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3D audio may be the next big trend in the podcast

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“What I really like about 3D audio is that it sucks people, so where I’m going to use it a lot now is when one character is whispering to another, so you’re you, and you can get into their heads, or a huge difference when using these sound effects in 3D audio and the user is in the middle of the room ”, says Alex Aldea, founder and CEO of Paragon.

3D Audio is not a new technology, and creators have been using it for years, and now Binaural can become more popular than ever for some reasons. First, it is a more immersive technology, which is good for getting people to listen and stay on a podcast. It is also compatible with any pair of headphones, which means that listeners do not need special equipment or software to enjoy it. And finally, the podcast narrative is growing, with many networks looking to gain an audience for their shows and it’s a way to differentiate themselves.

Companies looking to make a name for themselves in podcasting have done so mainly by spending a lot of money on flashy names, big acquisitions, and valuable content libraries. But more and more, the audio itself, and the recording techniques used to capture it, are becoming the selling point.

Today, iHeart Media announced that it is investing in binaural audio, also known as 3D audio, which effectively puts listeners in a recording room and makes them feel what is happening around them.

3D audio may be the next big trend in the

Listening to a 3D audio program looks like we’re on the scene and hearing things just like in real life because microphones are often shaped like a human head or a pair of ears. This means that the sounds reach your ears as they normally would, a zooming car, for example, can be louder in your right ear and then move to your left as it passes, slowly fading in your right ear. (The Verge audio director Andrew Marino published on here a ton of 3D audio clips if you want some examples.)

IHeart is launching an entire list of shows dedicated to the technique, under the name iHeart 3D Audio. It will feature programs made with Blumhouse Television, as well as podcast creator and producer Aaron Mahnke. The company has built three studios specifically equipped to handle 3D audio recording and employs a team of 12 producers who are trained to capture binaural audio.

By the end of 2021, iHeart plans to have 10 to 12 series produced with the technology, says Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast network. The team also plans to organize live radio events because iHeart owns hundreds of US radio stations, during which it will encourage listeners not to say no, and to enjoy the binaural experience.

“I think a lot more should be in 3D audio than it is,” says Byrne. “And just as we look at the offering of shows that we have accessible from A to Z in 2021, there is also a 3D audio version that is probably better than what [estamos] normally used. ” Byrne looks at this form, as a tool for storytelling, of course, but also as a new way for sponsors to send a message – and another way for iHeart to differentiate itself from all companies looking for brand partners.

“I think 3D audio is making a new kind of 30-60-or 2-minute ad – I’m not going to suggest that it will reinvent podcast advertising – but it could definitely push you further into immersion,” he says. “Then we will offer this.” IHeart is not the only network to enjoy 3D audio, and the creators have been doing it for years. The Indie network Paragon Collective used the technology for some of its narrative programs as well, including The Oyster and Darkest Night.

1612959980 877 3D audio may be the next big trend in the

Another network, QCODE, which makes narrative programs with big stars, is trying to take the next step in podcast audio and create surround-sound experiences. The company told The Verge that it has been mixing its shows in Dolby Atmos. Still, none of the major podcast applications support the standard yet, although companies like Apple do support it on their hardware devices, such as AirPods Pro, HomePod and Apple TV 4K.

“Creating these environments and this experience is going to be a really new thing, and really positive for this type of narrative,” says Rob Herting, President of QCODE. “It doesn’t mean that it’s a substitute for a good narrative, and you can’t think of it as a trick, but I think that when used well, it can be really, really impactful.

Podcasts are becoming more and more IP machines, or a way to make a story come alive and sell a potential film or TV adaptation. Surround sound and 3D audio are just the next steps on this journey to keep listeners tuned in and make podcasts look even closer to the experience of watching something on the big screen.

Source: TheVerge

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