By Abesh Thakur, Product Manager, Oculus and Varun Nair, Technical Lead, Facebook

It’s been just over a year since we first launched 360 video on Facebook, and in that time we’ve seen publishers provide hundreds of thousands of experiences that have captivated audiences—whether they’re jumping out of a plane, mourning a natural disaster in a place they’ve never visited, or exploring the bustle of Times Square. 360 videos place viewers right in the story, which is why we’re excited to announce a new feature that will immerse them even further. Starting today, Audio 360 is available for 360 videos on News Feed on iOS, Android, Chrome on Desktop (rolling out soon), and Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus,  giving viewers the ability to experience spatial surround sound as if they were really standing in the middle of the video.

WHAT IS AUDIO 360 AND SPATIAL AUDIO?

Audio 360 is a suite of tools including the Spatial Workstation which enable creators to publish 360 videos with spatial audio on News Feed.

Think of spatial audio as 3D sound for 360 videos. It’s an immersive sphere of audio meant to replicate how humans hear sound in real life, but delivered over headphones. As audiences move around in a 360 video, the sound moves around with them, helping to place them in the context of the scene.

CREATING WITH AUDIO 360

To enable spatial audio within a 360 video, creators will either need to record audio with an ambisonic microphone—a microphone that records directional audio—or simply use existing monoscopic and stereoscopic audio tracks along with Facebook’s free 360 Spatial Workstation tools to edit the audio in post-production. Our tools enable creators to sync their audio with what viewers see in a 360 video’s field of view. Check out our video tutorials for a step-by-step guide to editing the audio tracks.

Once the audio has been edited, 360 creators can use the Encoder (a tool for processing your video for output) that comes with the Spatial Workstation suite to mix the 3D and 2D audio tracks with their 360 video. With a new update rolling out next week, the Encoder will automatically add the metadata needed to share the 360 video on Facebook.

EXPERIENCING SPATIAL AUDIO ON NEWSFEED

Once a 360 video is shared on Facebook, audiences will be able to experience the video with spatial audio through any set of stereo headphones on compatible devices. So when you publish your first few videos with spatial audio, don’t forget to remind your viewers to check out the experience on iOS, Android, Chrome on Desktop, or Gear VR with their headphones!

We’ve worked with a couple of great partners to show you some examples of spatial audio below:

Join President Obama on his visit to Yosemite to celebrate the National Park Service’s 150th anniversary.

 

Put yourself in the middle of a modern mariachi show by Latin Grammy award-winners Mariachi Flor de Toloache with JauntVR.

 

GETTING STARTED WITH AUDIO 360

To get started with Audio 360, visit our Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation page to download the tools and check out some great examples of spatial audio in action for yourself!