Using VR to teach in unexpected ways
Audio lecturer Nick Harrison is using cutting-edge VR spatial music software to deliver a full 360-degree immersive audio mixing experience for audio students.
Harrison teaches undergraduate and postgraduate audio programs at SAE Creative Media Institute, where he shares his passion for immersive and interactive sound. In the postgraduate program he is able to apply the virtual reality (VR) technology for the Immersive Audio module in the Master of Creative Industries.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SAE’s flexible blended learning model gives me the opportunity to introduce students to immersive audio production — the future of audio. I use this to help demonstrate new immersive mixing tech. The learning is centred around immersive sound design for linear VR, and the students complete 360-degree binaural sound design that can be experienced in VR,” said Harrison.
Harrison uses dearVR Spatial Connect spatial mixing software, augmenting traditional methods used for panning sound in 360 degrees in audio production software like Pro Tools Dolby Atmos and Ambisonics mixing. The technology gives users the opportunity to have 360-degree control of the audio sources alongside levelling, acoustics and automation.
Harrison recently produced a demo that tracks binaural ambisonic mixing and merges sound production skills with cutting-edge technology — all through VR.
“In the demo I’ve used a virtual theatre and played an SAE promotional video on the 2D theatre screen. An interesting benefit of VR is that the speakers can be positioned anywhere — even under the floor,” he said.
The demo can be viewed below.
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