The BBC hosted a conference called Sound: Now and Next at Broadcasting House in London on the 19th and 20th May 2015. The event brought together content creators, broadcasters, engineers and academics to share knowledge about leading-edge broadcast audio technology.
There were a selection of presentations and keynote speeches covering topics ranging from organising the sound production at the Olympics to a live electronic music performance. There was also a set of live demonstrations that showed off the latest sound reproduction methods, and a tech fair that showed many smaller demos.
Sound: Now and Next @ BBC Broadcasting House
One of the live demonstrations was presented by BBC R&D, and showed off some of the audio streaming and rendering developed in ICoSOLE. This demo consisted of a live object-based audio being mixed and streamed from Salford using the BBC’s IP Studio technology. This stream was received in on of the event’s demo room where it was rendered and played back over a 17 loudspeaker rig. The visitors were treated to an immersive audio experience that could be interacted with locally.
The demo received a positive reaction from the audience, impressed with the immersive sound and that it was streamed the length of the country. This demo also provided a proving ground for the on-going work in ICoSOLE that will be realised in future events involving capturing and delivering immersive and interactive audio. The BBC also demonstrated binaural rendering over headphones of object-based audio which is also one of the developements from the ICoSOLE project.
Demonstration of ICoSOLE’s audio streaming and rendering technologies
VRT gave a demonstration of the Wall of Moments at the tech fair. This is a key part of the ICoSOLE project, which allows user-generated short videos (the Moments) captured by festival attendees smartphones to be uploaded and displayed as a mosaic of videos on a large display (the Wall).
Rik Bauwens (VRT) demonstrating the Wall of Moments
This generated a fair amount of interest among event organisers and researchers on related projects. This could lead to some test cases for field trials in 2016, when the final integrated test is taking place. There was also a lot of excitement about the upcoming filter app for user-generated content -and how we plan to deal with it- as it’s an essential link in the content chain. The BBC Sound Now & Next event proved we’re still on the right track with user-generated content, and we’re thrilled to put our ideas to the test for the first time next summer.
Overall the event was very successful, with a positive reaction from the attendees. The presentations were well attended and warmly received, and the demos worked successfully and proved very popular. It was professionally and enthusiastically hosted by LJ Rich, a music hacker, classical composer and presenter on BBC Click.