College of Arts & Media
York, United Kingdom 2011
RESURECTING HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO: EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF BLU-RAY DISCS
The Blu-Ray disc is a new format that audio engineers hope will “resurrect” high resolution audio. Filmmakers have been the first to embrace the format, releasing several movie titles on Blu-Ray. However, the music industry has merely speculated on potential for the format, and -- other than live music “concert films” -- music releases have not been seen in great numbers, with audio-only releases still in the formative stage.
Leslie Gaston is pursuing work to further inform the creative and technical processes involved in creating an audio-only Blu-Ray disc (a process referred to as “authoring”). In her Fulbright endeavors. Her research and teaching activities at University of York’s Music Research Centre include:
• Exploring general authoring techniques to create audio-only Blu-Ray discs
• Investigating authoring multiple audio perspectives for a single audio program
• Teaching a course in the MA in Music Technology course
• Assisting in the planning of the Ambisonics an dSpherical Audio Conference at the University of York, May, 2012
The aim of these activities is to contribute to the audio community’s goal of providing high resolution audio to the average consumer, and furthering current research on Blu-Ray authoring techniques for audio only, including authoring for multiple audio perspectives.
Gaston’s focus carefully documents and describes the steps used to create an audio Blu-Ray disc with multiple audio perspectives. Creating an inexpensive, repeatable and simple process of disc authoring brings value to the international audio community. Gaston thinks it is important to play a continuous role in activism for high-resolution audio. At several audio engineering conferences, held in different parts of the world, her colleagues express concern about the future of “high fidelity” for both stereo and surround sound.
Current students of audio and recording need to be informed of these issues when they enter the workforce: they must be prepared to respond to content providers (filmmakers, television producers, web designers, music producers) who say they are content with “low fidelity”. Students must therefore know the tools used in creating high resolution audio.
In 2006, Gaston directed a study at the University of Colorado Denver, hosted by Dolby Laboratories, involving graduate students in the Master of Science in Recording Arts program and 28 listening subjects. CU Denver will be able to study York’s Music Research Centre as a laboratory model: not only the labs themselves, but how students at the graduate level are trained, and the opportunities for theses arise from this work.
“I am intrigued by the differences in the audio education industry between the United States and the United Kingdom. It is important to bolster our overseas collaborations so that we might learn more.”
- Leslie Gaston
BA, AS, College of Arts & Media