BBC R&D

- , The Radio Theatre, BBC Broadcasting House, London, W1A 1AA

This is event is now over, but you can read about how it went here, and watch videos from it here.


Meet and learn from the creative minds behind today’s most advanced broadcast audio productions. Talk to the people behind next generation technology. Experience immersive sound which transports you to new worlds, responsive content which is interactive, personalised and adapts to its environment, and be inspired by the researchers who are developing the future of sound.

This two-day event on innovation in sound production and broadcasting will feature talks by inspirational artists, producers and engineers, and demonstrations of state-of-the-art audio technology. It will be an opportunity for radio and TV producers, engineers and technologists to discover how audio content is made today and discuss what it will be like in the future.

Presented by LJ Rich

LJ is a music hacker, classical composer and presenter on BBC Click where she’s interviewed everyone from the Chairman of Google to the Founder of Twitter. Her recent TEDXTokyo talk on a self-built device that blurs music composition with her synaesthesia made global editors’ pick last month.

Programme

The event will feature four sessions of talks, each on a different theme. Between sessions, the Media Café and dedicated demo rooms will feature the latest in sound technology for you to experience today what will be next in sound for broadcasting. Listen to immersive productions over headphones and speakers. Touch the tools and learn how responsive programmes can be made.

Tuesday 19th May

08:30-09:30 Registration

09:30-09:45 Welcome and introduction

Confirmed Speakers
  • Alan Davey, Controller, BBC Radio 3
  • Andy Conroy, Controller, BBC R&D

09:45-10:30 Chris Watson

Chris is a world-leading wildlife sound recordist and artist whose BAFTA award-winning work includes the David Attenborough series 'The Life of Birds' and 'Frozen Planet'. His unique recording techniques have uncovered the hidden sound of glaciers, ants and an animal carcass to name a few. His varied artistic work includes numerous albums and installations on subjects ranging from the sea and weather to honeybees and trains.

10:30-11:00 Coffee

11:00-12:30 Live broadcast sound

Capturing sound for a large scale live events is a huge challenge, but bringing large audiences together to enjoy moments such as the Olympics or Glastonbury is at the heart of broadcasting. Achieving a high quality experience for the listener requires extensive advance planning, skill, experience and on occasion compromise. This session will share how this is achieved today and will enlighten you about how it will be done tomorrow as we move to a future of immersive and interactive sound.

Confirmed Speakers
  • Bill Whiston, Freelance TV outside broadcast sound supervisor
  • Nuno Duarte, Audio Manager, Olympic Broadcast Services
  • Andy Rogers, Senior Producer, Live Music, BBC Radio 1 / 1Xtra

12:30-15:00 Lunch, technology fair and demos

15:00-16:30 Immersive sound

The best listening experiences transport the audience to another world. New technology is allowing us to take a step closer to that goal by delivering more convincing three-dimensional soundscapes. This session covers the art and technology of immersive sound for headphones and loudspeakers. We'll hear from leading producers about how they create immersion and what new 3D audio technology could mean for broadcasting in the future.

Confirmed Speakers
  • Martyn Harries, Senior Lecturer in Broadcast Audio and Music Technology, University of the West of England
  • Isabel Platthaus, Commissioning Editor and Dramaturg, WDR
  • Achim Fell, Freelance Inventor and Developer
  • Varun Nair, VP of Products and Co-Founder, Two Big Ears

16:30-18:00 Drinks, demos and talk from Gareth Gwynn

Wednesday 20th May

09:00-09:15 Welcome and introduction

09:15-10:00 Nick Ryan

Nick is an award-winning composer and sound artist. His pioneering work in binaural recording includes the interactive Radio 4 drama 'The Dark House' and the groundbreaking audio game 'Papa Sangre'. In his latest piece, he worked with visual artists Quayola and Sinigaglia to create a multi-sensory orchestral experience based on his experience of synaesthesia.

10:00-11:00 Coffee and demos

11:00-12:30 Responsive and interactive content

Now more than ever, our audiences expect flexibility in the way they consume media. Could this flexibility be extended into the programmes themselves? Imagine a world where the audience can decide how long they want a programme to be, or how comprehensively the subject matter is covered. In this session, we will hear from sound designers using new techniques to create responsive, accessible experiences that adapt to the listener. Based on the latest trial productions, you will gain insight into how to construct narratives for responsive, interactive programmes, and through lessons learned by the videogaming industry you will gain an understanding of what interaction models might suit your content.

Confirmed Speakers
  • Steve Jackson, Professor of Game Design, Brunel University
  • Werner Bleisteiner, Managing Editor, BR-Klassik
  • Matthew Brooks, Senior R&D Engineer, BBC R&D

12:30-14:30 Lunch, technology fair and demos

14:30-16:00 Next generation production tools

Technology has potential to open up new creative possibilities in production, but often tools can obstruct the creative process rather than support it. This session will feature insights and demonstrations from three leading examples of how technology can unlock that potential through use of advanced audio analysis and innovative interaction design.

Confirmed Speakers
  • Tim Exile, Musician
  • Mark Boas, Co-founder, Hyperaudio Inc.
  • Jörn Loviscach, Professor, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences

16:00-17:00 Closing remarks


Technology fair

The event will feature a large technology fair where the latest innovations can be experienced and discussed. The following organisations and projects will be exhibiting at the fair:


Demonstrations

Nothing beats experiencing the technology for yourself, so we will be showcasing a selection of demonstrations from the following organisations: