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1.618 Digital To Present at Digital Catapult’s Surroundscapes Showcase

We are excited to announce that 1.618 Digital will be one of the six companies chosen from all over the UK to present our work and projects at Surroundscape next week.

Surroundscape is organised by Digital Catapult in collaboration with the BPI, and aims to showcase the amazing work being done with immersive audio, presented by some of the most innovative companies across the country. The event is scheduled for 17th of July, and you can register your interest to attend using the link below.

To learn more about the projects we goign to be presenting check out link sbelow:

We hope to see you there!

1.618 Digital Team

Surroundscapes Brochure – https://we.tl/t-qpOQokuIFR

Event information/Registration – https://www.digicatapult.org.uk/activities/event/discover-the-power-of-immersive-sound-surroundscapes/

Press Release – https://www.digicatapult.org.uk/news-and-views/blog/surroundscapes-exploring-the-power-of-sound-in-vr-ar-immersive/

1.618 to Feature in TBV Europe

We are excited to share that 1.618 Digital has been featured in an article for the May 2019 issue of TVB Europe Magazine, a publication about news and business insight in the entertainment industry.

The issue containing the article will contain information about the company’s background story, the insights on immersive audio production and the latest projects.

Be sure to check it out!

TVB Europe 64 – May 2019 https://issuu.com/futurepublishing/docs/tvb64.digital_may2019/14

1.618 Digital Team

Common Ground to Premier at The Tribeca Film Festival 2019 in New York

We are delighted to announce that Common Ground: A Virtual Reality Documentary will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival from 24th April-5th May at Spring Studios in New York City.

Darren Emerson from East City Films will present his 30 minute interactive documentary covering the Aylesbury Estate Regeneration Project and the impact it will have on the working-class residents that currently live there without any control over the situation.

If you’d like to make it to the show and see the product of our hard work, click the link for more information and ticket availability: https://www.tribecafilm.com/festival

For information on Common Ground  and to see a trailer, see our festival page: https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/common-ground-2019

1.618 Digital Team

Oliver Kadel to Present at AES Conference

We are thrilled about presenting our work at the upcoming Audio Engineering Society Conference on Immersive and Interactive Audio.

Oliver Kadel and Professor Justin Paterson co-wrote a paper on the subject of Immersive Audio Post-production for VR & 360º content.

For more information follow the links below

International Conference on Immersive & Interactive Audio – http://www.aes.org/conferences/2019/immersive/

White Paper – http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=20433

1.618 Digital Team

Oliver Kadel Will Moderate Sennheiser Panel on Sound Design For Mixed Reality at GDC 2019 in San Francisco

We are delighted to announce that 1.618 Digital Co-Founder and Audio-Lead Oliver Kadel will be moderating the Audio Design for Mixed Reality Applications panel at the Game Developers Conference on 21st March 2019.

The panel will cover the latest tools and the workflow for sound design for mixed reality as well as challenges and innovations that are shaping the future of the immersive audio industry. The panel features special guests Jean-Marc Jot, Gio Jacuzzi, Jack Daniel Gerrard and Orfeas Boteas.

For more information on tickets, schedules and how to attend GDC 2019, visit https://www.gdconf.com/

We hope to see you there!

The panel was recorded and later released as a Podcast Episode. For information follow to our podcast page below: https://1618digital.com/immersive-audio-podcast-episode-22-audio-design-for-mixed-reality-applications-panel-hosted-by-sennheiser-at-gdc-2019/

1.618 Digital Team

1.618 To Join The Panel at The BVE Expo 2019 Excel London

1.618 Digital will be hosting a panel, Merging Realities: Audio for Augmented Reality, at the BVE 2019 Expo Excel London, where Founder and Audio Lead Oliver Kadel will be discussing the latest advancements in audio tech for Augmented Reality. We’d love to see you there!

The panel discussion takes place on the 27th of February at 4 PM. You can get your free ticket here: Ticket Registration

Merging realities: Audio for Augmented Reality BVE Seminar Programme 2019

Check out what else is taking place at BVE 2019.

See you soon!

1.618 Team

Sonic Logo

SONIC LOGO – PART 3

Audio branding is a powerful tool for companies and products to reinforce a brand or corporate identity. Successful companies like Twitter, Nike and McDonald’s are instantly recognisable through their blue bird, swoosh and golden arches icons. Like these icons, sonic logos are crafted to represent a brand, by taking a word or a concept and translating it into a sound.

Audio branding can build a soundscape which represents the identity and values of a brand or company. Music and sound are emotive and transcend language but still convey meaning with great clarity, so when designed successfully, sonic logos create implicit associations with companies and products in our minds. Strategically using sound to differentiate a brand or product can enhance recall and improve sales while creating a subconscious preference. Used in conjunction with visual cues, it is possible to create multi-sensory brand communication and brand design.

Sonic Brading isn’t just for big corporates

Sonic logos and audio branding aren’t just for huge, global brands. They can also be beneficial to small companies, helping them to make an impact on current and potential customers by increasing brand awareness and loyalty.

Like with any logo, when designing a sonic logo it is essential to first establish what the brand stands for. All different mediums used should reflect a consistent picture of the brand values a company wishes to convey in a distinctive manner. Successfully created logos generally consist of a core melody, voice or a unique sound effect or a combination of some sort, are usually only a few notes or beats in length and can be built to scale from stadiums to mobile devices by using various instrumentation.

Though sonic logos became popular through radio, the opportunities to use these have increased in recent years with the rising popularity of podcasts and new media, and devices with built-in audio delivery. When used correctly they can be incredibly effective, like Intel’s instantly recognisable 5 notes composed by Walter Werzowa.

McDonald’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE1B3N_a7fE

Intel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ihRPi4wcBY

The landscape of future media is changing rapidly

As the IoT (Internet of Things), along with smart home speakers like Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod and many others, become more and more prominent in our everyday lives, it is necessary for brands to start future-proofing for a time that is less reliant on screens. When most devices offer visual cues, audio cues can seem superfluous and unnecessary. As virtual assistants like Alexa are becoming more popular there is a need for users to receive information without having to rely on visuals. Music and sounds can be more useful and less intrusive than voice. If the user knows the meaning, a simple note or sound can convey as much information as a full sentence.

Brands that want to remain current will need to create a sound landscape that is pleasant and useful to users and informs without distracting. This also extends to AR or MR (Augmented or Mixed reality), where sonic communication is overlaid on the top of the real world – a properly designed sonic logo and soundscape will trigger brand awareness in a user without visual branding is necessary. Furthermore, there is a significant uptake in immersive branding where global brands are enjoying a whole myriad of new tech enabling them to promote their products and services in VR (Virtual reality) or in 360 Videos. Within this media the sonic logo can be implemented in 3D as spatial audio, adding a whole new level of engagement.

As we enter a new age of emerging tech the opportunities to experiment with new formats of sonic branding will increase significantly and those who embrace this will enjoy a competitive advantage.

To find out more about the world of immersive audio or if you’re interested in designing a sonic asset for your brand please get in touch with us: contact@1618digital.com

Example of 1618 Digital’s own sonic logo: https://youtu.be/9Zc2UDy_2TY

For previous articles on sonic branding please visit our blog page.

1618 Digital Team

Double Nomination at Raindance Film Festival

Awards season is upon us and here at 1.618 Digital we’re very excited to announce that two projects we’ve worked on have been nominated at the Raindance Film Festival.

First up, In My Shoes: Intimacy, by Jane Gauntlett and Visualise, has been nominated in the Best Sensual Experience category.

In My Shoes: Intimacy is a 360 experience which explores the power of human connection. Put aside your inhibitions, let these strangers guide you through their impromptu, unconventional & intense moments of intimacy. Intimacy is a first-person documentary designed for two people to experience three encounters from six very different perspectives. To read more about this project please check this case study or see the nomination here.

Next, Laphroaig by Darren Emerson and VR City has been nominated in the Best Branded Content category.

This film takes you on a journey into the heart of the historic Laphroaig whiskey distillery on the beautiful island of Islay. See the nomination here.

Huge congrats to everyone involved and fingers crossed for the awards announcement later today!

Good luck to all industry friends who also have been nominated.

1.618 Digital

What YouTube’s Heatmap Is Really Saying About 360 Video

YouTube recently announced a new analytics tool for 360-degree and virtual reality content creators: heatmaps that illustrate where viewers are actually looking. The new tool allows creators to see exactly what parts of their video are holding a viewer’s attention, and for how long.

YouTube has also released some enlightening early statistics on how – and this is important – viewers currently engage with immersive content.

“Surprisingly” (says YouTube), viewers spend 75% of their time focused on the front 90 degrees of an immersive video. Understandably, this figure has a lot of people questioning the point of VR content if the audience is only willing to engage with a quarter of it.

It’s an easy argument to make, but perhaps what these numbers are really saying is that VR content creators need to learn new ways to grab viewers attention in a 360º world?

Ever since moving pictures became something we watched for entertainment purposes, our eyes have been guided by camera angles to tell us where to look. For over a century that’s what the viewing audience has come to expect.

Virtual reality reminds us very much of the 2D world of film and television, but it’s an entirely different medium with its own set of rules that are still being written. Nothing is set in stone.

And camera angles? Well, those are up to the viewer to choose.

Content creators in the virtual reality space have the difficult task of catching the attention of an audience with over 100 years of collective viewing experience of looking straight ahead.

Does this make virtual reality a fad? A gimmick? No, of course not. It simply means that VR can’t rely on the same tools that have been used for film and television to engage an audience in a fully-immersive format.

That’s a lot of unlearning to do for content creators, and a lot of new learning to do as the format develops. It’s an exciting new frontier.

Back to YouTube’s statistics: the most popular VR videos had the audience looking behind them almost 20% of the time. Markers and animation are what the company suggests will help draw attention to other parts of the surrounding space. In our day to day lives our attention is constantly guided by signs, so it’s a helpful suggestion. But think about this: what’s the one sure thing that will make you stop whatever you’re looking at and focus your attention elsewhere?

Sound…

We are programmed to react to sound. In a split second we must figure out where that sound is coming from and what it means. It is as true in the virtual world as it is in the real world, which is why 1.618 Digital is passionate about high-quality spatialised sound.

Spatial audio can be an effective tool to lead or surprise your audience.  By being in the habit of looking in one direction at any given time, the viewer can easily miss out on what is happening behind or beside them. Through the creative implementation of sonic cues within an immersive environment content creators can control or suggest a narrative. Ultimately, this encourages the audience to engage with specific elements – or viewing angles – within the experience.

Virtual reality is an effective form of visual storytelling. What YouTube’s early heatmap data points to isn’t VR’s failure to engage its viewers. It’s the bigger picture of where audience attention currently is, and the gaps content creators need to fill to direct it elsewhere.

1.618 Digital Team

Discussing the importance of spatial audio on happyfinish.com

Importance of Spatial Audio In VR Content

Hearing is fundamental to our perception of the surrounding world.  Achieving this effect in virtual reality requires audio that sounds real and authentic.  Implementing spatial audio to create full immersion in 360° video or interactive VR requires capturing audio or a physical acoustic modeling of the space where the scene takes place.  An appropriate soundscape can provide the quickest path to immersion for just about any VR experience, and even removing the visual element, still enables us to sufficiently perceive the surrounding world – giving us a sense of space, time, and presence.  In contrast, the silent experiences, or the ones with incongruent sound would break the sense of presence and immersion, thus immediately removing the suspension of disbelief, and as a result substantially degrading the overall experience.

Spatial sound recording or let’s do it in post?

The use of conventional industry formats such as Mono (single channel) and Stereo (two channels) are a basic requirement, although they are limiting and no longer sufficient to offer full immersion in 360° videos or interactive VR experiences.  The use of spatial audio is the only way to create true three-dimensional audio, which utilises higher number of channels, be it capturing sound on location or through the means of sound design and mixing in post-production.  Depending on the nature of the project both methods are important.  Often to design the full sonic experience in VR, it requires spatial sound recording on set along with sound design and spatialisation of individual elements in post-production such as atmosphere, dialogue, foley, sound effects, and music.

Ambisonic format is the most effective method to capture location sound

There are a number of ways to capture the location sound.  However, the most effective method is to record in an ambisonic format which utilises four channels capturing the sound in all directions, along with discrete sound sources such as dialogue or any required diegetic sounds that are part of the scene.  The latter can then be positioned accordingly within the 3D soundfield by employing specialist spatialisation software within audio editing application or a game engine.  This approach enables VR audio content makers to work with an adequate resolution within the virtual space for positioning sound components across four, 16 or more virtual or physical channels.

Ambisonic sound offers a number of significant benefits that play a crucial role in making experiences as realistic as possible.

-Firstly, sound that was captured in all directions then enables the user to move their head and body while wearing any head-mounted display, and with a use of head-tracking system perceive their own dynamic position within the space in relation to the surrounding environment.

-Second, greater channel count offers more accuracy in positioning individual elements within the 3D space. This avoids everything coming from the same general direction as is common when listening to music, but lacking in realism when comes to creating a metaverse or offering your audience an authentic 360° video experience.

Why is this essential?

The considerations mentioned above are essential due the phenomenon described as a head-related transfer function (HRTF), which is a response that informs how our ears perceive sound from own position in space.  Collectively, head-related functions for both ears give a perception of binaural sound, enabling us to effectively identify a location and a distance of sound sources by constantly receiving sonic information to measure sound intensity and the time difference between sounds arriving to both ears.  We re-create this psychoacoustic process in post-production to then achieve a latency-free, real-time binaural rendering via a close approximation of personal HRTF.  It is essential to take human physiology into consideration when making audience fully immersed and enjoy their experience, be it a story, game or cognitive therapy etc.

The use of audio in marketing campaigns to guide your audience in 360° content

Unlike 2D content where a viewer can see the entire field of view in one direction, the 360° environment presents challenges as well as the opportunities for creative content makers when it comes to constructing the narrative.  Spatial audio can be an effective tool to lead or surprise your audience.  By looking in one direction at any given time, the viewer can easily miss out on what is behind them or sidewards, by implementing sonic cues within the space we can control or suggest a narrative.  By helping our audience to navigate through their point of view, we can ultimately guide them to and encourage them to engage with a specific element within the experience.

What is more important?

When combined effectively, fully integrated visual and sonic perception work in perfect harmony that enables us to see, hear, feel and appreciate the beauty and richness of our world.  Virtual reality already proved its effectiveness in video storytelling, gaming, educational training, social interaction and medical applications.  In order to make any of the above experiences successful, it requires a coherent approach of applying sound and visual content to make it as effective for its purpose as possible – more immersive, more authentic and as the result more engaging, more memorable, more empathetic, more fun and ultimately good enough to have a desire to come back and experience it again and again.

1.618 Team