Ambisonic spatial audio is used to induce a deeper sense of realism. Any effort to educate, train, influence, or persuade is enhanced by omni-directional audio. Because we have evolved to be keenly adept to accurately comprehending the direction in which sound comes from, our interpretation of realism depends on immersive audio.
Marketers create more engaging and immersive commercials through spatial audio, because it producers a deeper sense of realism. For example, in the auto industry, by capturing the sound field of the car’s engine and interior, the viewer can feel like they are inside the car, as the purr of the engine comes from the appropriate proximity, the wind is sounded justly and the reverberations bounce realistically, rather than synthetically. This makes for a more persuasive presentation of the luxury vehicle.
Ambisonics can be used to create immersive and relaxing soundscapes, ideal for meditation and relaxation. Nature Sounds: Birds chirping, waves lapping, rain falling. By playing these sounds through an ambisonic (spatial) system, we can immediately create an environment that is relaxing and calming.
Next-gen entertainment is spearheaded by next-gen audio techniques. Sound Effects flying in from every-direction make film, concerts, theater and gaming exponentially more engaging. This powerful audio system transcend listeners convincingly to put the listener on-set. Because of 3D ambisonic audio, the listener feels to be apart of the program, instead of a spectator.
Immersive tours give deeper context to a place. When we have the full 720° spectrum we spatially understand our settings and thus comprehend more adeptly. Spatial audio is also proven to lead to stronger ties to memory and positive recollection.
Creating Ambisonic Audio
Recording: The first step is to record the audio using a microphone that can capture spatial information. For example, an ambisonic microphone with four channels (W, X, Y, Z). These will render 720-degree sound field. Alternatively, one could manually arrange multiple microphones to capture the spatial measures of a place. Or, one could record with a binaural audio device to simulate human listening.
Editing: Editing will clean up the stray sounds, polish the imperfections and allow the director to modify the soundscape to suit a particular expectation.
Ready to get started? Download samples of 3D ambisonic audio to hear for yourself. For the best experience, use headphones (or a 7.1.2 set up, which is normally only found in immersion studios or high-end event venues). The Game Engine Project allows you to see how ambisonic audio looks from a developmental perspective, and is open-sourced to enable you to modify and learn on your own. Enjoy!
Learning More about Ambisonic Audio
Audioscapes run deep, and the complexity of mixing sound for spatial awareness can seem daunting. However, it is entirely manageable if you focus, develop, test and re-iterate your ideas. Below you can find sample content that has helped in our learning-journey. We encourage you to experiment on your own. Reach out if you have questions.
Ambisonic Audio Process
Record sound using an ambisonic microphone that captures sound from all directions (an “omni-directional microphone” with 4 channels).
Encode the ambisonic recording with software like the Ambisonic Toolkit to convert it into a format that can be played back through a surround sound system or headphones.
Playback the ambisonic audio on a compatible surround sound system or headphones to experience the full 360-degree sound.
Ambisonics is a growing skillset for film, events, music, theater and immersive media such as VR and AR. To get started, you can follow some of these videos from our partners who explain the usage, software, and hardware for creating high-impact audio immersion.
The foundation of understanding is the research that explores technological limitations. Find here academic research we have found useful in better comprehending and developing immersive audio systems.