The goal of virtual reality is to immerse the user in the digital experience. But to get there, it has to not only look and sound and move right, but they also have to feel right to the brain. Syncing everything up is important in this equation, but the space in which it operates is also important.
Take the audio side of things.
“If the visual is seemingly 360-degrees, then the audio also has to be coming from different places,” said Andrew Bernstein, the director of Goucher College’s low-residency MFA in Art & Technology and MA in Digital Arts programs. “Our sense of hearing is very much attuned to our sense of place.”
The field of spatial audio is increasingly focused on this link, which is a focus for Master’s students studying virtual reality and interactive media. Many are familiar with the approach in surround sound, but taking that out of a seated movie setting creates another set of considerations, and requires a higher resolution to create that “real” feel.
On Friday, July 27, Bernstein and Baltimore pianist, composer and hip-hop musician Wendel Patrick, will perform written compositions with speakers set up “in the round,” as Bernstein put it, in a 6.2 array (six speakers and two subwoofers). Bernstein, who also plays in the Baltimore band Horse Lords and is a member of the foundation behind experimental music festival High Zero, will be using Envelop, a collection of software tools developed by a San Francisco–based nonprofit cofounded by Goucher faculty member Christopher Willits, for his piece that includes saxophone and electronic music. The software provides tools that can help make spatial audio more accessible for musicians.
“The software makes it easier to work with space and sound,” he said, adding that the hardware is getting less expensive, as well.
The event is the first edition of the Goucher Art and Technology Salon, which Bernstein hopes will help connect the Master’s programs with the community. Beyond music, future sessions could explore where tech fits into design, sustainability and other areas.
Friday’s free concert will be held at Mildred Dunnock Theatre. More info here.
The inaugural Goucher Art & Technology Salon is Friday July 27th, with surround-sound spatial audio performances by visiting artist Wendel Patrick and Goucher faculty Andrew Bernstein #spatialaudio #multichannel #electronicmusic pic.twitter.com/fBiWLPrUdT
— Goucher Art & Technology (@goucherMFAAT) July 12, 2018
From game devs to makers, here’s how technologists are involved in Artscape 2019
Super Meetup is happening at R. House on Thursday, Aug. 8
Baltimore Innovation Week, the annual celebration of tech and entrepreneurship, is returning for its 8th year
How law firm Nemphos Braue is guiding startups along the new business learning curve
5 tips for female founders from DMV investors and tech leaders
How do you turn a network of connections into meaningful relationships?
Brilliant Baltimore: Here’s an early look at the combined Light City and Baltimore Book Festival
Building a data acquisition system? Don’t make this mistake
Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Baltimore