Posted by Chris Baume, Frank Melchior on , last updated

In just over two months from now, BBC R&D will be running a two-day event at Broadcasting House on the future of broadcast sound. “Sound: Now and Next” will bring together a unique mix of producers, artists and technologists to present and demonstrate the very best in audio production and technology. The event will be an opportunity for these groups to get together and discuss what the next generation of broadcast should sound like, and how to get there.

This event is part of the BBC Audio Research Partnership, which brings together the UK's top audio research laboratories and high profile international researchers in audio. As the partnership approaches its fourth anniversary, this event will provide a platform for the partners to showcase the progress that has been made and get producers involved in the development and testing of the new technology.

The programme is made up of four sessions of talks on immersive sound, audio production tools, responsive and interactive content, and live sound production. There will be a large technology fair where you will be able to experience demonstrations of the latest audio technology, and a set of larger demonstrations of immersive sound systems in the basement of the Radio Theatre. In addition to all this, we are thrilled to be joined by two inspirational keynote speakers.

Chris Watson

Chris is a world-leading wildlife sound recordist and artist. He has worked extensively with David Attenborough on many documentary series including 'The Life of Birds' and 'Frozen Planet', both of which won the BAFTA for best factual sound. Chris's pioneering microphone techniques have opened up new sonic worlds such as the sound of snails, ants, glaciers, telegraph wires and a zebra carcass amongst others. His numerous radio productions won him the BPG Broadcaster of the Year. Chris will be talking about his approach to capturing environmental sound, including the spatial audio techniques he uses to create an immersive sound. He will also be presenting recordings and images from 'A Journey South' – a sound journey to Antarctica and the South Pole.

Nick Ryan

Nick is a sound designer, artist and leading thinker on the application of emergent audio technology. Whilst working for the BBC as a futurologist, he co-devised, scored and mixed the pioneering interactive radio drama 'The Dark House'. Listeners could dictate how the story was heard and Nick used binaural recording techniques to create an immersive experience. He later went on to help create 'Papa Sangre' – a 3D audio game for mobile in which users navigate using only their sense of hearing. After the game received numerous accolades, Nick went on to sound direct and design a sister game called 'The Nightjar'. At the event, Nick will be talking about his latest piece on Synaesthesia in which he collaborated with the London Contemporary Orchestra and visual artists Quayola & Sinigaglia.

We will post more information in the run up to the event and will also provide highlights of what happens at the event itself for those that don’t attend.

In the meantime, you can learn more about Sound: Now and Next by visiting: