2014 Workgroup Topic Proposals

The Dream Dugout: New Best Practices for Dream-Team-Building

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When it’s time to build the dream product, or series of products, yer gonna want yer best possible noises.

So you bring in the Dream Team, naturally, but how best to set them up?  What tricks have Time and Experience taught us about the environment, the structure, the attitude–and how can we anticipate changes to those lessons over the next few years?

How do these things change in the future, with vastly improved collaboration tools, teleconferencing, telepresence, lifecasting, and with new tools blurring lines between “integration,” “music” and “sound design:”  Who punches the clock at the factory, who commutes to his garage studio in bunny slippers?   How big are the teams?  How do we account for slippery job titles?  How frequent are physical/virtual meetings?  What’s flow of control and command will work best?  What about interactions Audio has with the deeper technical teams and loftier Vision-Holders?  Collaborations with outside contributors?  What about it?  HUH?  WHAT ABOUT IT?!?!?!?


2014 Workgroup Topic Proposals

Making Binaural Work: Bringing back “Handsome’s” suggestion from 2013

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Looks like there’s lots of interest in Binaural and Headphones this year.  Hmmmm.

I don’t recall who is handsome, let alone who “Handsome” is (Howard Brown?) but I like this topic, and it appears to have slipped through the cracks of 2013’s Giant Brain.  Can we take another swing at it?  



Make Binaural work

We often talk about ‘immersive audio’, where one feels like they are in the middle of a game, orchestra or movie. The use of spatial audio (HRTFs, room models, BRIRs, etc.) to render these immersive scenes is usually the ‘go-to’ idea. Some of the problems with synthetic spatial audio, as well as binaural field recordings, are:

1) The visual cues are missing or wrong.
2) Head motion is not taken into account.
3) HRTFs are generic and not individualized.
4) The listener’s environment is not taken into account.

That last point is particularly important. If you have a binaural recording made in a small room, but you listen to it in a large room, it will sound terribly colored. In fact, if the room you are listening in is not taken into account, any synthetic or binaural recording will have coloration.

Another big issue is that, if the visual cue is missing, the listener tends to localize the sound behind them (or at least somewhere outside of their field of vision).

So what can be done to mitigate these issues? Is this something that we can engineer (i.e., build me some new, celebrity endorsed headphones), or is it a matter of getting the signal processing just right (can you say ‘head tracker’, hallelujah!), or are there limitations at the cognitive level that need to be addressed?