First there was mono, then stereo with all its flavours… from quadrophonic to Q Sound. Now, Sony has announced that 360 Reality Audio has partnered with some of the world’s leading audio providers and music entertainment companies to commercially launch 360 Reality Audio.
This new way of encoding audio at source and decoding at playback, makes it possible for artists and music creators to produce a music experience, by mapping sound sources such as vocals, chorus and instruments with positional information, and placing them within a spherical space. When listeners hear content produced in the 360 Reality Audio music format, they experience an immersion into sound that closely mimics the omni-directional soundscape of a live musical performance.
Sony is working with major music labels (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group), Live Nation, music distribution services and other music organisations to provide the technology for building a musical ecosystem around 360 Reality Audio, which will include the creation, distribution and playing of music content. Sony will also provide specifications for the 360 Reality Audio music format with the cooperation of Fraunhofer IIS, part of Europe’s largest organisation for applied research. Through these efforts, Sony is working to promote this new music experience to music creators, artists and music fans, with the aim of creating an entirely new world of music entertainment.
“360 Reality Audio is a proof point that innovation never stops,”said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics (North America).“The confluence of deep technical roots, tireless artists and forward-thinking hardware and semiconductor partners illustrates the tremendous draw of this radical new way to make music even more moving. Together with valued industry partners, Sony has architected the most powerful, realistic music experience for listeners and a new medium for artists to create.”
Beginning in Autumn 2019, listeners in Europe, the United States and beyond can access approximately 1,000 songs in this brand-new format from artists such as Billy Joel, Bob Dylan and Pharrell Williams through streaming services Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net and TIDAL.
Compatible decoding equipment will be required to fully benefit from the new audio format, with hardware partners due to be announced in the coming months.