The Otherworldly Sound of 8D Music

SPOTLIGHT
Elly Zulaikha
June 6, 2020
3 minutes

Have you ever heard or came across 8D music? Whether you see Youtube suddenly popping out your favorite song in 8D version or you’ve heard your friends been swearing at this future of music, we’re here to give you a quick introduction to 8D music and why this style of music is worth listening to.

What is 8D Music?


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The 8D music is an auditory sensation that tries to mimic a binaural recording, where sounds are spread in space relative to a human’s head. The 8D music’s mechanism differs from the normal stereo recordings, which aim the sounds to the left and right speaker channels.


If you have no idea what binaural audio is, it is a recording created using two mics that are placed in the identical orientation as our ears. The delay or “phase” found in a single sound that reaches those two mics, therefore, creates the ‘image’ of directional audio when you replay the audio.



In other words, this style of audio is devised to manipulate the sound itself to feel as if it is indeed coming from eight multiple directions. Although some didn’t find the term 8D music as fitting and could be another clickbait term, needless to say, it does feel like it’s coming from a multitude of different directions when you put on your headphones.


Image via knowyourmeme


How it became popular



This style of music was developed in the 1970s to improve the VR experience, however, it was only recently that 8D music really started growing in popularity, thanks to two famous Youtube channels, 8D Tunes, and Trillion - 8D Music, that began uploading popular music rendition into the style of 8D. 



However, if we look closely at why this style managed to attract massive legions of fans as evident in the Youtube view counts, we can say that 8D music complements two other sub-genres of Youtube videos, ASMR (Auto Sensory Meridian Response) and “binaural beats”. Just search for any ASMR or “binaural beats” videos on Youtube, and you can tell the similarities of how it somehow matches together. 



Similar to every early prototype of any invention, 8D music was no stranger to amateur-ish and awkward sound. However, as the style evolves and with better technologies available now, sound engineers continue to improve and experiment more with the 8D music. Eventually, we can recognize the 8D music style that lies in their soothing and satisfying appeal. 



Distracting or therapeutic?


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The dissonance that comes from 8D music’s structure creates a pulsating rhythm, in other words, an auditory illusion, which is why many people have reported experiencing therapeutic effects for activities like relaxation, focus, or sleep. 


Much like any trends that exist, different people have different opinions about whether 8D music is a messy, auditory distraction or ‘food’ for the brain because it really takes you on an out-of-body experience. But it’s worth mentioning that this style of music serves distinct purposes, depending on the music genre it adapts to. 


Image via hookeaudio


As for the science part, ASMR still puzzles scientists as to why it’s considered a real physical sensation, if not, at all. On the other hand, though the findings were mixed, found that when it comes to the efficacy of binaural beats, the brain does react particularly to certain frequencies of sound. Apply those two concepts together, and you get the 8D result. Sort of.


Nevertheless, people swore 8D music really makes them “high” due to its physical and mental relief it gives off. 


Closing


Image via Freeman


Despite the limitation of 8D music that requires using headphones for the maximum experience, this didn’t seem like an issue for many. In fact, 8D music provides a unique auditory experience for many individuals alike, which is why some people didn’t mind about this.


With the millions of subscribers and viewers found on every 8D music Youtube channel, it is most likely that more songs will be made available in 8D in the future. All in all, we look forward to seeing the further development of 8D music, and whether VR will fully utilize the use of this music, only time will tell!