Marcela Rada profile

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Marcela Rada

University of Surrey (2023)


Dr Enzo De Sena


Workflows and Production Guidelines for Immersive Music


We are on the cusp of a fundamental shift that will see the music industry move away from a production chain centered around stereo, the dominant technology for over a century, and towards immersive audio. Multichannel systems such as 5.1 have been around for a long time, but their adoption has remained confined to its original application in film reproduction and has not translated to music consumption. The market penetration of these systems was still not sufficient to justify a fundamental shift of the tools, standards, and workflows in music production.

This is changing quite rapidly. Concurrently, more convenient, and advanced spatial audio-enabled devices such as soundbars and head-tracked headphones (e.g., Apple Airpods) are starting to see mainstream adoption. Music streaming services are following suit, by starting to offer a catalogue of immersive songs. Together, these factors are pushing the entire production chain to adopt immersive workflows and technologies. We thoroughly welcome this shift, which will enable artists to add a new dimension for creative expression and will enable listeners to experience music from all around them, as if they are occupying the same space as the musician.

There is one area that remains untouched and that is crucial to the success of immersive audio – content creation guidelines. Artists, producers, audio engineers, audio hardware and software companies, and in general, content creators will benefit from education on effective practices to produce immersive audio experiences. The research will focus on what makes an immersive audio production effective and how this format can revolutionise the music industry. The main goal is to create workflow and educational guidelines for educational purposes.