Facebook Spatial Workstation

I’ve been aware of the Facebook Spatial Workstation since attending a conference on spatial audio earlier this year. I tried it, but it never really interested me as I haven’t got access to 360 video cameras to create video content. It has since been updated considerably and is now included within the latest version of Avid Pro Tools software, however the HD version is required to use it effectively. I decided to take another look.

My fondness of Reaper increases daily due to it’s flexibility to undertake fun tasks. The download of Facebook Spatial Workstation plugins includes a template Reaper project, with easy to follow instructions to get started. The  Facebook Spatial Workstation can be used to create 360 audio alone, alongside the ability to incorporate 360 audio with 360 video content.

For the new exploration into the capabilities of Facebook Spatial Workstation I acquired a free 360 video from here. The video included some sound of the sea which I kept, but I added some birds and an aeroplane. The images below show the positioning of these sounds relative to the video. The sea is fairly obvious, but I positioned the birds above the cliffs. You can also see the pan automation lane for the aeroplane fly over.

FB360 seaFB360 birds

Along with these sound effects I recorded some speech of myself. This would be headlocked as the viewer moves around within the 360 video. To incorporate and encode all these elements was a fairly simple task to undertake. There are clear instructions for full use of Facebook Spatial Workstation available here. An image of the FB360 encoder is shown below. The focus section at the bottom enables overall specification of viewing angle and level reduction.

FB360 encoder

Having used Facebook Spatial Workstation with more enthusiasm, I feel it can be a very creative tool. The videos can be encoded into a variety of formats depending upon which platform you would like to share the content. Mine was created for Facebook and if you would like to check it out, please see below.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F117794928913217%2Fvideos%2F132624880763555%2F&show_text=0&width=560