A challenge for sound designers in the field is monitoring the surround audio being captured. Through headphones they are able to monitor each channel of a surround image as well as a summed stereo image, but not the resultant 3D image. Up until now, to truly hear what was captured in context, they had to wait until they were back in the studio playing the channels through a multi-speaker surround configuration. Now, with the advent of DTS’ Headphone:X, sound designers can turn a pair of headphones into an impressive personal surround system.
Feature film sound designer Frank Serafine has been proving this 3D audio workflow on a documentary film called Awake. He recorded 7.1 audio for 3D/surround sound using a Roland R-88 8-channel field recorder and Holophone H2-Pro 7.1 microphone. The Roland recorder was connected via USB to a PC running a plug-in for DTS Headphone:X technology, which then allowed him to hear the 3D audio in headphones on the spot.
Because the Roland R-88 is also a USB audio interface, while it is recording the 7.1 audio data, it can simultaneously send all eight channels to a PC for backup recording or, in this case, to be further processed using the DTS Headphone:X technology.
Serafine is building an extensive library of 3D audio sound effects for film specifically using Headphone:X technology from DTS.