Sunday, November 7, 2010

Doing Your Part to Retain a Sound Designer's Phantom Imaging - by Anthony Grimani

The goal of a truly enveloping and engaging sound mix is to simulate reality. In the real world, sounds can come at you from an infinite number of directions and can change direction as the sources of the sounds move. Unfortunately, even the most advanced sound systems have a finite number of speakers, and it’s impractical to move them around the room during a show.

Mix engineers have a neat trick up their sleeves, though. They can use a process called panning to adjust the relative amplitude, time, and phase of the sounds that come from each speaker. When these variations in level and time arrive at the ears of a centrally located listener, they create the illusion that sounds are coming from places where there are no speakers. Panning only works, though, if the speakers in a system are able to produce sounds that appear to come from points between or outside the speakers. This effect is called phantom imaging. > READ MORE

Excerpted from article published November 7, 2008 by Residential Systems magazine. Chase Walton contributed to this article.

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