BBC uses the Choir to demonstrate 3D sound

Choir singing a service

BBC Radio 4's Click On programme has used a recording of the Choir to demonstrate a new 3D sound technology. The recording was taken on Sunday 16 October during rehearsals for evensong, and the programme was broadcast yesterday.

The programme has an interview with Professor Edgar Choueiri from Princeton University, who has developed a way of processing sound recordings so that they produce a 3D sound environment with just two speakers. This environment differs from surround sound because the sounds can be made to move between you and the speakers. For example, the buzz of a fly can be made to approach you from the front, circle your head, and disappear behind you.

Professor Choueiri's developed his technique partly out of frustration with normal stereo playback of his favourite music. He wanted to replicate the experience of being in the room with an orchestra or choir.

The work has already attracted interest from the music, film and TV industries, and Professor Choueiri's lab are working with a Cambridge technology company, Cambridge Mechatronics, to develop 3D sound for 3D televisions.

The episode of Click On is still available on the iPlayer. You can also listen to sample sounds and watch a video of Prof Choueiri explaining his technique on his lab's website.

25 October 2011