Discovery Dock – Mixed Reality 3D Sound Experience
WINNER 2020 | Category: 3.1 Soundscapes and Ambient Sound
BETTER SOUND 2020 | Categories: 1. Product, 3.4 Social & Culture
The Discovery Dock is a Mixed Reality 3D adventure of the port area in Hamburg. Our task was to create a full 3D sound experience which allows visitors to connect emotionally. With state-of-the-art 3D recording and playback technologies as well as specially created interactive composition algorithms, the sound experience is complex and haunting.
The Discovery Dock is one of the most innovative tourist attractions in Hamburg. Here, visitors can discover the Port of Hamburg interactively along with real-time data, state-of-the-art VR technology, projections and live simulations. In close cooperation with the lead agency Demodern, it was our task to create a 3D sound experience for the theme parc which allows visitors to connect emotionally.
Our work included design- and technology-conceptualization and realisation: compositions, sound recordings, sound design and mixing, as well as planning of a 54-channel 3D Speaker set-up and programming of a software to control the sounds.
To capture typical harbour sounds like the ships’ typhons, cranes, wind or water as truthfully as possible, our team went about with an eight-capsuled 3D microphone array around the harbour area for several weeks. Through a sound installation with 54 channels distributed in two rooms, plus several 3D sound headphones mounted on VR-goggles, the Discovery Dock will provide a comprehensive soundscape to the visitors. A specially created composition algorithm reacts to changes of the ships’ movements, tides, as well as to the visitor’s behaviour. With its designed ‘acoustic fingerprint’, Discovery Dock promises individually unique moments every visit.
The transition room inside the hallway is greeting the visitors with the overture ‘Wassermusik’ by Georg Philipp Telemann. The suite was composed in 1723, commonly known as ‘Hamburger Ebb’ und Fluth’ (high and low tide of Hamburg). We created a new arrangement in three variations, played by a string quartet. Produced in 3th order Ambisonics, Telemann’s work mixes up with harbour sounds and emits vibrations that will take the visitor on an aural journey from Elbstrand, over Landungsbrücken into the industrial harbour. For the introduction film shown inside the transition room at the beginning of each tour, we created a 3D soundtrack with a captivating music theme combined with voice recordings and different layers of moving sound particles to increase immersion and emotional effects.
With state-of-the-art 3D recording and playback technologies as well as specially created composition algorithms, the sound experience at the Discovery Dock is complex and haunting. A great achievement of the overall interplay of media and technologies is a new level of immersion on the part of the visitors.
Altogether, we led the conception and implementation of this unique sound experience overcoming the very sportive conditions that came along for everyone from the board; from engineering and programming to production challenges. Against this background, the Discovery Dock now is a showcase for us in the field of auditory design of multimedia experience areas.