Immersive Audio Album

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Traditional 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
Immersive Audio Albums]

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 investment.

The technology required for recording immersive audio typically runs into the thousands of dollars. Ambisonic microphones, like those from Sennheiser, Rode, or DPA, are needed for capturing spatial audio with high sensitivity and modular flexibility. These help reproduce a truly authentic 3D sound.

In addition to the hardware, special audio plugins are needed for mixing – and when the album is done and distributed, consumers themselves need the right speaker system, soundbar, or headphones to properly listen to all the localized components of the immersive sound field.




[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.


Leviathan by The Grid & Robert Fripp - 5.1 Surround Sound
In 1992, King Crimson frontman Robert Fripp collaborated with British electronic dance duo The Grid on their classic second album, 456 (1992), and its follow-up, their best-known album, Evolver (1994)...
Q&A with Markus Reuter: Musician, Producer, and Innovator
Markus Reuter has been performing and creating music for over two decades now. He’s collaborated with Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin, Gary Husband, Ian Boddy, Robert Rich, and Devin Townsend and many others...
Apple Music’s Spatial Audio Singles: 5 Winners & 4 Duds
Apple created quite the buzz in the world of immersive audio this past June, when they announced support for Dolby Atmos (or “spatial audio”) on their Apple Music streaming platform...
Q&A with Alan Williams: Musician, Producer, Engineer, and Educator
Alan Williams was a founding member of New England-based Knots and Crosses, who signed an ill-fated deal with Island Records in 1994 after self-releasing two best-selling CDs...
Quadio Boxed Set by The Doobie Brothers - 4.0 Surround Sound
For those who closely follow immersive music releases, one of the most interesting trends over the last several years is the celebration and reissue of 1970s quadraphonic mixes...
The Best Places to Sell Immersive Music Online
For artists and labels looking to sell immersive music online, there are some choices to be made! Immersive audio has taken a while to catch up with stereo sound in terms of streaming and downloading...
All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition by George Harrison - 5.1 Surround Sound & Dolby Atmos
Shortly after the dissolution of The Beatles in mid-1970, guitarist George Harrison assembled an all-star cast of musicians to record his debut statement as a solo artist...