Saturday, March 19, 2011

Disney MGM Studios " 3D Sound " now available on iPhone App

I don't remember the exact name of the attraction - if you do please let me know in the comments - but ten years ago, at the Disney MGM Studios there was an attraction where you could experiment what WDI Imagineers called "3D Sound". Basically, you had some headphone and sounds like hair cut, thunder storm, plane flying, etc were playing. It was really impressive as the sounds were incredible due to a new technique called "Holophonic Sounds". Later, WDI Imagineers used the same 3D sound technique in the Alien Encounter attraction.

Here is what Wikipedia is saying about this amazing Holophonic sound:

"Holophonics was created by Argentine Hugo Zuccarelli in 1980, during his studies at the Politecnico di Milano university. It, along with Zuccarelli, rose to fame in 1983 with the release of a recording entitled Zuccarelli Holophonics (The Matchbox Shaker) released in the UK by CBS which consisted entirely of short recordings of sound effects designed to show off the system. These included the shaking matchbox, haircut & blower, bees, balloon, plastic bag, birds, airplanes, fireworks, thunder, and racing cars. In its early years, Holophonics was used by various artists including Michael Jackson, who used Holophonics on his album "Bad", Paul McCartney, and Richard Branson. It has been used in film soundtrack, popular music, television and themeparks.

Zuccarelli stated that the human auditory system is a sound emitter, producing a reference sound that combines with incoming sound to form an interference pattern inside the ear. The nature of this pattern is sensitive to the direction of the incoming sound. According to the hypothesis, the cochlea detects and analyzes this pattern as if it were an acoustic hologram. The brain then interprets this data and infers the direction of the sound. Holophonics, like binaural recording, reproduces the interaural differences (arrival time and amplitude between the ears), as well as rudimentary head-related transfer functions. These create the illusion that sounds produced in the membrane of a speaker emanate from specific directions."

Now, why do i talk about this today? Because a new iPhone app (also working on iPad and iPod Touch) was released on the App Store. It's called 3D Audio Illusions and, although this iPhone application is not released by Disney, you'll be able to find back in it some of the great 3D sounds effects you've heard at the Disney MGM Studios attraction. And, good news, it is a FREE application! Here is the Appstore link to download it.

Another good news for those of you who don't own an iPhone as you'll be able to test right now a selection of these 3D sounds. You have the links below for five of them. So, put your headphone, close windows and stop any other sounds in your room to make sure you can enjoy them as best as possible! You can also listen the 3D sound effects of the Alien Encounter attraction in a really good "binaural audio" recording of the original attraction that you'll find on the excellent WDW Memories website HERE.

Here is some examples of Holophonic Sounds:

> Match Box

> Bell Sound

> Hair Cut

> Hair Dryer

> Sensual Woman Voice

Sounds: copyright

Wikipedia text: copyright Wikipedia


JMT said...

"Sound Works" was the name of the hands-on interactive games following the "Monster Sound" attraction at MGM. The 3D sound system was also later integrated into the updated version of the show called "Sounds Dangerous" starring Drew Carrey.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

This sound sistem was also used on the excellent ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter attracttion at the Magic Kingdom, and now on the Stitch attraction that replaced it.

The microphone that they use to record this sounds is shaped like a human head, they showed it to us at the tour on WDI campus in Glendale.

Anonymous said...

I just added your feed to my favorites. I really enjoy reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

The Matchbox sound is incredible. You can actually hear the sounds going in front of you.

WDW-Memories Lou said...

Thanks for the mention, I appreciate it. That recording of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter is one of my favorites.

If I remember correctly, if you'd like a good video demonstration, I think there's an extra on the Monsters, Inc. DVD. Can anyone else confirm this?

Thanks again for the mention,
-WDW-Memories Lou

Anonymous said...

The 3D sound show at MGM, (that is still there) is called SoundSations. There are a series of soundproof booths that are at the exit to the Drew Carey show which play the show. You play the part of a new movie executive at the Disney Studios on your first day of work.