With the recent rise of virtual reality (VR), there is a growing interest in fully spatialized 3D audio. Several plugins are available for implementing 3D audio, and choosing between them can be difficult, especially if you’re tackling this technology for the first time.
While it may seem that all 3D audio plugins do the same thing, there are several factors to consider when choosing the right tool for your project, such as ease of use, performance, sound quality, and level of customisation.
The goal of this article is to perform an objective and thorough review of five leading 3D audio plugins: 3Dception from Two Big Ears, AstoundSound RTI from GenAudio, Phonon 3D from Impulsonic, RealSpace 3D from VisiSonics, and Oculus Audio SDK. I’ll cover their features, compatibility, and pricing, as well as any unique aspects of each plugin. I’ll also report on my personal experience of integrating them into a Unity project, and provide a downloadable interactive demo app that will allow you to audition the plugins, along with video walkthroughs, and performance test results.
This resource is targeted towards sound designers, audio implementation specialists, developers, and anyone interested in using 3D audio in their project, and I hope that people find it helpful!
Looking for some good sound-centric reading this summer? Paul Virostek of Creative Field Recording has collected a number of must-read lists, reviews, and resources on some of the best books focused on creative recording and sound design in a recent blog post.
Included in Paul’s list are some of Designing Sound’s own recommendations, found here and here, but be sure to check out the blog post at CFR for many more great suggestions!
Cities and Memory: Oblique Strategies, a recent collaboration between sound artists, musicians, and field recordists from across the world, was released earlier today. The project brought these sound artists together to create new musical remixes of field recordings from around the world, using Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies cards as guideposts for their creations. It features recordings from locations across 19 countries, and involved 63 contributors, including Designing Sound’s own Berrak Nil Boya. Some of the pieces can be heard currently at the website, and an album of highlights will be released later this month on the Cities and Memory bandcamp.
In a new entry in their podcast series, SoundWorks Collection speaks to Michael Raphael of Rabbit Ears Audio and Rudy Trubitt, Director of Audio for Lionel Trains. They discuss Rudy and Michaels experiences in sourcing new steam whistles for Lionel’s new products, exploring the challenges presented in recording the high-SPL steam whistles and the recording techniques they used, as well as finding unique sounds to fit Lionel’s specific needs.
[ed. This interview was originally intended as a part of our focus on women in March]
Fryda Wolff began her adult life working in video games for 12 years before deciding to run away and join the circus as a voice actor. She can be reached and researched at her website or on Twitter.
Designing Sound: How did you start working in the video game industry and what led you to game audio specifically?
Fryda Wolff : I got my foot in the door via Customer Service for EverQuest, as a Game Master. Three and a half years later, Sony Online Entertainment created its first audio department specifically to support EverQuest II. They needed someone entry level just to implement VO, I applied, and was hired. In high school I’d thought I’d like to become a recording engineer. When I learned that most university programs required credits of math and chemistry, I gave up on that idea. At the time I wasn’t aware of the myriad technical schools that specialize in audio. My entire games and audio education was received while on the job. (more…)
Ever considered using the built-in speaker in the PS4 controller in a sound design? Or are you just curious about some creative approaches to special-case speakers for games? Check out this post by the Rev. Dr. Brad Meyer on the subject over at his blog for some quick info on effective approaches to controller speakers.
Steven Feld, Jonathan Sterne and Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier are among contributors to a new book, Keywords in Sound. Described by publishers Duke University Press as, “a definitive resource for sound studies”, this collection of twenty essays attempts a dialogue with some of the philosophical and historical keywords that permeate the discipline of Sound Studies.
Keywords in Sound – Duke University Press
Keywords in Sound
In their most recent post, A Sound Effect speaks to Supervising Sound Editor Nick Forshager about Better Call Saul. They dig into the particulars of sound design for a comedy series, and the different approaches the teams used on both Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad.
Head here to read the full interview.
Image by flickr user Jen Light, and used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to veiw source.
March is over, and you may have noticed that we’re returning to our usual mode of: “Here’s a theme. Here are a few articles on this theme. Do you want to contribute to the theme?” I think it’s important that we take a moment to talk about the community we have here.
Image hot-linked from the documentary’s website. Click on it to visit.
[ed. This article was originally intended to as part of our focus on women in March, but was delayed for a few reasons, but a good article is still a good article...enjoy!]
Guest Contribution by April Tucker
Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment, share, and reach out about my recent contribution, “Women in Audio: Yes, We Exist!” I was floored by the response, and hope we can continue an open dialog about what we can do to accept anyone who wants to work in our field.
Originally, I wasn’t going to write about being a woman in the industry, and I submitted the article below (which we decided to still share this month). While gender equality is a challenge, we all face challenges in our careers. Those challenges don’t just come from what we look like, where we live (or don’t live), age, race, or gender. In fact, sometimes those traits can be an advantage: Being unique or offering a different perspective can be a huge aid in creativity.