Immerse Yourself in a Virtual Audio Experience
For many of us, the pandemic has meant that we’ve missed out on our usual summers packed with festivals, gigs, and live shows. Social distancing rules have made festivals an impossibility, and live gigs have quickly become a thing of the past.
Despite this though, WOMAD aren’t letting it stop them from hosting a unique online audio experience. Becoming the latest to venture into immersive audio experiences, they’re launching WOMAD at Home, a series featuring eight different artists from various music backgrounds and genres. The shows are available to stream at https://athome.womad.co.uk/ every Thursday from 8pm for the next seven weeks. All you need to do is bring along your headphones, sit back and enjoy a truly special binaural audio experience.
Binaural technology works by recreating the way humans hear. It uses two microphones to produce a 3D stereo sound sensation where you can perceive distance, direction, and movement in noise. Normal film, TV, and music doesn’t have this effect, which is why binaural can create such powerful and immersive experiences. Although you do need to be wearing headphones to get the full effect.
Binaural audio is by no means a new technology, although its increased popularity is seeing it feature more and more in popular culture. Lou Reed started experimenting back in the 70s with Street Hassle. Following with Pearl Jam releasing an aptly named album, Binaural, and more recently Imogen Heap released the single, Propeller Seeds. All of which use binaural technology to create a 3D listening experience. Even Doctor Who took the plunge into bringing binaural to the masses by releasing a version of the episode Knock Knock straight onto BBC iPlayer. Giving headphone listeners an immersive spatial sound experience where you can hear floorboards creaking in the distance, insects scurrying about, and ominous, distant knocking throughout.
Immersive audio experiences like WOMAD at Home reach beyond the limits of normal stereo listening. They’re a wonderful way to remind us of the power and pure enjoyment that live music can bring. Their latest project is sure to get us all excited about being able to return to the live music scene in the near future.