Have you ever heard about 3D sound?
The transition from stereophony to 3D audio and the extraordinary 3D audio experience is likely to change most of our habits.
At the start of the last century, there was only one way of listening to audio: the monophony. Music was broadcasted on one direction only, and it was not very immersive.
A few years later, sound got bigger: the advent of stereophony allowed us to better replicate our soundscape by using two separate audio channels.
The film industry democratized the 3D audio experience, by placing sound sources all around the listener. 3D audio then permeated to the home with the emergence of home cinema.
And today, with a simple pair of headphones; you can enjoy an immersive 3D audio experience anytime and anywhere.
At home, while commuting or at the office, you can dive into the immersive 3D audio experience, which leads you to unreachable universes.
How does 3D audio experience work?
3D sound or binaural audio, replicates the inner workings of the hearing system. The unique shape of our ears modulates the sound waves that reach us.
This modulation, combined with the small differences that our ears perceive, enables us to locate the origin of a sound. Lastly, the level at which we perceive the sound allows us to determine the distance of a sound source.
Thanks to this new technology, documentaries, movies or music are able to offer a wide range of new immersive 3D audio experiences.
The history of 3D audio experience
In 1878, Thomas Edison invented the first recording in which we hear its inventor play an instrument and recite a few lines of text; then burst out laughing.
And thus, was born the audio reproduction!
Until the day when Jean-Luc Haurais, a French computer scientist, had the idea of finding a solution to create a HiFi format with headphones which he called 3D audio.
A revolution! 3D audio!
The illusion of a new hearing dimension is perfect. You can already do this 3D audio experience with your headphones.
And you no longer feel like you are locked in your listening system. It feels like the music is coming to you from somewhere else. Air circulates around the voices and the instruments which are distributed in the space. It feels like they are suspended.
The idea is to create a sound environment that gives the impression that sounds come from different places and also from different distances.
3D audio redefines sound space, just like in reality. It allows the listener to hear each instrument or voice with more details.
The depth effect of 3D audio is unprecedented!
The App Store offers the Virtual Birthday 3D audio app, for iPhone and iPad.
3D audio analysis and research
Current audio and sound systems provide a good listening experience, but they are deprived of certain elements found in a true live sound experience.
That’s why the 3D audio research at AudioLabs tries to move beyond current sound to the more realistic world of 3D audio.
Sound is important because we’re surrounded by sounds, everywhere we go. A wide range of well-known companies offer an extensive variety of devices that can analyze our surrounding sounds.
One of the most famous companies which has done a lot of pioneering works in this field is NTi Audio. They have manufactured a large number of audio and acoustic analyzers including XL2 Audio and Acoustic Analyzer; which can be helpful in research, analysis and also many other areas.
The impact of 3D sound on music
“3D audio sound will change the music completely” said Simon Franglen, the music composer of Titanic. “I myself was surprised to find details in pieces of music that I knew perfectly well in mono or stereo,” he added.
But why should spend so much attention on music in the first place? We are all aware of the benefits of music on our mental health; but what if I tell you that scientists in MIT have created a music piece to show that how corona virus sounds like!
They have turned corona virus structure into music to help them understand it. They gave a different amino acid a unique note creating a musical representation of spikes in the virus particle placed by AL-generated flutes, strings and bell chimes.
The 110-minute track is free on SoundCloud for anyone to hear. It reveals intricate details about how the virus latches onto cells helping the scientists better understand how the virus infect us; and potentially helping them design treatments for COVID-19.
If scientists can find other proteins with similar melody profiles to the virus; these proteins could be used to bind antibodies to the virus, interfering with its ability to infect people.
Firstly, it is important to know that all sounds can be heard in 3D.
Secondly, 3D reproduces all the details which cannot be perceived in mono or in stereo. In addition, it enhances both emotion and realism. Therefore it is not unreasonable to state that 3D audio has a dominant chance to be the future of audio revolution.
So, if you have not had the experience of listening to a 3D sound so far; we highly recommend you to do it and enjoy it!