Putting The Reality In Virtual Reality Audio

Oct 22, 2016

Scott Colburn has basically spent his entire adult life working in the audio business. In the past he’s been a music producer for bands like Arcade Fire, Animal Collective and Mudhoney. He’s done the audio for films. His current job is a sound designer at Microsoft. Colburn is working on their virtual and augmented reality projects. His goal is to get the audio experience of virtual reality to sound just as real as the visual part of it, something that he was inspired to do after going to a local film festival.

One example that Colburn gave was that of a crow on a wire. In real life, if you are walking down the street, and you see a crow on a power line in front of you, and the crow is chirping, you would be able to hear that the crow was in front of you. As you continued to walk towards the crow, and eventually find yourself underneath it, you would hear that the crow was right above you. And as you passed the crow, you would be able to hear that the crow was behind you. That is what Colburn said was lacking audio-wise in virtual reality. The full 360-audio experience to go along with the 360-visual experience. And that is exactly what Colburn is working to improve.