Europe's Fourth Student 3D Audio Production Competition in Ambisonics 2020

Already for the fourth time, Europe's 3D Audio Competition brought the best of 3D audio quality to your ears with sophisticated and intricate productions made by students. This year, the award ceremony of the international contest was embedded in VDT's virtual Live Event. During the award ceremony, the nominated submission has been live-streamed over the internet as binaural stereo streams with video, including a brief introduction to every submission by its authors, and including comments and critique read out by members of the international jury. The final ranking of the top-3 submissions in every category has been revealed at the end of every category block. In some places around the world there were public viewing spots where smaller audiences could gather to be part of the show with high quality local 3D audio technique.

Click here to watch the live stream recording of the 3D-Audio Student's Competition from Friday, October 9th, 2020.

The 3D categories:

  • Contemporary / Computer music
  • Audio drama / Documentary / Soundscapes
  • Music recording / Studio production

Scroll down and click on the picture of the respective nomination to open the Cat3DA Player with head tracking. Use a desktop computer with Camera and Firefox, Chrome or Opera browser.

Many thanks to the Jurors who evaluated the contributions with highest verve and compentence:

  • Sebastia Amengual Gari FB Reality Labs, Redmond, USA
  • Tom Ammermann, New Audio Technology, Hamburg, Germany
  • Joseph Anderson, DXART, Washington University, Seattle, USA
  • Thibaut Carpentier, ircam, Paris, France
  • Daniel Deboy, DELTA Soundworks, Sandhausen, Germany
  • Thomas Görne, HAW, Hamburg, Germany
  • Michael Iber, University of Applied Science, St. Pölten, Austria
  • Mads Kjeldgaard, NOTAM, Oslo, Norway
  • Matthias Kronlachner, Consultant, Vilnius, Latvia
  • Pawel Malecki, AGH University, Krakow, Poland
  • Daniel Mayer, IEM, Graz, Austria
  • Nils Meyer-Kahlen, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
  • Robert Mores, HAW, Hamburg, Germany
  • Annika Neidhardt, TU Ilmenau, Germany
  • Lasse Nipkow, Unv. Arts, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Filip Pantelic und Marko Peric, University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Tom Parnell, BBC R&D, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Chris Pike, BBC R&D, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Magdalena Piotrowska, University Techn., Gdansk, Poland
  • Ulli Scuda, Frauenhofer Institut Soundlabs IIS, Erlangen, Germany
  • Martin Supper, University of Arts, Berlin, Germany
  • Dietz Tinhof, Tonmeister/VSL, Vienna, Austria
  • Christian Vaida, cvmusic film/ton, Heidenheim, Germany
  • Van der Loo, NOTAM, OSLO, Norway

The winner productions

Douglas McCausland

Gold Winner in Category 1: Contemporary Music, Computer Music. Stanford University, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), with "Conduit"

Paul Schuladen

Silver Winner in Category 1: Category 1: Contemporary Music, Computer Music. TU Berlin, Germany, with "Flying Thoughts"

Mattias Hållsten

Silber Winner in Category 1: Contemporary Music, Computer Music. Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden, with "Walls of Amber"

Marcel Remy, Jonas Müller, Max Hartstang and Kai Kirn

Gold Winner in Category 2: Audio Drama / Documentary / Soundscapes

Aurale Entfremdung

Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart, with Aurale Entfremdung – eine hörbare Interpretation von Franz Kafkas Heimkehr
Open Cat3DA Player

Jan Schulten

Silver Winner in Category 2: Audio Drama / Documentary / Soundscapes


Fachhochschule Dortmund, Germany, with Franz
Open Cat3DA Player

Hanna Brühwiler

Bronce Winner in Category 2: Audio Drama / Documentary / Soundscapes

The 4 Elements

FH Joanneum Graz, with The 4 Elements
Open Cat3DA Player

Jonas Kieser

Gold Winner in Category 3: Music Recording / Studio Production

Rhythm Is A Dancer

Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart, with Rhythm Is A Dancer
Open Cat3DA Player

James Bagshaw

Silver Winner in Category 3: Music Recording / Studio Production

Helicopter Synths

University of Hull, Kingston upon Hull, UK, with Helicopter Synths
Open Cat3DA Player

Alexander Lekscha

Bronce Winner in Category 3: Music Recording / Studio Production

Shostakovich's piano trio

Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany, with Extract from Shostakovich's piano trio in C minor
Open Cat3DA Player

The Competition is a cooperation of the Institut für Elektronische Musik und Akustik der Kunstuniversität Graz (IEM) and Verband Deutscher Tonmeister (VDT). The contribution format is 5th order Ambisonics as there are many free production tools available and no licence fees have to be paid by the students.
Contributing to the Competition is an important step for the students into the professional world of pro audio. At the same time there are attractive prices for the winners waiting. Many thanks to the sponsors of this year's Competition!

Sponsors of the Competition

Dear Reality GmbH

FLUX:: Immersive

Harpex Ltd

New Audio Technology

SSA Plugins


Headtracking with Camera-Tracked 3D Audio Player (Cat3DA)

How can we deliver multi-channel immersive audio content across the web to the listener? A god basis has been established with the new Cat3DA player (camera-tracked 3D audio player), a tool that allows to stream channel-based 3D audio cotent that the local browser of the listener rendered to head-tracked headphone playback. The motion capture of the head rotations is done by the webcam of the listener's computer.

To make use of it, the webcam must browser tab must be permitted to make use of the webcam video.

The combination of Cat3DA including head tracker, together with the competing productions of the Student’s 3D Audio Production Competition 2020 are experimental content of the VDT-Live event by which the advantages of headtracking to binaural playback over the web can be perceivably experienced. The programmers of Cat3DA recommends the following browsers for playback: Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.

Real-time computation of the headtracking information and audio processing it controls pose a certain computational load and requires time for loading. At the same time, sufficient bandwith to receive the multi-channel audio stream is required. We therefore recommend a good internet connection. If you consider following the stereo live stream of the S3DAPC finals ceremony and intend to change listening to the on-demand Cat3DA streams for their higher spatial-audio resolution while the submissions play back during the ceremony, maybe consider using two independent computers.

This link leads to all the finalists of the competition:

Listen to productions of other years

Become curious? All award-winning submissions of the 3D-Audio Competitions of other years can be heard binaural with headtracking here:

2023 2022 2021