O3A Core VST

The O3A Core library is a set of essential tools that provide all the basics to produce a higher order ambisonic (HOA) 3D mix. And it's free!

The plugins included are:

  • O3A Panners (Standard, Classic, Hemisphere, Large, Two Channel and Eight Channel)
  • O3A Decoders (Mono, Stereo and 5.1 Basic)
  • O3A Converters to/from FuMa or classic ambisonics
  • O3A Beamer
  • O3A Gain
  • O3A Virtual Microphone
  • O3A Look and O3A Rotation
  • O3A Metering (Standard and Signal)
  • O3A Visualisers (Standard, Hemisphere, Colourizer and Flare)

These are higher order ambisonic (HOA) VST plugins for macOS (10.7+) or Windows (Win7+) running on 32bit/64bit Intel. They can be hosted in various Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). To work with O3A, the DAW needs to handle tracks with at least 16 channels. Right now, this means that Cubase does not work with these plugins. But the list of DAWs that do work is growing. Your options include Reaper, Pyramix and Max/MSP.

These plugins use the SN3D ambisonic convention, at third order.

We use some free software in this product. Before downloading, please check the technical requirements and license agreement. By beginning the download process you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.

Highlights

Making 3D Audio

These plugins uses 16 audio channels to capture a 3D audio scene. Technically, this is SN3D-encoded third order ambisonics using ACN channel ordering (sometimes known as AmbiX). We refer to it here as O3A B-Format, or just O3A for short.

We can make this O3A material using a number of techniques including upmixing, but the simplest way is often to use one of the panning plugins from this library.

O3A Panning Diagram

There are six different panners in the library, so you can choose the one is most natural for you. But they all have elevation controls. With O3A, you can put sounds in any direction: left, right, front, back, and also up and down.


Mixing and Mastering 3D Audio

The 3D audio streams can be mixed together and modified in 3D. You can do most of the things that you can do with a stereo stream, but quite a lot more too! For instance, the O3A Core includes plugins that allow the whole 3D scene to be rotated, perhaps because the listener has turned to the side.

O3A Mixing and Rotation Diagram

We also make plugins that manipulate the scene in various ways (spatial EQ, movements and other stuff) or add 3D reverb.


Seeing What's Going On

A really useful tool in the O3A Core is the O3A Visualiser, which provides a real-time view of sound directions in the O3A mix.

O3A Visualiser Screenshot

... And Hearing

One of the clever things about O3A (and ambisonics in general) is that the O3A mix isn't tied to a particular speaker layout, so you can "decode" it for different speaker layouts, or binaural stereo.

O3A Decoding Diagram

The O3A Core comes with a few simple decoders, including 5.1 and simple stereo. Blue Ripple Sound also offers a dedicated decoding product with more preset options, including binaural 3D sound on headphones. Finally, Rapture3D "Advanced" lets you set up custom layouts with many speakers and use personalized HRTFs on headphones.


Plugin List

O3A Panner

I/O: 1 in, 16 out

This plugin places a sound in a particular direction in a 3D O3A mix.

O3A Core VST
O3A Panner - Classic

I/O: 1 in, 16 out

This plugin places a sound in a particular direction in a 3D O3A mix. It uses a simple GUI.

O3A Core VST
O3A Panner - Hemisphere

I/O: 1 in, 16 out

This plugin places a sound in a particular direction in a 3D O3A mix. It uses a non-standard GUI that some composers prefer.

O3A Core VST
O3A Panner - Large

I/O: 1 in, 16 out

This plugin places a sound in a particular direction in a 3D O3A mix, using a large control surface.

O3A Core VST
O3A Panner - Two Channel

I/O: 2 in, 16 out

This plugin places two sounds in particular directions in a 3D O3A mix.

O3A Core VST
O3A Panner - Eight Channel

I/O: 8 in, 16 out

This plugin places eight sounds in particular directions in a 3D O3A mix.

O3A Core VST
O3A Decoder - Mono

I/O: 16 in, 1 out

This plugin extracts simple mono mixes from 3D O3A mixes.

O3A Core VST
O3A Decoder - Stereo

I/O: 16 in, 2 out

This plugin extracts robust, high quality stereo mixes from 3D O3A mixes.

Please note that this is not a binaural decoder.

O3A Core VST
O3A Decoder - 5.1 Basic

I/O: 16 in, 6 out

This plugin extracts robust, high quality 5.1 surround mixes from 3D O3A mixes.

O3A Core VST
O3A Decoder - FuMa

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin converts an O3A ambisonic mix to third order FuMa ambisonic audio. FuMa is compatible with "classic" B-Format and was used by this software prior to version two.

O3A Core VST
O3A Injector - FuMa

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin converts third order FuMa ambisonic audio to an O3A ambisonic mix. FuMa is compatible with "classic" B-Format and was used by this software prior to version two.

O3A Core VST
O3A Beamer

I/O: 16 in, 1 out

This plugin extracts mono sound in a particular direction from a 3D O3A mix.

O3A Core VST
O3A Gain

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This simple plugin applies a gain to an O3A stream.

O3A Core VST
O3A Virtual Microphone

I/O: 16 in, 2 out

This plugin simulates a conventional stereo microphone placed within a 3D O3A sound scene.

O3A Core VST
O3A Look

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin rotates the 3D O3A sound scene as if the listener's head has turned to look in a particular direction.

O3A Core VST
O3A Rotation

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin allows a 3D O3A mix to be rotated by any angle.

O3A Core VST
O3A Meter

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This metering plugin presents real-time information about the sound energy in a O3A mix.

O3A Core VST
O3A Meter - Signal

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This simple diagnostic plugin indicates if component signals are present in a O3A mix.

O3A Core VST
O3A Visualiser

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin presents a real-time view of a O3A mix, so you can see what you're doing.

O3A Core VST
O3A Visualiser - Hemisphere

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin presents a real-time view of a O3A mix, so you can see what you're doing.

O3A Core VST
O3A Colourizer

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin presents a real-time view of a O3A mix, so you can see what you're doing. Colours depend on frequency content.

O3A Core VST
O3A Flare

I/O: 16 in, 16 out

This plugin presents a real-time view of a O3A mix using an active analysis. It can be used with the View/ViewVR applications.

O3A Core VST

Tech Requirements

O3A Core VST Plugin Technical Requirements

Please check that everything is okay here before purchasing software.

Operating System

Supported versions of Microsoft Windows are Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Supported versions of Apple macOS are 10.7 or later, Intel only. The plugins are available in 32bit or 64bit forms on both platforms (packaged as a Universal Binary on macOS).

VST Host

These plugins are VST 2 plugins, and require a VST 2 host to operate.

These plugins do not work with all VST 2 hosts. In particular, Cubase or Nuendo currently cannot use them. We hope this will change, but in the meantime you can use other hosts such as Reaper, Pyramix or Max/MSP. The reason for this limitation is that the O3A plugins need large numbers of channels on their input or output busses. Check the individual plugins for the channel counts they need, but all of the O3A plugins need at least 16 channels on each track.

PC Hardware

Please check your PC meets the following requirements:

  • Intel Pentium D CPU or better.
  • 200MB of free disk space.

Permissions

You'll need administrator permissions while installing on Windows. The software won't install properly using a "restricted" account.