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AES Holds First International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) hosted its inaugural International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality in Los Angeles to coincide with its 141st AES Convention. The two-day program, consisted of technical papers, workshops, tutorials and a manufacturer’s expo.

The organization's goal was to highlight the creative and technical challenges of providing immersive spatial audio to accompany virtual-reality and augmented-reality media, which is demonstrably the fastest-growing section of the entertainment-audio markets.

The conference attracted content developers, researchers, manufacturers, consultants and students, in addition to audio engineers seeking to expand their knowledge about sound production for virtual and augmented reality. The companion Expo featured displays from leading-edge manufacturers and service providers looking to secure industry metrics for this emerging field.

“Film director George Lucas once stated that sound represents 50% of the motion-picture experience,” said co-chair Andres Mayo. The conference demonstrated that convincing VR and AR productions, using a variety of playback devices, requires audio that follows the motions of the subject while producing a realistic immersive experience. The session displayed the work of leading proponents in this exciting field and how realistic spatial audio can be produced from existing game-console and DSP engines.

The conference program acted as an overview of the VR/AR creative process, applications workflow and product development, while creating an activity hub to focus attention on the expertise the Audio Engineering Society can offer these new  creative communities.

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