Radio Drama sessions

The S3a Radio Drama production datasets are a collection of three object-based radio drama productions, provided as sessions for the digital audio workstation Reaper

The Turning Forest recording set.

We make them available to the creative and research community as an easy way to experience and experiment with object-based audio. 

The dataset is described in detail in the AES Engineering Brief.

How to use the datasets  

The datasets can be downloaded as archives through the Figshare DOIs 

Scene Download Git repository 
The Turning Forest 

In addition, each scene can be accessed through a public git repository (listed in the table above). 

The scenes are to be used in with the VISR Production Suite that can be downloaded as free software. 

Each scene contains two session files, one for loudspeaker reproduction and one for binaural reproduction. Please refer to the VISR Production Suite documentation how to configure the plugins. 

When using this work, please cite the respective DOIs and/or the paper [1]. 


The scenes 

The Turning Forest

The Turning Forest is a dark fairy tale about a boy who befriends a creature he encounters in the woods. The boy climbs on the creature’s back and together they swim across the sea to icy shores. We leave them discovering the enchanted forest. Many objects made up elements of the forest (wind, birds, creaking trees). The boy, the creature (each foot, the body, the teeth and head were objects), the sea, and the icy landscape were also objects. 

The VR Director Oscar Raby used the finished audio to create an audio-led animated VR experience for the BBC. Audio-led projects are unusual for both animation and VR due to time and financial constraints, but can lead to greater detail in the visuals. In 2017 it was shortlisted for the Best Google Play VR Experience. As a listener we travel with the action. 

The Turning Forest


This has been our first trial of the technology outside of the lab. Our next steps will be to analyse the feedback and data we have collected from the trial. This will allow us to determine what benefit this kind of personalised audio gives the audience, in particular for hard of hearing viewers, and guide where this work goes next. We also plan to explore the user experience of interface for coThe Family is a snapshot of family life. A family of four; two adults and two children come and go from the main room of house, having conversations from several rooms in the house, including the son shouting down from the attic as he tries to locate a megaphone. Each character’s voice was an object, with their movement and feet being separate objects. Doors to the house and the room tone of the house were also objects.As a listener you were positioned in a static space, with the action and movement taking place around you. de more regularly. Finally, a crucial part of our future plans is working towards standardisation and roll-out of object-based audio technology. We have been working with international groups like the ITU and DVB on the standardisation of such technologies in recent years. We hope that in future we can turn one-off trials like this into regular services for our audiences. 

Family set.


The Protest starts in a bank with two workers unable to leave due to a protest taking place outside. As a window smashes and their fear grows, they decide to take their chance and escape. Once outside they get caught up in the excitement of the protest, but are then separated by the angry crowd as the police arrive. Many objects made up the background of the protest, from chanting students to a character hanging from the top of a lamp post with a megaphone. Each character’s voice and character movement was an object, as well as the police horses, police voices and overhead helicopter. As a listener it started with the characters in a static place, and then as the characters left the bank we followed the action like a tracking shot. 


The datasets are provided under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC License.

[1] Costantini, G., Franck, A., Pike, C., Francombe, J., Woodcock, J., Hughes, R., Coleman, P., Whitmore, E., and Fazi, F. M., “A Dataset of High-Quality Object-Based Productions,” in AES 147th Convention, New York City, NY, USA, 2019, Engineering Brief 


S3A is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Programme Grant Scheme – Grant Ref: EP/L000539/1
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