[WHAT IS IMMERSIVE AUDIO?]

traditional-sound1

Traditional Audio

Immersive-audio

Immersive Audio

Immersive audio is the three-dimensional approach to audio storytelling that is taking sound to new heights. While traditional “surround sound” exists in a horizontal plane around the listener, immersive sound refers to an expanded sonic field that quite literally immerses the listener in a multi-dimensional soundscape. The Recording Academy as of 2019 has renamed their Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album to “Best Immersive Audio Album” in order to include the many immersive formats beyond surround sound – such as Auro, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and more.

[What Goes Into Making the
Best Immersive Audio Album]

Making an album takes a lot of work. Making a surround sound or an immersive audio album for multiple channels of listening takes even more work – and a lot of money. However, just as with any other award category, the “best” album can be defined as a vision that comes to be fully realized.

Whether it’s a total re-imagining of a Beatles album (as was done in 2008 with Love) or an original work in the progressive rock genre (see 2019’s The Savior by A Bad Think), the album should communicate the artist’s vision using the various channels made possible for immersive recording. Not only is the album judged on its concept, its instrumentation, its vocals, its editing, and its ideas – it is also judged on its purpose and how expertly it wields technology for that purpose.

[2020 GRAMMY NOMINEES]

Artist:
A Bad think

Album: The Savior

Artist:
A Bad think

Album: The Savior

Artist: Yacht

Album: Chain Tripping

Artist: Yacht

Album:
Chain Tripping

Artist:
Anita Brevik,
Trondheimsolistene,
Nidarosdomens Jentekor

Album: Lux

Artist:
Anita Brevik,
Trondheimsolistene,
Nidarosdomens Jentekor

Album: Lux

Artist:
Ken-David Masur &
The Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

Album: Kverndokk: Symphonic Dances

Artist:
Ken-David Masur &
The Stavanger
Symphony Orchestra

Album: Kverndokk:
Symphonic Dances

Artist:
Jan Kraybill

Album: The
Orchestral Organ

Artist:
Jan Kraybill

Album: The
Orchestral Organ

[How You Can Start Listening
to Surround Sound Music]

Listening to surround sound music is dependent on your playback system and what formats are compatible with it. For a “true immersive” experience, your technology and configuration ideally aligns with those intended by the producers of the track or album. The most typical formats include DVD-Audio (DVD-A), Super Audio CD (SACD), Dolby Digital and DTS, and lossless audio formats like DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. Higher immersive audio formats include Auro, Dolby ATMOS, and more.

In addition to buying physical albums and DVDs, encoded digital formats such as FLAC and WAV are also usable and gradually being supported across some streaming services and online marketplaces. Because these files tend to be large, IAA now offers select exclusive FLAC files for downloading surround sound music.

[EDITORIAL]