Covering all aspects of 360 spatial audio recording, mixing, and exporting for delivery on multiple platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays, learn how to create soundtracks for 360 degree videos.

In this practical evening course students will learn how to create soundtracks for 360 degree videos. It covers all aspects of 360 spatial audio recording, mixing, and exporting for delivery on multiple platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays.

Students will learn:

  • practical techniques to capture spatial audio, using industry-standard tools including Sennheiser microphones, Zoom field recorders, the Facebook 360 suite of audio tools and Reaper digital audio workstation
  • how to record, edit and mix ambisonic spatial audio before combining the finished mix with a 360 video, ready for delivery/
  • The course involves lectures and practical exercises, with an emphasis on helping you create a finished project as quickly as possible.

Sessions are held on Consecutive Saturdays in four sessions, from 11am to 1pm then a real for lunch followed by a second session from 2pm to 4pm. Practice content including online videos, audio and video files will be supplied to consolidate what you have learned in the first sessions.

Session 1
Fundamental concepts of spatial audio

  • Basics of human hearing and psychoacoustics
  • Key differences between spatial and traditional audio
  • Ambisonics and other spatial formats
  • Binaural recording and head-tracked binaural decoding.

Recording audio for 360 video

  • Onset, wild-track, and spatial sound design techniques
  • A-Format, lapel radio microphones and using field recorders
  • Spatial foley recording
  • Use of voiceover and headlocked stereo (diegetic versus non-diegetic)

Session 2
Editing and manipulating 360 audio

  • Introduction to editing spatial audio with Reaper (digital audio workstation)
  • Introduction to the Facebook Audio 360 Spatial Workstation suite of plugins and tools
  • 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

Test reaper sessions, audio files and video files will be provided plus access to an exclusive set of YouTube tutorials on the use spatial recording, editing and mixing tools. You can practice these techniques during the week on your own computer.

Session 3
Exporting, encoding, and muxing for delivery

  • Exporting master audio mixes from Reaper. Ambisonic orders and standards.
  • Target output levels, optimisation, and good monitoring practices
  • Encoding and muxing (putting together audio and video) 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

Session 4

  • The final session on the second Saturday afternoon will be for a Q&A discussion to cover anything you need to go over or if you need greater depth or detail.

Who this course is for:

To attend this course you should have some filmmaking knowledge or previous audio engineering knowledge.

Learning outcomes:
By the end of the course students should:

  • be familiar with the basic concepts and advantages of spatial audio and commonly used terminology
  • understand the different approaches required for producing audio for 360 video
  • be able to use the Facebook 360 workstation to edit audio to fit with a 360 video
  • be able to use Reaper to edit audio, automate an audio source to follow an object within a 360 video, and implement room simulation
  • load a completed video onto Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays, Facebook and Youtube, and understand the variations between the platforms and how to ensure the finished product performs optimally on each platform

If you’d like to be added to this course’s mailing list for future running dates, please get in touch with



Jack Reynolds

Course Leader

Senior lecturer in spatial audio and sonic experience at UCL anthropology.

BBC R&D immersive and Interactive content producer/engineer.

Director and designer for Reynolds Microphones Ltd

Director of Soho VR audio Ltd

Musician. Acoustician. Producer.