Tag Archives: Cinematography

Ambisonics

In a recent Technical Report we were assigned to explore the differences between Ambisonics and multi-channel audio setups. Having no real sound experience, it was a whole new world of reading, and I found a way to possibly apply this technique to new projects.

Michael Gerzon is considered the father of ambisonics, and developed the technique in the 60s and 70s. Broadly speaking, Ambisonics is a surround sound encoding technique that also gives verticality to a sound, and allows the listener to move around within a sound field. We are mostly used to the cheaper, and more popular multi-channel Dolby Surround etc, which actually have a ‘sweet spot’, your ears need to be in an exact position for the surround to work correctly, and added to this have a ‘speaker hole’ issue, meaning that sound emmitting from a speaker beyond a certain angle will be absorbed by the casing of the speaker.

Ambisonics setups create a sound field in a space, where the listener can walk around without fear of losing the sweet spot. This is idea for my area, as we frequently are housed in exhibitions where the public walks through. With further reading, I hope to be able to explore the idea of ambisonics in our future work. Ambisonic systems are making a resurgence in popularity, primarily due to the development of Virtual Reality.

Within our work, we capture ancient Irish cultural sites, forts, ruins and the like, and to capture a Virtual Reality performance and completely immerse the viewer in a three dimensional sound field appeals to me.

My Area of Research

Atmospheric Irish Recitals

My presentation was on my idea for the continuation of a multimedia art project I was part of last year, and which will be continued in 2017. ‘AiR’ was chosen to represent Ireland at the World Expo 2015 in Milan, and to be part of the Centenary Commemorations in New York.

The areas I will be researching for this continuation will include innovation in camera, astro-timelapse, 4K+ image capture and sub-marine filming in an effort to push what is possible within creating film for digital art and music. Within the digital humanities, I will be exploring areas like VR, motion sensors, 3D scanning, and projections, as well as trying to improve the variety of visuals and sound experiences we can add to the experience for the audience.

Our projects are based on a natural aesthetic, trying to bring the natural environment in as a character, but to film it in unconventional, timeless ways. Timeless in this sense means shooting in a way that the human eye does not normally perceive, either dialling down to slow or extremely slow motion, or extremely fast in timelapse form.
We extend that approach to camera angles, and use drones to capture the natural landscapes from heights and perspectives not normally seen by a viewer. The music, performed by a sixteen piece youth choral ensemble, is a reworking of old Irish music and poetry, sang by a group aged twelve to thirty four, and again avoids more conventional instruments in favour of familiar, but unusual sounds.

There is a blend of the new and the old, and the technical and the artistry in the project we made, and with the ever-changing world of technology, there is more to explore how to visually represent our environment than ever before.