Immersive sound in Halloween attractions.

MD5353 Around Sound, Semester 1, Year 2

Due to current circumstances, we have seen many changes made to events both in the UK and internationally, however, one of the aspects that hasn’t changed is the use of audio in attractions and during this post I’m going to be looking at Halloween attractions in particular. With Halloween just past and both video and audio walkthroughs alike being posted on social media platforms, I decided to delve deeper into what makes haunted houses different every year.

Aside from the theming and aesthetics a huge part of any haunted house or any immersive attraction does come down to the music, whether you realise it or not music does give you cues of how to feel and when to feel it. It does this in a variety of ways and the people who create these tracks have an idea of the vibe they want to give, Slash described this very well when creating the music for Clowns 3D explaining how he had an idea in his head which was much different to what the creative director originally envisioned but it worked perfectly.

Slash talking about creating music for Clowns 3D

There is a channel on YouTube of the name Relaxing Reality who go to different theme parks and events around the US recording everything in 3D binaural and 360 spatial audio with ambix. Over the past few years they have recorded the mazes from Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights which is one of the world’s biggest Halloween attractions. The record these attractions allowing people to watch back and listen as if they were actually there themselves.

When you listen to the way that these have been recorded using 3D Ambisonics meaning you can hear sound from all angles you can most definitely hear the difference when it comes to listening to the sound in normal stereo captured directly through a camera and by through moving the 360 VR spacial sound video around.

The difference between mono, stereo, 5.1 surround sound and 3D ambisonics.

The same channel uploaded a normal walkthrough recording using just a camera and I have linked the same maze below so you can watch both side by side and really hear the difference for yourself be sure to listen with earphones to get the full effect.  

Beetlejuice Haunted House – HHN 2020 – Relaxing Reality – 360 VR 3D spacial sound 0:11 – 5:30
Beetlejuice Haunted House – HHN 2020 – Relaxing Reality – stereo sound

I truly believe that immersive audio will continue to thrive throughout the coming years becoming more and more impressive and breaking boundaries on what people believe is possible and I for one can’t wait to see the progress moving forward.