• What is Good Quality Audio: Part 3

    October 5, 2017 by Dolby Developer

    Critical Listening: Imaging and Sound Stage

    In the second part of this series we evaluated frequency balance, dynamic handling, and timbre. These aren't the only set of characteristics to listen for, though. Assuming you're listening on a system with more than one speaker, you'll also need to listen for where sounds are placed in the listening environment around you.

    The Soundstage

    The concepts of imaging and sound stage refer to the sound system's ability to make it sound like elements of the mix are physically located in space across the listening area. This idea of a physical space where sounds are placed is called the sound stage. A good system will be able to place, or image, sounds in distinct locations, or take up the entire sound stage depending on the creative decisions made when the content was created.

    To test this, first make sure your speakers are set up properly. In a stereo system, the two speakers and your head should form the three points of an equilateral triangle, with each leg of the triangle at least several feet long. The speakers should be equally 'toed in', pointed inwards toward the listener's head. The point of the equilateral triangle where you are sitting is called the 'sweet spot'. It is the ideal listening position and the place you should sit to avoid audio coloration and artifacts beyond those characteristic of your system.

    Play some cinematic content with a lot of dialogue or music with vocals in the center of the mix. On a set of stereo speakers set up properly this should create what's called a phantom center image directly in front of you. It should sound like the voice is coming from the space between the speakers, even though there isn't actually a speaker in that location. If you are hearing good imaging for the first time, you will likely be blown away by the precision with which sounds can be located in the sound stage. The sounds can be almost tangible and should exhibit a pronounced sense of depth. The audio image should not sound flat. Not only should the sounds inhabit their own space across the sound stage, but it will sound like some are nearer or farther away, depending on how the content was mixed. Listening to a spacious mix on a system with excellent imaging, the sound stage can be particularly large and deep, with sounds painted across the entire space in front of you (and possibly beyond), generally with no elements sounding like they're obviously coming from a specific speaker (unless placed that way with intent during content creation).

    Improving Your Listening Skills

    • Build up a small selection of content that you will become familiar with.
      • The content should have enough variety to exercise the various qualities you're listening for.
      • Try some movie content with a lot of dialogue, some loud and bass heavy action scenes, modern pop/rock/EDM music, and high dynamic range classical or jazz pieces.
      • Pick content you'll enjoy as you will listen to these pieces many times on many different systems.
      • The content you listen to should be of sufficient resolution (CD or better) and in an uncompressed format. Don't listen to low bitrate MP3s as these have been lossily compressed to an extreme degree.
      • Listen to professionally produced content, especially content that is considered to be particularly well recorded, mixed, and mastered. That iPhone recording you took at the last Taylor Swift concert isn't going to help you judge audio quality.
      • Look online for specific critical listening content suggestions.
    • Listen on different systems in different environments. The more variety, the better.
      • I highly recommend listening in a high-end showroom. If you can manage it, listening in a high quality professional recording studio or mastering facility's control room will also be illuminating.
      • If those options aren't available to you, many Best Buy locations have a decent home theater demo room that will be worth a visit. There may also be local meet ups or conventions for audio enthusiasts in your area, giving you access to a variety of high quality systems (though sometimes in non-ideal listening conditions).
      • It's not possible to understand how good something can sound until you've experienced the best there is (or close to it). You can describe the color blue all you want to somebody who is completely color blind but they won't truly understand it until they are able to see in color.
      • Similarly, you won't know how compromised some systems are until you've heard some of the worst out there (old clock radios, built-in TV speakers, cheap car systems).
      • Listen to similar types of devices (mobile phones, for example) at comparable price points to get a sense for audio quality differences amongst directly competing products. While it's important to have an absolute sense of quality, often it's relative differences that you are comparing when deciding between one product and another.
    • Your playback system consists of more than just an amp/AVR and some speakers.
      • As mentioned before, the content you play matters and will affect your listening experience. You can't judge a system's bass response without playing content that exercises those frequencies.
      • The environment you're listening in is part of your audio system. You won't be able to judge nuances if there is a lot of intrusive background noise.
      • The room you're listening in is a significant and often overlooked component in your system. Whole books can be (and have been) written about room acoustics. Suffice it to say, this is out of scope for this article. Nonetheless, this is crucial. Bad acoustics, poor choices in seating position, and incorrect speaker placement can make even a great system sound terrible. Most likely, if you haven't done anything to improve the acoustics of your room, your listening environment is not optimal and is coloring everything you hear in that space. That being said, by listening in different environments you will get a sense for how good your content can/should sound and you'll be able to make judgments despite the acoustic conditions in your regular listening space. At a minimum, remember to toe in your speakers properly and sit in the sweet spot. Moving speakers (with the exception of subwoofers) and seating away from walls and corners will also help.
      • Your ears are part of the system as well! Get your hearing checked and be aware of any anomalies in your hearing. We tend to lose the ability to hear higher frequencies as we age and can acquire other hearing problems with prolonged exposure to high SPL sounds (like at concerts).
    • Practice
      • Critical listening is not a skill gained overnight. Audio professionals hone these skills over years.
      • While you don't have to go to that extreme, the more you practice listening critically, the more able you'll be to trust what you hear.
      • There are many online resources for training your critical listening abilities and forums for discussing home theater and professional audio.
    • Don't let your brain trick you!
      • When making subjective assessments, we can often be tricked into hearing differences that don't actually exist.
      • Listen at a healthy level, not too loud or too quiet. Give yourself breaks from listening to refresh your hearing. Yes, ear fatigue is a real thing.
      • Think for yourself; don't just buy into the hype and get swayed into believing a system sounds better because your friends say it's good, it's more expensive, it comes in your favorite shade of pink, etc.
      • If directly comparing two systems side by side, listen to both of them at the same level. Our brains generally tend to think that louder sounds better. If you want to be particularly precise, bring a sound level meter and play a calibration tone through the systems so you can be sure that you're listening at the same level.
      • Also, when directly comparing two systems, be aware that our auditory memory lasts only around 5 seconds. Don't blindly trust comparisons when there is more than 5 seconds of switching time between systems. Ideally, you'd have a way of instantaneously switching between systems without pausing or restarting the content.

    TL;DR

    In this series of articles, we discussed a few fundamental characteristics of audio playback systems, ways to subjectively assess a system's capabilities, words to use when describing timbral qualities, and practical tips for building your critical listening skills. That's all well and good but what is "good quality" audio? In a nutshell, it's audio devoid of detrimental artifacts in frequency, amplitude, time, color, and space.

    No system is perfect and at the end of the day, a "good" system is one that doesn't impede your ability to enjoy your entertainment. You don't have to be an expert to have an opinion about a sound system, nor do you have to own speakers that are worth as much as a small country's GDP. With practice and an awareness of what to listen for, you will become a more discerning judge of audio quality. You'll be able to articulate what you hear, understand the cork-sniffing jargon your audiophile friends bandy about, and develop the ability to judge whether a system alters the sonic signature of your content.

    Most importantly, you'll be able to determine whether that "sounds good" to you.

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    What is Good Quality Audio: Part 2

    September 6, 2017 by Andy Vaughan

    Critical Listening: Frequency Balance, Dynamics, and Timbre

    In the first part of this series we discussed the concepts of frequency response and dynamic range in relation to a speaker system's capabilities. While these are important properties, they don't tell you everything about how a system sounds. To do so, we'll have to learn how to listen critically and describe what we hear.

    Frequency Balance

    Play some music on your system and listen carefully. Does the system reproduce the lows and highs adequately? Notice whether you can hear the lowest bass notes and the highest cymbal chimes. Listen for unusual resonances, i.e., parts of the frequency spectrum that tend to ring or linger longer than they should. Does the bass dominate the audio presentation to the detriment of details elsewhere in the mix?

    Do voices stick out too much or not enough? Try to get a sense for where elements of the mix lie on the frequency spectrum. How low is that keyboard part? Does it contain frequency components that are noticeably lower or higher than the bass drum? Lower or higher than the singer?

    Of course, what you hear will depend on the particular piece of content you're playing and the way it was intended to sound. By listening to a wide variety of familiar content in a variety of playback environments you should start to get a sense for whether a system has a suitably neutral frequency response.

    Dynamic Handling

    Listen for the system's dynamic handling capabilities. Bring the volume up slowly while playing content that has a fairly consistent level throughout (most modern pop music). Hopefully the system gets as loud as you'd ever need it to without obvious signs of degradation.

    For example, does the system sound like it's straining or not playing as clearly as it was at a lower volume? Are there crackling artifacts or any other signs of the audio being affected in a negative way? Are there signs of physical stress on the system, such as speaker cabinet rattling or a chuffing noise from a subwoofer? Be careful not to overload your system; decrease the volume to a safe level if you hear any of these warning signs.

    Also, test how your system handles content with a wide dynamic range. Symphonic classical music and action movies tend to work well here. With your system set to a comfortable level, listen to how well it reproduces the loud parts of the content and whether the quieter moments are still audible above the background noise in your typical listening environment. If bass heavy music or cinematic content is important for your use case, you may want to specifically test high amplitude low frequency content. Large explosions in movies are a good test for this, such as the hospital explosion scene in Christopher Nolan's 2008 film, The Dark Knight. Again, be careful to not overload your system; this scene in particular is challenging even for the most capable systems.

    Lastly, listen for how the system deals with sounds that rise and fall in level very quickly. Such 'transient' or 'impulsive' sounds, such as a sudden drum hit or clap, can reveal deficiencies in an otherwise capable system. Is the sound's attack, or onset, as short and sharp as it should be? Or is the attack smeared and rendered less impactful?

    Timbre

    Next, let's listen for differences in 'timbre', which Wikipedia describes as "tone color" or "tone quality". This is a bit nebulous and difficult to describe but think of timbre as the characteristics that make two singers sound different, irrespective of pitch and volume.

    Play a piece of music you're familiar with on two different systems at roughly equal loudness. Focus on a particular element in the mix, such as a bass line, synth stab, etc. Does this element sound the same on both playback systems? Does it sound more natural on one system? Does it have the same impact on both systems? Is it as present on both systems? Do you hear more detail in the element on one system or the other? Is it more muffled or less distinct on one system or the other?

    Comparing the listening experience on speakers and headphones can be particularly revealing but don't fret if you struggle to hear differences at first; the more you listen to the same content on different systems, the more obvious these differences will be.

    Your personal listening preferences will influence which system sounds better to you, but there are a number of obviously negative qualities that a good system should not exhibit. Unfortunately, describing these timbral qualities often involves descriptive terms that sound like jargon to a novice listener. I've listed a few common words below that people commonly use to describe timbre and attempted to provide definitions. While this is no means a definitive or exhaustive list, it should provide a reasonable starting point for describing what you hear.

    • Bloated - A negative characteristic indicating excess bass that tends to linger longer than it should and obscure other low end details.
    • Boomy - A negative characteristic and similar to "bloated." Sometimes indicates a slightly different part of the low end spectrum than "bloated," but I'm not splitting hairs here.
    • Bright - Indicates an emphasis on the treble end of the frequency spectrum.
    • Dark - Opposite of bright.
    • Detailed - Usually positive, indicating clarity in the higher frequencies and good transient response (response to sounds with a quick attack, like a drum hit or clap). Somewhat self-explanatory, allows you to hear details in the audio that might not be as obvious on other systems. It is often easier to pick out details on headphones than it is on a pair of speakers.
    • Harsh - A negative characteristic indicating overly loud and possibly distorted higher frequencies. Unpleasant and possibly even painful to listen to.
    • Muddy - A negative characteristic indicating excess lower midrange frequencies and sloppy transient response, possibly with boomy characteristics. In some ways, the opposite of detailed.
    • Punchy - A positive characteristic indicating good transient response. For example, drums that sound sharp and clear on the attack. If loud enough and with enough supporting bass frequencies, you may actually feel physical chest pressure when the drums hit.
    • Thin - A negative characteristic indicating a sound that lacks weight (or the opposite of warm (see below)).
    • Transparent - Usually positive, indicating a flat frequency response and accurate transient response. Most audio professionals strive for systems to be as transparent as possible.
    • Warm - Usually positive, indicating a pleasant increase in the lower midrange frequencies, decent bass, and present but not harsh highs. Vacuum tube (or valve, depending on which side of the pond you live) amplifiers are often described as having a 'warm' sound.
    • Weight - A positive characteristic indicating good bass response. The bass isn't bloated, sounds solid and supports the rest of the mix, i.e., giving the sound 'weight'.

    An acquired skill

    Evaluating frequency balance, dynamic handling, and timbre are crucial aspects of critical listening. However, these skills take time to develop; don't be discouraged if you struggle to detect and describe differences between systems at first. With practice, you'll find that these nuances are easier to identify. On that note, the final part of the series will introduce one more aspect of critical listening and provide some practical tips for improving your listening skills.

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    What is Good Quality Audio: Part 1

    September 5, 2017 by Dolby Developer

    Fundamental Concepts: Frequency Response and Dynamic Range

    Dancing About Architecture

    What does it really mean when someone says a new speaker system "sounds good?" They might describe such a system as full, detailed, natural, clear, etc. Those are all the best words but to paraphrase the saying, talking about audio is like dancing about architecture. It can be difficult to communicate what you hear and judge whether it qualifies as "good". This is compounded by our individual listening preferences and familiarity with high quality audio reproduction.

    Nevertheless, there are a number of characteristics that a well-regarded playback system should exhibit. In this three-part series, we will establish some basic audio terminology, discuss what audio attributes to listen for, and provide tips on improving your critical listening skills.

    Today, let's focus on some fundamental audio properties and their relevance to audio playback systems.

    Frequency Response

    Because we can only hear frequencies within a certain range, it follows that any good playback system should be able to reproduce the full range of frequencies that we are able to hear. The technical term for the range of frequencies that a system can reproduce is "frequency response."

    Not only will a good system be capable of reproducing the full audible frequency range, it will do so without under or overemphasizing any part of that range. This is called a flat frequency response and ensures that the tonal balance isn't altered by the system. Frequency response will often be quoted with a tolerance (e.g., 20Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB), meaning that the system can reliably reproduce that range of frequencies to the specified degree of flatness. The system will likely be compromised in its ability to reproduce frequencies outside this quoted range but since we can't hear those frequencies, this is generally not a concern.

    A high quality system's amplifier should have a frequency response of at least 20Hz-20kHz with a tight tolerance (1dB or less). A capable set of speakers and a subwoofer should also cover most or all of that frequency range. Most cheaper and/or smaller systems will likely have a more limited frequency response, but this is expected and not worth fussing over that much.

    As with all the specs and subjective assessments discussed in this article, what's important is how the system performs compared to similar devices in its class and at a similar price point. As an aside, the frequency response you hear in the room is likely not flat and will depend on a few factors, but we'll touch on that a bit later.

    Pressure and Amplitude

    Just as we can hear a range of audio frequencies (pressure waves vibrating faster or slower), we can hear sounds at a range of amplitudes (pressure varying widely or not so much). In other words, we can hear very quiet sounds like whispering up to extremely loud sounds like the roar of a jet engine.

    If a sound wave's amplitude is too low, you won't hear anything; too high, and you'll be in pain and potentially damage your hearing permanently. The lower limit of audibility is generally quoted as 20 micro Pascals (the Pascal is a unit of pressure). If you see amplitude measured in dB SPL (Sound Pressure Level), this is often calibrated such that 0 decibels (dB) SPL is equal to the 20 micro Pascal threshold of hearing.

    As a reference, movies in the cinema are usually played back with a max level of 105dB SPL (or 115dB SPL for the subwoofer). In terms of speaker systems, we are primarily interested in reproducing audio within this amplitude range.

    The Signal to Noise Ratio

    A good playback system will be able to play loudly without distorting or unduly affecting the content being played. The difference between the lowest and highest cleanly reproducible levels is called "dynamic range." For home use cases, it is likely you'll be playing audio at a maximum level 10-20dB quieter than the cinematic standard quoted above, so don't be too concerned if your system doesn't go all the way up to 105dB SPL without audible distortion.

    You'll often find a measurement called signal to noise ratio (S/N ratio) quoted on sound system spec lists. For the purposes of this discussion, consider it an indication of dynamic range (even though this is not technically accurate). A system with a S/N ratio of 80dB or greater is plenty for most consumer use cases. Don't worry about this too much, though; most living rooms have a background noise level of 30-40dB SPL, so you likely won't be able to take advantage of the full dynamic range of your system.

    Next up: Subjective Qualities

    A flat frequency response and adequate dynamic range is the bare minimum standard a high quality system should meet. These figures are often listed on spec sheets and while they are important to note, they alone do not give an adequate picture of the overall sound quality. For that, we'll have to get away from more technical terms, do some listening, and talk about more subjective qualities.

    We'll delve into that in our next installment.

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    Choosing a Good Pair of Headphones

    August 23, 2017 by Dolby Developer

    I spend much of my working day listening to audio through my headphones.  Sometimes I listen to Dolby Audio with a spatial virtualiser and other times I’m listening to Spotify to mask that annoying sound coming from the air-conditioning duct.  The headphones are almost always on my head, so it’s not surprising that I’m picky about my headphone specifications.  Here are the features I take into consideration.

    Driver Units

    The most common drive unit in headphones is the dynamic driver design. It consists of a static doughnut-shaped magnet mounted in the plastic and a coil of thin wire attached to a stiff diaphragm is suspended within its magnetic field. When the varying current of an audio signal is passed through the coil, it interacts with the magnetic field causing the attached diaphragm to vibrate. The vibrating diaphragm pushes on the air to produce sound waves.

    The quality (and price) of the headphones is largely dictated by the materials used for the coil and diaphragm. The diaphragm is typically made of cellulose, polymer, carbon material or paper.

    There are many modifications to be basic design with many marketing buzzwords. Double-sided spiralling coils allow twice as many conductors to be placed within the magnetic field, which leads to higher sensitivity, better damping, and better drive force.

    A problem with the dynamic drive unit design is the non-linear distortion caused by the distorting shape of the diaphragm as it vibrates. This is particularly true at higher volumes.

    Another design, called planar magnetic, consists of a relatively large membrane with an embedded wire pattern. This membrane is suspended between two sets of permanent, oppositely aligned, magnets. When the varying current of an audio signal is passed through the embedded wires, it interacts with the magnetic field causing the membrane to vibrate and provide sound.

    The planar magnetic drive unit design produces a uniform driving force across the membrane. This results in reduced audio distortion and excellent transient response. Although these drive units may be slightly heavier and have less bass response.

    Stereo Audio

    Listening to audio over headphones is different to listening over speakers.  When listening on speakers, both ears hear the left channel from the left speaker and the right channel from the right speaker.  This effect is called inter-aural crosstalk.  The subtle variation of the volume and phase of each channel heard at both ears allows the brain to perceive the localised direction of the sound.  When listening over headphones, the left ear hears only the left channel and the right ear hears only the right channel.  There is no inter-aural crosstalk which means the audio can appear “within the head”.  For Dolby Audio, the location of the centre channel can be perceived as lost.  Panning sounds between the left side and right side will sound different and hard-panned sounds will be heard only in one ear rather than from one side.  Listening to audio like this for long periods can be fatiguing.

    Spatialisers are algorithms that apply audio processing to the left and right channels so that the audio is perceived as bigger or more spatial. The audio appear to “out of the head”. The algorithms do this by filtering and combining the left and right channels to each of the left and right ear. They artificially create the inter-aural crosstalk that would be present when listening over speakers. For this reason, these algorithms are sometimes called speaker virtualisers. Of course, the algorithms are a little more complicated than what I’ve explained and Dolby has been developing and improving algorithms in this area for a long time.

    Some people love spatialisers and others don’t. It’s a personal choice since the way we perceive audio and it’s direction is different for everyone. It also depends on the audio. If the audio already has effects applied or are binaural recordings, then the combination of the algorithms might produce bad results. It’s worth seeing if it works for you.

    Over Ear Headphones

    Over-ear headphones are definitely the way to go. They provide good sound isolation and plenty of bass. Earbuds become painful after many hours. On-ear headphones also tend to be uncomfortable after a few hours, but may be the best option if you wear glasses or concerned about messing your hair!

    Over-ear headphones also tend to provide the best sound production. They can provide a larger drive unit that is capable of producing better bass and a flatter frequency response. Look for a frequency range between 10Hz and 25kHz. However, significant response at less than 20Hz is unlikely. Support for lower frequencies will allow you to hear the LFE channel of Dolby Audio.

    Over-ear headphones can be closed-back (aka closed can) or open-back (aka open can) design. There are endless arguments archived forever on the internet espousing personal preferences for one over the other. Open-back headphones have vents in the cups to allow the pressure to equalise and prevent the sound waves bouncing off the closed plastic back. They tend to be more comfortable and provide more natural, precise sound without distortion. Most headphones are open-back design.

    Pay attention to the weight of the headphones too. If you’re wearing them all day, you don’t want heavy headphones, but you do want them to be robust. Around 250g is reasonably comfortable. Wireless headphones will contain batteries which make them heavier and provide less space for good drive units. I’m not convinced that wireless headphones provide a good solution.

    If you take your work on the road, then noise-cancelling headphones could be a good option. Although most people associate noise-cancelling headphones for use on planes, I’ve found that my noise-cancelling headphones successfully eliminate that annoying vibration from the air-conditioning duct! And I use them on the plane too. Definitely worth considering if you can find a pair at a good price.

    So....

    Which headphones do I use? Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and Sony ZX110N.

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    Fabric now supports Dolby Audio

    June 14, 2017 by Eric Ang

    Dolby Audio (supporting Dolby Digital Plus) provides a set of technologies that use advanced audio formatting and signal processing to deliver rich and powerful sound. With Fabric's intuitive workflow and extensive features sound designers can use their best techniques to add an extra level of immersion into the game soundscape.

    Using Fabric will allow Unity3D Developers to easily include Dolby Audio assets into their projects

    What is Fabric?

    Fabric provides an extensive array of audio features and custom user interfaces that allow developers to design great audio entirely within Unity3D. Its nested component hierarchy allows users to create complex audio structures and combined with its event-based system Fabric reduces the dependency on programmers, giving more power to the sound-designers to work independently.

     

    Access the Dolby Audio Integration now

    View Fabric Documentation Here

    Fabric Dolby Audio Example Project

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    Dolby Audio Over HDMI Part 2: Signaling and Carriage

    May 18, 2017 by Andy Vaughan

    In Part 1, we talked about Dolby Audio codecs and what was supported on HDMI and S/PDIF.  Now let's talk about how devices know what type of audio to send and how it's actually sent.

    Signaling Dolby Audio Support

    HDMI introduced signaling in the form of the Enhanced Extended Display Identification Data (E-EDID) structure that allows a source device (e.g. set-top box, game console) to detect the capabilities of the connected sink device (e.g. TV, soundbar, A/V receiver) before sending any audio or video. This ensures that only formats that the sink device supports are transmitted by the source device, ensuring no blank screens or silent speakers. The main audio parameters in the E-EDID are carried in one or more Short Audio Descriptors (SAD). Each SAD describes a supported audio format, including sampling rates, bit rates and (for PCM) bit depths.  Here's an example of the HDMI EDID from a television:

    Since Dolby Atmos is NOT a codec and is carried as an extension to existing codecs, there's an "audio format specific" byte in each SAD that indicates whether a device supports Dolby Atmos.  A source device that wants to send Atmos to a sink device can check for Dolby Atmos support in the SAD for each Dolby audio codec. 

    It's common for televisions to support stereo PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and it's common for AVRs and sound bars to additionally support Dolby TrueHD.  When a source device connects to a sink device, it reads the E-EDID to see what codecs it supports before sending audio.  In the case where the sink device doesn't support the source's audio codec, the source device will decode the audio and send stereo or 5.1 PCM audio.  

    Carrying Dolby Audio over HDMI

    When delivering encoded audio formats over HDMI, the data space normally taken up by the PCM audio data can instead be thought of as one big data pipe where the clock rate determines how much data can be sent across the pipe.  The 3 main clock rates that are important for Dolby codecs are 48 kHz, 192 kHz and 768 kHz. The data pipe is 2 channels with 16 bits per channel, so when you multiply the pipe size and the clock rate, you correspondingly get 1.5 Mbps, 6 Mbps, and 24.5 Mbps.  Dolby audio codecs fit into the different clock rates like this:

    Sample RateMax Bit RateSupported Dolby Audio Formats
    48 kHz1.5 Mbps• Dolby Digital
    192 kHz6 Mbps• Dolby Digital Plus (with or without Dolby Atmos)
    768 kHz24.5 Mbps• Dolby True HD (with or without Dolby Atmos)

    Why can't I just send PCM?

    There's a lot more to Dolby audio than just compression!  You get the best possible audio quality when the final device in the chain does the audio decoding.  Dolby audio bitstreams have metadata parameters that define how surround sound is downmixed to stereo, what type of dynamic range compression should be applied and other useful information.  To get the best sound quality out of a television or home theater system, it's best if they receive a Dolby bitstream over HDMI.  Additionally, there is NO way of sending Dolby Atmos over PCM over HDMI, so you have to send Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD to get the Dolby Atmos experience.

    HDMI Audio Return Channel

    The HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) provides a way for TVs to send audio "upstream" to an A/V receiver or sound bar.   Without HDMI ARC, consumers would have to connect their home theater systems using S/PDIF along with its shortcomings. The benefit of ARC is that it simplifies the home theater set up - all of your sources plug into the TV and audio is passed-through the TV out to the home theater device.  TV makers have also simplified device control by using HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) to send commands (volume/power/etc.) to the home theater system to give consumers a single-remote experience.

    HDMI ARC signaling works similarly to the HDMI forward channel - there's an E-EDID to indicate what audio formats and features are supported.  The key difference between HDMI ARC and the HDMI forward channel is how much data can be transmitted - ARC only supports the 48 kHz and 192 kHz clock rates which means that Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus are supported but Dolby TrueHD is not supported as there isn't enough bandwidth.

    For Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus-based Dolby Atmos content (that's a mouthful) can be sent via HDMI ARC, but Dolby TrueHD-based Dolby Atmos content can't. What this means is that Dolby Atmos can be sent over ARC, but only within Dolby Digital Plus. In the future, televisions will be able to transcode Dolby TrueHD to Dolby Digital Plus to send Dolby Atmos audio over ARC, and with HDMI 2.1 and enhanced audio return channel (E-ARC), lossless audio can be sent over ARC.

    In the past, many televisions have replicated the same audio that was sent over S/PDIF to HDMI ARC. While this was fine for stereo and Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus can only be sent over ARC, and requires a different higher clock rate than S/PDIF, so care needs to be taken in order to give consumers the Dolby Atmos experience over HDMI ARC.

    Summary

    • HDMI E-EDID signaling tells a source device what the sink device supports
    • Dolby audio is sent using different clock rates within HDMI
    • The HDMI audio return channel supports Dolby audio (including Dolby Atmos)

    In the next post, we'll talk about some of the common issues that consumers see today and what should work better.

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    Dolby Audio Over HDMI Part 1: Codecs

    April 13, 2017 by Dolby Developer

    In this 3-part series, we'll go over the basics of the different Dolby audio formats, how they are signaled and carried over HDMI and the HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC), and talk about what's happening in consumer devices and services today.

    Introduction

    The introduction of HDMI opened up a world of possibilities for sound - it allowed devices to deliver and receive many types of audio formats, and it ensured that a device received the best and most compatible audio for that device. With HDMI, whether you were delivering sound to a stereo TV, a surround sound system, or a full Dolby Atmos setup, you could get the best possible audio given the capabilities of the playback system.

    Consumers can get high quality audio from a variety of source devices including Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes, digital-media adapters, game consoles, and PCs and play back on a variety of sink devices such as A/V receivers, sound bars, and televisions.

    Content for these sources can be in various audio formats including Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), and Dolby TrueHD.

    Dolby Digital

    Dolby Digital (AC-3) is the digital audio standard for DVDs and is the audio standard for digital broadcast television in many countries all over the world. Dolby Digital supports several audio channel configurations, but the most common ones are 5.1-ch and stereo. 5.1-ch Dolby Digital audio is typically encoded at bitrates between 384-640 kbps, while stereo Dolby Digital audio is typically encoded at 192 kbps.

    Dolby Digital Plus

    Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) provides up to twice the efficiency of Dolby Digital while adding new features like 7.1-ch audio, support for descriptive video services, and support for Dolby Atmos (but more on that later). Dolby Digital Plus is widely used by streaming and broadcast services to deliver surround sound audio at lower bitrates. 5.1-ch audio in Dolby Digital Plus is typically encoded at bitrates between 192-256 kbps while stereo audio in Dolby Digital Plus is typically encoded at bitrates between 96-128 kbps. Dolby Digital Plus bitstreams are not directly backwards compatible with Dolby Digital decoders, but Dolby Digital Plus decoders can decode Dolby Digital bitstreams.

    Dolby TrueHD

    Dolby TrueHD, also known as MLP, is a lossless audio codec used widely on HD and UHD Blu-ray Discs. Dolby TrueHD supports up to 24-bit audio and sampling rates from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz. Dolby TrueHD supports up to 7.1 audio channels as well as Dolby Atmos immersive audio. As Dolby TrueHD is a lossless audio codec, the data rate is variable. For example, Dolby TrueHD bitrates average around 6,000 kbps for Dolby Atmos at 48 kHz with peak data rates up to a maximum of 18,000 kbps for high sampling rate content.

    What about Dolby Atmos?

    Dolby Atmos is not a codec! Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio format that can be delivered via multiple audio codecs including Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD (but NOT Dolby Digital). Blu-ray Discs deliver Dolby Atmos using Dolby TrueHD (with Dolby Digital Plus as an available alternative), and broadcast and streaming services deliver Dolby Atmos using Dolby Digital Plus. In order to maintain compatibility with millions of devices in consumer homes, Dolby Atmos in these codecs is implemented as a backwards-compatible extension. Dolby Atmos data is hidden within the bitstream and can be decoded by a Dolby Atmos-compatible A/V Receiver, soundbar or television. Non-Dolby Atmos capable devices will decode a 5.1-ch or 7.1-ch version from the Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD bitstreams. There is new HDMI signaling to indicate that Dolby Atmos is supported by a sink device (more on that in the next article).

    All of these formats are supported today on the "forward" HDMI connection between a source device and a sink device.

    A Sidebar on S/PDIF

    S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) allows digital audio to be sent from a source device and a sink device over an optical or coaxial connection (by the way, I pronounce it SPEE-DIFF). It's historically been a popular connection type to get digital audio to soundbars as well as A/V receivers. S/PDIF supports 2-channels of uncompressed PCM audio OR Dolby Digital audio. S/PDIF does NOT support Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD for 3 reasons. First, since there's no signaling on S/PDIF, there's no way for a source device to know whether a sink device supports newer audio codecs. Second, S/PDIF doesn't have enough bandwidth to support the worst case bitrates of Dolby Digital Plus or any bitrate for Dolby TrueHD (greater than 6000 kbps). Lastly, content protection rules (e.g. HDCP) don't allow for newer formats to be sent over unencrypted links like S/PDIF.

    So, in summary:

     Dolby DigitalDolby Digital PlusDolby TrueHD
    Stereo
    5.1
    7.1 
    Dolby Atmos 
    Lossless  
    S/PDIF  

    Coming Up

    In the next installment, we'll talk about how sink devices signal that they support Dolby Atmos and how HDMI ARC works.

    About The Author

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    Adobe Tools for Dolby Audio Encoding

    March 10, 2017 by Andy Vaughan

    As you may know, Dolby Audio is now supported across the Apple universe in macOS, tvOS, and iOS. Adding Dolby Audio to your application is as simple as encoding your audio in Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) instead of AAC or other sound formats.

    Using what you've got

    If you've worked at building software for any amount of time, you probably already have a subscription to at least one of Adobe's cloud solutions such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Illustrator. You may not know that two more of Adobe's solutions are perfect for exporting your audio in Dolby's flagship audio format, and are available as an add-on to your existing subscription.

    Headline: Adobe Audition CC

    Adobe Audition CC offers you the most robust audio toolkit in the film industry with advanced features that enhance your audio quality and overall efficiency of editing audio. Use the Essential Sound panel to make common adjustments to obtain professional-quality results even if you are not a professional audio editor and send projects directly to Adobe Media Encoder for rendering and publishing.

    • Dynamic Link enables a seamless, near-lossless workflow between Premiere Pro and Audition.
    • Spectral editing tools transform soundscapes into visual workspaces.
    • Automatic Speech Alignment, Noise Reduction tools, and Automatic Loudness Correction are among the premium solutions uniquely native to Audition.

    Read more about Adobe Audition

    Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Adobe Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing software application. Premiere is a powerful editing tool, capable of producing broadcast-quality and high-definition video.

    • Premiere Pro can Import video, audio and graphics in a wide variety of formats.
    • Edit, manipulate and arrange these elements in a visual timeline.
    • Add effects, filters, titles, etc.
    • Export your edited video in a variety of formats, including DV, DVD, and common Internet video formats.

    Read more about Adobe Premiere Pro

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    Dolby Atmos Tech Talk for Xbox and Windows 10

    March 9, 2017 by Andy Vaughan

    Dolby Atmos is coming to Xbox and Windows. Are you ready?

    Learn Dolby Atmos from the Pros

    If you're a console or PC game developer in the UK, this day-long Tech Talk is for you.

    During this event, members of the interactive content community including Dolby, Microsoft, DICE, Formosa Group and Pinewood Studio will get you ready with a set of focused technical talks ranging from what Dolby Atmos is and does for your content, to how best to plan and configure your studio to mix your audio in Dolby Atmos.

    • Michael Jessup, Sr. Product Manager at Dolby will kick off the day by providing an overview of Dolby Atmos technology, and identifying the steps to integrate the technology into your workflow.
    • Scott Selfon, Principal Software Engineering Lead at Microsoft and Mark Yeend, Creative Director, ATG at Xbox, will then introduce Windows Sonic - Microsoft's platform-level implementation for native spatial sound objects and virtual surround sound on both Xbox and Windows. Windows Sonic supports Dolby Atmos (over HDMI and headphones) as a spatial sound provider, allowing the entire system mix to be rendered and heard from above, below (for users of headphones), and around the listener. This talk will examine the general capabilities of Windows Sonic and how developers can integrate Dolby Atmos via Windows Sonic into existing audio workflows.
    • Kristoffer Larson, Sr. Sound Supervisor of Formosa Group will share best practices for mixing game content and discussing how to get your studio ready to produce Dolby Atmos content.
    • DICE, the first game developer to support Dolby Atmos, will talk about implementing Dolby Atmos for dazzling effect in Star Wars Battlefont and a local film mixer will conclude the event with a talk about Dolby Atmos mixing for linear content, and how cinema content differs from creating Dolby Atmos content for games.

     

    Sign up now!

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    GDC 2017 Presentation Schedules

    February 7, 2017 by Dolby Developer

    GDC is right around the corner, and we’re excited to be back. This year we’re mixing things up a bit and bringing in some of our industry partners to speak about their experiences with Dolby Atmos. Be sure to check the schedule for a complete listing of presenters and times. You’ll be able to find us in Moscone South, booth 1632. We look forward to seeing you there.

    Wednesday, March 1

    10-11 AM:Tomas Nuemann, Blizzard – Play by Sound, Dolby Atmos in Overwatch
    1-2 PM:  Gustav Rathsman, DICE – Dolby Atmos in Star Wars Battlefront
    2-3 PM:Kristoffer Larson, Formosa Group – Signal Flow for Dolby Atmos in a Game Audio Studio

    Thursday, March 2

    10:30-11:30 AM:  Scott Selfon & Mark Yeend, Microsoft - Dolby Atmos for Xbox and Windows
    1-2 PM:Martin Dufour, Audio Kinetic – Dolby Atmos and Wwise
    2-3 PM:Kristoffer Larson, Formosa Group – Mixing your game in Dolby Atmos
    4-5 PM:Scott Lawlor, Blizzard – Play by Sound, Dolby Atmos in Overwatch

    Friday, March 3

    10:30-11:30:Gustav Rathsman, DICE – Dolby Atmos in Star Wars Battlefront

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    Surround Album, Utilities Land On tvOS

    January 13, 2017 by Andy Vaughan

    Ever heard music in surround sound? Chances are, if you have a multichannel home audio/video system, you've been hearing music through all channels. But that doesn't mean you're hearing your favorite album mixed specifically for more than two channels. In fact, usually you're hearing a straightforward 2-channel stereo mix that's been "upmixed" by your AVR to use all of your speakers.

    Apple TV users though, have a new option that clearly illustrates the difference between a 2-channel stereo mix, and a mix intentionally created to take advantage of surround speakers, a center channel and a subwoofer.

    Meet Surround Sound Ear Candy.

    Created with the home theater in mind

    Surround Sound Ear Candy is the debut multimedia app-album from surround recording artist Jeff Perrin. It features a collection of guitar-centric soundscapes and instrumentals, each specifically written and arranged for surround sound playback in the home theater environment. The app provides a rich multimedia experience, full of production details, backstory and studio pics, as well as bonus clips and demo tracks.

    Surround Sound Ear Candy is the first true multichannel surround sound music and entertainment app in the Apple App Store. It is currently the only app to feature music presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

    When writing the music for Surround Sound Ear Candy, composer/producer Jeff Perrin envisioned a musical experience which would take full advantage of these extra speaker channels, effectively turning the listener’s room into an immersive, three-dimensional sound stage.

    Apple TV Changes the game

    Stereo mixing has long been the default for music for a variety of reasons. Cost, complexity, common playback environments have all conspired to keep your favorite locked into two channels (with, of course, a few exceptions). With the advent of new media devices in the living room, though, musicians and audio engineers are able to give multichannel audio delivery a second look.

    "I've always dreamed of writing and producing for surround sound audio, but up until recently, the technology and associated start-up costs involving such a project were just too far out-of-reach for the independent musician," said Perrin.

    "Apple’s App Store distribution model, combined with the Apple TV, provides the perfect vehicle for me to deliver my surround sound music to a like-minded audience. I’m really looking forward to bringing them along as I forge new territory in home theater entertainment!"

    Make sure your setup is right

    Perrin's work is a delight to experience, but to get the full impact of an album intentionally mixed or a multichannel room, you should be sure your system is set up properly.

    Not coincidentally, Perrin also provides an app for tvOS called Surround Speaker Check to ensure proper operation of your 5.1 surround system. In a few simple steps, Surround Speaker Check plays selections to verify proper placement and routing of each channel.

    While this sounds like something you could do with any content, I was able to identify a temperamental loose wire that was compromising the performance of my audio setup with Perrin's app that I never realized existed before.

    Even more importantly, Perrin's app also plays back tones meant to test for proper connection and calibration of your subwoofer.

    When setting up your home theater system, Perrin's app is definitely the right tool for the job.

    Available NOW on tvOS and Apple TV

    Both apps are available on the App Store for tvOS. For Apple TV (4th Generation users), search for "Jeff Perrin Music."

    Basic features of Surround Speaker Check are available for free, and surround sound tracks for Surround Sound Ear Candy are available for purchase in app.

    And naturally, all audio is encoded in Dolby Digital Plus for the best possible performance in your home theater.

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    Surround Sound Mixing Basics with John Loose

    January 12, 2017 by Andy Vaughan

    Dolby Director of Audio and Visual Production John Loose sat down with Reverb Magazine to discuss the basics and best practices for mixing audio tracks in surround sound.

    Learn the basics of surround sound mixing

    Covering the best practices in a short article, John Loose give some crucial tips and tricks to developers working on creating a deeper and more engaging soundscape. Included in his interview:

    • The differences between mixing for audio-only and music-for-picture
    • Essential tools needed
    • Preparing for a surround sound mix
    • Instrument and emitter placement
    • How best to use panning and how to avoid overuse
    • EQ, compression and effects

    While the topic is a gigantic one that simply cannot be covered completely in one interview, this is a great intro to the practice.

     

    Check it out!

     

     

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    Stream Dolby Audio with Encoding.com's Vid.ly

    October 19, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is quickly becoming the way to deliver video content to a variety of endpoints over varying bandwidth connections. Championed by Apple for its massively successful line of devices from the iPhone 7 to the Apple TV and the Safari browser, HLS has become the dominant format for streaming video.

    Evolving Audio to Match the Video Evolution

    In tandem with this standard, Dolby has been working to begin delivering Dolby Audio in those HLS streams, and thanks to the newest capabilities from Apple’s various platforms and Microsoft Windows, users of both stripes now have the tools they need to decode Dolby Audio streams without any plugins or helper apps.

    Still, preparing and formatting HLS audio for your streaming video solution can be a whole separate job in addition to delivering your app or service. Why not let an Online Video Provider handle the audio formatting and device detection for you?

    Using Vid.ly, you can do precisely that. And what’s better, all you need to do is upload a single multichannel file, and Vid.ly will do the rest. That includes delivering multichannel and stereo streams encoded in Dolby Digital Plus with AAC fallback for devices and browsers that don’t yet offer support for Dolby Audio.

     

    Listen to the difference Dolby Audio can make on the web (Best viewed with Windows Edge, Apple Safari on macOS Safari, or any iOS 10 device newer than the iPhone 7).

    Read more in a short whitepaper describing the benefits of Vid.ly.

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    Dolby Audio Support in HTTP Live Streaming

    October 10, 2016 by Eric Ang

    With the release of iOS 10, tvOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple has added several features to HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) to make it easier than ever to deliver Dolby Audio to all Apple platforms. Read below to learn how to take advantage of those features and how to craft HLS playlists with Dolby Audio that are compatible with all Apple devices and OS versions.

    Dolby Audio on Any Endpoint

    HTTP Live Streaming has supported Dolby Digital (AC-3) passthrough since 2012 and natively supported Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) starting in 2015. However, until now, support for Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital, two of the audio formats that enable the Dolby Audio experience, was only enabled when playing audio to multichannel audio devices, such as an AVR, via AirPlay or HDMI.

    Starting with the release of iOS 10, tvOS 10, and macOS Sierra, Dolby Audio playback is now also supported for any audio endpoint, including:

    • Built-in device speakers
    • Headphones (via Lightning connector, 3.5 mm analog port, or a wireless connection)
    • AirPlay
    • HDMI

    This makes it possible for content providers to deliver Dolby Audio much more widely and for users to benefit from the clarity, richness, and detail of Dolby Audio anywhere they listen to their entertainment. Also, now that stereo content and stereo playback are supported, users can enjoy a consistent quality of experience regardless of how they listen, thanks to the state-of-the-art loudness management and dynamic range control (DRC) capabilities of Dolby Audio.

    Dolby Audio is a premium sound format that provides the following key benefits:

    • Leading technology chosen by artists, studios, and producers for broadcast, cinema, and Blu-ray worldwide.
    • Enhanced clarity, richness, and detail give you sharper, more nuanced sound for more realistic entertainment.
    • Easy-to-hear dialogue lets you follow the action and stay immersed in the story.
    • Consistent volume helps eliminate the annoying jumps you hear as you transition across TV shows and movies.
    • Surround sound is always just a connection away: pair an iPhone, iPad, or Mac with any 5.1- or 7.1-channel home theater system through AirPlay or HDMI for a fantastic entertainment experience.

    Dolby Audio playback on Apple platforms is completely native and requires no custom player, add-on SDK, or other tweaks. It is built right into Apple’s Core Audio framework. Just follow the guidance below to deliver Dolby Audio via HTTP Live Streaming to all supported devices.

    1. Encoding

    Using the highest available quality mezzanine source, encode your content into the following formats:

    1. For stereo source content:
      • 2-channel Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3)
      • 2-channel AAC
    2. For multichannel source content:
      • 2-channel Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) — use stereo mix if available, or a stereo downmix
      • 2-channel AAC — use stereo mix if available, or a stereo downmix
      • 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3)
      • 7.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) — if 7.1ch source content is available
      • 5.1-channel Dolby Digital (AC-3) — if targeting the third-generation Apple TV

    See more specific details about recommended encoding parameters in the Dolby Developer Knowledge Base. Several hardware and software professional encoding tools support Dolby Audio encoding such as Adobe Audition CC or Apple Compressor. If you need assistance finding an appropriate encoding tool, please contact us. Feel free to also try the free Dolby Digital Plus encoding utility available on the Dolby Developer site (login required).

    As a reminder, make sure you always properly measure the loudness of your content and signal this using the dialnorm field in the Dolby Audio encoders. This will enable proper loudness management and DRC during playback. You can find more information on how to measure content loudness properly in the Dolby Developer Knowledgebase entry Best Practices for encoding and delivering Dolby Audio to Apple devices.

    2. HLS Master Playlist Generation

    After you encode your audio track(s) in the several codecs listed above and run these through your media segmenter, the next step is to build a master HLS playlist to point to this content. Below are some guidelines on what to do:

    • Each audio track (in each codec) should be listed in the playlist with an EXT-X-MEDIA tag of type AUDIO, and assigned a specific GROUP-ID attribute.
    • Each EXT-X-MEDIA AUDIO tag also needs to set the new CHANNELS attribute to the proper value to indicate the number of audio channels in the content. For example, use CHANNELS=“2” for stereo Dolby Digital Plus and stereo AAC, and use CHANNELS=“6” for 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus and 5.1-channel Dolby Digital.
    • The EXT-X-STREAM-INF entries in the playlist should include the specific GROUP-ID attribute of the audio track and codec that should be played back. When there are several audio tracks and audio codecs, the playlist has several blocks of EXT-X-STREAM-INF entries.
    • The ordering of the EXT-X-STREAM-INF lines in the playlist will determine implicit preference if the player considers two Variant Streams encoded with different codecs to be equally suitable for playback. Variant Streams that appear earlier will be preferred.
      • In order to enable stereo Dolby Digital Plus playback on iPhone or iPad with iOS 10, or on Mac with macOS Sierra, you should list the stereo Dolby Digital Plus EXT-X-STREAM-INF variants first, and stereo AAC second. This will play Dolby Digital Plus wherever it is supported, and automatically fall back to AAC on other devices.
    • Whenever several audio tracks are encoded from the same source content (for example, the same language dub), the NAME attribute in the EXT-X-MEDIA tag must be the same for all of them. The native Apple HLS player will automatically switch to the appropriate track from the available codec variants.

    To see a few example playlists that demonstrate ways to use these guidelines, please view our full knowledge base article: "Best practices for encoding and delivering Dolby Audio to Apple devices"

    Compatibility Notes

    Dolby Audio support in HTTP Live Streaming is compatible with all standard Apple platform features, such as FairPlay Streaming content protection, AirPlay, alternate audio, Live playlists, and so on.

    Also, by following the guidelines above, media playback will automatically fall back to stereo AAC on unsupported devices, such as devices running iOS 8 or older Apple TV models.

    Note that at the time of writing, these features are not yet supported on certain third-party HLS playback frameworks, such as the Microsoft Edge browser, Roku devices. We will update this post as soon as this changes, but for now you should continue using legacy HLS playlists for these target devices.

    Further recommended resources

    Please make sure to read through and follow Apple’s HLS Authoring Requirements.

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    The Skateboard Party Continues

    June 15, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    The Skateboard Party franchise by Ratrod Studio, Inc. is back and better than ever with Skateboard Party 3, featuring Greg Lutzka.

    40 Tricks to Master

    Skateboard Party 3 is now available on iOS, Android, Windows and Windows Phone for the mere price of $1.99.

     

    And, as usual with Ratrod Studios, all audio is enhanced by the Dolby Audio API for Android.

     
    Hop on your board, learn new tricks and improve your skills in eight completely unique locations.
    Play with your friends using the online multiplayer mode or challenge skaters from all over the world on the leaderboards.

    • Complete over 70 level objectives and achievements
    • Gain experience and upgrade your favorite skater with the coolest gear
    • Customize your outfits, shoes, boards, trucks and wheels with licensed brands.

    You can find more information on the official game page including a video trailer, media kit, screenshots and a full list of features at: http://skateparty3.com.

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    Audiograph Reimagines the Visualizer

    June 14, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    Visualizers have been around since the beginning of personal computing. Boxes, lines, maybe a triangle or two tossed in and that was it. Quickly relegated to the status of a preloaded screensaver, visualizers never really enjoyed wide appeal.

    Then Audiograph Happened

    During the Dolby Audio Web Challenge, we encountered "Audiograph," an entry by Matt Deslauriers, a Web developer from Toronto.

     

    Simply calling Audiograph a "visualizer," though seems to sell it short. Termed a "A visual exploration of Pilotpriest's 2016 album, Trans," Deslauriers' site is simple, yet mesmerizing. Judges for the Dolby Audio Web Challenge agreed, and awarded Audiograph second place.

     

    "Audiograph was a two-week project I built in my free time. The project began as a rough idea: I wanted to visualize sounds with a rich colour palette. The procedural shapes, motion and colours evolved organically during development, and it wasn't until later that it turned into a visualizer for an album," said DesLauriers.

    "The project was built with ThreeJS, WebAudio, and many open source modules and libraries. Once I had the core visuals in place, the majority of my time was spent developing subtle features like the grain, bloom, drop shadows, audio reverb, and various performance optimizations."

     

    And, of course, all audio is encoded in Dolby Digital Plus for the best experience in Microsoft Edge and Safari.

     
    Deslauriers has detailed many more of specifics of his site on his svbtle blog, and it's an interesting read, with  linkage to some fascinating influencing work and code samples. 

     

    If you haven't tried the site yet, go on. Give it a try. We think you'll agree that this takes the concept of the music visualizer and adds a whole new dimension.

     

    Congratulations to Matt, and we're looking forward to seeing how Dolby Audio makes it into his future projects.

     

     

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    The Dolby Audio Web Challenge: Winner!

    June 3, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    Check out the winner of the Dolby Audio Web challenge: Touch Pianist.

     

    An interactive web experience created by Batuhan Bozkurt, this site has all audio clips encoded in Dolby Digital Plus to deliver the clearest sound possible on Miscrosoft Edge and Safari (on OS X El Capitan).

     

    So, You Can't Play Piano, huh?

    At first blush, you may think this is way beyond your skills if you've never played the piano (or skipped piano lessons as a child). Check again. This experience demands nothing but an appreciation of stellar audio, and sense of rhythm, and an enjoyment of classical piano works.

     

    When asked about the project, developer Batuhan Bozkurt said that he thinks the potential for web audio experiences is huge, despite the fact that they are somewhat rare on today's web.

     

     "I think audio related experiences on the web are largely underutilised; people LOVE aural experiences on the web and creative projects with an audio and/or music focus go viral very quickly both between the general public and the developer community," Bozkurt said. "I think that is because the experiences are fresh and novel for the general audience and since the advanced audio tech is still fresh in web browsers, developers are interested in seeing what really is possible once you start utilizing them."

     

    Bozkurt originally built his site as a personal experiment that garnered more than 4 million visits with nearly zero marketing. As a matter of fact, he posted once on Reddit, and that's it. When Dolby announced the Dolby Audio Web Challenge Batuhan added a few new musical selections, encoded his audio in Dolby Digital Plus, and submitted the site.

     

    The Challenge judges loved it.

     

    Bozkurt is planning on building more audio experiences with Dolby Audio, and intends to release those as he completes them. For now, you should go play Touch Pianist -- it's just fun and sounds beautiful.

     

    And, for a little more entertainment, try out another submission Bozkurt turned in for the challenge: Rhone (as always, this site is best heard in Microsoft Edge or Safari).

     

    Congratulations, Batuhan!

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    iOS App Uses Dolby Audio for AV Setup

    June 3, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    Now that iOS has the ability to decode Dolby Digital Plus (Enhanced AC-3) streams, iOS mobile apps are starting to make use of this gold-standard format in audio. One of the first, AV Aid, helps users set up audio/video systems correctly and test playback of multichannel Dolby streams.

    Testing Dolby Multichannel Audio With AV Aid

    If you are an audiovisual technician, a home
     theater buff, or simply want to learn more about AV, you will definitely want to check out AV Aid for the iPhone, iPad, or the fourth generation Apple TV.

    The most recent version supports Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 and 7.1 sound system tests using the latest Dolby Digital Plus encoded mp4 protocols!

    That means you can easily test your home theater system and ensure each speaker is working correctly and located properly. AV Aid toolkit also includes a variety of audio tests, like Pink Noise, Brown Noise, White Noise, Phase Tests, and more.

    You can also use use AV Aid to test your image and picture quality with a number of vibrant test patterns and color bars. The application can even detect all available output resolutions, and allow you to generate custom color bars at specific resolutions.

    This might sound complicated, but the user interface makes testing Audiovisual systems a breeze. AV Aid includes a variety of other handy resources like a robust cable connector resource guide, flashlight, strobe light, party light, IR detector, TRS, XLR, and CAT-5 Pinout reference, and additional tips for troubleshooting Audio/Visual systems.

    This assembly of tools makes AV Aid a must-have for Audiovisual technicians, home theater enthusiasts or people who simply want to learn more about AV.

    Try AV Aid today in the Apple App Store

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    Goldfire Adds Dolby Audio Support to howler.js

    April 25, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    If you've started building interactive content using HTML5, you've likely migrated to the Web Audio API to take advantage the lower latency and precision it offers of standard HTML5 Audio. The trouble is, Web Audio is incredibly complex, and can almost make you give up, and settle for low-quality sound.

     

    Howler to the Rescue

    Hopefully, integration discomfort has led you to howler.js -- a free and open-source library that greatly simplifies use of Web Audio across the many combinations of OS and browsers out there. Built by Goldfire Studios (who also brought you Casino RPG, BC Wars, Poker RPG and more), the howler library works through feature detection and invokes the proper playback method (Web Audio or HTML5) based on the results gleaned from each browser.

    "The Howler library has evolved over time to fix lots of cross-browser bugs and include various helper methods to make building audio into web apps a breeze. This has led it to be the most widely used javascript audio library and the one with the most stars on Github," said James Simpson, Goldfire CEO and Founder.

    With version 2, Goldfire wanted to keep that goal in mind, but make the library more robust. It is now more modular with support for plugins. The core library still duplicates HTML5 Audio functionality in Web Audio (which is now supported everywhere except Internet Explorer). However, developers can now easily take advantage of more advanced features like 3D spatial audio, filters, etc using the effects plugin.

    Simpson hopes to add more plugins (and have more contributed) after 2.0 ends beta.

    "Once we learned Dolby Audio was supported in the browser, it became a no-brainer to bake it into howler.js as well. As with everything else in the library, the focus was to make it as simple as possible to get up and running. You just specify your Dolby audio file (and fallbacks if you want to support browsers that don't yet have Dolby Audio support), and then set the "format" property to "dolby" and you are done," Simpson said. "Howler handles everything else behind the scenes and you can focus on making great audio experiences. There's a code example of this at Github."

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    Free Encoding for Dolby Developer Members

    April 25, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    Dolby Developer is excited to provide free encoding for registered Dolby Developer members. Powered by Encoding.com this lightweight, easy-to-use, entirely cloud based solution will encode most video and audio files in Dolby Digital Plus while you wait.

    As easy as registering

    Register for a free Dolby Developer account today, and enjoy up to 10 GB ($50 credit) while supplies last.  This offer is only available to registered Dolby Developers so create an account​ now to get started.  Already a member of the Dolby Developer community?  Simply let us know you want to take advantage of this offer and we’ll get you sorted.

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    Dolby Audio Support on iOS

    April 1, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    With the release of iOS 9.3, Apple is bringing support for Dolby Audio to millions of iOS devices, adding to the existing support on tvOS and the new Apple TV, and on the Mac since OS X El Capitan. This means that the Dolby Digital Plus™ format is now broadly supported across three major Apple platforms, enabling developers, content providers and audio professionals to deliver a rich, clear and powerful Dolby Audio experience across a wide range of Apple devices. This article provides more details about Dolby Audio support on iOS, OS X and tvOS.

    NATIVE SUPPORT IN CORE AUDIO

    Dolby Digital Plus (aka Enhanced AC-3) and Dolby Digital (AC-3) are natively supported data types in Core Audio, the foundational audio framework for all Apple platforms. The Dolby Digital Plus decoder is also available to all third-party applications. This means that these audio formats are supported throughout the operating system and in all the high-level media frameworks such as AVFoundation or Audio Toolbox. Playback of Dolby Audio in AVPlayer for example is as simple as passing a file with a Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack, and the system handles the rest.

    Note: on iOS, Dolby Audio is supported on all devices with a 64-bit CPU (A7 or above) ; see the table on the iOS tab on our Apple page for a handy reference.

    BENEFITS OF DOLBY AUDIO

    Dolby Audio delivers rich, clear, and powerful sound, and has been the established standard for audio quality in the cinema, broadcast and home entertainment for the past two decades, starting with Dolby Digital in the cinema, HDTV and DVD era, and evolving now to the flagship Dolby Digital Plus format used in broadcast and premium internet streaming services.

    Dolby Audio on iOS, OS X and tvOS offers the following key benefits:

    • High-fidelity sound for mono or stereo content and up to 5.1 or 7.1ch discrete channels for powerful Dolby surround sound when connected to a home theater via HDMI or AirPlay.
    • Support for strong, pristine dynamic range compression that provides crystal-clear dialogue and increases audibility in noisy environments, restoring the rich but subtle details that would be lost in the noise.
    • State-of-the-art loudness management to ensure a great user experience by maintaining a consistent volume level from one program to the next.
    • The ability to seamlessly scale from mono to multichannel for adaptive bitrate streaming.

    We are thrilled to see Dolby Audio broadly supported on all major Apple platforms in the span of just a few months and we can’t wait to see the new, innovative applications and great content that will come from this.

    Learn how to add Dolby Audio into your apps today.

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    Pro Sound Effects Offers Free Sampler

    March 15, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    Dolby Developer Partner Pro Sound Effects has generously supplied a sound effects library sampler [.wav - (504.6 MB) | encoded - (26 MB)] specifically for participants in the Dolby Audio Web Challenge.

    More Variety in Sound Effects

    PSE sound effects are featured in blockbuster films, award-winning indie productions and simply some of our favorite movies, TV shows, commercials, games and apps. PSE clients include the world’s largest media companies, independent sound designers, and sound professionals working in creative industries of all types. Renowned for the Hybrid Sound Effects Library™, Pro Sound Effects continues to push the industry forward with flexible multi-user licensing and client-driven library development.

    Now, thanks to PSE’s desire to see higher-quality sound effects in play with today’s new HTML5 experiences, web developers can try out a generous collection of sound effects specially selected for Dolby Developer members.

    After that, you'll have to pay $5 per sound effect or choose from monthly subscription options (which are still smoking deals for professional-quality audio assets).

    This is a great opportunity to make your apps sound more professional, more engaging, and more habit-forming for zero outlay. Take advantage of the expertise and convenience Pro Sound Effects provides, and drop some great sounding audio into your projects right now.

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    Mixing 101: Creating a 5.1 Mix for the Web

    March 9, 2016 by Andy Vaughan

    Mixing audio tracks for multichannel playback can seem like anything from a daunting task to a glimpse of mystical science. In reality, it's neither, and with the right tools, the task is fairly straightforward and simple.  

    Join Dolby Developer Evangelist Titus Blair as he walks through the creation of a simple multichannel audio and video file for the web.

    Audio Only

    Using Audacity (A free utility for manipulating audio files) you can easily mix and export audio tracks from simple mono stinger files and notifications to a full-blown 5.1 channel soundtrack.

     

    Audacity will export those final files as .wav files, and those files can be encoded in Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) with the Dolby Developer Encoding Utility (Login required).

     

     

    Audio and Video

    How about mixing audio to embed in a video? The process isn't much more complex, however the toolset changes.

     

    Using Adobe Premiere, you can easily import and integrate audio with your video, and even pan those sounds across your soundstage to build a more immersive, surround-sound experience.

     

     

    For more Information

    For more tutorials and instructional video, subscribe to the Dolby Developer YouTube feed.

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    Snowboard Party 2 Now Available

    December 3, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    Quebec's Ratrod Studios brings action sports enthusiasts an early Christmas gift: Snowboard Party 2, with Dolby-enabled versions available on Amazon and Google Play.

    Merry Christmas, Adrenaline Junkies!

    Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market and just in time for the slope season, Snowboard Party is back in this long-awaited sequel. You can experience the new time-attack race mode and practice awesome tricks in 21 unique locations with over 150 level objectives and achievements to complete.

    You can play with friends using the online multiplayer mode or challenge riders from all over the world using the online leaderboards. Customize your favorite riders with a selection of over 80 outfits including exclusive cool skins (zombie, alien, pirate and many more).

     

    Adventurous players will find and unlock secret modes tucked away in the app. With a huge selection of 50 boards, you're able to upgrade your boards with cool and unique specs.

    The game soundtrack features music from Templeton Pek, Sink Alaska, We Outspoken, Phathom, Voice of Addiction, Pear and Curbside. You can also add and ride to songs from your own music library.


    Check out the Trailer on YouTube, and check out the greater selection of Ratrod's adrenaline-charged games on Amazon and Google Play.

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    Dolby Audio Support on Apple TV

    November 25, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    The new Apple TV® comes with support for Dolby Digital Plus™ audio up to 7.1 channels and Dolby® Digital audio up to 5.1 channels, which enables content providers to use Dolby Audio™ to deliver even richer and more immersive experiences to the new Apple TV. The purpose of this article is to help you understand the differences between the possible audio choices and the resulting audio output.

    Decoding Audio Streams

    Apple TV includes a built-in decoder for Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital audio. This means that the Apple TV is able to decode Dolby audio rather than simply pass the compressed bitstream to another device (such as an audio/video receiver [AVR] or a sound bar). Decoding the audio inside of the Apple TV enables Apple to support several features such as mixing of other sounds from the system, Siri® voice input, and so on.

    When a user plays media with stereo or multichannel audio (including Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital audio), the audio soundtrack is decoded to two or more PCM channels (uncompressed digital audio) before it is sent to the AVR or other downstream device.

    It is important to keep in mind that while the Apple TV supports Dolby Digital Plus, this does not mean the Apple TV is necessarily sending a Dolby Digital Plus bitstream over its HDMI® output. After it decodes the Dolby audio, the Apple TV sends the audio to your receiver via HDMI; how it sends the audio depends on the Apple TV settings as well as the capabilities of your HDMI-connected device.

    Apple TV Audio and Video Settings

    In the Apple TV settings, go to the Audio and Video settings, and then into the Surround Sound section. There you will see options for Auto, Dolby Surround and Stereo.

    Which to Choose?

    Here is what each option does:

     

    • Auto – In most cases, Auto is the best setting. It allows the Apple TV to automatically detect the capabilities of the device you are connected to and deliver the appropriate audio stream. If you are connected to a stereo device it will send stereo PCM audio; but if you are connected to a multichannel device, it will send multichannel PCM audio, including 5.1 or 7.1, depending on the capabilities of the connected HDMI device.
    • Dolby Surround – This setting is intended to force the Apple TV to output a Dolby Digital (also known as “AC3”) compressed bitstream. This may be required with certain legacy devices or sound bars that support the older Dolby Digital format but do not yet support Dolby Digital Plus or multichannel PCM audio. Remember that Dolby Digital is only capable of up to 5.1 channels of audio, so this option will never be able to send 7.1 channel audio to the connected HDMI device.
    When this setting is selected, the audio is first decoded (although constrained to 5.1 channels) and mixed with other system sounds, and is then reencoded to the legacy Dolby Digital format just prior to the HDMI output. The connected device (TV, sound bar or AVR) will then receive a Dolby Digital bitstream.
    • Stereo – This setting forces the Apple TV to just send stereo PCM. All audio is decoded on the Apple TV and is downmixed to stereo if necessary.

    To hear 7.1-channel audio from a Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack, you must use the Auto setting.

    Assuming that your AVR is capable of receiving 7.1 channels of audio, and assuming that the content that you are playing includes a 7.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus audio soundtrack, you will then see that your receiver is receiving multichannel PCM audio from the Apple TV, and the receiver should indicate that 7.1 channels are detected. This carries the 7.1-channel audio decoded from the Dolby Digital Plus audio track. The only difference is that it is being sent to your receiver as multichannel PCM audio and not as a Dolby Digital Plus bitstream.

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    eWeek Talks Audio Quality in Software

    November 3, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    Last month, eWeek published a series of articles examining the virtues of higher quality in Web and application audio. Author Matt Gillespie discusses Dolby Audio in various environments, revealing that right now is a good time for Developers to start putting audio first in their projects.

    Industry Press Examines Audio for Developers

    Written in three installments, this series delves into the options available to developers on mobile applications as well as Web developers.

     

    If you ever had questions about the value better audio could bring to your apps, this series is made to answer your questions and introduce you to the tools and services that are available right now.

     

    Best of all, instead of hunting across the web for these articles, we've compiled them here in one quick eBook in PDF format.

     

    Read it now

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    Dolby Audio File Encoding: Now Free!

    October 23, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    Registered Dolby Developers now have another benefit of membership (not a member yet? Register now) — one that can make a good web project truly great! Start delivering Dolby Audio in your web project now using Dolby Developer's new encoding utility.

    Encoding in The Cloud

    Most professional audio encoding is handled using heavyweight tools such as Adobe Audition and Avid Pro Tools. Several online utilities exist for this task as well, but it can be hard to make the leap to buying or subscribing to one of those suites before hearing the difference using Dolby's gold-standard audio codec can make in Web projects.

     

    In an effort to help developers start providing professional-level audio before committing to a more robust solution, Dolby Developer is now providing free encoding for registered Dolby Developer members in a lightweight, easy-to-use tool that's entirely cloud based. Powered by Encoding.com, our utility will encode most standard file video and audio types in Dolby Digital Plus (Also known as enhanced AC-3 or E-AC-3) while you wait.

     

    This tool is only available to registered Dolby Developers, so sign in, or create an account to get started now.

     

    Give it a try, and deliver louder, more clear audio in your Web applications today.

     

    Once you've gotten your first taste of higher-quality audio, you'll want to try more advanced encoding jobs. That's where encoding.com comes in. Start a free account today, and enjoy up to 1 GB of encoding per month.

     

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    Dolby Digital Plus for Web Projects: Meet re.flow

    October 17, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    Editor's Note: This article serves as the main index of a full examination of the building of the audio/visual experience named "re.flow". This post, as well as the following posts, are intended to give developers a view into the thought process behind building this interactive experience, the methods employed to generate multichannel sound and the steps to delivering that experience.

    Jason Marsh, Founder/CEO and VR Information Architect for Flow will walk developers through the process step-by-step, and highlight the use of all tools, frameworks and services involved.

    Dolby Developer is proud to be involved in this project, and is excited to have Jason share his knowledge to help other web developers start building better audio into web experiences. It is hoped that this experiment helps make the case for putting audio first in development experiences.

    The Developer's Case

    This is the first in a series of posts describing the creation of “re.flow” by Jason Marsh at the request of Dolby Laboratories to show off the possibilities of spatial audio with nothing other than a modern browser.

    Dolby Digital Plus in the browser is significant not only because it affords playback of multi-channel content when connected to a home theater or headphones on systems that provide surround virtualization, but because it provides a premium consistent audio experience to the browser by incorporating a rich set of metadata about the audio that is part of the Dolby Digital Plus codec. This way, Dolby encoded content sounds great regardless of the system it’s being played back on.

    The guidelines for the project were quite simple: create a WebGL project that features Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround audio. WebGL is used to create highly dynamic, smoothly animating graphics like you would expect from gaming consoles.

    It took me under five minutes to realize that this was the perfect project for me: I have a Masters in Music composition, I’ve been programming forever, years ago I produced binaural projects for Bose, and I’ve been doing WebGL programming full-time for the past year working on Virtual Reality (WebVR). A project made in heaven, right?

    The Pitch

    The original pitch I made was a silly sketch of planes floating in space, each synchronized to an audio track, and each with a custom visualizer for that track. Luckily, to their credit and not mine, for some reason the Dolby folks trusted me.Before reading further, you have to try the end result. The actual experience is hard to describe, and since it is a web project, why bother? Use the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows 10, if you have it, or the other modern browsers including Chrome if you don’t. The audio won’t be as good without the Dolby processing in Microsoft Edge, but it will all work.

    Take a look now if you haven’t already done so: http://dolby.flow.gl

    Did you like it? I can hope so!

    The Critical Steps

    The main aspects of this project, and tools used were:

    Audio Production:

    • Producing the music, 16 clips in all, in Ableton Live and hiring the vocalists.
    • Obtaining 5.1 surround studio hardware.
    • Taking stereo mixes exported from Ableton Live into Adobe Audition CC 2015 to create the 5.1 panned ec3 files.
    • Wrapping the ec3 files into mp4 files that the browser will be able to use.

    Audio Programming

    • Building the music sequencer using the Web Audio Context (all in JavaScript) to simultaneous play 8 tracks, synchronized to the millisecond
    • Building the sequencer user interface
    • Saving the sequencer to a database in the cloud

    WebGL design and programming

    • Creation of the 3D scene using ThreeJS and GLAM
    • Implementation of animated textures in GLSL shaders
    • Animation engine to sync up the spatial audio mixes to the graphics
    • Pickers and interface elements within the 3D scene

    Finally, though not within the scope of the original project, I went ahead and created a WebVR version so that I could experience it all in Virtual Reality. While this is not ready for prime time and only works on pre-beta browsers, it is a great experience and ultimately a powerful application of all these technologies.

    Digging into the Details

    This post is the first of four posts describing various aspects of the project. So into the details we go:

    About the Author

    Jason Marsh (@jmarshworks on Twitter) is the Founder/CEO and VR Information Architect for Flow. He defines Information Architecture as the dynamic presentation of information so that it has context and detail; a macro view and a micro view; big-picture meaningfulness and precise concreteness.

    Jason is developing new approaches to visualizing information, such as understanding how to transcend the ‘tyranny of the frame’ inherent in our 2D screens, replacing the flat screen world with a vast canvas of virtual spaces. He has been obsessing over UI design and programming for 30 years and is a serial entrepreneur. He is a mentor for the Rothenberg Ventures VR/AR startup accelerator. He was a co-founder and UI designer/programmer for the healthcare startup Acesis, Inc. He also happens to have a Masters of Music and a jazz violin degree.

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    Tech Crunch Disrupt: Hackathon

    October 5, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    QuickActions Wins The Disrupt SF 2015 Hackathon Grand Prize

    167 teams Compete to Disrupt Tech

    Tech Crunch Disrupt '15 is done and over with, and the trade show exhibits and hoopla have been packed away and cleared out of Pier 70 in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood.

     

    Before the must-attend startup event, though, The Disrupt Hackathon brought together 167 teams with good ideas to compete and build for top honors in 24 hours. Naturally, Dolby Developer was in attendance to attend to all audio needs of these hackers.

     

    Winner of the hackathon, QuickActions, surfaced context menu choices in a surprising new 3D overlay in Android, and expect to hit the appstore in the coming weeks.

     

    Runners-up include:

    • PitchPal - An app to rehearse public speaking by transcribing your speech and revealing to the speaker every "uh," "um," and "er."
    • Harvest - A crop stress detector that reportedly takes less-than $50 to build, and could impact how food crops are maintained.

     

     

     

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    Add the Dolby API to Your App With Enhance

    October 1, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    Earlier this summer, FGL unveiled a revolutionary new tech solution for mobile developers: Enhance™.  Enhance™ quickly became the easiest and quickest way to implement and manage mobile ads and SDKs in mobile applications.  Mobile developers reported that they were able to Enhance™ their app in less than 5 minutes with zero coding required.

    Enhance your app audio, and your monetization

    Today, FGL is proud to partner with Dolby to offer the Dolby® Audio API for Android as a fully-supported part of Enhance™.  Users will now be able to implement the Dolby® Audio API for Android into their mobile app at the click of a button with zero coding required!

     

    Give it a try. It takes seconds and allows you to enable ads with a competitive CPM in minutes.

     

    Links: enhance.fgl.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/FGL_Team
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FGLgames
    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf2m6y_-WE9xlYuttTyPV7w
    Enhance™ Video (featuring the Dolby® Audio SDK): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY5YulYuw2k (Dolby @1:10)
    Twitch (Live demos every Wednesday): http://www.twitch.tv/enhancelive

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    Notespace Beat Takes Users On An Epic Musical Journey

    July 8, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    Notespace Beat is a science fiction musical comic activity book. A free to play entertainment and educational app for tweens and younger audiences to foster their love of music by playing toy instruments, listening to stories about the characters of Notespace, and playing games that revolve around musical ideas such as timing, intonation, synthesizer filters, beat matching, turntable scratching and more! Check out the trailer!

    Agency or creative powerhouse? Both!

    Notespace Beat is an innovative musical application developed by the interactive firm, Amorse Inc. Amorse is a Los Angeles based agency that primarily designs, develops and produces apps, games, brands and websites for commercial and individual clients including HBO, NBC, FOX, Disney, and Warner Brothers.

     

    Notespace is Amorse Inc.’s first major release of their own, and in terms of range, this is a gigantic experience. Explore the gameplay and sheer volume of content and we think you'll agree — Notespace Beat is a remarkable accomplishment.

     

    Developed out of a pure love of music and choose your own adventure books, Notespace Beat is an incredibly involved undertaking rivaling the narrative detail of console games. It's rare to find so much content in a mobile application, but this title takes the experience in a direction mobile users are crying out for: an immersive, challenging puzzle-based game that brings surprises at every turn. This is no time waster. This is an undertaking ... one that demands your attention and mental engagement.

     

    With animated puzzle pages and a soundtrack for the skill games of Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La and Ti, high-quality audio is an imperative. It's one thing to have clicks, pops and squeaks in a retro-styled shooter, but in a game that's all about the music, spotty audio quality just won't do. 

     

    "We expect users to employ their ears as well as their brains to work through the puzzles we've created in Notespace Beat," says Alexis Brandow. "Tinny sound does a disservice to the user, and hampers their ability to envelop themselves in this musical journey."

     

    To keep users in the moment, Amorse decided to invest in high-quality talent to create a soundstage befitting this deep undertaking.  Enter recording artist, super producer and Tech founder, Bosko.  Bringing a completely original body of content for this undertaking, Bosko adds another element of depth to the project, one that users will take note of throughout the journey in Notespace Beat. For a little taste of his contributions, check out the musical process.

    Audio quality makes the experience

    When Amorse Inc. met Dolby, they were excited to use the easy-to-integrate Dolby Audio API to boost the music that plays throughout the book. Immersing players deeper into Notespace's sonic universe is a crucial element of the experience, and brings a noticeable difference in audio quality.

     

    "We have been thrilled with the brighter sound results in our game," Said Alexis Brandow, Creative Director for Amorse. "It took a couple lines of code and in it went, like a snap. You can hear the difference if you navigate to the settings in the Notespace map and tap the Dolby button to hear the actual effect of the API on and off," Brandow said.

     

    Download the app for your tablet or phone on Amazon. For the best results and experience, we recommend using one of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets with Dolby Audio. Hear it all, see it all, and if you can master all of the puzzles and challenges, play it all. You won't be disappointed.

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    Bringing Dolby Audio to the Microsoft Edge Experience

    June 10, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    With the launch of Microsoft® Edge, web developers finally have the ability to deliver a more engaging experience by taking advantage of Dolby Audio™. Built into X86 Windows® 10 for PCs and tablets, Dolby Audio will ensure that Windows users hear the work you put into your web project.

    In this article, Garrett Nantz, Creative Director and Principal, Luxurious Animals, describes how best to leverage Dolby Audio by formatting your audio assets and efficiently determining the playback capabilities of your user's browser.

    A long time in the making

    I have waited for this day to come for many, many years and could not be any more excited that Dolby invited us try out it out. Now for the first time, Dolby encoded audio files can play back through a web browser, unlocking the power of Dolby Audio supporting Dolby Digital Plus™.

    You may be asking yourself: "What is Dolby Digital Plus, and what can you do with it online?"

    Basically, you get the same jaw-dropping, industry-leading sound quality you have expected at the movie theatre or on Blu-ray™ to now work through the browser. No special playback equipment required. With Dolby, accessible within Microsoft Edge, sound from videos, music, speech, and games can be dramatically improved with new or even existing content. Being able to tap into key features like surround sound playback and dialogue enhancement will produce better dynamic range and will sound more realistic through headphones or your built-in device speakers than ever before. And did I mention the audio is typically smaller in size than comparable MP3 files?

    At Luxurious Animals, we had always dreamed of being able to take our HTML5 pirate mayhem game called Lux Ahoy and adding our Dolby Digital Plus video cut scenes to the browser. But alas, we had to abandon our surround sound mixes and settle for run-of-the-mill stereo sound - until now.

    Currently, if you have Windows 10 on your PC or tablet and Microsoft Edge, you can experience it for yourself.

    Head on over to luxahoy.com for a listen.

    Setting Up the Video and Audio

    A question that often gets asked is: "How difficult is it to encode Dolby Digital Plus audio into our videos?"

    Audio tools such as Avid® Pro Tools, Adobe® Audition®, or even the free Audacity are just some of the applications that can help you more easily create a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound file as a WAV or AIF file.

    Even if you only have stereo audio files, converting them to Dolby Digital Plus will give more spatialization, crisper dialogue, increased dynamic range, and, yes, smaller files sizes than comparable MP3 files.

    Once you have selected your 5.1, 7.1, or stereo audio file, Microsoft Azure Media Services offer a fantastic way to convert to Dolby Digital Plus and merge it with your video. Signing up is free and the encoding costs start at $1.99 per output GB of encoding. So no longer will you need to use expensive tools to get sound quality that rivals the theater. Once you have completed the encoding process, it is time to incorporate your Dolby Digital Plus encoded video to your website.

    Just remember, since not all browsers currently support Dolby Digital Plus, you will need a regular stereo version of your videos for complete web playback compatibility. So writing a detection script to check for Dolby Digital Plus playback is important.

    The HTML Code

    While right now Microsoft Edge is the first browser to support Dolby Digital Plus, we realized that we would have to rewrite our detection code when new browsers add support for it. So writing a browser detection script really isn't the best option in the long run.

    The good news is that we can figure out what can support Dolby Digital Plus by asking the browser whether playback is possible in the codec parameter. All browsers can return a result if you know the name of the audio codec. This is called feature detection. Dolby Digital Plus is also known as Enhanced AC-3 (E-AC-3) and its codec parameter name is "ec-3" Writing a Javascript function this way helps to deliver the correct video and audio to your customer and is future proof. Here is what the feature-detection Javascript code looks like:

    1.	function DolbyTest() {
    2.	  var testEl = document.createElement( "video" );
    3.	   if ( testEl.canPlayType ) {
    4.	      return ( ( 'probably' ===
    5.	         testEl.canPlayType('video/mp4;codecs="ec-3"') ) );
    6.	   } else {
    7.	      return false;
    8.	   }
    9.	}
    

    This function creates a video element on the page and uses the "canPlayType" method to test whether the browser supports the required codec.

    The media type tested for is MPEG-4 video using the Enhanced AC-3 codec: 'video/mp4;codecs="ec-3"'. Only browsers that report that they can 'probably' play this media pass the test. This is the strongest response possible. Some browsers return "maybe", indicating that they may be able to play the media, but in our tests, they could not. A response of 'maybe' does not pass the test.

    If it doesn’t pass the feature-detection test, then play the basic stereo video version for all other browsers.

    Summary

    1. Dolby Digital Plus is an audio technology that is the established standard for cinema, broadcast, and home theater surround sound. Now it is available for the web.
    2. Existing and new movies and audio that have 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound can play back on the web just as the director had always intended. Also, stereo mixes can be greatly enhanced for the web with very little work using third-party services such as Microsoft's Azure Media Services and Javascript.
    3. Currently Microsoft Edge supports Dolby Digital Plus.
    4. For more information, visit these sites:  

    About the Author

    Garrett Nantz is Creative Director and Principal of Luxurious Animals, a digital content creation shop in New York. Under his leadership. the Animals have produced websites, commercials, mobile games, and transmedia campaigns for HBO, Panera, Adobe, Hasbro, San Diego Zoo, and yes, even Dolby. Since two of his passions are game development and sound design, the Animals are working on a follow-up to their award-winning Lux Ahoy game called Feisty Wizards that should be launching in the fall. When Garrett isn't directing, he is spending quality time with his amazing wife and two year old son who both tolerate his constant guitar playing and incessant need for word play.

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    Enabling Dolby Bitstream Pass-Through on Playstation

    March 3, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    As Dolby Atmos® titles become increasingly available on Blu-Ray™ there is an inherent need to get the content out of legacy playback devices and into Dolby Atmos capable AVRs so that the object-based presentation can be properly decoded. While Dolby Atmos enabled formats are fully backwards compatible with channel-based decoders, the decoding of Dolby Atmos content on a legacy decoder results in a less-than-optimal user experience if the customer has a Dolby Atmos capable AVR downstream from the playback device.

     

    In the case of the Sony® Playstation® platform, both the PS3™* and PS4™ are capable of performing bitstream pass-through of Dolby formats when content is played back from a Blu-Ray disc™. This feature may not be enabled by default, but the following instructions will show you which system settings to set to enable this feature.

     

    * First-generation PS3 model(s) do not support bitstream output.

    Enabling Dolby Bitstream Pass-Through on the PS3

    In order for the PS3 to output Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD formats we must first configure the PS3 to output audio via HDMI®, and ensure that both Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD are listed in the output format list.

    1. In Settings -> Sound Settings…
      • Ensure that “Audio Multi-Output” is turned off
    2. In Settings -> Sound Settings -> Audio Output Settings…
      • Select HDMI as the output
      • Set the “method for selecting output format” to “Automatic”
      • Confirm that Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD are available in the output format list

    NOTE: The “Automatic” option should detect the capabilities of your sink device and pick all supported output formats. However if “Dolby Digital Plus” and “Dolby TrueHD” are not listed in the output format list, try setting the “method for selecting output format” to "Manual" and selecting “Dolby Digital Plus” and “Dolby TrueHD” as supported output formats manually.

    Now that we’ve configured the audio output of the PS3, let’s look at the settings that pertain to the Blu-ray player software. First, we need to ensure that we are selecting the correct audio format, and then we need to inspect the A/V settings to confirm that the audio output format is set to bitstream.

    1. Select the desired Dolby audio format in the audio selection menu of the Blu-ray
    2. While the Blu-Ray is playing:
    3. Check AVR to confirm that it is indicating receipt of a Dolby format

    Enabling Dolby Bitstream Pass-Through on PS4

    In order for the PS4 to output Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD formats we must first configure the PS4 to output audio via HDMI, and ensure that the "Audio Format (Priority)" is set to "Bitstream (Dolby)."

    1. In Settings -> Sound & Screen -> Audio Output Settings:

    Now that we’ve configured the audio output of the PS4, let’s look at the settings that pertain to the Blu-ray player software. First, we need to ensure that we are selecting the correct audio format, and then we need to inspect the Settings menu to confirm that the audio format is set to “Bitstream (Direct)”.

    1. Select the Dolby audio format in the audio menu of the Blu-ray
    2. While the Blu-ray is playing...
    3. Check the AVR display to confirm that it is indicating receipt of a Dolby format

    By Chris Bratveit

    Staff Engineer @ Dolby Laboratories, Inc.

    Chris is a Staff Engineer working for the Professional Technical Support group at Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Chris joined Dolby in the summer of 2004 as part of Lake Technology. He now spends the majority of his time building content encoding and delivery infrastructure for development and deployment of new technologies.

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    Dolby Atmos sound for VR

    February 26, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    Dolby Laboratories is pleased to see its cinematic technology, Dolby Atmos, crossing the lines to the world of virtual reality.

    Bringing object-based sound to virtual reality

    Dolby and Jaunt just announced a partnership to bring Dolby Atmos surround sound to its popular VR titles. Jaunt users are able to experience concerts, games and movies for Oculus Rift and Cardboard, and The Verge is calling the combination of VR and object-based surround sound a natural, perfect pairing.

    The key to the offering by Jaunt is immersion, and not so much interactivity.

    "We’ve realized that audio plays a huge component in terms of delivering a compelling and truly transportive VR experience," Jaunt CEO Jens Christensen said during a recent briefing. "We actually think audio is maybe 50 percent of the whole experience."

    Dolby Laboratories couldn't agree more, and will be continuing work in virtual reality with other partners. 

    Read the announcement on The Verge.

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    Keitai: portable, brain-twisting fun!

    January 30, 2015 by Andy Vaughan

    In Japan, mobile devices are nearly ubiquitous. It’s rare to meet anyone in Japan who doesn’t have at least one eye focused on the small screen. Known as keitai denwa (which translates to “portable telephones”), mobile devices are commonly called the shorter form “Keitai.”

    Naturally, a few savvy game developers in Taiwan grabbed this term as a name for their company. Keitai. Of course “portable” embodies what Keitai does. Keitai makes portable fun for mobile customers.

    Quick, smart and fun

    Keitai’s mission is straightforward and simple. The team loves games. They love to play them, and they love to create them. They figure that throughout the act of creating games from a passionate center, they can make users happy in the process. While the object of these games may shift from skill and strategy to learning and development, Keitai intends the process to be fun. Learning should be fun. Skill acquisition should be fun. And fun should be … well … fun.

    Keitai has certainly hit the mark, producing games that range from sports action games to brain-bending numbers challenges. All of Keitai’s titles have that addictive element that will make them long-time favorites on your device as well.

    Loco Soccer

    Loco Soccer is a favorite around the Dolby offices especially around World Cup time. This app brings users the chance to take that World-Cup penalty kick. Add the ability to dictate the path of the ball, save and share your best shots, and Loco Soccer is habit-forming fun. Live out your heroic dreams by scoring that last-second point against your bitterest rivals.

    Goooooooooooooooooooal!

    Loco Soccer is available on Google Play, and the Amazon App Store

    Rocket Cube

    Think “Tetris meets Space Invaders” and then add a bunch of different ways to shoot the aliens. Match like-colored cubes to launch them off the top of the game board, and clear space for new cubes to drop in. Sounds straightforward, right? It is at first, then the pitfalls start. Failed launches, random color combinations and special play cubes make this game a true challenge. Not enough for you? Well, speed things up to a manic pace, and play on.

    We have liftoff!

    Rocket Cube is available on Google Play and the Amazon App Store

    Big Dice 

    Big Dice challenges the gamer to choose the better poker hand, quickly. The faster you can make your selections, the better your score is. This game requires sharp analytical skills and speedy number evaluation to succeed. Three different modes make this game hard to put down.

    Yep. We’re picking the dice on the top

    Big Dice is available from Google Play and the Amazon App Store 

    Number Game 

    Learn, and learn fast! If you’re going to be good at Number Game, you’ll need to spot and evaluate the relationships between groups of numbers. It’s a combination of puzzle game and math challenge, with a soundtrack to match. Number Game is a great way to keep your brain sharp, and your math skills sharper. Choose from three modes of gameplay and challenge your grey matter.

    Quick! Choose numbers in order from high to low. Go!

    Number Game is available from Google Play and the Amazon App Store

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    KDapps Takes You to the Match!

    December 14, 2014 by Andy Vaughan

    In 2012 Marius Kapteijn founded KDApps with a simple idea: to develop games shorter than 5 minutes and easy to play, capturing the true essence of casual gaming. While Marius won't claim to be a design bureau, he still tries to make games true to his original ideas: simple and fun with little extras. Crunching snow, fireworks and blowing leaves are some of the little extras added to the following apps: "Seasons Challenge: Winter Edition", Seasons Challenge: Autumn Edition."

    Ambience by KDApps, enhanced by Dolby

    In the beginning of 2014 Marius decided to make a mobile game based on the 2014 Brazilian World Cup. He wanted to incorporate the colors and feeling of Brazil, and created "World Soccer Shirts Chain Reaction."


    Available on Amazon's Kindle, this app brings you into the action by wrapping a match game in stadium audio, enhanced with the Dolby Audio API for Android.


    The resulting app gives players the feeling of being at the stadium, watching the action in person. Jerseys from all 32 countries are available making it fun to support and play your favorite team.


    World Soccer Shirts Chain Reaction can be downloaded from Amazon's Appstore, no vuvuzelas required.

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    Dolby Audio Challenge Winners

    December 9, 2014 by Eric Ang

    And the winners are...

    Congratulations to the winners of the Dolby Audio Challenge! Be sure to check them out on Google Play or the Amazon App Store: Velocity Rush, RoShamBoroo and Terminus. 

     

    Velocity Rush available on Amazon's Appstore

     

    RoShamBoroo available on Google Play

     

    Terminus available on Google Play

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    AnDevCon SF 2014

    December 9, 2014 by Eric Ang

    AnDevCon is the technical conference for software developers building Android apps. Offering mobile app development training and Android app development tutorials and classes, AnDevCon is the biggest, most info-packed, most practical Android conference in the world.

    Dolby Dev talks about the XDK

    At AnDevCon, Dolby and Intel continues their relationship by including the Dolby Audio API directly into the XDK. Eric Ang talks about the benefits of using Intel’s XDK, their cross platform tool.

     

    Click here to watch the video

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    The Dolby Workshop & Happy Hour

    November 17, 2014 by Eric Ang

    The Dolby Workshop and Happy Hour was centered on the Dolby API. The goal was to introduce and teach the LA developer community about the Dolby API. This was done by providing the first 100 attendees with the API on a flash drive as well as holding an instructional workshop that walked attendees through how to implement the API. The on- site implementation following the workshop encouraged hands on, first hand experience for attendees. The Dolby Developer Team were on hand to provide guidance, this established a one-to-one relationship with the LA developer community.

    Developers Listening In...

    The Dolby Developer Team were on hand to provide guidance, this established a one-to-one relationship with the LA developer community.

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    Dolby Developer UK Roadtrip

    September 24, 2014 by Andy Vaughan

    Dolby Developer packed up and hit the road to meet developers in the UK. There's no lack of big thinking and bright ideas in London, and one could easily spend a few months trekking around to the various hotspots to meet and talk about app audio. Thankfully, a few events made the task a bit easier, and more focused.

    London LiveCode

    Fresh off the plane, we stopped by the London LiveCode to show a solid collection of London's app developers how to integrate the Dolby Audio API for Android. 

     

    At the LiveCode session, Eric Ang showed attendees how the Dolby Audio API for Android came together in Java, using the Unity plugin, and in the XDK IDE for HTML5 apps as well. Attendees showed surprise at the speed of integration, and had lots of good questions about implementation.

    TIGA Smartphone and Tablet Summit

    TIGA's Smartphone and Tablet summit brought some of the most creative names in mobile applications together to talk about what makes successful application developers, and successful applications themselves.

     

    PJ Belcher, freelance audio producer and project manager talked to the gathering about the importance of audio on modern mobile devices. He also shot down common excuses for ignoring audio.

     

    Antonio Avila from Plain Concepts took the stage as well to show attendees how easy and straightforward it is to include the Dolby Audio API in Wave Engine projects.

     

     

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    Dolby Developer at IDF2014

    September 12, 2014 by Eric Ang

    Dolby Developer was at IDF 2014 and hung out with Intel's XDK team. We showed off the Dolby Audio Plug-in for Cordova, which allows Apps & Games to sound terrific. Developers were excited about the new solution which vastly improves audio quality.

    Demoing Dolby/XDK Integration

    Dale Schouten from Intel demoing the Dolby Audio API to Intel Developers

     

    Read Dale's Blog entry about the Dolby Audio API and how it's part of Intel's XDK

     

    Dale's 2nd Blog explains how to integrate the Dolby Audio API into an XDK HTML Application

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    Dolby Audio API now part of Intel's XDK

    September 8, 2014 by Eric Ang

    Intel® XDK provides a simplified workflow to enable developers to easily design, debug, build, and deploy HTML5 web and hybrid apps across multiple app stores, and form factor devices.

    Download the Intel XDK now!

    Dolby Audio API Integrated

    “The Dolby Audio API plugin is a great example of using the power of Javascript and Apache Cordova to offer awesome native capabilities in HTML5 apps.  We are pleased to be able to make the Dolby Audio API plugin available to app developers through the Intel® XDK HTML5 Cross-platform Development Tool.” - Joe Wolf, Intel® XDK Product Manager

    Check out Intel's Blog about their XDK & the Dolby Audio API

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    Dolby hosting Develop Magazine @ Ray Dolby Lounge

    July 30, 2014 by Eric Ang

    Dolby hosted an event for Gaming magazine Develop at the Dolby office in London on July 29. Over 40 people attended the event, ranging from audio engineers and sound designers within the gaming industry.  Guest speakers for the evening included Stafford Bawler talking about composing music for game Monument Valley, Pinewood Studio Group focusing on the company’s involvement with sound in games, Media Molecule explaining the work behind the sound design behind their game Tearaway.

    Sr. Product manager for gaming at Dolby Michael Jessup also gave a presentation on the involvement of Dolby in the mobile and gaming industry and a sneak peek of the new advancements in surround sound in games. The evening ended with a networking session between the attendees and speakers at the Ray Dolby Lounge.

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    Lost Toys by Barking Mouse Studio

    July 30, 2014 by Eric Ang

    Barking Mouse Studio is two person team headed by Danielle Swank and Jim Fleming. Lost Toys is the first game that they’ve spent more than a weekend working on. It’s the result of months of intense discussions and hand gestures (Danielle acted out the opening scene by pretending she was an airplane and zooming around). Programming and design are done by both of them, since Danielle is an artist that took math classes for fun and Jim is an engineer that makes art.

    The use of the Dolby Audio Plug-in for Unity was easy enough that we did most of the work over a lunch break. We were excited to use Dolby's solution knowing that Dolby is a strong supporter of indie developers. We put a lot of effort into our sound effects that it made sense to take advantage of Dolby's free audio solution. - Danielle Swank

     

    Lost Toys is available for download on Google Play and Amazon's Appstore

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    DolbyDev @ AngelHack SV

    July 21, 2014 by Eric Ang

    Dolby Developer participated as one of the sponsors at AngelHack SV. The event had over 500+ signups and over 90+ hackathon teams. Dolby also had a technical session on how to use the Dolby Audio API so hackathoners could simply use it in their projects.

    Eric Ang, Head of the Developer Program, showing developers how to implement the Dolby Audio API

     

    Steps for implemention are as easy as 1-2-3: 

    1. Download & Import the Library

    2. Include the OnDolbyAudioProcessingEventListener

    3. Initialize the DolbyAudioProcessing Class

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    Interview with TechnologyAdvice

    July 9, 2014 by Eric Ang

    TechnologyAdvice is a B2B marketing company specializing in connecting buyers and sellers of technology solutions. Our proprietary web tool, the SmartAdvisor, allows users to sort through our unbiased and free research and reviews based on their requirements. And with a dedicated account team, we make sure that each user is connected with the IT vendor that best fits their needs.

    Eric Ang, Head of Developer Program chats with Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice about Dolby's Developer Program

     

    Click Here to listen to the Interview

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    Rory Restaurant uses the Dolby Audio API

    July 9, 2014 by Eric Ang

    Tamalaki is founded by casual and online gaming expert Martine Spaans. In previous roles she has led the Game Licensing department for Spil Games and rolled out the Online Marketing strategy for companies like Ubisoft/Blue Byte and Gramble on both Web and Mobile.

    We decided to use the Dolby Audio API for our games because we wanted the best experience for our users. Dolby gave us an audio solution that was easy and simple to integrate. After implementing, the audio was better than we imagined." – Martine Spaans, Tamalaki

     

    Rory's Restaurant is available for download on both Google Play and Amazon's Appstore

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    N7 Music Player

    July 2, 2014 by Eric Ang

    In everything we do, we believe that mobile software can be different, that not everything has already been invented and coded and that mobile design concepts can be rewritten. We believe that functional and engaging mobile applications are the key to successful user acquisition and brand recognition.

    One of our most successful products is n7player, featuring an advanced playback filtering subsystem with 10-band graphic equalizer, bass/treble boost and sound normalization. Our unique interactive tag surface allows users to find music easily and drag and pinch albums when exploring their personal music library.

    Music enhanced with Dolby Audio API

    We always strive to provide the best sound quality and sound customizability on mobile devices with the n7player and that is why we fell in love with the Dolby technologies. With the help of the Dolby Audio API, we were able to refine an already immersive audio experience, which all our customers will surely appreciate.

    n7player can be downloaded from Amazon's Appstore

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    Amazon Fire Phone announced

    June 24, 2014 by Application Administrator

    Amazon recently announced their all-new Android-based smartphone called the Fire Phone which includes Dynamic Perspective, Firefly technology, Mayday and Dolby Digital Plus. With the use of Amazon's Dynamic Perspective SDK and the Dolby Audio API. Apps & Games will be more immersive than ever.

    Amazon's Fire Phone w/ Dolby Tech

    Click here to see a list of Dolby Enhanced Apps that will work with Amazon's Fire Phone.

     

    For more information, check out Amazon's Developer Blog

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    Skateboard Party 2 by Ratrod Studios

    June 10, 2014 by Eric Ang

    Ratrod Studio Inc. is an entertainment software company that specializes in developing and publishing video games for a complete range of platforms including mobile devices, PC and console systems.

    Dolby Audio API Integrated

    Our team includes industry veterans responsible for some of the most successful games ever created. We offer a full range of web and mobile services including online games, interactive branding solutions, mobile game development for various platforms, publishing services and consulting.

    By limiting overhead costs and focusing on producing our own IP and games related to things we really enjoy allowed us to push the limits while keeping the development fun and dynamic. When you really love what you do, you do it well and that is the key to success.

     

    Skateboard Party 2 can be downloaded from Amazon's Appstore

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    Intel is working with Dolby

    April 9, 2014

    Learn about the latest in Intel architecture, software tools for Android and Windows, and code samples that speed your development efforts and improve your code.

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    Dolby Developer @ Appsworld SF 2014

    February 18, 2014

    Boost Max for $300

    January 29, 2014

    There’s one area where the Boost Max gives rivals in its category a run for their money. It comes with the latest Dolby Digital Plus audio technology, which creates a surround sound mobile experience through headphones and built-in speakers, greatly improving dialogue and clarity while amplifying volume for maximum entertainment.

    Click Here to read the Article

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    Designing with Audio

    January 23, 2014

    What is Sound Good For?

    Click here to learn how audio is integral to setting the mood, environment and situation, and how it engages the user tremendously

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    Spencer Hooks talks mobile gaming

    January 16, 2014

    Watch Spencer talk about how Dolby is taking mobile gaming to the next level. He also talks about the Dolby Audio API and how using it makes overall audio better on mobile games.

    Watch the Video

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    Lenovo S930

    January 3, 2014

    ...A pair of front-facing speakers and Dolby Digital Plus audio promises strong audio quality for speakerphone and music playback on this silver-colored phone with its fabric-like backing...

    For more information Click Here

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    ZTE Iconic Phablet

    January 3, 2014

    ZTE's first phablet announced at CES 2014, the 5.7-inch Iconic includes Dolby Digital Plus Technology...

    For more information Click Here

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    TIGA Event

    October 15, 2013

    The UK marketing and sales team hosted an event with TIGA (The Independent Game Developers Association) for members of the game developer community at the Ray Dolby Lounge and Theatre in London.

    The team introduced the 70 guests to the Dolby Developers Program and gave them a demo of Dolby Atmos. This was followed by talks from successful game developers: Fireproof Games, (The Room), Future Games London (Hungry Shark), Headstrong Games (Battalion Wars and Art Academy), and Mediatonic (Amateur Surgeon).

    The evening ended with a buffet and a networking opportunity for the attendees. 

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    An insider's look at life in the lab

    March 15, 2013

    What happens when you take a bunch of smart, fun and creative people and put them in a room or a building equipped for scientific experiments and you task them with developing technologies aimed at advancing the science of audio production?  You get Dolby Laboratories.  Dolby Labs' innovations have set the bar for entertainment technology in both the professional and consumer markets.

     

    Here is where we'll bring you news about advancements at Dolby Labs and in the audio processing field. We want to give you a peek inside the lab that we call home. A strong connection to our developer community fuels our innovative spirit and our passion for doing with sound exactly what you are passionate about doing with your apps.  By combining Dolby Digital Plus in your apps, both you and your customers will experience how outstanding audio is a transformative entertainment experience.  Welcome to the lab!