Welcome to part 3 of Audio Post Production Demystified. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here. The media industry is fast paced and ever changing. Here at 344 Audio we are dedicated to keeping up with all of the latest trends and guiding filmmakers through our process. Join us in exploring some of the most highly anticipated emerging audio technologies used today. As an added bonus, we have provided a Language Glossary for our readers.
Immersive Audio Format - Dolby Atmos
So, you are probably wondering, whats the next big step in film sound? We have 4K cinema projection, IMAX, 8K cameras, what has changed in audio?
One of the most exciting emerging technologies in film sound, comes from industry innovators Dolby. Dolby Atmos is a multichannel format that expands on the capabilities of 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound by offering additional speakers (up to 64 speakers in total) with some speakers being placed above the viewer. It also offers object based panning, which means that complex movements are no longer limited by the amount of speaker channels in a system.
The panning data of a sound is more specific and has a higher resolution when more speakers are employed in the playback system. This can create really dynamic and clear mixes with plenty of options to separate elements, as well as provide an immersive experience for viewers.
Other immersive audio formats are being used in 360 video, which employ object based panning, or ambisonics.
Speech Synthesis Technology - Adobe Voco
Adobe were met with considerable criticism and concern when they revealed Voco, a Speech Synthesis Technology that is working towards being indistinguishable from real human voices.
It works by recording at least 20 minutes of a Voice Actors speech, and can then generate phonemes from the resulting material, even some that were not present in the recordings.
The implications of this ethically are concerning to some, but it could mean that one day ADR Recording will become a thing of the past. Voice Actors would simply record their 20 minute's for various accents and dialects, and then license this to Producers for use in a film.
Virtual Microphone System - Slate Digital VMS
Audio software plugin developers Slate Digital, introduced their latest groundbreaking technology recently - Slate Digital VMS.
This hardware/software combination uses an extremely transparent microphone and a sonically neutral preamplifier to capture signals and then process them in to order to replicate some of the industry's most revered modern and classic microphones.