Waves Audio is now shipping two new tools and a combo for audio engineers mixing 360-degree and virtual reality projects.
One product is the Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder ($299), a new plugin for converting mono, stereo or surround audio into 360-degree Ambisonics B-format. Also the Waves Nx Ambisonics ($99), a new component of the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room over Headphones plugin, designed for monitoring 360-degree Ambisonics B-format audio on regular stereo headphones.
And finally, Waves introduced Waves 360° Ambisonics Tools, a combo of both plugins for $399. All are shipping now.
Ambisonics is currently a popular technique for mixing audio in a full spherical 360-degree sound field. The most common Ambisonics format, used in VR as well as in Google and Facebook 360 videos, is a four-channel format called B-format.
B360 Ambisonics Encoder
Designed to fit into a traditional mixing workflow, the Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder allows audio engineers to convert regular mono, stereo or surround mixes into B-format, in order to deliver sound for 360-degree audio/video content.
Waves B360 can be used in two ways: The plugin can be placed on each separate mono or stereo channel for precise positioning/panning of that channel in the 360-audio mix. As an alternative, the mix can be completed in a conventional stereo or surround environment, and then the B360 is placed on the entire finished mix as an Ambisonics B-format convertor.
In either case, Waves B360 lets users control the mix’s width, elevation and rotation, as well as position the different elements in the mix inside the three-dimensional sound field. With an GUI and streamlined controls for panning width, elevation and rotation, Waves B360 is designed to make the 360-audio workflow faster, easier and more user-friendly than ever.
B360 features an industry-standard way to deliver audio for VR and 360-degree videos. It can convert mono, stereo and surround into first-order Ambisonics B-format. Elements can be precisely positioned in the 360-degree audio mix. The intuitive interface fits into the traditional mixing workflow
NX Virtual Mix Room over Headphones
To monitor the 360-degree B-format mixes in a convenient, accessible way, Waves Nx Ambisonics is a new component of the popular Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room over Headphones, a plugin that recreates the three-dimensional acoustics of a professional mix room inside any set of stereo headphones.
By binauralizing the audio for headphones, Nx Ambisonics allows mixing engineers listen to their B-format mixes even when they don’t have access to an elaborate multi-directional speaker array. Nx Ambisonics also delivers pristine sound quality that mixing engineers can trust, without the distortion or artifacts often introduced by binauralization tools.
For improved accuracy, Nx Ambisonics offers full personalization to individual head measurements, as well as a visual spatial meter representing the audio frequency content in every direction of the three-dimensional sound field.
For enhanced 3D realism that embraces the VR experience, Nx Ambisonics also offers an integrated high-quality, high-speed head tracking solution, using the compact Nx Head Tracker Bluetooth device or your computer’s camera.
Waves is also offering a combo: Waves 360° Ambisonics Tools, which includes the B360 Ambisonics Encoder, the Nx Virtual Mix Room (with the Nx Ambisonics component) and the Nx Head Tracker.
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