Sound is 70% of what we see, or so the mantra goes. Much is made of sound design for traditional films, but how do you create an effective sound mix for VR?
George Lucas once said that “sound and music is half the entertainment in a movie”, but he may want to up that percentage when applied to VR. As anyone who has popped on a headset may testify, the feeling of disorientation is amplified by sensory deprivation. Sound amplifies emotions and adds realistic depth to otherwise hollow visual experiences. If the sound doesn’t faithfully match or fully immerse you in the picture as you turn your head, your ability to navigate and enjoy the experience suffers.
This is, even more, the case with so-called full VR, otherwise known as 6DOF (six degrees of freedom), the ability to walk around within a 360-degree environment. Without convincing audio, the audience can’t feel fully embedded in a virtual reality story.
Start-up G’Audio Lab thinks it has the answer. It has devised a format that it claims provides a superior sense of localisation and sound quality compared to any other current technology.
Its spatial audio post production solution, Works, can be added to Avid Pro Tools as an AAX plugin and assists in the positioning of object sounds in a virtual environment. It has also built a renderer SDK, called Sol, to support GA5, which can be integrated into any web player, HMD, or standalone app.