Sound designer/composer Anthony Mattana has discovered a way to capture 3D sound with Hooke. Live Design chats with him about his invention:
Live Design: Please describe Hooke, and did you invent it?
Anthony Mattana: I am the founder and inventor of Hooke. For the past five years, I've been working as a sound designer for theatre. I love making sound for theatre because of the immersive qualities only theatrical sound can possess. There is nothing quite like hearing a live performance, and I wanted a way for people to experience that immersive sound outside of the theatre. That's when I discovered binaural recording or 3D sound, the process of capturing sound identical to the way our human ears do. The result is a recording that makes you feel like you're there—it captures the entire 360-degree spectrum of hearing.
At the moment binaural/3D recording is a very expensive, equipment intensive ,and cumbersome task. It's only accessible by a small niche market like mine. I think everyone should have the power of 3D recording at his or her fingertips. I want to give this tool to the masses so that they can create their own stories without worrying about breaking the bank or carrying around a ton of gear. We are constantly sharing our lives through our mobile devices and while camera technology has improved, audio technology hasn't. Hooke aims to change that.
Hooke is a multifunctional pair of Bluetooth headphones that in addition to providing great audio playback allow you to capture sound in 3D. I combined thousands of dollars worth of binaural recording equipment into a lightweight, portable pair of Bluetooth headphones that can fit in your pocket. Now you can listen to music on the go and record 3D sound without ever taking off your headphones, for the same price as a standard pair of headphones.
LD: How does Hooke capture 3D sound?
AM: The magic is in the mics. The placement of a microphone in each earbud is key, as it is intended to replicate the human ear. Imagine your eardrums having a record button. Now they do. When a listener listens to your recordings, it's as if they're putting on your ears. And since Hooke can connect with your mobile device, you can now seamlessly capture your 3D sound with video.
LD: What are the main uses for this product? In the live entertainment production or design world, are there specific uses?
AM: Hooke will redefine the way we tell stories through sound. No longer will we capture this 3D sounding world in 2D. Hooke is about improving the way we share our stories, it's about bringing our audiences that much closer to our lives. For any industry looking to better communicate with their audiences, Hooke is the next step.
LD: Why do I want this?
AM: If you're going to be buying a new pair of earbuds, why not buy a pair that also enable you to record 3D sound for the same price? If we put a camera to our eye to allow viewers to see what we see, why don't we put a camera to our ears to allow viewers to hear what we hear? Humans don't care much about sound quality because they've never had control. They haven't had a choice. We're sharing sound the wrong way: Hooke will change that. After you hear it, you'll never want to go back to 2D. Hooke finally allows us to share sound as it was originally intended to be heard… from one ear to another.