Spatial Sound for VR Research

In 2018, I have been conducting research in spatial sound for 360 films (virtual reality) at Griffith University. My research involved the production of a virtual reality film called ‘Afraid of the Dark’ and a thesis/exegesis called ‘Beyond Reality: Bringing a cinematic sound approach to the development of immersive audio for an environmental conservation 360-film.’

If you are interested in either aspect of my work, please get in touch.

For more of an idea, here is the abstract for my paper:

In the rapidly developing field of spatial audio for cinematic virtual reality films, sound production practices from traditional cinema may have a lot to offer in terms of creative design and setting an audience’s mood, emotion and expectations. There are, however, some crucial differences between the two mediums (such as an audience’s freedom of view), and what hasn’t been covered in the literature is a practical exploration of how traditional cinematic sound practices and sound design principles can translate and be expanded for 360-film sound production. This research explores cinematic sound practices and principles within 360-film through the production of a 5-minute, live-action and animation, 360-film entitled Afraid of the Darkthat specifically tackles environmental conservation themes. My role in the project was as director/producer, writer, sound recordist and sound designer, and my practice-led research was supported by a contextual survey including unpublished interviews with a series of cinematic sound designers who have worked on high-end 360-film productions – Tom Myers from Skywalker Sound, California (Collisions), Joel Douek from Ecco VR, Los Angeles (Under the Canopy), Roland Heap from Sound Disposition, London (My Africa), and Mike Lange, Michael Thomas and Heath Plumb, who are a team of experienced virtual reality sound designers from ‘Cutting Edge’, a production company in Brisbane, Australia. The outcomes of this project make a significant contribution towards the adaptation of cinematic sound practices for the rapidly developing field of 360-film production and this approachable and practical research will be beneficial to virtual reality producers and sound designers who are shifting into immersive story-telling.

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