The
Basics
Computer
Audio
The
Details
System
Configuration
The
Credentials
The
Development
The
Music
The 3D Audio
Experience
Headphones
vs. Speakers
The
Appendix

HEADPHONES vs SPEAKERS vs 3D

Another item I think is highly relevant to three dimensional audio - the use of external speakers to create a three dimensional audio environment eliminates any need to wear any cumbersome headphones – the wearing of which automatically limits our hearing to a stereo audio environment and thus requires faking a true three dimensional audio environment within that stereo field. And even though the use of headphones is inherently self-limiting because of that fact, headphones are exactly what is being implemented in current commercial virtual reality products.

It is the elimination of the headphones that will allow our ears to perform their natural function in a true three dimensional audio environment. Using the human body itself as part of the process seems like the best idea to me. Cheapest too. There is no need to attempt to approximate/fake a 3D audio environment within an inherently limited stereo field when our ears and brains actually filter and translate a three dimensional audio experience into stereo much better than any electronic/digital device or mathematical algorithm.

My experiences with three dimensional sound in games - I have been playing video games since Pong was released several decades ago - is that the mathematical algorithms that are used to approximate (fake) a true 3D immersive sound using an inherently limited stereo configuration are not able to fool our ears successfully. Based on that repeated observation my opinion is that the easiest way, indeed the ONLY way, to successfully convince our ears a sound environment is three dimensional is if it created in a discrete 3D audio environment. Heavy number crunching is the computer’s forte, all it needs is to be properly configured to focus that ability in a particular direction.

A 3D audio configuration/environment - such as SQ 3D - opens up the possibilities of programming immersive three dimensional audio environments that are completely capable of providing an aural experience that accurately and successfully replicates our natural environment. Where sounds can both originate from and move in all six directions though that audio environment.

My current research involves experimenting with the THREE stereo quadraphonic environments inherent in the sound cube configuration and to find out how to best use the potential of the thirteen quadraphonic audio planes. Think of J.S. Bach placing a choir in the loft above and behind the church pews to sound like angels from heaven and magnify the effect a thousand fold because not only can the sound of a choir come from above or behind, so can any sound at any time. As well as the fact that now multiple sounds can move up and down in addition to left, right, forward and backwards.

A Stereo Quadraphonic based configuration is the easiest concept/configuration to achieve the goal of 3D audio because it combines multiple pathways to access all three dimensions within the sound cube with simple geometrically based configurations – all of which are a perfect match for an entirely digital three dimensional audio system. It all breaks down into relatively simple mathematics – at least, relatively simple for a computer.


The
Basics
Computer
Audio
The
Details
System
Configuration
The
Credentials
The
Development
The
Music
The 3D Audio
Experience
Headphones
vs. Speakers
The
Appendix

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by Chaz Williams
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