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Thread: Moving sound vertically in the stereo field

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    Moving sound vertically in the stereo field

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    OK- this is probably way above my intelligence level, but has anyone ever tried moving sounds three-dimensionally?
    D

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    You mean like forwards and backwards? Wouldn't that be volume?

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    I think you can do some vertical placement via EQ....low/high...but you can't really move it dramatically like you can L/R with panning.
    Front/back is mainly the levels and wet/dry balance.

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    our ears are designed to perceive horizontal placement moreso than vertical anyway.

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    A company called Spinaudio used to do a plugin called 3D Panner that would simulate vertical positioning as well as horizontal. I played with a trial for a theatre project I was working on--it was pretty impressive on headphones but didn't do much if anything on speakers so I didn't bother purchasing it and used multiple speakers instead (this was about 11 years ago).

    I just went to check their website to see if there were any updates and they no longer seem to exist--at least spinaudio.com is now one of those holding websites trying to sell me a plasma TV.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
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    About all you can do is emphasize highs and decrease lows, especially given that higher frequencies are more directional and tweaters are usually at the top of the speaker cabinets.

    Beyond that, the usual things to affect depth are:
    Reverb and delay

    Hard or soft transients

    Relative volume compared to the other parts in the mix

    I was always impressed with Qsound over speakers, but again, we're talking simulated stereo width, not height.

    Panorama, a plug-in by Wave Arts, might give you what you're looking for over headphones. Anything using HRTF information isn't going to work over speakers.

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    Thanks for the responses. I have no purpose for needing to try to move sound vertically. Moreso, a desire to learn how it is done. I did find on the KVR-forum an old thread ( KVR: How to position a sound vertically in a stereo field? ) that discussed a couple of free, Beta VST plug-ins ( Swiss Center for Computer Music VST Ambisonic Tools ).

    But what really triggered my curiosity was the Binaural recordings posted on YouTube like:
    The Virtual Barbershop: Virtual Barber Shop (Audio...use headphones, close ur eyes) - YouTube

    7 seconds in, made me wonder what fell off the bookshelf to my left.
    Like JMZ said: this seems to only work on headphones and it is a QSounds production.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-87...eature=related
    or
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJwU...eature=related

    Listening more critically, I think I hear it only panning L/R, using reverb, and volume changes. The three clips do not exactly portray the sound going above the head, that I recall hearing and thinking - now that was cool.
    Thank y'all for taking the time to pacify a life-long learner.
    D
    Last edited by DaleVO; 11-30-2011 at 18:41.

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    Vertical panning effect would be using a mixture of horizontal panning, volume change (forward/backward panning) and EQ automation and maybe reverb automation.
    G

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleVO View Post
    Thanks for the responses. I have no purpose for needing to try to move sound vertically. Moreso, a desire to learn how it is done. I did find on the KVR-forum an old thread ( KVR: How to position a sound vertically in a stereo field? ) that discussed a couple of free, Beta VST plug-ins ( Swiss Center for Computer Music VST Ambisonic Tools ).

    But what really triggered my curiosity was the Binaural recordings posted on YouTube like:
    The Virtual Barbershop: Virtual Barber Shop (Audio...use headphones, close ur eyes) - YouTube

    7 seconds in, made me wonder what fell off the bookshelf to my left.
    Like JMZ said: this seems to only work on headphones and it is a QSounds production.

    3D audio sound objects with Blender (Binaural hearing using headphones) - YouTube
    or
    3D sound demonstration, amazing !! - YouTube

    Listening more critically, I think I hear it only panning L/R, using reverb, and volume changes. The three clips do not exactly portray the sound going above the head, that I recall hearing and thinking - now that was cool.
    Thank y'all for taking the time to pacify a life-long learner.
    D
    In fact, our ears do give clues to height information, as well as front-to-back. Our brain can pick out subtle differences caused by reflections and diffractions off of the structure of our ears, head and torso. One effect, for example, may be a frequency notch somewhere around 3khz if the sound is coming from above the head, etc. I'm certain that it may be slightly different for each of us, but there may be enough in common between humans that you could make some general "rules" and create this effect by use of EQ, which is probably what those plug-ins do. Another would be to record with a dummy head in the first place.

    I've experimented with them with some degree of success. Good binaural recordings are stunning, as you have found out.

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    There is an interesting paper on this in Audio Engineering Society: AES E-Library Sound Intensity-Based Three-Dimensional Panning

    It uses sound pressure vector as the physical property, then emulate them in speakers. According to study, to have that 3D panning, you need 4 loudspeakers to reproduce them.

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