Chances are you’ve come across 8D music on YouTube, and even videos on this platform that urge you to use headphones for a better experience. When you listen to it, you feel like you’re in a live show, that the music is moving around you or even passing through your head… strange, isn’t it? In this article we are going to tell you all the ins and outs of 8D Audio, and how they manage to recreate these sensations in our head.
What is 8D Audio?
8D Audio is a binaural effect added to sound through editing to “trick” the human brain and make you feel like the music is moving around you or coming from different corners of the room you’re in.
A binaural effect involves creating an auditory illusion in the brain that occurs when you hear two tones of slightly different frequencies at the same time. Listening to these frequencies makes you hear a third imaginary sound, creating the sensation that it is positioned everywhere or located in certain spaces.
8D Audio uses the left and right speakers of the headphones to create a more immersive experience and gives the impression that the music or sound is coming from different directions or even dimensions. This generally creates a more pleasant and enjoyable feeling for the listener. People who have listened to 8D music say that it makes them feel like they are at a live concert, or that it feels like the music is coming from outside the headphones and moving through the ears.
With what we have told you so far, it is logical to say that the 8D sound is best reproduced when using headphones, as the effect is lost when played on speakers. The 8D effect isolates the sound heard in each of a human being’s two ears and relies on the left and right earphones to work.
How does 8D sound work?
As we mentioned a moment ago, 8D Audio is an effect that tricks the brain into thinking that the sound or music is coming from different directions. There is no one method or way to recreate the effect of this type of sound, and many audio professionals have created personal 8D effects, all ultimately achieving the same goal.
The audio is first recorded in the traditional (monolithic) way and then the effects are added in post production. These effects are created by mixing the audio and combining equalization and panning techniques; equalization involves using an equalizer to adjust the audio frequencies to make it sound like they are coming from different spaces in the spectrum from left to right between the two headphone speakers, making it sound like the audio is moving from one ear to the other and back, but all in your head.
To give the additional effect that the listener is at a live concert, you can add a reverb and echo effect to the audio by integrating This adds two more dimensions to the sound. The audio is then filtered so that it appears to bounce from one ear to the other.
Additional 8D Audio Considerations
Following the advent of 8D Audio, there are a number of considerations or questions that have arisen about it, and although some of them seem completely absurd you would be surprised to see how many people ask about them in the comments of the first 8D videos that were published on the online video platform YouTube, so we will try to answer each and every one of these doubts so that the concept is completely clear.
The first question has to do with the process of creating 8D Audio: how is it created? The answer is quite simple but complex at the same time, since in reality any audio engineer or person with high knowledge of sound engineering and mixing can do it, since as we have pointed out before all this is achieved through the post-production process. However, there are online tools that allow you to convert any audio track in 8D, with quite decent results although they are far from a professional work as it is logical.
Another question is whether 8D Audio is dangerous for your health, since it is “tricking” the brain. No, this type of effect is not dangerous and has no adverse health effects. Just like any other sound, however, listening to it at high volume and for long periods of time can hurt your ears, but as long as you listen to it at a reasonable volume there is nothing to worry about.
Another frequently asked question is what is the difference between 4D, 8D, 16D and even 100D sound. The “D” in these terms stands for dimensions, and as we said earlier there is no multiple dimension to music or sound, so these are just fancy terms to describe the effect. The higher the number that accompanies the D, the greater the degree of alteration of the audio, and the difference lies in the technique used to create the sound as its complexity increases.
Finally, some music critics are starting to point out if 8D Audio is the future of music, and if soon all record labels will use it “almost” forcing users to listen to music with headphones. Although this type of sound has been around for quite some time, it is true that today it is gaining quite a lot of popularity especially on YouTube, and in fact many popular songs have been converted to this “format” and the listens keep going up and up. We can’t predict if it will be the future of music, but it certainly looks like it will be, given how its popularity is growing.