Top 5 insights gained from participating in the Introduction to Immersive Audio short course

As part of the newly launched Immersive Audio Network, Dr Ruth Farrar and Jan Meneima from Bath Spa University led an Introduction to Immersive Audio short course on 11 and 12 March, 2023.

Responding to industry and community needs, the short course proved popular, selling out in advance. The action-packed weekend programme included participants binaurally recording a music performance by Mike Dennis, using ambisonic technologies on a sound walk at Arnos Vale, editing ambisonic and binaural mixes and an industry guest speaker session by Duncan Speakman.

Via MyWorld funding, the short course utilised Bath Spa University’s immersive audio equipment. MyWorld’s Skills and Training team also provided two bursary scholarships for this short course to support an inclusive talent pipeline in immersive audio.

The two recipients of these MyWorld scholarships, Hazel Travers and Elliot Carey, describe in their own words below their top 5 key takeaways from attending this Introduction to Immersive Audio short course.

Hazel’s main takeaways:

  1. I found the whole experience very engaging. The balance between the theoretical and practical elements was spot on and I was impressed by how well the subjects covered were made accessible to everyone, regardless of experience. I came away feeling inspired and eager to learn more about the world of immersive audio.
  2. Although not directly related to the course, it was really nice to be a part of a lovely group of people from lots of different backgrounds. This made the whole experience even better and I found a lot of inspiration just from chatting to the other participants.
  3. I came away from the experience with the ability to use Reaper to edit and process recordings which I was really pleased about as I didn’t think I could pick it up in such a short amount of time.
  4. It made me think of sound in a new way. I was amazed by one of the pieces a member of the group created on the second day. He used the sounds of traffic as musical elements, almost like a cymbal crescendo and it didn’t seem out of place at all. It made me think of using natural sounds in my compositions to create a seamless mix of traditional instruments and environmental sounds to enhance the immersive experience for the audience when I’m scoring moving pictures.
  5. It was a really interesting experience using headphones to listen to the environment we were recording when out at Arnos Vale cemetery. It made me think of how much sound exists all around us and how this is an experience we don’t usually get to be a part of. I enjoyed being able to experiment using both binaural and ambisonic microphones.

Elliot’s main takeaways:

  1. Learning about ambisonics and spatial audio has improved how I may compose pieces of music. It has expanded the way I see recording using microphones and allowed me to think about audio being a space that can surround the listener.
  2. The use of ambisonic microphones was an experience that I ended up getting lost in. I thoroughly enjoyed recording the world around me. It made me think of textures within sound and how they could be used.
  3. Learning how to use software with real-time help was a massive benefit to me. As a self-learner, I can find unfamiliar software to be intimidating but I now have the confidence to explore and use what’s out there.
  4. The course managed to fill in a load of gaps I felt were missed when I first started learning how to make and produce audio. For example, correctly importing, formatting and exporting sound files.
  5. Being able to discuss ideas and projects of all different shapes and sizes with a varied group of passionate people was a refreshing experience. Especially as someone who hasn’t yet found an extended network of creatives to bounce off. Most importantly, I have left the course with a newfound excitement to learn, play and create.


If you are interested in signing up for future short courses on immersive audio, please contact Bath Spa University’s short courses unit:

If you would like to learn more about the Immersive Audio Network, please contact Dr Ruth Farrar and Tim Powell via MyWorld.