Stefan Bock, the inventor of Pure Audio Blu-ray
We catch up with Stefan Bock, the inventor of the Pure Audio Blu-ray music format. He also owns the first Dolby Atmos Home certified studio in Europe, msm studio group, known for decades for high quality media productions.
It is proud of its Dolby Atmos studio. The studio exceeds the required specifications. It is equipped with a 9.1.4 loudspeaker setup consisting of PMC IB2S (Left, Center, Right) and DB1S (Surround and Height). It also boasts three PMC SB100 subwoofers. Film is projected in HD.
Why was there a need for Pure Audio Blu-ray to be invented?
“After the failure of DVD-Audio and in a way SA-CD, there was no audio-only format to provide high-res audio and for multichannel audio. With the rise of Blu-ray players, there was a huge installed base of players, but no audio-only format for it.”
What were the obstacles involved in creating the format?
“The biggest hurdle was to find a way to switch audio streams without the need to turn a TV screen on. Finally, the usage of the coloured buttons to switch between audio streams was the solution”
What level of quality is required for Pure Audio Blu-ray playback?
“We need high-res audio at a resolution of 24 Bit and at least 96 kHz. For historical releases (and Dolby Atmos) 48 kHz is accepted too, as the 24 bit resolution already makes a big difference compared with CD.”
What makes Pure Audio Blu-ray such a great audio format?
“The biggest advantage is the ability to deliver multiple formats of the same content. As well, it’s the only physical audio-only format that supports immersive audio playback.”
What factors did you take into consideration when developing the format?
“Screenless playback was the biggest goal – as well as to make sure to be compatible with EVERY Blu-ray player available.”
Why are artists and labels interested to release a Pure Audio Blu-ray?
“It’s a physical format that can deliver real studio quality to the audience.”
Where do you see the development of Pure Audio Blu-ray going in the next two years?
“Immersive Audio will become more and more popular in the next years. Pure Audio Blu-ray is the only physical format for this. So I see more and more titles being released having at least one immersive audio format available.”
Stefan Bock is also CEO of the Immersive Audio Network (IAN productions) responsible for the Pure Audio Blu-rays by Alessandro Quarta and Jazz Ambassadors
Pure Audio Blu-ray is one of the best formats for digital music available to the consumer. It is so attractive because of its ability to play music in high fidelity and also in surround sound. In some cases titles also feature immersive audio such as Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D.
Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D differentiates themselves from normal surround sound by having a 3D effect. This means that sound will also come from above. Not just from a horizontal level or lower height. This of course refers to the viewpoint of the listener or the set-up of the room. When immersive sound for cinema was invented it was to give a more realistic sound approach to the cinema. The helicopter in the action movie above the actors should sound as if it is above you and not the same height as you. When it flies towards you or away from you this 3D effect is missing in 5.1 surround. This is why we have immersive sound today.
Subsequently, musicians and recording studios are very interested in this sound format. There seems to be a few reasons why. Some choirs and orchestras have immersive or surround recordings. This is to give the listener the impression of being in a live music hall or church. Other artists wish to mimic other forms of live performances. Whereas some just wish to create an immersive or surround sound for more creative reasons. This makes high definition music sound amazing
Future development of the format
As bigger artists and more genres start to take on this great music format the titles available widen. The Grammys already have a “Best Immersive Sound Album” award. This is for albums with four channels or more. The recordings must be commercially available on DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, Blu-ray or SACD. One can definitely expect to see more regular releases on this format. It could be said that some of the more interesting titles are in Dolby Atmos. Click here to see available titles in Dolby Atmos