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Facebook makes VR audio a lot easier, rips price tag from 3D audio software

Spatial Workstation: Overview
Facebook has been steering its users toward VR and 360-degree content, and the company shows no signs of lessening its push. In fact, the social media site has now upped its game by introducing Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation, a free VR audio tool that comes as a result of its acquisition of Two Big Ears.

Described by Facebook as as “a free software suite for designing spatial audio for 360 video and cinematic VR,” the tool allows users to create immersive 3D audio. It’s heavy-duty, including Two Big Ears’ authoring tools, encoder and rendering engine. At this point, you have to have a Mac with OS X 10.7 or greater, but Windows support is on its way.

“Our mission is to make VR audio succeed across all devices and platforms and continue to help creators make the best experiences for billions of people across the world,” said a post today on Two Big Ears’ blog. “By joining with a company that shares our values and our vision, we will be able to scale our technology even quicker as we continue powering immersive audio experiences.”

While Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation will likely appeal to many new users now that it’s free, existing Two Big Ears customers will have to get used to some changes. 3Dception for games, which includes a suite of plugins for game engines and game audio middleware, for example, will no longer be available as a separate product. Two Big Ears and the Oculus team, however, are said to be joining forces to “create best in class VR audio,” according to the former.

As the companies continue to work on bringing free VR audio software to users, they make it easier for the general public to experiment with an growing sphere, which can only help Facebook subsidiary Oculus.

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