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Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 | 2 comments

Auditory Perspective: Putting The Audience In The Scene


(CC BY 2.0) OiMax

By Karen Collins

Adapted from a forthcoming article in Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal


An often overlooked aspect of sound design is the use of sound to create a sense of identification for the audience. Just as with using point-of-view with camera angles, sound can be used to create an auditory position for the listener/audience, putting them “there” in the space, creating an emotional response and empathy, or  distancing them from the action.

Auditory perspective is constructed by a variety of techniques that create or reinforce the physical sense of space for the listener through the use of spatialized sound. These techniques combine physical acoustics with psychoacoustics (the perceptual aspects of our response to sound). For example, the perceived location of a sound can appear to emanate from between two loudspeakers, in what is referred to as a “phantom image”. The techniques commonly used to create and reinforce a sense of acoustic space for the listener including microphone placement, loudspeaker placement, and digital signal processing effects.

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Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 | 0 comments

Nightmares and Soundscapes: Implementation of Acoustic Ecology Related Sound Design Techniques to Better Terrify your Players

Guest Contribution by Dr Tom Garner

silenthill_09This article addresses contemporary concepts regarding how we attune to sound within a fear context and discusses the potential impact of these ideas upon sound design, specifically with regards to evoking disorientation in survival horror computer games. Relevant theory is distilled to consider an ecological perspective of sound experience within a survival horror game context. We then discuss how this approach will likely impact upon future practice as we, as designers, strive to develop sound production and implementation techniques that have increasingly greater potential to unnerve, panic and otherwise terrify even the most hardcore of gamers.

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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:


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Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 | 6 comments

Review of Zynaptiq’s Reverb Reduction Processor – Unveil

Reverb reduction is kind of like the Holy Grail of audio processing. Many people, myself included, have had to rely exclusively on multiband expansion to do things like increase intelligibility of poorly recorded dialog, or to make a “must use” reverberant recordings sit better in the mix. Unveil isn’t brand new to the market. It first came to my attention about a year ago. It’s also not the first reverb reduction plug-in to the market. What Zynaptiq brings to the table with Unveil is a processor with a high level of control. In fact, there is a such a fine level of tuning built into the processor that it is possible to INCREASE the amount of reverb in a signal.

My initial experiments with Unveil’s demo left me very impressed with its capabilities. I did not, however, spend a great deal of time plumbing its depths. Since developing my first impressions of the processor, a number of reviews have popped up in the community. All are very positive, but I have yet to see one explore the processor to its limits. Zynaptiq recently sent us a review copy of the full retail plug-in, and that’s what I set out to do…examine both its capabilities and limitations.

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