CAS Quarterly

Spring 2019

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C A S Q U A R T E R L Y S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 57 asked, "How do you make the sound stay put?" I assign the sound to the location and the computer does the rest. What equipment do you use? The weird thing about VR is that you need a PC, as well as a Mac. You need a Mac to mix and then a PC to play back into the headsets. It's becoming more cross-platform but for certain game engine things you need a PC. What are the plugins? Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation. It's integrated into Pro Tools now. Pro Tools Ultimate has ambisonic support, you just have to download the plugin. Avid and Facebook have been working really closely to develop that connection. Then there's Dear VR, which I don't know as well. There's a lot of stuff we do that's game engine-based, so we will be working in Unity and delivering individual sound effects. Depending on the project, it will be a very cinematic workflow or just delivering individual sound effects for a game engine. What's your next step? We just moved into this office out of our houses where we were working the last nine months. Now we would like to get more involved in the immersive tech world. We started off doing 360 and VR and that moved us into augmented reality and installations and immersive theater. I was just in New York networking to find out what is being done and it seems there is a lot of immersive theater. It all falls under nontraditional mixing, so you can hide speakers around different set pieces and weird spaces because they are not traditional theater settings. Installations are very site-specific and dependent on the content. What projects are you currently working on? We're working on a number of immersive projects. One is a short 360 film with students from AFI. It's their thesis project but it's an anomaly even for AFI. We're also doing a VR documentary and an installation that will be in Denver or Boulder in Colorado. It's a pedestrian walkway/tunnel thing where they are going to be setting up a number of connect sensors and speakers throughout the tunnel so that, as you are walking, you can move your body to trigger different sounds depending on which part of the tunnel you are in. We're also working with a company that does medical training for caregivers. Its 360 videos and then interactive scenarios that are object-based. Research shows that people stay in an experience 40 percent longer if there's a spatial mix involved than if it's a stereo mix. How do you get your projects? We go to networking events constantly. That's what I was doing in New York, talking to people to find out what they are interested in. The Colorado project came out of cold emailing a bunch of companies and now we are working with one of them. It's all about word-of-mouth connections and Facebook groups. So many Facebook groups and so many projects are being posted on Facebook. When and where will your next installation be? The corridor project will be opening in the summer. It is a permanent installation commissioned by the city with the company we are working with. We want to develop something of our own that is very audio-centric, so we are producing an art show in May. We are commissioning works from other artists and there will be five interactive installations, one of which is ours. It's a way of producing a platform to display our own work. It will be in downtown LA in a warehouse. Having entered the Student Award two years in a row, and winning the second time, do you have any advice for someone wishing to enter? Just enter, you have nothing to lose. The application is easy. It's more about showing your passion for sound than winning. You don't have to be a professional to do it. What's your favorite part of the sound-for-film process? Mixing. We freelance doing external traditional mixing projects to pay the rent. I really like mixing with nontraditional speaker setups like an installation we did with a 6.1 setup with speakers in a circle around you. And we did this pyramid that had 20.4 speakers on all faces of the pyramid in a triangle setup. It's fun to throw sounds into different spatial locations. Is there anything else you would like to add? 2020 was the year when VR was supposed to explode. It's growing much slower than expected but it is growing and we are glad to be a part of it. To learn more about Anna's company and her recent projects, go to

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