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The Underworld - XR Experience

Project Type / Spatial Audio, VR Experience
Role / Creative Director,  Sound Designer
Year / 2023

Tags / Spatial Audio, Ambisonic, VR
Overview

An underwater spatial audio experience for XR is designed to transport the audience to the depths of the ocean, where they can immerse themselves in the rich and diverse soundscape of the marine environment.

Project Description

This project focuses on the creation of immersive 3D sound experiences. To learn various spatial audio techniques, such as high-order ambisonics, multichannel surround, binaural audio, and many related ideas. Collaborative student projects will involve the development and deploying these techniques in
the Unreal game engine.

Project Objective

Learn how to develop 3-D audio within the ambisonic audio dome, and how to drive this in real time from VR headsets using the Unreal game engine, so that changes in perspective can occur, and so the background soundscapes can be linked to headlock audio presented from the VR headset itself.

The Process

The creative process for this project begins with research into the underwater world, focusing on the sounds and textures of the environment. I also consulted with my friend who is a certified scuba diver to gain a deeper understanding of the underwater ecosystem. He shared some real photos of underwater which I used for reference while creating the visuals in Unreal Engine.

Once I had a strong understanding of the underwater environment, I began to create the soundscape for the project. This involves recording and manipulating sounds from the real world, as well as creating synthesized sounds. I used spatial audio techniques (distance, azimuth, elevation) to create a sense of depth and dimension in the soundscape.

User Experience
User Experience
User Experience

I intend for the user to feel like they are truly underwater when they experience the project. The spatial audio will create a sense of immersion, while the interactive elements will allow them to explore and interact with their surroundings. This project will leave the user with a greater appreciation for the underwater world.

In addition to the soundscape, I also created interactive elements that allow the user to explore and interact with their surroundings. This could include things like interactive bubbles, and trigger a shark animation.

Group 109.png
Software used

Unreal Engine 5,

Reaper,

Dante Audio,

Spat Revolution,

MSP MAX.

Final Video Render
Learning Outcome
  • Understand the different qualities of spatial audio
     

  • Compose spatial audio backgrounds with moving and static elements

  • Link those spatial audio scenes to head-locked audio in the VR headset

  • Use Open Sound Control (OSC) to drive the spatial audio with headset movement and POV

  • Apply a broad range of terms and concepts regarding spatial audio and XR in your critical evaluation of the required readings – be ready to discuss readings in class

Spatial audio for XR.jpg
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