Mike Morasky (Valve) | 3D Sound and Virtual Reality | Mindshare

  |  Greg Gordon  |  

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Mike Morasky came to Pyramind to share his thoughts on the rapidly growing world of Virtual Reality and 3D sound for games.

As the lead director and composer at Valve (best known for his work composing scores for Portal, Portal 2, Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead) and with a critically acclaimed background in visual effects as well (The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings trilogies) his point of view on this emerging side of the industry was both engaging and educational. This is a five minute segment taken from a two hour long presentation and group discussion held at Pyramind on June 25th.

In this segment Mike outline's the primary user requirements of a VR experience and the importance of understanding the difference between 3D audio and the use of HRTF (head-related transfer function, a response that characterizes how an ear receives a sound from a point in space and can be used to synthesize a binaural sound that seems to come from anywhere in space) verses the various forms of surround sound for film and television. Mike alludes to how there is still much confusion that exists in the greater audio communities around this and how headphones are still the primary vehicle for playback vs. a "constellation" of speakers that require the complexity of "really propagating sound" in a 360 degree environment. Mike points to the fact that HRTF has been around for over twenty years now and that game audio developers are perfectly poised to deliver this new kind of experience or art form, as he refers to it, in immersive sound experience.