The lockdown has given way to a viral audio phenomenal that will make you feel like you’re at a concert.
There’s a good chance you’ve received a link to a video or audio (no doubt a forwarded one) on WhatsApp with an accompanying message saying “Listen to this only with headphones”. Some of you may have instantly dismissed it as clickbait, a prank or even malware of some kind. Others may have listened and instantly forwarded it on to their entire contact list.
The reactions to 8D audio vary, but they commonly fall within the realms of “OMFG! What is this sorcery?”. Others are calling it the ASMR of 2020. That’s still up for debate, but you can hook up your headphones and determine that for yourself. This Pentatonix remix is the one that got the ball rolling, on WhatsApp. And the YouTube upload has amassed over 3 million views in a mere 7 days.
So, what is 8D? No, we haven’t discovered the 8th dimension (yet), but everyone knows that when it comes to entertainment the more dimensions the better. Heck, there’s 5D cinema and even 24D tracks floating about these days. Basically, 8D mimics binaural recording by adding a panning effect in post-production. Using multidimensional audio maps, it simulates sound circling your head using a rotating audio structure that makes you feel immersed in the music. Later, a reverb effect is added and that’s meant to take you back to the good old days of real-life festivals and concerts.
The technology is by no means new, but it’s definitely experiencing a bit of a renaissance with the help of global lockdowns. New YouTube uploads are being added daily, quickly moving up the rankings as millennials seek out their 15 minutes of Internet fame by hopping on the trend.
It’s not just limited to one genre or “dimension” either, remixes of Queen, Travis Scott and even Hans Zimmer can be found on the 8D rabbit hole.
While living room concerts are filling the festival void — and they’re really the only live group activity we have at our disposal beyond Zoom and balcony concerts — audio is likely to take on new meaning in our lives with new discoveries cropping up as the days in lockdown continue.
Youtube is no stranger to the new breed of audio subgenres. ASMR and binaural audio have taken hold of the internet of the last few years, with listeners noting both the soothing mental and physical effects of it. If you’re a part of that tribe then the world of 8D awaits you.