“The Three Investigators”: The Audio of Tomorrow, Today!

three dimensional

It’s not just 3D displays that have been pushing into the mainstream over the last few years – three-dimensional sound is one of the hottest audio trends. Way back at Prolight + Sound 2012, Fraunhofer IDMT introduced its ATMOSPHEA sound system for creating custom room acoustics. A couple of years ago, this ground-breaking new technology was installed for the first time anywhere in the world, in Hamburg Planetarium, to give visitors an unforgettable audio experience. Now there’s going to be another world premiere: Germany’s most successful series of audio dramas, Die drei ??? (The Three Investigators), is about to begin a unique 3D sound adventure there.

Visitors can look forward to something quite extraordinary: the 3D distributed sound puts you right in the midst of the action along with the three detectives from Rocky Beach. “Along with the stories, what the fans really enjoy are the unmistakeable voices of the three detectives, and the unique sound of the dramas,” explain Matthis Krauße and Markus Schäfer of HO3RRAUM Media, which has produced the audio series along with Europa records.

The Fraunhofer Institute’s SpatialSound Wave technology

They made use of SpatialSound Wave technology from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT), successfully combining voice acting with spatial sound effects and a unique audio environment. They succeeded in intensifying the audio experience in the Planetarium – it has to be heard to be believed. A total of 60 speakers and four subwoofers are concealed behind the 21m diameter planetarium dome. Thanks to independent control of each speaker, up to 32 audio sources can be positioned anywhere in the dome, producing the ideal sound for each individual seat.

Anyone who wants to experience this for themselves live should come to the Hamburg Planetarium from the 9th of July. The episode “Die drei ??? - Das Grab der Inka-Mumie” (The Three Investigators – the Grave of the Inca Mummy) runs until September 28th 2014. “Die drei ??? - und der Tornadojäger“ (The Three Investigators – and the Tornado Chasers) plays from October, and from January 2015, fans of audio dramas will have the chance to enjoy “Die drei ??? - und das kalte Auge“ (The Three Investigators – and the Cold Eye).

Picture source: 2014 Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG

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