This aural cue is important when processing information as joyful as music and as dangerous as traversing a busy intersection. Live concerts, like the jazz in New Orleans, always have surround sound. Throughout history, however, that hasn’t always been the case.
The island nation of Malta in the Mediterranean has the oldest freestanding structures built by man and the first known example of sculpture as architecture. While archaeologists classify these structures as temples, the classification is based on pure conjecture. The peoples who built these structures disappeared from the island about 1,000 years before the next group of settlers showed up. The Hypogeum, an underground temple, features an acoustic cave that amplifies the sound of a resonating deep voice. Its main chamber is set up like a stage and changes when the light changes. It is easy to imagine that this place was used for performances and storytelling, complete with mystic sounds.
At the Movies
Movies were accompanied by a piano player before the advent of synchronized sound and the release of The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson in 1927. Walt Disney created the first synchronized sound short with Steamboat Willie in 1928. However, it wasn’t until Disney’s release of the concert film Fantasia in 1940 that movies started to explore stereophonic sound. Disney’s Fantasound system gave viewers the aural cues to believe that sounds were coming from different parts of the theater. Ultimately, the system proved too costly, and Disney ran out of funds to convert theaters to the required system.
Even today, the radio has AM stations still broadcasting in mono. However, most FM stations are in stereo. Stereophonic sound means that sound is broadcast on 2 tracks, 1 for the left ear and 1 for the right ear. It approximates surround sound without really delivering the fullness of a surround sound experience. Some older recordings have been converted into stereo, which has resulted in the vocals in 1 ear and the instruments in the other.
With new technologies and the home theater system, surround sound has been made available to individuals for the first time in history. These systems often feature 5 or more points and can be configured to deliver the best sound experience possible for home entertainment viewing. Watching movies that feature things like spaceships or dinosaurs all around makes a surround sound system so appealing.
In the Car
It may seem like a surround sound system in your car is a little overkill, but considering how much time people spend in their vehicles, it may be one of the best ways to get the most out of your stereo system. There are few who can resist turning up the volume on their favorite songs; the right vehicle system will make that experience even better.
While people are focused on their eyesight as a sense, sound is highly underrated. Getting a surround sound system in New Orleans, LA, may be the best thing that you do for your home, especially if you like to watch films. Now you no longer have to just listen up, you can listen in the multidirectional glory of surround sound.