The gaming industry is constantly surpassing itself and innovating on new fronts, starting with pocket consoles all the way to motion capturing games. Recently, media attention has focused on virtual and augmented reality devices such as the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Up until now, the audio that accompanies these projects has for some been dissapointing. Audio is becoming an increasingly important feature in games. This is where 3D makes its entrance. This process uses motion captures of moving heads to provide a true 3D experience, resulting in a much more immersive experience!
3D audio is generated with the help of binaural audio recording. This creates separate audio recordings for each ear that can only be monitored with the help of headphones. The way in which they reproduce how our brain processes sound is the key to its immersive nature! To achieve such recordings, engineers take the stereo recording to the next level by placing two microphones on dummy heads, therefore perceiving sound as we would hear it. This is different from a standard surround sound process because 3D audio generates the impression of being in the center of a 3D space. While Surround sound uses multiple speakers around a room, but sounds do not reach the correct immersiveness due to the positioning of speakers. The mixed up sound created by different speakers is the issue with stereo speakers and binaural recordings. Masking audio from left speakers heard by the right ear can be achieved with the help of speakers, but this demands that the listener be in a small 'sweet spot' for this to work.
Recently, Scottish company Two Big Ears introduced 3Dception Spatial Workstation for Pro Tools HD. The aim of the software is to provide high resolution 3D audio to accompany VR and AR platforms. The high fidelity it provides along with easy compatiblity, makes it simple to create content for all virtual reality or 360 videos. This software is also aimed at game developers. It is a multiplatform audio plugin for Unity, Wwise and FMOD which provides accurate positioning of any audio source within a 3D spac.The early results seen through its use give a promising future for gaming and VR audio. Object positioning can be added to guarantee desired results; such as creating sounds which can be heard as if going through physical objects are barring it. Air absorption, speed of sound and distance are all programmable parameters which allow unprecedented accuracy in recreating 3D spaces.
3D audio holds a promising future, especially when used with VR gear. It adds new possibilities in terms of letting a user feel completely immersed in their virtual worlds. Gamers will be able to hear sounds comnig from all around them and react accordingly, a much desired feature in games where survival and alertness are key to winning.
3D audio breaks the current barriers of sound production.
Recently, media attention has focused on virtual and augmented reality devices such as the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Up until now, the audio that accompanies these projects has for some been dissapointing. Audio is becoming an increasingly important feature in games.