Okay, people have two ears - makes it easy to figure out if a sound is to the left or to the right. But amazingly we can also determine if a sound is above, below, behind, or in front of us. How does that work? Top Men have figured out that it has to do with the folds and shape of the ear itelf, subtle delays and distortions of the sound that our brain subconsciously interprets to accurately pinpoint a sound location in 3D space.
There are ways to record sound with more of the 3D attributes, but holophonic sound (patented in 1983 by Umberto Gabriele Maggi) is produced by recording and processing multiple sources to produce some very distinctive 3D results. We've included links to a few sound samples...
Headphones required. (You won't get the effect without 'em.)
Box of Matches (best sample)
Hair Cut with Scissors
Whispered Sweet Nothings
Assorted Demo (not as good)
Pink Floyd's "Final Cut" album has some holophonic sound on it. But in an interview in 1983 David Gilmour claims they really didn't do it justice. It still might be worth a listen on your iPod.
Seems like with today's processing power, we should be able to simulate this in real-time. Anyone?
Previous related Wohba links:
Villainous Youth Repellent