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Astro Spatial Audio brings 3D sound to new LA OGN e-sports arena

A single Astro Spatial Audio SARA II Premium Rendering Engine completes the virtual immersive experience of e-sports at the OGN arena

Astro Spatial Audio is at the centre of a new flagship e-sports studio in Los Angeles, bringing true object-based three-dimensional sound to one of the world’s fastest growing areas of sports entertainment.

E-sports, such as League of Legends and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), has now entered the mainstream.

For South Korean e-sports promoter and broadcaster OGN, the enormous popularity of PUBG has prompted the opening of its first dedicated North American e-sports arena, located in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, California. Equipped with 80 PCs on stage with the backdrop of a giant three-sided immersive LED screen, the 35,000 sq-ft arena delivers entertainment to people watching at home and the in-house audience, featuring Astro Spatial Audio’s true object-based 3D sound.

“The studio’s screens and audio set-up have been designed to provide a more immersive experience than you’d traditionally expect in a TV studio,” explained Matthew Park, who is responsible for the audio project management at OGN. “In particular, we are trying to convey a unique experience to the audience in real time using the PUBG game’s API data plus sound location information and directional sound. The real-time 3D sound of the game can be reproduced in the studio. It delivers a real wow factor for the studio audience.”

Working seamlessly with the OGN Arena’s Meyer Sound loudspeaker set-up, plus D3 media servers and a combination of QLab and Pro Tools, a single SARA II Premium Rendering Engine brings the virtual immersive experience of PUBG to the real world.

Measuring at 3U but delivering up to 128 MADI or 128 Dante configurable network pathways, the SARA II converts audio signals into audio objects and uses extensive metadata to calculate the objects positions within virtual 3D space over 160,000 times per second, as well as that objects acoustic effect on the virtual space around it.

“Astro Spatial Audio 3D sound is an integral part of shows at the OGN Arena, where it’s crucial that audience members feel utterly immersed in the action taking place on the screens,” explained Astro Spatial Audio managing director, Bjorn Van Munster. “The whole point of an e-sport like PUBG is that you can compete without the limits of the real world, so of course OGN wanted to extend that same feeling to everyone in the room. If a player in the game fires a gun, the audience hears the bullets whistle past, if a grenade is thrown, it feels as if it has exploded in the arena.”

Having first experienced Astro Spatial Audio at a demonstration in Seoul, Park reported: “It’s helping a lot. The SARA II is working just as well as we hoped. It’s inspired us to develop more 3D audio content so in time we’re going to be able to do even more. For now, the system makes a big impression with our audiences. We have great expectations of what we will go on to achieve.”