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    Sounds Amazing 2020: Celebrating Innovation in Audio – Day Two

    October 15, 2020 @ 9:00 pm - October 16, 2020 @ 12:30 am

    The BBC Academy returns for another Sounds Amazing event, in collaboration with BBC R&D, showcasing the most innovative and creative audio productions, and the latest exciting developments in audio technology.

    Join your conference host – BBC Click’s LJ Rich – who will take you on a fascinating three-day journey online. We’ll hear from industry leaders about their amazing award-winning work on sound across TV, radio, podcasts, film, and gaming. Top commissioners from the BBC and beyond will give their views on the most exciting trends and their most innovative output. You will also learn about fantastic new technologies to enhance your production process and deliver more immersive and accessible audio to audiences.

    This page gives the schedule and booking link for day two. Links for days one and three are at the bottom of this page. Some parts of the programme are still being finalised; we will update these as they are confirmed.

    Morning Conference Session: 11:00 – 12.00

    L.J. Rich, Technology presenter (BBC Click), sound designer, inventor, and NASA Datanaut will be your host.

    Access all Areas – Rethinking accessibility and personalisation of audio

    Dr Lauren Ward discusses her work with Casualty and BBC R&D to allow personalised control of the clarity of the sound mix to meet the individual needs and preferences of audience members. A listener may be hard of hearing, in a loud environment, or just prefer quieter sound effects. How can we adapt to these needs while retaining editorial control?

    Dr Mariana Lopez, from the University of York, explores what TV and film productions can do to improve accessibility for visually-impaired people. Audio description (AD) has been virtually unchanged since its conception. Considering AD as an integral part of the creative process can enhance the experience for audiences.

    Dr Alexis Kirke, Plymouth University is working on the Radio Me project, which aims to use artificial intelligence and sensor devices to transform live local radio into a personalised, responsive service that can help those living with dementia.

    Techno Bubble: 12:15 -12:45

    Talking to the Radio – Nicky Birch (Commissioning Exec, BBC Voice + AI) will talk about whether the huge growth in voice-controlled devices will transform our relationship with how we listen to the radio. And as producers, should we be changing and adapting the radio we make in order to fit this new way of listening?

    Afternoon Conference Session: 13:30 – 14:30

    COVID Creativity – Can what we learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic help us in our future work?

    Since the lockdown began the world has had to learn how to do things differently, but out of such challenges has come both creativity and innovation. In this session we will hear fascinating stories of how people responded to the challenges of remote working to keep us informed and entertained.

    Broadcaster and choirmaster Gareth Malone will take us through his amazing work to bring people together through singing. Gareth will share his experiences with the Great British Home Chorus initiative, an online choir for people in isolation, and the moving TV series The Choir: Singing for Britain, filmed from his garden shed with frontline workers across the country.

    Kaye Dunnings was the Creative Director on Lost Horizons, described as “a real festival in a virtual world”. During lockdown and with Glastonbury cancelled, this was a breath of fresh air. Shangri-La teamed up with VRJAM and Sansar to create the world’s largest independent music festival in virtual reality. Some performances were filmed live and some pre-recorded and then placed in the virtual world along with the attendees’ avatars. The team pushed the technology and themselves to the limits and learnt much as a result.

    Tony Churnside (The Skewer) worked on a ‘Dave Podmore’ production during lockdown. This involved training older generation actors to work with new tech, set up ‘studios’ at home, self-record and to send in their work. Then how Tony dealt with these recorded files in the edit. Lessons learnt from this process are shared both financially and in terms of what now seems possible, that might not have been thinkable before.

    Dr Ben Shirley, senior lecturer from the University of Salford talks about his contribution to working with sound over football games during lockdown. Games behind closed doors present a new and significant challenge for teams and broadcasters to retain player performance and fan engagement even in the absence of crowd sound. Salsa Sound has addressed this with the creation of their vCROWD system which allows the real-time control/creation of a virtual crowd sound to perfectly match the action on the pitch. They also use AI to auto-mix for the games.