It seems so easy when you see the websites of 3D audio plugin developers. They’ll tell you that, with just one extra piece of software, easy as can be all your sounds can fly around you in 3D. Thay all promise “total immersion,” “ease of use”
and a “set-and-forget” interface, and some of the plugins are offered for free or included in the authoring software.
But when you actually speak to sound professionals or producers who’ve tried these plugins you hear disappointment:
the 3D effect is “hardly there” or very limited, and rarely ever what they expected. And then the pipeline of work it is affected,
3D audio has to be considered early on the project, but has to be implemented the last one. WIthout the right training you'll do the job three times and the result will be mediocre.
Though Sfera delivers outstanding cinematic sound via simple stereo outputs, superb mixes require a learning curve just like the historic transitions from mono to stereo to surround meant big changes in the way sound engineers had to approach a mix. Today’s 3D mix is no different: you need to rethink your sound plan and Sfera Post will help with the right tools and guidelines.
Because 3D audio isn't as easy as these plugin developers suggest—a classic case of ‘If it sounds too good and easy to be true, it probably isn’t." (No pun intended!) There are three main reasons for this disappointment:
1. To implement 3D audio properly, the sound designer needs to know about the psychology of sound, how humans locate sound, and he/she needs to apply that knowledge during the design process.
2. Some 3D technology have a rather limited feature set, or take shortcuts with some calculations. It is not just Hrtf. Far more than that is required to fully immerse your audiences.
3. Assuming that the same plugin is equally good in positioning a jet fighter plane or a bee in a hive doesn’t work—it’s like using only a single reverb program to simulate a church and the interior of a car. Anyone who’s worked in film knows that for realistically sounding spaces you need different algorithms and a large set of controls to fine tune the simulation for each individual space.