Playstation3 exposes many to ambisonics

We recently found out that a press release for PS3 a Codemasters game called Dirt  is using 3rd order ambisonics for spatialisation of sound.

It makes a great deal of sense for computer games to use ambisonics. Ambisonics will offer a greater degree of realistic soundfiled reproduction, stronger localisation of sounds, better rendering of sounds between speakers, and easier generation of ‘room’ effects like reverberation etc.

The details of how exacty the PS3 Codemasters  came to be using ambisonics is yet to be determined. For example, is height included (I doubt it). Also, what is the level of sophistication of the decode into 5.1 (are shelf filters and distance compensation involved) ? Is the decode done for the standard ITU speaker layout … or have they gone for the more realistic yet less ‘recommended’ classic square decode?

Whatever Sony Codemasters has done … cudos should go out to whoever made the leap of faith (or the lobying) to exploit ambisonics.

…and actually, I reckon this is a big the biggest ‘step’ forward for ambisonics in a long time, because it is exposing the concept of ‘ambisonics’ to many newcomers.

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5 Responses to Playstation3 exposes many to ambisonics

  1. It is not Sony who has implemented Ambisonics on their system. It is Simon Goodwin of Codemasters who has implemented it for a particular game.


  2. thanks Aristotel …. so much for my journalistic integrity :)!

    I’ll update the post

  3. Martin says:

    The pree release saya they implemented it for 5.1 and 7.1, so there is no height and no square. It doesn’t say whether they have gone for a standard ITU or regular polygon.

  4. Simon Goodwin says:

    It’s a regular hexagon in 7.1 (plus front centre and LFE) as that suits Ambisonics and Dolby recommendations. In 5.1 it’s a compromise beytween ITU cinema layout and the quad format more suitable for Ambisonics and implicitly assumed in most game APIs (though typically crudely implemented in VBAP).

    I gave demonstrations of GRID and other software running in 3D7.1 – true periphonics, using a tilted octahedron – rendered with Ambisonics at the Audio For Games conference in London in 2008, under the aegis of the international Audio Engineering Society.

    This got an enthusiastic reception from other games developers, including several ‘big names’.

  5. Tom says:

    This is awesome.
    Another company has started beta testing ambisonics up to the fourth order through an OpenAL implementation using a combination of, obviously, the games positional data and geometry data. That sounds an awful lot like wave tracing encoded into ambisonics to me.
    That along with OpenAL’s EFX should equal a stunning experience in any first person game.

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