Wednesday, December 10, 2014

3D Audio

We use our ears to collectively hear all the possible stimuli around us. Our ears are also great at pinpointing location, or general direction, of where the sound is oriented. Taking this into consideration, there are many modern technologies that take advantage of this, such as surround sound systems. Sounds can be panned across the multitude of speakers set up around a room, mirroring where the audio is in the movie or show it accompanies (if the character is hearing it behind them to the left, the rear left speaker will play the sound so your left ear will pick it up giving you the feeling it is on your rear left as well). The applications of this, if used effectively, can open up a whole new way of experiencing media. Although some of the effect is lost when played at lower volumes over a larger area the sound has to cover, the effect can be felt immediately if you play audio files that are geared specifically towards this effect using headphones or turn surround systems up very loud. I found this audio clip interesting because in class we talked about how people enjoyed cleaning their ears with Q-tips but also how it can be dangerous if one cleans them too often. By using these types of audio recreations of physical acts, you can trick the mind into thinking that it is physically experiencing what it is hearing without having to physically do the act. Use your headphones and watch this video at a fairly decent volume to understand this effect (if you don't want to sit through the beginning, start at 8:10)

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