How do you generate personalized 3D audio?

Here are some photos demonstrating the time-consuming, expensive, and complicated process most commonly used (here on myself) to generate personalized 3D audio

The photos are currently offline for this post. They will be back very soon!

Below is a run-down of the process normally involved, which makes the technology difficult to commercialize in its current form. Thus the push for a viable method in the current ‘listen with your own ears’ project in which a personalized 3D audio will be generated from a simple photo of the person’s head and ear.

A sound proof anechoic (no echoes) chamber is needed first.

Then tiny microphones are placed into my ears.

I am then seated in the middle of the chamber with the microphones inside my ears, and a head tracker on my head to let us know the position of my head at all times. Then sounds are played consecutively out of the three small speakers seen in the above photo on the robotic arm. The sounds are recorded with the small microphones in my ears. Then I am rotated around say 15 degrees on the chair and the sounds from the speakers are again played and recorded. This process continues for a full rotation, and then the robotic arm rises up a few degrees and a new rotation begins. This way the sound from the speakers is recorded from many positions on an imaginary sphere around my head.

The recorded signals taken from the microphones for the many positions around my head are then stored on a computer. Using these recordings we can see how my own ears filter sounds for each position in space. Using this information we can then take any audio stimulus and synthesize it so that when I listen to it over headphones I will get the impression that the sound is coming from one of the recorded positions in space. I will at this stage have a personalized 3D audio.

Thanks to Jack for the shots.

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One Response to “How do you generate personalized 3D audio?”

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