Anyone wishing to create a new work group should complete a Working Group Goals form and submit it to the Steering Committee. The following form -- completed for the 3D Audio Working Group -- is a good example to follow.

Group Name: ____3D Audio__
Date: __November 1996__

1. Describe the topic and purpose (goal) of this WG:

a. To recommend specifications for describing 3D audio environments and achieve broad industry support for audio processing hardware and software.

b. Publish and evangelize a common language (set of terms) for 3D audio and the user benefits from advanced audio rendering.

c. To provide hardware independence and support non-host based usage or host based usage.

d. To provide an open standard without legal "strings" of any kind (no royalties, in public domain).

e. To support older standards when possible. Note: Specifications will include a simple, high-level interface to facilitate the use of 3D audio in current products where possible. More than one method of 3D audio operation or approach will be supported (extendible). Backward compatibility and degrading gracefully to stereo or mono will be included.

2. Describe the motivation behind (for example, benefit to the market) addressing this topic:

a. 3D Audio Rendering can take computer games from where they are now to the polished Hollywood experience of a full immersive audio environment. Games will become more real and MIDI files will sound more like an orchestral performance.

b. Early specifications were created without an industry committee and limit the number of other views which will enable full competition. The rash of 3D APIs highlight the need for consensus.

c. 3D Audio "tracks" can be rendered/created for multiple platforms at the same time providing a better return on audio investments.

d. Users will be able to clearly identify which level of 3D is present through use of the "approved" language (terms/logos).

e. Developers will use the Open standard over all other proprietary APIs or standards.

3. Describe the current situation (technology, market influence, etc.):

a. An incomplete list of 3D audio vendors and/or 3D audio APIs:

    Aureal, Creative Labs, Crystal Semiconductor, Crystal River Engineering, Lucent, S3, ESS, HMI, Microsoft, Oak, Qsound, Rad, Spatializer, SRS, DiamondWare, VLSI, Philips, nVidia

b. Which developers support full 3D? What is full3D? Proprietary APIs and various effects called 3D are common.

c. Killer 3D audio content can be added to the 3D graphics rendered games available now. A standard would give the content providers confidence to launch 3D audio.

d. API issues? The most predominant API is DirectSound for Windows but, 3D is not fully enabled for multiple methods or operating systems and is confined to one platform.

4. Determine specific issues which will must be addressed by the WG (in phases, ranked by order of importance):

PHASE 1 - Evaluate MS DirectSound API Send intentions to Microsoft as united group and ask for full-support

PHASE 2 - Evaluate published open mini-APIs and open full-APIs

PHASE 3 - Send feedback and recommendations to MS. Name of proposal: "IASIG 3D Audio Rendering Guidelines 1.0" (no new variables from DirectSound 3 and passes all parameters to hardware/software)

PHASE 4 - Complete simple extension (mini-API) specification for Microsoft

PHASE 5 - Complete definitions and "gold standard" audio files

PHASE 6 - Discuss advanced features/parameters for even better 3D. Name of proposal: "IASIG 3D Audio Rendering Guidelines 2.0" (not tied to DirectSound or Microsoft but complete API guideline with rich environment) including:

  • General MIDI x,y,z ensemble std locations for enhanced playback
  • Non-MIDI x,y,z issues, DLS and grouping guidelines for 3D
  • 4/5.1 channel x,y,z speaker locations and std room parameters
  • Enhanced room tuning and std parameter tables
  • Guidelines for layering 3D "on top of" synthesis or effects
  • Non-Windows support or issue definition

5. Describe the proposed completion schedule for the group:

  • Oct 21st - PHASE 1 (DS3 eval)

  • Nov 4th - PHASE 2 (mini-APIs and full APIs eval)

  • Dec 2nd - PHASE 3 (proposed version 1.0 Guidelines)

  • Dec 16th - undefined