THEATER OF THE MIND GOES 3-D
RRCA Science Fiction Dramas Set to Become More Immersive
“The reason I began writing science fiction audio movies for the Radio Repertory Company of America was primarily because it gave my partner and engineer Angelo Panetta the opportunity to experiment with unique soundscapes and music effects. Setting stories in the future provides the ultimate in sound design flexibility. 3D audio is a natural extension of that,” says RRCA founder and creative director Larry Weiner. Fans of the company who appreciate the company’s audio approach can download a sample of how 3-D audio amplifies the listening experience of its shows. However, its new show “Anne Manx: Beginnings” will be entirely 3-D.
In recent years, the quality of sound has become more important to listeners than ever before. Many scour the shelves in search of the latest and greatest pairs of headphones to have the most enveloping listening experience as possible. However, what if you were not only trying to cancel out the noise around you, but also trying to be inside of your favorite audio story? Enter 3-D audio.
3-D audio is taking the gaming and movie industry by storm, but the rise in prominence, capturing capability, and accessibility to this technology has inspired sound engineer Angelo Panetta to enhance the Anne Manx series’ listening experience.
Panetta elaborates on this approach by explaining, “Since RRCA productions are produced with a large cast, elaborate sound effects and full action score, we have an excellent opportunity to mix Anne Manx in Dolby Atmos. Atmos allows me to place sound anywhere in a 3D virtual space. Dolby gives Atmos mixers the option to export their mixes as a multi speaker or a 2 channel binaural mix. With the binaural option, listeners do not need to have an elaborate multi speaker surround setup. They can enjoy the 3D audio experiences with a standard pair of headphones. 3D audio can be experienced without headphones, but the experience is extremely enhanced with the use of headphones.”
RRCA is excited by this new, challenging technology. The listener experience is integral to the enjoyment of audiences, and we think our fans will notice immediately how the Anne Manx 3-D experience adds to their enjoyment of our shows.
Panetta is offering a short 3-D sample, “Anne Manx and the Baldurian Legend,” to gauge audio reaction to the new technology. The show can be downloaded from the company’s website (www.rrca.com). Its next series, “Anne Manx: Beginnings,” starring Broadway actor Heather Botts as the young Anne Manx, set for a January release, will be offered in full 3-D audio.
While 3-D audio offers listeners a far more immersive listening experience, the company is known for offering its fans other immersive experiences. Most well known for its feature-length audio dramas, RRCA has offered a comic book, “Anne Manx, Birth of the Cat,” and now four new Anne Manx adventures are available in print. These are original and print only episodes.
The Radio Repertory Company of America (RRCA) is always experimenting with content. The award-winning podcast company never gets too comfortable with formatting, structure, and plotlines. They deliver new experiences inside and outside of the pieces they create. Between approaches of transmedia, which is a tactic to further immerse audiences into the plotlines outside of the original, traditional form, and the new novella series, which is a way to tide audiences over between audio drama releases, Larry Weiner and Angelo Panetta, the founders of RRCA, ensure that their work is ever-evolving.