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Opinion and Insight

Ambisonics In The Commercial Space

Produce Sound's Louis Enslin on why the future will rely on sound

Ambisonics In The Commercial Space

Ambisonics is a full-sphere surround sound technique that, in addition to the horizontal plane also covers sound sources above and below the listener.  It is also known as binaural sound which literally means ‘using both ears’.  When you listen to a binaural recording through headphones you perceive distinct and genuine 3D (or 360o) sound.

With 334 million headphones sold world-wide in 2016, and more than 1,8 billion people mobile users of which over one billion visit YouTube and download Podcasts every day, it is safe to assume that millions of people consume sound via headphones daily.

Because of these statistics, I believe ambisonics should be used more in the commercial space.  Not only is it exciting, does it open a whole new soundscape around you, and gives brands more possibility to explore with sound, it also embarks the listener on a journey.  It gives a brand’s consumers a chance to experience the brand through sound!

Al Ries, chairman of Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm Ries & Ries said during an interview with Advertising Age (2015) that music is the magic ingredient to make your commercials more effective.  I love what he said next: “We live in a world of words.  The problem is, we don’t think in words at all; we think in sounds. There are no words in your mind. There are only sounds.”

With the next generation consumer no longer sitting in front of TVs, but rather moving around with mobile phones connected to headphones, shouldn’t brands and their advertising agencies tailor content for this growing stereophonic audience instead of thinking race, age, or any other demographic?

That is why I believe ambisonics should be used more in the commercial space.  But Raja Sehgal, one of the UK’s leading sound designers for cinema, points out a critical factor when it comes to sound in the commercial space.  “Too often we don’t have enough time to do a good mix.  It is rushed in the last few minutes of a session.”  I agree with him when he says that the times of taking time to create soundscapes for radio that could be used in a Hollywood feature is something of the past.  “Give some budget back to the radio campaign,” he says, and I cannot agree more.

At Produce Sound we are equipped to help your brand create true consumer experiences through sound.  Visit our website at www.produce.co.za.

Genre: People , Strategy/Insight