Recording Audio for Virtual Reality
When recording and creating audio for spacial applications like VR, AR, XR, etc you have to take all the rules and techniques of stereo recording and rethink them in terms of spatial application development.
Recording audio for VR spatial applications audio has to be binaural which is when different audio signals are sent to each ear to create a three-dimensional sound field(Spatial sound). Stereo is unable to create a natural and complete three-dimensional sound field because it only is able to give left, right positioning audio and possibly close or far positioning with the right tricks. Surround sound creates a more immersive aural experience than stereo, but just like stereo it is locked to a fixed, two-dimensional point of view. Where with binaural your able to record sounds which appear up or down which then creates the three-dimensional sound perfect for VR.
Ambisonics is a full-sphere surround-sound format similar to mid-side stereo which the mid Channel carries the sound from the listening position. While another channel carries the left-right positional offset. But in a ambient system there’s 3 channels which carry spatial information about the listeners position within the sound field, the three channels do this by providing left-right and up / down position.
This method of creating three-dimensional sound fields later allows the listening position (where the player is) to be modified to any spot. This feature is what makes binaural audio the perfect solution for VR.
The Equipment Required for Virtual Reality Audio Recording and Creation
To record audio for VR your going to need a Ambisonic microphone some examples of these are Sennheiser Ambeo, NT-SF1 by RØDE and the Zoom H3-VR. You will also need a software or plugin to record and visualise the audio, Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder is the most widely used software for VR audio and provides a range of tools to help you work with 3 dimensional sound.