The cell phone became in recent years the great ally of the human being in almost the entire planet. It is already a no-brainer to tell everything that can be done with this smart device, with Wi-Fi or even with a data package. And in these days of total quarantine, the relationship with the smartphone intensified even more. People inform themselves, opine on the networks, make video calls with friends and family at a distance – whatever it is, it doesn’t matter a neighbor of the building or someone from a distant country. And of course, how could it be otherwise, hundreds of messages are received, including many memes of the Coronavirus, or whatever.
But there was a message that went viral and surprised everyone who received a link with songs in 8D, or in 8 Dimensions. What is it? A virus? We have to pay? Why do you say yes or if I have to wear headphones? It won’t be the false moans, will it? Of course, for music specialists it is not a novelty, but for the rest, it is a resounding change in the way we enjoy music.
Still haven’t heard a song on 8D? Put the headphones on (yes or yes) and play:
And the questions immediately arise: what is it? Where did it come from? Sound engineer and producer Andrés Mayo, winner of two Latin Grammy Awards and seven Gardel Awards, among other awards and who worked with great artists such as Luis Alberto Spinetta, Gustavo Cerati, Pedro Aznar, Les Luthiers, Andrés Calamaro, A77aque, Carajo, Charly García, Bersuit, Fito Paez and Los Piojos, among others, spoke with Teleshow about 8D music, a concept that has gained ground in recent months.
The first topic of the talk is mandatory, the COVID-19 ravages the world, in all areas and music is no exception. “The item is very complicated, each professional has his situation. Some sound engineers rely purely and exclusively on face-to-face work with artists. Mixing is being done online. I am now dedicating myself to mastering, so at that point I have an advantage. Each one was turning where they can get a job, ”said Mayo.
Regarding 8D, it is blunt: “Actually the term was invented by marketing, it is not something scientific. In fact, we who are in this want to know what it means. It works, because it sounds good. ” According to the man who worked on more than 3,000 musical projects (and counting) throughout his career, it is actually a technique that emerged in the early 1970s in England, which it had a function of giving sound a spherical characteristic. In the jargon, they prefer not to opt for the 8D concept since nobody knows what these 8 dimensions are, on the contrary, they choose the term “360 ° Music” or “Binaural”. To define it, Mayo ensures that “It is based on phase manipulation that allows the brain to identify where the sound is coming from.”
Broadly speaking, from a complicated work that has a mathematical basis, the sound phase is worked that allows the brain to distinguish where the information comes from. The creator of 360 ° sound was the English inventor Michael “The Man” Gerzon, an extraordinary mathematician, who, in the words of Mayo himself, “discovered something very powerful but was 40 years ahead of what was not valued enough in his time” .
May, who until 2015 was president worldwide of the Association of Audio Engineers (Audio Engineering Society – AES), founded in 2017 together with his partner Martín Muscatello, the 360 Music Lab. There, currently, they are working on an album entirely in 360 ° sound with Argentine and foreign artists such as Proyecto Gómez Casa, Lula Bertoldi, Loli Molina, Chancha Vía Circuito, Darío Jalfin, Nahuel Bronzini and Famasloop.
“According to our knowledge, it would be the first compilation that works in a 360 ° way in Latin America. The way we approach this album is to make 360 ° technology work, not just a song spinning around. I understand that it is part of the effect, but you can do something more musical by separating the different instruments and making them move in a much more coherent and harmonious space or sphere, with what is happening musically, ”he detailed.
He also said that today he works not only at a musical level but also in what sound refers to, innovating in albums but also in sound installations in conferences and presentations, such as the sample “Sex toy Mexico: Testimonies and fictions about women” , which included an immersive 360-degree audio proposal, to listen with headphones to the voices that could be inside each woman.
When he is questioned about the future of 360 ° sound, he states: “It is not going to replace the ways of listening to music, I do not think that stereo will disappear as a format, I do not know if artists will make whole records in this line but they will surely apply it in Parallel as a single or bonus track, it will also be increasingly used in sound installations, presentations, hangouts and virtual encounters would be enriched. It is a historic opportunity because hearing is the only sense that is truly 360 °, the eyes do not allow us to see 360 °, our ears can perceive sounds behind without the need to turn around. The one that guides the experience is the ear, that concept is a great opportunity for those of us who do audio and musical production in general ”.