[X3D-Public] potential free audio formats for X3D - ogg and flac

Dave A dave at realmofconcepts.com
Fri May 10 16:46:26 PDT 2013

Thanks Mike.

Having played with the Oculus Rift for a bit now, I find myself very 
taken with the audio. That is, lack of it.
The demos have neglected sound almost completely. I found a few Unreal 
samples (more fleshed out for games and other demos) which are very 
compelling. I found that it really 'turns on the light in the Uncanny 
Valley' - things you don't notice or are willing to forgive just looking 
at a screen, or even 3D TV, become glaringly out of place in the 'real' 
virtual world, when you are fully immersed. You put on The Rift thinking 
you'll be taken by the scenery, and you are (don't get me wrong) but to 
the point where you want to close your eyes and take in the ambiance of 
Tuscany or Fiji. And then there's no good sound. Umph!

I'm working on beefing up the demos with more sound, and it's a whole 
new world. X3D/VRML is like the only interchange/runtime that includes 
sound (or did Collada add that?)  No sounds in FBX.

So getting sound right is going to be extra important with the advent of 
fast+good+cheap VR HMD's like The Rift.

Dave A.

On 5/10/2013 4:18 PM, Michael Aratow wrote:
> I also agree wholeheartedly with revising the spec for true audio 
> spatialization.
> We should align with the most current and adopted open standard for 
> sound (OpenAL?, and if so, as Michaelis has suggested, convert from 
> ovals to spheres).
> Dave's suggestions are also great; hardware has been able to perform 
> true 3D spatialization of sound for a long time: anyone who remembers 
> Aureal, a descendent of Crystal River Engineering, knows that their 
> cards were easily capable of performing true sound spatialization, but 
> Creative bought Aureal as it was failing and I believe locked up the 
> technology, much like Computer Associates did with the Cosmo Player 
> technology.
> Sound always has taken a second seat to graphics, but is just as 
> compelling.
> Let's get the spec to be able to take on phase and even HRTFs (Head 
> Related Transfer Functions) which are used in true audio spatialization.
> Mike
> On 5/10/13 2:24 PM, Dave A wrote:
>> On 5/10/2013 12:49 PM, Michalis Kamburelis wrote:
>>>>> X3D working group: we should also consider improving the aural
>>>>> spatialization model in next year's X3D v3.4. 
>> Good point!
>> I think it's high time we look at incorporating phase, aka 
>> time-of-flight, into audio. Binaural or holographic sound is more a 
>> matter of the timing between when one of your ears hears a sound 
>> before the other, than of the loudness of that sound. With normal 
>> stereo 'spatialization' the sound can't sound further apart than the 
>> two speakers you have (and multi-speaker systems are, IMHO a hack). 
>> But phase-correct stereo, the sound may even have about the same 
>> loudness in each ear, yet sound like it's coming from 'way over 
>> there' or 'up there' or 'back there'.
>> I'm pretty sure many hardwares support this, and even if not, today's 
>> processors can handle it. It's at least worth looking at. Even if the 
>> typical PC is not up to it today, it will be by the time a spec is 
>> agreed upon.
>> A simple first step would just be to delay the waveform based on the 
>> distance the audio source is from the current camera, +/- inter-ear 
>> distance, plus some attenuation for the more-distant ear. Not too 
>> different from stereo vision in concept.
>> Dave A.
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