Audio, Audio, Audio: The Key To Virtual Reality Immersion Is The Audio

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McWhiskey

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I see this as a great direction for the industry. I remember quite a few years ago there was a lot of talk about sound quality. 3D game engine developers were hyping that hallways sounded like hallways while outside sounded like outside. SoundBlaster was hyping how many individual sound creating items in a 3D field it could process with its newest sound card. Maybe development on this front continued but the hype disappeared. At the time, I thought I was going to have two very powerful cards running side by side in my PC; one for video and one for audio. On board audio became "good enough" and sound was never mentioned again. New game engines hype all of the visual this and that but sound is barely even mentioned.

Hopefully that all changes soon.

Imagine 3D environments where everything has a visual texture for appearance, a physics texture for behavior and a sound texture for both creating and echoing audio. engines run with virtual cameras. For VR two cameras are used and their spacing is changed based off of the users eye location. Why not use two mics and change their spacing based off of the users ear location?

Maybe this will happen a few generations from now.
 

thezooloomaster

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Audio huh?

I'm not saying it's not important, but am I the only one who thinks immersion implies touch, smell, physical movement in the real world translating in the virtual one?

Sure we need good audio, but let's stop fellating ourselves over half measures.
 

McWhiskey

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Sure we need good audio, but let's stop fellating ourselves over half measures.
That seems a bit harsh. I think everyone has a similar end goal to what you describe. But what you said is like saying "If it's not a holodeck, it's a waste of time." If you don't enjoy reading about the evolution of technology and are only interested in the accomplishment of the end goal, why are you visiting this site?
 

gadgety

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Four comments on this topic, that's all? Hopefully audio will get the attention and resources it deserves, because it is so important for the immersive experience.

"The way that noises sound is important, as well. If you leave an office building and head outside into a busy street, it shouldn't sound like you are still inside the building. This type of thing can break immersion quickly."

And vice versa. In Skyfall, the Bond movie, one of the visually most compelling movies in the series, sound editing and mixing wasn't as convincing as the visuals. The movie starts in a silent building, a little later Bond steps out into an incredibly noisy and busy street. The silence in the building seemed slightly unbelievable, once the noise in the street hit. Now, for VR, audio seamlessness will be even more important.
 

ravewulf

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Fraunhofer may have developed a specific implementation of a HRTF, but I'm not so sure they created the technique. HRTFs and binaural audio are certainly not new and have existed for decades.
 

Thomzey

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AMD TrueAudio could be used for this as it support surround? I think this could be a great idea to put the processing power needed onto a dedicated chip.
 

zodiacfml

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Nah, the company is overrating it. Audio technology doesn't need to have complexity of graphics as the information from human hearing is too small in comparison to visual information. Good example in this case is MP3 technology which is good enough for many people.
The audio technology available from games and movies is a good starting point where the usual limit are the speakers that we use. I can't forget the audio quality coming from the Diablo 1 and Warcraft when I first heard them.
 

thezooloomaster

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Yes, it's harsh. What annoys me most though, trivially, is the title of this article. It's like a 12 year old's attitude to tech: infatuated by every novelty or apparent progression, without any discriminatory faculty whatsoever. I say trivially, because of course that title isn't really representative of the article itself. So, never mind.
 
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