The objective of this research is to improve my knowledge of Immersive Sound, specifically on Binaural 3D Audio, providing answers to key questions.
The desired outcome is to be competent and able to create original content within such a field. The research will provide information about the essence of the format, the required technology and how it can be consumed, describing its purpose and limits.
What is Immersive Sound?
Immersive Sound can be defined with two of its main features: space and technology.
Space because it provides the listener with a natural ("life-like") three-dimensional sound experience unlike anything heard before in traditional 2D surround solutions. It creates the sensation of height all around the audience, transporting them into a more thrilling and deeper audio experience. (Stormaudio.com, n.d.)
Technology because it involves new formats, codecs and development of devices in order to create multimedia texts available to consumers. Among the formats: Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D, Wellenfeld Syntheses, Ambisonics, Binaural 3D.
I have decided to focus on Binaural 3D as it is the format that, nowadays, requires fewer resources, both in terms of software and hardware.
Also because it intrigues me the way it can be used and what it may open the doors for, in terms of opportunities and creativity.
What is Binaural 3D Audio?
As described by DearVR in DearVR Pro manual, "Binaural 3D Audio is a technology that simulates the human spatial hearing via headphones. If you listen to common stereo audio with headphones, the perception of all sound sources is located inside your head - between your left and your right ear. With 3D Audio you get the sound outside of your head where it belongs. A sound appears to emanate from a specific point - anywhere within a full 360° three-dimensional sphere."
As stated, to consume a Binaural 3D Audio product the listener only requires headphones; a way less expensive requirement compared to Dolby Atmos, which systems involve a full set of several speakers. Same applied to the producer, although in the production stage may be a limit due to headphones limitations.
Which tools are required to create Binaural 3D Audio?
Luckily nowadays, with the use of a single plugin per channel in a DAW session, it is possible to convert an audio file to 3D.
The choice of the plugin is vast. During my research and investigation, I went across several ones: dearVR Pro by dearVR, 360pan suite by Audio Ease,