Does anybody have some insight in how to make a sound 4D?

Genaudio has a few apps that make your sound 4D.

I met the Genaudio Plugin Manager one time at a seminar he did in San Francisco. After the class he showed us this cool plug-in that is in development by them. It gave you the ability to put audio behind you or anywhere in a 360 degree, spherical radius, and you could add distance too. I was hoping to be able to do that without wild algorithms.

  • @Chris, thanks for clarifying your question. I don't see how Genaudio is doing anything other than placing the sound in a typical three-dimensional space. The 4th dimension is purely theoretical, based on movement in time-space, isn't it? How could you possibly apply that to sound? Moving further into the distance is just another variable in three dimensions. Oct 28 '10 at 23:34
  • To continue that thread... could you call sound a 4th dimensional.. thing... anyway? Unlike an image it's only understandable through time.
    – Miles B.
    Oct 29 '10 at 1:32

I checked out Genaudio's site and from what I can tell, "4D" is much like the 3D audio that became popular back in the late 90's. The effect is achieved through some fancy phase and eq algorithms that can make a stereo source sound like it's coming from beside/behind you. As I recall, it was a cool effect, but with a combined lack of control, a narrow sweet-spot, and the effect gradually becoming more and more not-cool after sustained listening, it all but disappeared. My guess is that Genaudio is trying to bring it back with an outrageous "4D" claim, but I would need to hear their stuff first to make that call. Good luck.


3D sound is already 4D anyway (time) :D


IOSONO is a new technology that allows content creators to virtually place sounds outside, along the boundaries of, or within a listening space. I saw/heard a demo on Tuesday at the L.A. AES meeting. It uses a massive number of speakers (I think our theater had around 61 -- 47 surrounds, 10 fronts, and 4 subs) to distribute its up to 32 channels of content. According to its creators, the system uses wave field synthesis to model sound waves as they would appear after propagating from their sources in the mix (in the case of a film, where the sounds should be in relation to the audience). It's already in use at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and the creators hope it will become the next delivery format for feature films.

The audio-only examples I heard were pretty compelling, and the IOSONO mix of the film clip they showed sounded noticeably clearer/cleaner than the 5.1 version (perhaps due to better distribution of content through the increased number of channels).

Still only 3D, though.


Head Related Transfer function or HRTF is how you make a sound 3D - or 4D if you include time ;) - it's a pretty old tech - and generally only 100% successful through headphones, because you are always in the center of the mix. with speakers you can turn your head or move out of the 'sweet spot'.


Any other ideas on how to send a sound to the back? Subtractive EQ, reverb, and delay techniques? Also, MondoMod; does this have a send to back on it's interface? I read the manual and the results I am not clear on.

  • "send a sound to the back" why not just work in 5.1? So the surrounds are discrete, calibrated and the results are fairly reliable...
    – user49
    Oct 30 '10 at 5:44
  • Because I don't have enough money for a 5.1 system.
    – Chris
    Jan 18 '11 at 22:19

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