A free software suite for designing spatial audio for 360 video and cinematic VR
The Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation is a software suite for designing spatial audio for 360 video and cinematic VR. It includes plugins for popular audio workstations, a time synchronized 360 video player and utilities to help design and publish spatial audio in a variety of formats. Audio produced with the tools can be experienced on Facebook News Feed on Android and iOS devices, Chrome for desktop and the Samsung Gear VR headset through headphones.
You can think of Audio 360 or spatial audio as an immersive sphere of audio that is delivered over headphones, just like humans hear sound in real life. In essence, it is possible to tell where a particular sound is coming from a point in space over a standard pair of headphones, without needing any external hardware or specialised piece of equipment. With 360 video and Virtual Reality, Audio 360 also changes instantly in real-time, as the user looks around either wearing a VR headset or rotates a smartphone where they are viewing the 360 content.
The Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation is a software suite for designing spatial audio for 360 video and cinematic VR. It includes plugins for popular audio workstations, a time synchronised 360 video player and utilities to help design and publish spatial audio in a variety of formats.
The authoring tools require OSX 10.7 or greater. A recent Mac is recommended. Please note, support for Windows will be added in the near future.
You can start by using the free Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation tools (downloadable above) which allow a sound designer to use advanced tools and plugins to author spatial audio content in a regular DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). There is an extensive knowledge base that answers some frequently asked questions and join the official support group
There are quite a few techniques to record spatial audio such as using ambisonic microphones. The Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation enables even normally recorded tracks and existing mono or stereo content to be panned in space in sync with the 360 video during the authoring process. It is completely fine even if you don't have an ambisonic microphone to record spatial audio in location, as most of the sound editing process happens in the post-production phase, very similar to creating and editing sound mixes for conventional films. The Facebook 360 tools leverage existing softwares and platforms to enable authoring for 360 videos and Cinematic VR.
The Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation is designed for use by professional sound designers. It is a set of tools that allow you to position sound tracks with what you see on a 360 video. The tools include a 360 video player that is synchronised to the DAW, which means you can instantly preview mixes as you go along. Imagine you have a dialogue track that is recorded with lavalier microphones for a character who is walking around the camera. The tools will allow you to place the sound, in time, with the movement of the character on screen. The magic happens when the final video is played back. The 360 Audio Engine takes care of head-tracking in real-time on the playback device — if the character is on your left, and you choose to look towards the character, the dialogue track corresponding to the character will automatically move to the front of the listener in real-time. The final audio is rendered with no noticeable latency across platforms, keeping the performance and quality uniform across platforms.
The Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation tools come with an Encoder. Simply point the Encoder to the 360 video and the audio from the Spatial Workstation and you will get a complete video file with spatial audio that is ready for publishing on Facebook.
Yes! You can download the tools above.
Simply use your headphones on your Android or iOS device, Chrome for desktop or Samsung Gear VR headset. As you move around the 360 video you'll notice sound coming from different places around you.
Yes, if the creator has prepare the audio with our Spatial Workstation tools, the Audio 360 will automatically play in your video.
No - they use the same amount of data as any video you watch currently.
For support and questions, join our dedicated Spatial Workstation Facebook Group
Join our Facebook 360 Community Group to be a part of the daily 360 Video and VR conversation.Join Our Facebook Group