GoPro + Hooke + Capturing Binaural 3D Audio In Thailand & Cambodia

HAPPY 2015!

Three weeks ago I left for a backpacking trip of Southeast Asia during which two friends and I toured Bangkok, Siem Reap, Chaing Mai, Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, and Beijing. I had intended to update the Hooke blog throughout, but oddly enough, WIFI signal is not the primary concern of thousand year old ruins.


Picture Clockwise: Ankor Wat (Sieam Reap), Angkor Wat (Siem Reap), Great Wall of China (Beijing)

For the most part, it was a vacation, but I ended up getting so much work done that by the end of it, the trip felt like much more than an escape.


Life is either an incredible adventure, or it’s nothing at all, so says the disembodied voice at the start of the video that plays over the home page of GoPro’s official website before launching into a series of breathtaking, adventurey HD visuals accompanied by an instrumental version of Woodkid’s “Run Boy Run.”

I’ll never forget when HD TV was introduced and people freaked out seeing individual beads of sweat dripping down football players’ temples. For the first time we were able to peer into that world of visual nuance from our living rooms. But what makes going to a Football match so much more stimulating than watching it from home? In addition to incredible hot dogs, when you’re at the game you are a part of this world of nuance: the fans, the banter, the queue for beer, the stadium-wide anxiety at each pass of the ball. Though it can zoom in on tiny sweat beads, television captures none of the aural nuance that the stadium experience has to offer. It captures the sights and sounds, but not the feeling of the stadium, which is all part of the magic of attending sports games.

GoPro’s wide fish angle lens is known for allowing viewers an immersive, high definition visual experience — for capturing visually the being there sensation.  The new GoPro Hero 4 was released just before I left for my trip, which seemed like a perfect opportunity to test Hooke out in the field by pairing the two and capturing my tour in Mobile 3D Audio.

The result was spectacular: the waves in the background, the water lapping our paddles, the garage door walloping open just ahead, the fragments of conversation drifting by from all directions. Every sound hear from every direction, all dictated by the turn and curve of my own head.

Listen for yourself:


As a consumer, my experience using Hooke with GoPro was simple and effective. Hooke connected with GoPro as an external microphone, rendering all audio captured while filming in Mobile 3D Audio. No pairing audio to video in post or third party software necessary. This is all done in preparation to recording.

Hooke + GoPro, however, is only one of Hooke’s many possible configurations. If I can capture Mobile 3D Audio on a long tail boat in the middle of an ocean, what can musicians do with Hooke onstage? What can athletes do with Hooke on the field? Hooke isn’t just for smartphones and computers — it’s for any device that can capture audio. Any device has the ability to seamlessly upgrade the way it captures sound.


As a result of this backpacking experiment, I found myself paying greater attention to the sounds around me, even when walking without Hooke + GoPro Hero 4. The way one is constantly on the lookout for interesting visuals while sight seeing, I found myself on the hear-out for interesting sounds. For as many breathtaking sights as there are in Southeast Asia, there are just as many breathtaking sounds. The longtail boats on the beaches in Ko Phi Phi, the floating markets and Tuk Tuks in Cambodia, the street markets in Bangkok, the serenity of the silence at The Great Wall. These are all great sights and great sources of sound, and even silence.

Part of my mission with Hooke has always been to help the world pay attention to sound. In Asia, I heard things I’d never heard before, just as I saw things I’d never seen before. But one doesn’t need to travel 8,000 miles to notice the world of aural nuance. There are as many unique sounds as there are sights in our everyday lives. It’s just up to us to pay attention to them, and even capture them.

There are so many sights when you are traveling the world, but never forget about the sounds that you hear in a foreign place. The conversations, the marketplaces, the town centers, the music–these are all things people experience but forget to mention when they talk about their vacations and travels. Next time you go on vacation or a new adventure, keep in mind to not only look out for great sights, but the equally as great sounds that accompany them.

From One Ear To Another,
Anthony Mattana
Hooke Founder

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