Music experience

What is 8D music?

A quick overview of how it creates a unique listening experience.

8D music sounds like we are talking about a new kind of audio technology coming straight from the future. In reality, this technology along with existed since the ’70s, but never really took off.

But all of a sudden, a message promoting the new music of the Pentatonix composed with 8D technology got viral on WhatsApp. Maybe you already received it from some friends, if not yet, don’t worry it will come:

The viral message on Whatsapp promoting both 8D music and Pentatonix sounds.
The viral message on Whatsapp promoting both 8D music and Pentatonix sounds.
Source: Author
The soundtrack following the message on WhatsApp

Why now?

  • Maybe because the technology used to simulate the sensory experience is getting much better now.
  • Or perhaps because now that we are almost all lockdown at home we desperately need some entertainment to tackle down boreness.
Spongebob Squarepants Reaction GIF By Nickelodeon on Giphy

But first things first….

What is 8D Technology Audio?

Let’s set it clear, there is no 8th dimension (at least not when it comes to audio production). The term 8D refers to the effect producers and audio engineers are using in the post-production process. It’s actually a special case of editing a stereo track with a special reverb that makes it sound like the audio is moving around your head. True audio engineers will most likely refer to 8D music as spatial sound or 3D audio.

The illusion only works when you’re wearing headphones.

You can hear this effect strongly in the viral “Virtual Barbershop,” where a barber moves shears and clippers around your head. Watch out your ears!

How does it work?

As it’s a post-production effect, the recording process is identical to any in regular studios recording. The 8D audio sound is added after the recording by an automated panning effect, alternating from the left to the right. This artificially creates the perception of a sound moving from side to side across the stereo field.

Source:

On a physiological level, the 8D audio effect attempts to mimic the sensation of hearing a binaural recording.

Long story short: b is a method of recording sound that uses multiple microphones placed in the same orientation as our ears. The delay (or “phase”) in how a single sound reaches those two mics creates the illusion of 3D stereo sound for the listener.

In other words, 8D audio effects intend to give you the sensation of actually being in the middle of the sound with the feeling of music running through your head.

Why it’s so cool?

8D music gives you the sensation of being surrounded by the sound, with the noise moving around your head. Audio seemingly coming from all directions and sources, making it feel more like an emotional and sensory experience than regular listening. Some say it’s like if you were in the room with the performers and their instruments.

8D music gives you the feeling to be in the middle of the sound.
8D music gives you the feeling to be in the middle of the sound.
Photo by on

It’s getting viral on Youtube because the effect blows your mind and body. Some people describe listening to 8D audio as a mix of 3D experience and the feeling of total weightlessness. In this period of confinement, we could really use it to entertain ourselves and recreate our own private concert at home.

Just be aware that you will find plenty of 8D music on Youtube with very variable quality. I suggest you pick only the high-quality 8D music if you really want to live the experience fully.

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