3D and spatial audio are the next big things in music.
Redmond, Washington-based Immersion Networks has built a state-of-the-art room dedicated to mixing spatial audio. They upgraded the room specifically for new audio formats like Atmos and their own 3D mixing platform, mix3 (mixcubed), their cloud-based tool for generating next gen, 3D immersive audio experiences for the metaverse.
“Spatial and immersive audio adoption has exploded, yet there are few places where you can create an excellent mix in these formats,” says Immersion Networks’ CEO Paul Hubert. “We’re proud to take immersive mixing to the next level by forging the environment and tools pros need to make a truly outstanding immersive audio experience.”
Immersion Networks has installed in-house audio equipment to ensure maximum control in the room. On top of the equipment it applies its audio science design for a unique experience in music and Atmos. To accomplish this level immersion, the team scrapped what a traditional control design and ensured the room would provide a neutral listening environment from any angle or orientation.
As 3D and spatial audio continues to become a paramount in musical experiences, traditional studios will need to evolve and set themselves up to handle it. We’re used to listening to mono and stereo mixes, which are done in the typical two-monitor, acoustically treated studio.
Due to their reflective qualities they aren’t suitable for immersive audio, which is where Immersion Networks steps in.
“Traditional mixing control rooms are ill-suited for immersive audio mixing, due to their different reflective qualities on the front and back walls,” explains Hubert. “A control room originally designed for stereo content, which is delivered from the front to the back of the room, is not usually well suited for immersive content where the sound comes at the listener from all sides. Our facilities were specifically designed to be contribution-free from any angle, ensuring the most neutral sound possible regardless of where the sound is coming from. Stereo rooms are hard to retool, as you can’t just throw more speakers in there. Immersive rooms have fundamentally different requirements.”
The room is capable of reproducing sounds below 20Hz and above 100kHz, which is beyond the range of human hearing. The range of human hearing is 20Hz up to 20kHz, so this can reproduce frequencies five times the range of hearing!
Most studios have a unique sound to them. This includes the acoustics, gear, and software. These additives to a mix cause it to not be truly accurate, which is a paramount elements when mixing spatial or 3D audio. Immersion Networks’ room removes all of these variables to provide a pure sound.
“Everything is designed to be absolutely transparent to the source material being played in the room,” Hubert adds. “In most rooms, the room and gear adds some sort of character of its own. It’s the difference between what’s actually been recorded and what the room and gear contribute to the output that creates confusion when mixes are played in different spaces. What came from the file? What came from the playback chain? What contributions did the room add to the mix? The last two points of contribution are undesirable because they don’t translate to playback in a different space.”
Spatial and 3D audio within the metaverse continues to expand as well. Richie Hawtin and deadmau5’s PIXELYNX received a $4.5 million investment headed by Animoca Brands.