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Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 | 0 comments

“Hearing Lips and Seeing Voices” – The McGurk Effect

Want to see something that’ll mess with your head?

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Now, you may not have noticed anything all that strange watching the video, but mute the sound and watch it again. After that, close your eyes and listen to just the audio. Notice anything strange now? You’ve just witnessed one of the more interesting perceptual illusions, the McGurk effect.

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Posted by on Dec 7, 2014 | 5 comments

Designing Sound Discussion Group – Psychoacoustics for Sound Designers

You can watch today’s webinar here on Designing Sound, or…if you’d like to ask questions…you can join us over on Google Hangouts to participate more directly. If you’d like to ask some follow up questions, please reach out to us through our contact page, ping me on twitter or drop a comment below.

Additional media used during the presentation after the break.

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 | 1 comment

It’s All in Your Head…

Image from Flickr user Allan Ajifo, used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Image from Flickr user Allan Ajifo, used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that all of the sounds we hear in our life are actually the result of post-processing in our brains? That what you hear might not actually be what the person next to you hears? The combination and coordination of organs that goes into the interpretation of fluctuations in atmospheric pressure is truly a marvel. We’ve given ourselves a pretty hefty challenge this month; we’re going to be focusing on Psychoacoustics. It’s not an easy subject to approach from a sound designer’s perspective, but we’re going to attempt it anyways.

…and rather than put together a separate announcement post…

This coming Sunday (December 7th), at 3:30PM U.S. Eastern, I’ll be hosting a webinar version of my AES “Psychoacoustics for Sound Designers” presentation. So, mark it on your calendars, and come to the site to watch…or go directly to our Google+ page so you can interact and ask questions during the presentation.

Next month’s featured topic will be Education. As always, we encourage contributions from the community. If you would like to contribute to this or next month’s discussions, or have something off-topic that you would like to share with the community, contact shaun {at} this website.

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Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 | 0 comments

New Research Initiative Will Dig Deep Into All Things Reverb

A project funded by the EU is taking on the challenge of modelling, synthesizing and analysing acoustic reverberation. The DREAMS (Dereverberation, Reverberation of Audio, Music and Speech) project began in February 2013 and is expected to run for three years. The research initiative is being led by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), and will focus on four areas seen as pivotal to our understanding and experience of (de-)reverberation: room acoustics; signal processing; psychoacoustics; speech and audio processing. And although the research itself  is pretty technical it is expected that the findings could lead to improvements in a whole range of audio outputs and devices, such as tablets, mobile phones, etc. But will it fix the perennial problem of PA announcements at train stations?
Project website: http://www.dreams-itn.eu/

 

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Posted by on Dec 24, 2012 | 13 comments

Panning Reverb Returns

Guest contribution by By Douglas Murray

OK, here is the ugly truth for film post, or really any surround sound work… Most reverb plug-ins do not sound natural for applications using greater than 1 or 2 speakers. What you don’t want: a reverb that jumps to completely different speakers from the source. What you do want: a reverb that spreads out from the sound and helps localize it and define the space it’s in. While I haven’t tried every reverb or surround reverb plug-in for Pro Tools, it’s a very exceptional reverb that sounds localized around the position of the source signal without having to pan the reverb return’s output. The focus of this article is localization of reverb in post for sound effects, dialog, and other discrete sonic events. Localization is of less concern for more enveloping sounds such as ambiences or music, which seem to tolerate more general spatial spreading.

In this article I’ll describe:

  • why it is desirable to have the early reflections and reverb bloom outward from the direction of
  • the source signal as in nature,
  • how these principles must be exaggerated for the theatrical film sound environment,
  • how stereo reverbs require panning to work in a multi-channel world,
  • how most multi-channel reverb plug-ins largely disregard the direction of the source sound,
  • how to simulate reverb localization with existing plug-ins in Pro Tools (more work and less accurate than it should be, today),
  • And finally, I will describe a reverb plug-in that does what I want it to do. It seems so simple and obvious! Why is it so rare?
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