Introducing ASPEN™ (APL Spatial Audio Engine)

Born out of the APL’s pioneering research in 3D audio psychoacoustics and perceptual optimisation of virtual acoustics, ASPEN™ (APL Spatial Audio Engine) is a solution for immersive 3D audio content creation and reproduction. ASPEN™ provides the listener with the most realistic and natural sense of being there in virtual environments. It enables high-quality immersive audio experience for music, film, games, extended reality (XR)/metaverse, automotive audio and many other applications. ASPEN™ powers our immersive audio plugin/app VIRTUOSO, and will be also made available as an SDK soon. To discuss a collaboration or B2B licensing, please contact us.

Accurate sound localisation in a 3D space

Thanks to the APL’s extensive research into how the human sound localisation mechanism works in 3D multichannel and binaural reproduction contexts, ASPEN allows for a highly accurate panning of virtual sound sources in a 3D auditory space, avoiding some of the common issues found in conventional tools, such as front/back confusion and the difficulty to localise elevated sound sources. This reduces cognitive load for both sound engineers and end users.

Perceptually optimised virtual acoustics (POVA)

In real life, our perceptions of sound source location, distance and spatial impression heavily rely on not only the source itself but also environmental cues such as early reflections and reverberation. Therefore, in VR/AR and metaverse applications, it is essential to provide the user with realistic and natural virtual acoustics for a high level of immersive experience. ASPEN is equipped with our patent-pending perceptually-optimised virtual acoustics (POVA) algorithms, which allow for highly efficient processing as well as natural and plausible simulation of various types of acoustic environments.

Enhanced externalisation in binaural reproduction

ASPEN solves the problem of poor externalisation, which has been a long-standing issue found in conventional binaural audio tools. Externalisation, which means that a sound source is localised outside the head as in real life, is a key element that facilitates a truly immersive auditory experience in VR/AR applications. Using key psychoacoustic parameters that are carefully engineered, ASPEN provides an unprecedented level of accuracy in externalisation and auditory distance rendering.

Excellent tonal fidelity

Our research found that the sense of being there (i.e. presence) is not just about spatial audio, but also about the tonal fidelity of the sound sources. But often, spatial audio processing for binaural reproduction adds unpleasant colouration to the original sounds (e.g. thin, unclear, phasey, etc.), which is one of the biggest reasons why binaural audio content has not convinced the wider audience to date. ASPEN ensures any system that uses it sounds most plausible and natural whilst providing a spacious and immersive spatial audio experience. You can now create 3D audio content with the confidence that your sounds would be delivered to your audience with the highest fidelity.

6-Degrees-of-Freedom (6DoF) ready

ASPEN is designed to be used in 6DoF applications with motion/head tracking, such as VR games, location-based AR and metaverse, where the user can walk through a virtual or real space interacting with holographic audio objects.

Multi-platform ready

ASPEN is a scalable technology, which means that its complexity can be adjusted flexibly to meet the requirement of different operating platforms, such as computers, mobile phones, web servers, etc., with a minimal quality difference.

ASPEN Applications

Extended Reality / Metaverse
Web audio applications
Automotive audio