Sound map

Spatial Sound Experiences

In the subproject Memory Fables I have been thinking about how to create historical content for historic sites and make them engaging for the audience. Most often it usually historical materials require a lot of imagination of the reader to truly experience the story.  It takes a time machine to really be able to get the same feeling as when the events took place. If we can determine the location of the story, at least you can instead think about on how to the sound from the past will be like when the actual event took place. What I experienced in several experiments and user tests is that users lose focus to listen, enjoy and learn from the experience when the story becomes too flat. So there is also a challenge in writing the screenplay for the location, but I’ve focused on making it possible to come technically close to the historical sound experience as possible.

Digital audio is default played in regular stereo, ie that the sound is played by 50% the volume of the left headphone and 50% volume of the right. Even if the user moves the sound stays 50% in each ear.

At the moment, I test how to make experiences through changing sound frequencies, volume fade ins and outs, panning and positioning of the sound to get it tied to where the information is unfolding. By thinking about the sound of the place with Chion´s (1995) concept of the world around the screen (what you see), offscreen (what you do not see) and non-diegetic (voice over, music, subjective) sounds and the boundaries between them becomes clearer to outline scenarios and potential content to find out what type of functionality is required.

So far I have tested how sound can be moved behind the listener and how you can pan the sound when walking freely around different sound, the result is that the spatial experience increases and sounds feel more real.

Please listen to the video link in headphones, then it might become easier to understand what I am getting at:

What becomes especially clear in the video is that the visual play very large role. When you add audio that is not visible, it becomes more difficult to relate to the position, and then the sounds to be thought out for the place they will set in.

I also examined the conditions for interacting with content related to places where you have to weave in social, cultural and material aspects of the context. But it is of course also about traffic, architecture, time, and integrating functions for them too. User tests and m