Monday, June 17, 2019
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Music Notes
Mach1 Brings Cinematic Spatial Sound Format To Samsung VR, Debuts "ALIEN: COVENANT In Utero"
  • NEW YORK
  • --

VR audio technology company Mach1 announced that its patent-pending Mach1 spatial audio playback format is now available on Samsung VR.

Mach1’s suite of end-to-end VR audio tools and spatial sound format is the first spatial audio creation and playback format created specifically for VR. Mach1’s Virtual Vector Based Panning (VVBP) system is contained into a single multichannel deliverable through already existing audio containers and codecs, leveraging traditional audio practices and keeping postproduction intact while enabling full 3DOF interactive spatial sound as well as 6DOF when integrated into a 3D Game Engine. It does not require any audio library or media engine and can function fully on top of any existing audio system or engine.

The Mach1 Workflow tools allow audio professionals to work in their preferred DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to monitor, record, playback, and produce true spatial audio mixes. Mach1 is focused on developing precise tools that enable audio engineers to expand, their knowledge and expertise while preserving traditional standards, into interactive mediums like VR & AR. Mach1 is a 100% transparent spatial audio format that uses no additional audio effects to simulate directionality at the expense of quality. What the engineer crafts is truly what is delivered and deployed, as is the case with traditional stereo or surround audio deliverables.

The Mach1 spatial audio format launched on Samsung VR today (5/10) with FoxNext and RSA VR’s ALIEN: COVENANT In Utero, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by David Karlak. ALIEN: COVENANT In Utero is the first VR film mixed and deployed on Samsung VR with Mach1’s format.

“Sound is a critical component of creating a truly immersive environment within ALIEN: COVENANT In Utero,” said Brendan Handler, SVP, new media and general manager, FoxNext VR Studio. “Mach1’s technology ensures that audiences gets the full spatial audio experience the filmmakers intended.”

Audio director and Mach1 inventor Dražen Bošnjak said, “From the galactic ambiences and computer whirrs, to the alien clicks and human screams, we crafted a rich soundscape that really brings the viewer into the Alien world. Mach1’s advantage as a truly transparent VVBP spatial audio format allowed for creative, studio-rendered, directionally-dynamic filter schemes, and acoustic reflections for recording and producing a realistic in utero soundscape. Mach1 workflow tools empower audio engineers and sound designers to create a more seamless experience for the total immersion of the viewer.”

“The allegorical birth of the Mach1 on Samsung with Alien bodes well,” said Mach1 CEO Jacqueline Bošnjak of the spatial audio format that launched in 2016 when Mach1 updated the suite of The New York Times’ NYTVR App’s for iOS, Android and Daydream, which are powered by Mach1’s spatial audio format.

Mach1’s Dražen Bošnjak, in conjunction with sister music studio, Q Department, has crafted the spatial soundtracks for some of the industry’s most high profile VR projects including 20TH Century Fox and Fox Innovation Lab’s The Martian VR; Oculus Story Studio’s Dear Angelica; Here Be Dragon’s Catatonic and Mr. Robot VR; Lockheed Martin’s The Mars VR Bus; The New York Times’ Take Flight, Great Performers and Lily Baldwin and Saschka Unseld’s Through You.

Mach1’s tools and format were also used on in-engine interactive VR experiences with 6DOF: Passengers: Awakening for Sony Pictures Entertainment, and The Last Goodbye, a Holocaust testimony that world premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

Bošnjak and his team developed Mach1 because they could not find audio tools that allowed them to achieve the sonic results they had come to expect from the film and television industry and translate those results to VR. “We wanted to preserve sound engineers’ decades of real- world experience,” said Bošnjak. “We wanted the studio mix to translate perfectly into VR enabling audio professionals and video editors to continue their craft in this new emerging medium.” 

The fact that the Mach1’s spatial audio platform utilizes practices already familiar to audio engineers is an important advantage, as it allows content creators to work the way they have always worked but now with the spatial dimension. Mach1 allows audio engineers to fully control their spatial audio mix with the same guidelines they use in traditional mixing. It allows any professional music studio, sound designer, or audio engineer in the world to mix for VR using traditional postproduction methods and techniques that have been established over half century. “That’s why we believe our platform will be widely adopted— because it gives any professional audio studio the keys to work in VR immediately”.

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