#VolumeFriday Issue 41

Welcome to another #VolumeFriday everyone, where the fun starts and the good times keep rollin' in! Doing some cool things in the voice over studio for another project and it occurred to me how much audio has played a staring role in many of the Bithell games to date.Volume: CODA is no different, as the eerie yet futuristic sounds transcend throughout this VR experience (Don't forget PS4 and PSVita Volume players, it's yours free to enjoy using your PSVR. ).

In games and VR in particular, audio has the ability to create immersion far more than visuals can, as discussed by Dr Robert Jacobs, a VR audio expert. His suggestion is that realistic audio is crucial to VR and found that ' a dollars worth of audio is worth ten dollars of anything else.' 

Audio is one of those design elements that works best when no one notices it. Within VR the need for 3D audio is necessary. As Chris Hegstron (currently working on the HoloLens audio design) explains in this article, it all comes back to survival instincts and the expectations we have of movement and sound.

We can determine the distance of an object by performing dozens of 'micro movements' of the head and using aural triangulation. So a bird chirping in traditional audio for games, such as the right channel or even attached to an object, will make us look towards where the sound is coming from. This will break the 'aural illusion' as the sound is flat or hasn't moved as we've moved. 3D audio is necessary for us to not be jolted out of our immersion when playing a game in VR for something as small as a bird tweeting.