Holophonic Sound

Anyone heard about holophony before?

a couple of examples. i was like :eek:

but you have to listen to it with headphones.



Yes, it’s quite amazing! From what I have read the effect is achieved by adding frequencies to the audio that are triggered in your brain to match the recorded sound’s location. I wonder if this is done during recording or afterward. Sofar it seems to work best with headphones (or specially made speakers?) but still, what an amazing effect. :walkman:

You should try to open the files in a wave editor that can load mp3’s on the fly and analyse the wave.
But actually the best picture can only be gained from a technical analysis (db, bitrate and bitshifting etc.)

oh yea…what is this cereni anyway? some weeks ago i was wandering on my desktop and accidentally found this holophonic track…whoa! Surr-roundz©®, that´s easily driven out (even with one pair), BUT gettin sound moving directly from ground, straight thru armpit allaway upthere, somewhere ~1/2 meters away from eyebrow, IS pretty ting-ling like itchywitches on earz 8)

.peace,r 0 b!

i actually think it’s all about phasing.
it has something to do with sonic speed.
if a sound comes from the left, your left ear hears it first and some microseconds later your right ear.
depending on this LITTLE phasing differences and the dullness/brightness of the sound you can perceive where it’s coming from.

ps: if it’s really well done like in the examples above, you even have to consider the sound that comes muffled through your skull to your ears…

AFAIK there are simply special microphones for that, you can wear them in your ears so sound will be recorded as you hear it.

I think tricks like hearing how soundsource moves on the vertical axis come from special filter functions. The way how the sound gets reflected from your sholders and inside your earlap gives the sound a certain sonic ‘fingerprint’ that is interpretated by the brain.

I think Sqeetz is right: microphasing is the way. Of course this could be obtained with special microhpones too, which maybe have more than one caption source.

You can even “feel” the change of phasing by listening the sound with high attention.

KU 100 dummy head binaural microphone


Yeah I was just giving an example of the type of microphone used. From what I’ve read so far the holophony is achieved with a combination of a binaural microphone like this one, followed by further DSP processing of some kind to enhance the 3D.

Not totally sure on the specifics myself. I haven’t done much reading about it yet but it’s fascinating stuff. I bought several small microphones a few months ago with the hopes of creating my own binaural-ish recording setup. Probably something based around a cap that I can wear while I walk around, with the microphones (small lapel mics similar to the stuff you see people on TV use) positioned right where my ears are, or perhaps inside my ears if I can make them fit somehow, haha.

Probably won’t work very well for 3D recordings, but it should at least be a nice rig to capture some ambient sounds :)

Ever heard of the doppler effect?
(a car that approaches you sounds far and low frequency and when it nears the frequency raises a bit)
I think a part of this theary fits the formula to create the sound.
I can hear some slight phasing / flanging when i listen to the sound on speakers.
Still when sitting between my speakers, i can distinguish sound coming from behind very well.

yeah, i know what doppler effect is… the same as red- and blueshift with light… But can you explain further what you mean? i can hear sound go up and down with only one headphone also btw… :)

It-Alien, go ask Zuccarelli what he means with this reference signal :)

EDIT: it seems to me the whole holophony thing is kinda kept under “secret wrap” and nobody really knows what zuccarelli did, except that he said that human ears supposedly emit some reference signal and the interference pattern between that reference and actual signal is what brain interprets…

whether its true or not nobody really knows… Many belive that its just some sort of binaural recording and “zuccarellis theory” is just a scam.

So far i havent found any decent materil on that subject either… Everybody just “explain” it with the same casual/superficial way

[I believe]
The ear interprets phase information only for left, right, front localisation.
The delay or in other words phase difference between left an right ear is taken into account as well as level differences.

For the vertical axis I still think it’s about standing waves inside your earlap… resonances and dampening of certain frequencies due to the reflection pattern.
[/I believe]

what i miss in all the holophonic recordings i’ve heard so far is a sound that comes from the front… :blink:

are you guys talking about ambisonics?

ah hugo zucarelli, i remember this name from micheal talbot’s holographic universe. a must read. one of my favorite books!

I bought that the other day. Not got around to starting it yet though… Currently reading The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby on the train every now and then, and slowly reading through Ben Mack’s Poker Without Cards, which I got as a pdf when it was released under Creative Commons, before they sdtarted trying to charge $23 for the bloody thing :o Both interesting reads.

I still have the pdf of Poker Without Cards if anybody is interested. I assume as this version was released under a Creative Commons license I could make it availble for free with no worries?

You don’t experience sound coming from the front in the Cereni example?
What kind of headphone do you have?

Also, there seem to be one good known use of holophonic sound in music which was done by Pink Floyd in '82 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Cut_%28album%29 )

What i mean with doppler effect is that audio also reflects against a lot of objects and comes back to your ear from various angles.
If you would stand in a studio where all walls absorb sound, whoever did this probably noticed the highly damped ambience and that it is very hard to distinguish where sounds actually come from.
If this car would drive to you in such ambience, you would hear it approach but you couldn’t tell from where it would come (other than right or left).

So you need reflections from the walls to pinpoint the exact audio position like bats use sonar to determine their objects (walls and food flying around).
Probably that is the secret of holophonic audio:sonar reflection but then in the frequency ranges we can hear.
The phasing effects also are caused by audio that reflects from objects that bounces the audio back in a different angle.

This would also mean that holophonic recordings in small environments (small rooms) would sound different than if they would be recorded in a hall, just considering that the walls in both environments are made of the same material and reflect and bounces the sound equally.

Which effects can be used in Renoise to create phase differences and ambience?
reverb, phasing, flanger, offset command (0901 or 0902) or the surround command.
I bet you can do a lot of funny things with it.
I already noticed sounds with offset differences of 01 sound wider on headphones but can sound very canned on speakers.
I used 09xx offset tricks to make my samples sound wider in songs and give them a more stereo idea, since the samples i used were all originally mono.

The sound of the recorded holophonic effect is also mono, the reflections give them their pinpoint. Using mono samples is probably the second required secret to holophonic audio.

@vvoois: i have a pair of akg141S. and now that you mentioned it, i noticed the reflections from the walls in front of “me”. :)
nevertheless i wish there was a recording in which someone shakes the matchbox in front of you too.

It’s a known phenomenon for many people. Reason for this is the fact that the shape of earlaps and auditory canal are not 100% DIN comform among all humans.

Wow, if I understood you right, it is not possible to locate the postion of a sound source when standing on a wide open field?

Yeah sorry, directional if really directed to you this is determinable.
But what if the person is screaming in the distance, not towards you but away from you…
I don’t think you can really hear that.

sorry I don’t quite understand what you mean. Since sound propagates spherical, isn’t it always directed towards you?