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Object-based audio encoding

Hearing exactly what a producer intends for you to hear and not just what the end device allows you to hear: this is the goal of object-based audio production. It already exists in movie theatres. In broadcasting, however, the replacement of channel-based audio production is just beginning. The goal: an unaltered hearing experience independent from the environment and playback device.

In object-based audio production, an audio scene consisting of several audio objects is generated instead of a precisely defined target format such as stereo or 5.1 surround. An audio object is the combination of an audio signal and additional metadata that, for example, describe the position or loudness of the object. To generate speaker signals for a specific playback system from such an audio scene, they have to be calculated from the objects. This process is called rendering and it can happen either at the transmitter before the broadcast or in the homes of consumers with the appropriate end devices. Ideally, it is thus possible to supply all playback systems – current and future – with a single production. 

For this reason, the IRT has set up an experimental production environment that allows for practical testing of the object-based approach. The IRT adds the experiences and insights gained through the tests to the current developments and standardisations in order to guarantee the applicability of object-based audio in the broadcast environment.

More information about object-BASED AuDIO Encoding

Object-based production with BR in a practical test

IRT and BR started a collaboration work within the scope of the EU funded project ORPHEUS to produce content for the project pilots. The used object-based production tools were developed by IRT and can be seen as proof-of-concept software to allow both researchers and sound engineers to gather experience with this new technology. Two programmes were produced including multiple languages, dialogue adaptation and other end user features. These programmes were rendered for several formats (Stereo, 5.1, binaural, etc.) to gather experience with the different renderings and went eventually even on air at B2 in Stereo and binaural formats. The broadcasted versions of these productions are still available on-demand here and here

More information about this collaboration and our object-based audio activities can be found in our Lab.

Object-based demo piece “Am Vorabend des Ersten Weltkrieges”

As part of the EU-funded ROMEO project, an experimental environment was set up at the IRT, enabling the practical testing of object-based audio productions. It was first used in 2014 for a test production in cooperation with BR and BBC R&D. The object-based demo piece titled “Am Vorabend des Ersten Weltkrieges” merges poems by August Stramm, Georg Trakl and Wilfred Owen, quotes from novels by Henri Barbusse and Erich Maria Remarque, the Hymn to the Emperor played by Fritz Kreisler, and the speech of French President Raymond Poincaré into an audio scene. 3D surround sound, various language versions and the ability to change perspectives, and interactive elements are included in the experimental radio feature.

The experiences and insights gained through these and other tests are continuously added to the ongoing developments and standardisation efforts, aiming to guarantee the applicability of object-based audio in the broadcast environment.


The goal of the EU project ORPHEUS is to design a complete object-based production chain for real broadcast scenarios.   

More information about ProjeCt ORPHEUS is available here.  

Your contact

Sebastian Goossens
Head of Department
Tel. +49 (0)89 32399-358