And the Grammy goes to…

Stewart Copeland, Ricky Kej, Herbert Waltl, and Eric Schilling for “Divine Tides”!

The Fraunhofer IIS team sends congratulations on the award in the “Best Immersive Audio” category.

In 2022, the album by Stewart Copeland and Ricky Kej won the Grammy for “Best New Age Album”. On this occasion, we already talked about how Fraunhofer IIS technology contributed to the album’s creation. This year, the immersive mix version of the same album (with Herbert Waltl, Stewart Copeland and Ricky Kej as immersive audio producers, and Eric Schilling as immersive audio engineer) received the Grammy for “Best Immersive Audio Album”, which is just as exciting for the Fraunhofer technology experts as last year’s recognition. The category (called “Best Surround Sound Album” until 2018) rewards recordings from every genre, as long as the candidate’s album is available in a surround or immersive format. Another important fact about it is that the awards actually go to the immersive engineers and producers, and not to the performing artists.

“Divine Tides” was created in Sony’s new immersive music experience, 360 Reality Audio which is based on the MPEG-H 3D audio standard. Producer Herbert Waltl even thanked the Fraunhofer experts in his acceptance speech, as this Grammy acknowledges the technology, engineering, and production skills that result in an award-worthy album. In the video, he and his production partners explain why 360 Reality Audio was perfect for their project. (

Jan Nordman, Senior Director, New Media at Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies, said in response to the Grammy Awards: “Big congrats to Herbert Waltl, Eric Schilling, Stewart Copeland, and Ricky Kej on Divine Tides! We’re excited to see the Grammy going to such an amazing immersive album and the recognition of all the work that has gone into the production. We look forward to their future works and hearing how they use the possibilities of immersive and personalized sound.”

MPEG-H Audio also empowers artists to provide their audiences with an even more personalized music experience by enabling them to customize the mix within a range defined by the content creators. The team working on “Divine Tides” is known for exploring all opportunities that sophisticated technology brings to the music industry. That’s why Herbert Waltl’s mediaHYPERIUM, with technical support by Fraunhofer, developed the mH-ii App, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. In this App powered by MPEG-H Audio, the Grammy-winner provides a glimpse into the future of music streaming with immersive and interactive sound.

Immersive music is on the rise, as is clearly shown by the renaming of the “Best Immersive Audio Album” Grammy category. Sophisticated technologies such as 360 Reality Audio and MPEG-H Audio are part of the tools used by artists and mixers today to provide audiences with award-winning albums.

Header image: © Reuters

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