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Author Topic: 3D audio?  (Read 11244 times)

Les Ismore

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2010, 02:11:12 am »

Q Sound, Spatializer, Roland RSS 3D, etc. They do sound very 3D in the sweet spot, but somewhat ethereal, like looking at a hologram. You definitely don't want to put your kick and snare thru one of these, but very neat for some stuff. Tends to be very funky in mono. The Roland Sound Space unit cost something like $50k I think. (they didn't sell many) It had up and down as well around.
I read that Ed Cherney used to use the Spatializer a lot. Maybe some other guys here used these. It had little joy sticks you could fly stuff around with. I liked the Spatializer the best of the ones I used.
Like SSLtech said, "Transaural". I would disagree with the parlour trick term though, it can be quite useful on some sounds in a mix.
To my (limited) understanding, the programing for these effects came from studying why binaural recording would be perceived as 3D thru headphones and how we process 3D positioning from only 2 ears in general. I'm sure there are people here who know a lot more about it than I do, but I believe it has to do with the effects of our shoulders, spacing and timing delays between L/R, shape of the ears themselves and many other elements that somehow our brain interprets into a 3D positioning system. They then simulated some of these elements into the program to fool our brains into interpreting the soundfield in a different way.
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ssltech

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2010, 09:15:54 am »

M/S processing is transaural I suppose, and that's not without it's uses; but once something is fully panned to one channel or the other, it no longer contains any inter-channel information, in terms of amplitude, phase, or delay.

As a result, the approach really 'works best' only when things occur in BOTH channels to SOME degree, either from being "panned in from the edges" or acoustic crosstalk between microphones, whether in coincident or spaced arrays...

Which explains why with the old 'stereo widening' controls, mixes which were BLENDED a little too 'mono' tended to benefit, while mixes which were full-wide tended to become 'artificial' sounding.

There's also a lot of other factors; suggestion being one of them. For example; when the brain begins to have difficulty accurately localizing a source, it falls back on a simple assumption: The horizontal-plane 'circle of awareness' around the head, (which it builds up through a combination of sight and perceived angle of arrival) has a sighted side (the front) and a blind side (the back). -Since we are sight-dominant, it over-rides any angular vagueness of things it can SEE, using sight for confirmation/correction. -However, for things it cannot see, it assumes that things which it can be fairly sure of must be in FRONT, and things it cannot be so sure of may be BEHIND.

This -believe it or not- is a strong survival-linked instinct. If caveman heard a tiger roar, -but couldn't be sure if it was before or behind- positional vagueness or uncertainty prompts a head-turn to the side. -By this mechanism, anything which SEEMED 'central' (equal amplitude and/or arrival times at both ears) could of course be that way because it's front-and-center, OR rear-and-center... With a nearby saber-toothed tiger, knowing the direction would be VERY important!!!

So by turning the head, -for example to the left- anything behind would now be much louder in the left ear, anything to the front would now appear louder in the right ear.

Interestingly, any of you who have a pet dog can observe a related head-shift, but I'll come back to that later, if I remember...

So... here's where 2-speaker transaural stuff ALWAYS falls down: when you turn your head to try and pinpoint where things come from, your mind's 'circle-of-awareness' image 'collapses', because the confirmation cues aren't there.

Head tracking is thus the ONLY way to make surround work on headphones. Any devices which try to offer 'surround on headphones' without head tracking are utterly pointless.

VERTICAL position can be strongly suggested. -For example, -even though there is NO playback mechanism to direct signals upward or downward, people will ALWAYS hear birdsong as being 'up'. -Try as hard as you like, on a stereo system  with your eyes closed, you can't MAKE birdsong appear as coming from down by your ankles... It's a mental conditioning, and just one simple example of how mental conditioning provides a fertile ground for psychoacoustic 'suggestion'.

Oh, and just declaring something as 'psychoacoustic' doesn't make it clever or mean that attempts to analyse, describe or explain what is happening or why should be abandoned, yet I note that many people seem to take the introduction of the word as an opportunity to drop some line of reasoning... it's most curious.

Okay... the dog thing. I've just been house-sitting and pet-sitting for my mom-in-law, who has a Cocker Spaniel, which actually used to belong to my wife and I.

Anyhow, if you watch what a dog does when it's very curious or interested in something and wants to know more, it will often cock its head to one side and raise its ears.

There are times when a dog (which like us is sight-dominant) is unsighted but can LOCATE things through listening. Take the example the other day of my wife going into my mom-in-law's garage to get something from the garage...

She was talking on the phone, as she walked to, through and back from the garage, but she left the door open a small amount, rather than fully closing it behind her. -The dog -who was very curious as to where she was going and what she was doing- followed her to the door, where it waited, with its head cocked to one side, listening to her voice as she walked away from and back to the door. -You could tell from the position of the dog's head that he knew EXACTLY how far away she was, on the other side of the door.

With the head TILTED, a dog can locate things along a DIAGONAL plane, instead of merely a horizontal plane. -With the door cracked open, this allows him to approximately determine how far away something which given that the source of the voice is around
five-feet-four above the ground. -the footsteps at ground level are also another clue.

The dog of course does this instinctively, rather than thinking it through consciously. -It's tied to food location and threat location, so -again- grows from survival over many generations.

Bear in mind that while my short 'parlour trick' description before does SUM UP my overall feeling of where this usually goes and what the practical applications are, I am actually a little more 'nuanced' in what I really think... It's hard to be accurate without getting VERY lengthy on the subject (as shown by this post!) though.  -I'm still being fairly 'short' in my replies, so I'm still simplifying somewhat, though trying to be a little more thorough.

I've been interested in this since the earlier 1980's when I had some inspiration and tried to build a box to make FX returns etc. more 'spatial' without the usual drawbacks... I looked into it, I built a few prototypes, nothing really worked for ALL purposes, and I learned why. Since then, I've revisited the subject while working with location recording, while studying, designing and building B-format microphones, Ambisonic encoders and decoders (B-format and UHJ) and some other applications.

The one useful thing which I have been able to come up with -and which a few dubbing mixers now use- is a stereo-to-surround 'unwrap' technique, which gives something of the 'illusion' of surround, but is fully LT/RT compatible, so doesn't upset Dolby pro-logic... but apart from that, my investigations have led me to the view that there are -and always will be- drawbacks to any 2-channel-source 'surround' processing techniques, which render them useless in terms of being universal. -We make records too many different ways for anything to work universally.

The video has so many tell-tale signs which appear to support my notion that this approach cannot work universally either... the 'locked' listener head position (I have access to THREE of those Neumann heads here, and a fourth somewhat inferior head which I made myself for 'rough-testing) and the near-anechoic requirement for the listening environment being two big ones.

-But I'm not an 'audiophile', so what do I know!

Twisted Evil

I AM fascinated by the subject though.

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

jimlongo

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2010, 02:56:35 pm »

Co-incidently, Ihad an interesting visit this morning from a French company, Longcat, that is demoing a new 3D audio programming environment for use in your favourite DAW.

It allows you to design a 3d space visually (consisting of size, wall materials, openings, etc., ), insert your source audio within the environment(s) you've created - and then move about within the audio spaces you've created.  It utilizes a plug-in on each track you want to effect, as well as a stand-alone application where you design the space and moves.

Very interesting for film . . . demo plug-in will be available soon . . .

http://www.longcat.fr/web/index.php/en/audiostage
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YZ

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2010, 03:28:50 pm »

I remember a stand-alone PC app called "3daudio.exe"  Smile  from 1992 that did exactly that.

Took ages to process a short clip on my trusty 386/25 with 2 megs of RAM.

Sounded way cool.
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regards,

YZ

ssltech

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2010, 04:19:11 pm »

That sounds something like a furtherance of the Studer VSP from the late 1990's...

http://www.studer.ch/news/fetchfile.aspx?cat_id=swiss_sound& amp;id=1913

It was pretty nice, and included choices of HRTF algorithms. -In the end though, fold-down compatibility has to be considered...

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

Fig

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2010, 04:39:20 pm »

ssltech wrote on Tue, 05 October 2010 12:39



...those of us who don't mind being held in a straitjacket in the center of a padded room.



Is that not the definition of recording engineer?
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Longcat Audio

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2010, 11:23:41 am »

jimlongo wrote on Wed, 06 October 2010 20:56

Co-incidently, Ihad an interesting visit this morning from a French company, Longcat, that is demoing a new 3D audio programming environment for use in your favourite DAW.

It allows you to design a 3d space visually (consisting of size, wall materials, openings, etc., ), insert your source audio within the environment(s) you've created - and then move about within the audio spaces you've created.  It utilizes a plug-in on each track you want to effect, as well as a stand-alone application where you design the space and moves.

Very interesting for film . . . demo plug-in will be available soon . . .



Thanks Jim!

We're happy to announce AudioStage LITE edition, a free limited stereo version of our full-fledged AudioStage.

AudioStage LITE is freely downloadable on our website.

Best,

-Benjamin

mgod

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2010, 12:53:04 pm »

I accept that my reputation as a listener is highly suspect in this forum as I'm an unashamed audiophile with "magic" speakers. Except of course with a few of you who have actually been here and listened.

BUT - in support of what Bill wrote - there is a record any one can go buy that will, from two speakers, very clearly demonstrate sounds wrapping around your head and wandering outside the walls of your room, assuming your system and your acoustics are up to it. If it doesn't happen don't blame the record. Its "Summer" from Wendy Carlos' 1971 record Sonic Seasonings. In my old place, where I had massive speakers that weren't quite as fantasy-based as my current ones but my acoustics were far better (lath and plaster, elevated floor and curved wall/ceiling join - the 30s!), it was jaw dropping. Not to be believed. Now, where my living room is much prettier and has a view of a lake instead of an alley but the walls are sheetrock, stone and glass (the 50s!), its still very dramatic. The LP beats the hell out of the CD, but the CD files played in the MP are still pretty danged shocking.

Conventional 2 channel audio. Conventional being a questionable term in this case.
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Les Ismore

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2010, 06:16:57 pm »

Longcat Audio wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 08:23



Thanks Jim!

We're happy to announce AudioStage LITE edition, a free limited stereo version of our full-fledged AudioStage.

AudioStage LITE is freely downloadable on our website.

Best,

-Benjamin



Lite no worky....

osx 10.6.2 logic, protools etc. program won't run. too bad looks interesting.
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Longcat Audio

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2010, 10:23:45 am »

Les Ismore wrote on Sun, 12 December 2010 00:16



Lite no worky....

osx 10.6.2 logic, protools etc. program won't run. too bad looks interesting.



Thanks for the report: Mac package was damaged and would not run on some systems.

We just published an updated image, it should run OK now on Leopard and Snow Leopard.

Sorry for the delay,

-Benjamin

Longcat Audio

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2010, 06:33:06 am »

Hello prosounders,

We just published a short video to introduce AudioStage LITE.

I hope it shows what you can achieve with object-based mixing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq0NfpMlgPw

As you may see looking at the sometimes jerky mouse cursor ( Rolling Eyes ), everything is handled in real-time, with a plain stereo rendering. And a (terrible) lot of reverb, too.

We plan to put some other videos online soon, showing features available in other AudioStage editions, such as binaural and automations.

Don't hesitate to tell us what you think.

Best,

--Benjamin

maxim

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2010, 04:00:43 pm »

keith wrote:

" ...you can't MAKE birdsong appear as coming from down by your ankles... It's a mental conditioning, and just one simple example of how mental conditioning provides a fertile ground for psychoacoustic 'suggestion'."

fantastic!!!

beautifully put!



".... used to belong to my wife and I."

ahem.....


(noone can escape the grammar police)


benjamin wrote:

"it shows what you can achieve with object-based mixing"

to be honest, i prefer subject-based art practice

the suspension of disbelief is hard enough to maintain, and trompe l'oeils and parlour tricks, usually, only highlight that lack of objectivity

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Longcat Audio

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2010, 08:38:10 am »

maxim wrote on Wed, 15 December 2010 22:00


to be honest, i prefer subject-based art practice

the suspension of disbelief is hard enough to maintain, and trompe l'oeils and parlour tricks, usually, only highlight that lack of objectivity




The subject being one of the objects, a visual representation of the whole scene shouldn't be a problem...

...unless you're versed into complete audio subjectivism, and denounce any possibility of true-knowledge in that field?

Moreover, object-based mixing is not about tricks and trompe l'oeils, but more about having a tool to help the artist-engineer visually construct the scene. This is what you already do with a mixing desk, yet a bit less visually.

Binaural-transaural rendering is an option then, not a prerequisite.

Anyway, you're right: presenting some mixed sound to an audience is an artistic act, and should stay as it stands, whatever tools you use : a window to one's mind, a subjective point of view.

--Benjamin

ssltech

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2010, 09:38:00 am »

maxim wrote

".... used to belong to my wife and I."

ahem.....


(noone can escape the grammar police)



Good catch!

-I MEANT to write "what we used to 'ave as a pet"!

Laughing
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

ssltech

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Re: 3D audio?
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2010, 09:43:24 am »

Longcat Audio wrote

The subject being one of the objects...



I object; -that's highly subjective. It's objectionably less subject to objectivity, but that's a different subject.

Sorry if anyone objects to being subject to being the object of my subjectivity, but it's better than being subject to my objectivity.
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..
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