Binaural Synthesis Toolkit


The Binaural Synthesis Toolkit is a software module for binaural rendering. It is a modular set of processing components implemented in Python. These can be used both for realtime rendering or for scripted ‘offline’ computations.

The BST is described in the paper:

Andreas Franck, Giacomo Costantini, Chris Pike, and Filippo Maria Fazi, “An Open Realtime Binaural Synthesis Toolkit for Audio Research,” in Proc. Audio Eng. Soc. 144th Conv., Milano, Italy, 2018, Engineering Brief.

<Paper download link will follow>


Andreas Franck  a.franck<at>

Giacomo Costantini g.costantini<at>


The BST is available through the DOI  10.15126/surreydata.00845982 .




The Binaural Synthesis Toolkit is based on the open-source audio rendering framework VISR , which has to be installed prior to using the BST.

Python 3 must also be installed on the system. Note that the VISR installer must match the Python major + minor version number, for instance “Python3.6”. We recommend the following Python distributions:

  • Windows: Anaconda Download
  • Mac OS X <= 10.11: Anaconda Download
  • Mac OS X >= 10.12: System-provided Python 3.6 installation
  • Linux (Ubuntu 16.04): System-provided Python 3 packages

The following Python packages must be installed:

  • numpy
  • h5py (for reading SOFA files)
  • pyserial (for using serial trackers)


  • Unpack the visr_bst archive to a directory of your choice (we call that base_directory).
  • Add the base_directory to the Python search path. This can be done in several ways:
    •  Append base_directory to the PYTHONPATH environment variable.
    • Add the directory to the Python variable sys.path (contained in the module sys)
  •  See the Python documentation  for additional information.
  • The configuration instructions for the VISR framework will contain more detailed information on setting this path.
  • The configuration can be checked by starting a Python interpreter and typing ‘import visr_bst’. If this command does not return an error, the configuration was successful.