Immersive arts are a constantly evolving and developing part of Art branch, which in principle, has a simple definition — it’s the creation of a world around the person in a way that makes them feel part of and inside of it. In practice, the label of immersive art touches on everything from illusory world-building to simply including a piece of interactivity within a larger, traditional art show. In that description, to be labeled “immersive art” the only requirement is that an audience no longer exists as a passive group of onlookers. Viewers become “participants” and no two people experience the same thing. This can be done in almost any medium of art.
Our ZYLIA Brand Ambassador – Przemysław Danowski is highly involved in creating different immersive art experiences. He’s a spatial and algorithmic audio designer and producer, working at Sound Engineering Department in Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (Warsaw, Poland) and a sound design consultant in Visual Narratives Laboratory (vnLab) at the Film School in Łódź. His fields of interest are spatial audio, sound in game engines (Unreal Engine 4, Unity3D, FMOD, Wwise), sound for VR/AR, procedural, and generative sound (Max MSP, pd, Supercollider, etc.). Interested in audio/video codecs, compression, authoring, and streaming. He is also a director and producer of immersive music documentaries.
Z: What are you most proud of in your work?
PD: I’m really proud when I see my successes of my students, and the biggest success for myself now is being a part of an artistic group with my colleagues from the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw. This is why my teaching is focused on connecting students from both schools that I am working with. Being able to contribute to the works of a talented team is the most satisfying thing.
Z: Can you reveal any tricks or tips for beginners in the field of immersive art?
PD: Yes. First - networking. Do networking! Gather knowledge from people and share your knowledge with people. Second – experiment and try every tool that is available. Read the documentation! (RTFM! ;-) Don’t give up when something isn’t working – ask for help. Find workarounds and again – share your experiences with the community.
Z: What do you think is the future of 3D audio recording? What technological changes can occur or are already taking place in the industry?
PD: There is this gap between hardware and software now. There is a lot of great free or inexpensive software for 3D audio. On the other hand, the equipment is very expensive and it has a small assortment. I hope that it will change and with the mass adoption of immersive formats and the hardware for 3D audio will become more diverse and affordable.
I believe that a big part of the production of audio/video will take place in a virtual world or extended realities rather than on flat screens or in physical studios. I think that in near future avatar equipment will be something that will replace currently known software. There is a big shift coming with the cloud architecture – you will not need the computing power onboard. All the computing will be done in the cloud so the user devices will be just terminals. That will bring mass adoption XR, VR, and 3D audio along with it.
Z: Which industries can benefit from spatial audio and immersive solutions?
PD: Spatial audio will be an integral part of every industry, because XR will be the interface for all of the IT, and IT is now a big part of every industry that I know.
Z: You had the opportunity to get familiar with the ZYLIA 6DoF VR/AR Set. What do you think about such technology and approach for 6DoF audio recording and processing?
PD: I think that this is the beginning of a whole new era for sound. Volumetric audio and video - this is not sci-fi, it’s real and it will become a big part of the entertainment and art industry in the next years.
Z: How does this solution differ from others available on the market? What is its potential?
PD: There are countless possible applications for this I will not even try to list all of them. For me, it is a great medium for capturing theater, opera, concerts, exhibitions, sports. It’s like sampling reality in 3D. It is very easy to apply. You don’t need so much “handcraft” work as in object audio to have a 3D soundscape. You just apply adequate resolution, that is how many sampling points – microphones – you will apply per area. And it doesn’t need to be uniform. You can decide what you are sampling with high resolution and which parts will be more generalized. I believe that it is also more efficient in terms of needed resources. It’s easy to plan. I am really looking forward to doing some experiments with it.
Z: What are your next career plans? What would you like to do this year?
PD: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, my primary plans were changed. I was scheduled to do some presentations of the Connexion project at kingt gut! conference in Hamburg and AES in Vienna. My Polyphony project was about to premiere on festivals but all of that needed to be changed in the face of this new situation. I hope that I will be able to have this works presented in the second half of this year and in the meantime I’m working with my team on new projects and continuations of previous projects.
I’m working on and the second edition of my Connexion project, (codename: Re:Connexion). It’s a virtual sound art installation that exists in XR. It is an interactive music/sound interface, on which you will be able to perform. This is going to be a multiplayer application, so the performance will be collaborative. This installation will be placed in venues such as physical museums (in a designated room for it) and in the internet as well, so you will be able to perform with your friend that is standing right next to you and people from all around the world at the same time.