Santa Ana, Calif. –
SRS Labs finalized specifications for Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) technology,
which will enable content creators to mix 3D soundtracks to go with 3D video
The spec is available to the 3D Audio Alliance (
an organization created by SRS to promote the technology and foster
collaboration among companies interested in adopting the end-to-end technology.
During CES, SRS demonstrated a proof-of-concept version of the technology, which can
also be used with 2D video sources.
MDA makes it possible for content creators to precisely position
particular sounds in a 3D space for playback through two-channel and
multichannel audio systems. Studios would embed metadata in a soundtrack to define
the XYZ coordinates of various sounds, and a consumer “rendering” device such
as a TV or surround-sound receiver would read the metadata to position the
sound at its intended coordinates. Sounds could be mixed to track the
movement of objects in a 3D video program as they jump out at viewers.
Only CE devices and mobile
devices equipped with MDA would be able to place the sounds as intended by the
content creator. The technology could also be used in digital cinemas.
To move adoption along, SRS has begun working with
production studios and content creators to beta test its MDA creation tool,
which is a software plug-in for use with digital audio workstations. Beta
playback software is also available.
Commercial releases of the MDA creation tools and MDA
players are expected to be made available in second quarter.
“We now have functional
end-to-end implementation of object based audio creation and playback,
all in the span of a year,” said SRS chief technology officer Alan Kraemer.
Separately at International
CES, SRS demonstrated Circle Cinema 3D (CC3D) post-processing technology, which could derive
3D audio from sources that weren’t mixed with MDA technology. CC3D technology
“unburies” 3D spatial cues in any soundtrack to correlate audio-image depth
with the depth of on-screen 3D action, the company said. The technology works
with two-channel and multichannel speaker systems.