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Spatial Clue Preserving Sound

13 Apr 2008

I forgot where I first saw this amazing demonstration of a sound recording and playback technology that preserves the spatial information required for the brain to hear the location of sound sources called Cetera.

Developed by hearing aid producer Starkey Labs, Cetera apparently is not a new technology. Audiology Online has an article about Cetera from 1999 but this is the first I’ve heard about it.

Sound is recorded by two microphones placed at a distance similar to that of the human ears and further processed to mimic the acoustics of the outer ear, and the result is unbelievably real. In the illustrational recording oh a virtual haircut, the electric razor feels eerily close to your ear! To experience the effect, headphones are needed:

Sajithmr has a full transcript of the dialogue and two more recordings.

If only this technique could be used in first-person computer games they would instantly become more immersive!