Why a Discrete Tactile Transducer Channel is DESPERATELY NEEDED from HOLLYWOOD .....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisA, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    [rant]My feelings on tactile transducers for general readers. Some of the paragraphs are repetative, I'll try to edit out the redundancy later. Please read :[/rant]
    First of all, the (.1) just means limited bandwidth, nothing more. A dedicated channel means you can put whatever information you like in that channel and it has nothing to do with the soundtrack. You are correct that CURRENTLY, you would not want to run ANY tactile transducer to anything other than bass frquencies, however, a discrete 0.1 track for a tactile channel is an entirely different ballgame and level of performance.
    A tactile transducer works on the human vibrotactile system shich are chiefly composed of pacinian corpuscles. I will be publishing a small review article that will adress these issues. Depending on the installation and resonances induced by the tactile transducers, you may produce a small amount (more or less) auditory information as a byproduct. A dedicated discrete .1 channel for tactile transduction would have infinte ability of customization and creativity. I hear Lucas, Speilberg, and other Hollywood players are interested in developing the abilities of tactile transducers, and the first step are on the way toward a discrete .1 tactile transducer track: THX certification as well as several processor manufacturers which are making better use of the current soundtrack and providing another output jack exclusively for a tactile transducer. The next step is a discrete .1 track right on the DVD for tactile transducers.
    Using an audio soundtrack for tactile transducers is innaccurate and innapproprite for many of the reasons you mention. A discrete .1 track for tactile would allow 0-600 Hz information, in essence you should roll everything off because at 600 Hz would be a brick wall filter just as in the LFE channel, no 121 Hz can exist. In actuality 500-600 Hz is the upper limit to what we can feel. It makes no sense to put information into tactile tranducers above 600 Hz, an Clarke Synthesis is downright wrong for focusing on full range tactile because it is an oxymoron--we don't have any specailzed nerve endings in the vibro tactile system to sense anything above say 600Hz, one could argue 500 Hz according to the research available (I have a degree in molecular biology as well as Neuroscience, and eventually went to and graduated medical school a couple of years ago, currently I am a radiology resident). I'm currently doing a review article from the literature which is rock solid.
    In any case, here is what a dedicated .1 channel would provide, which I know is obvious to all of you:
    1) More natural and discrete bass effects like those found in Eric Kunzel and Telarc discs... no fear of blowing subwoofers since this track is exclusively for tactile.
    2) No inappropriate information (such as dialog).
    3) You would have SOME of the soundtrack present in the discrete tactile track, but at a much lower level or I should say it depends on what is SUPPOSED to produce tactile information. YOU HAVE TOTAL CONTROL.
    4) Neat Foley effects:
    A) Speeders in Star wars that vibrate at much higher frequencies than just a rumble in the LFE track
    B) Helicopters and motorcycles when the main characters are on them will feel more like an actual helicopter/motorcycle, etc... not just an LFE rumble.
    C) Anything creative!
    5) Reduction in tactile that currently produces too much effect which again is because of the reliance on the soundtrack to produce tactile information:
    (Numerous examples)
    6) Scenes and events that should produce tactile feedback, but currently do not (again because of reliance on the soundtrack for tactile info).
    (Numerous Examples)
    Character jumps and lands, an appropriate small landing thud should be felt, yet no sensation is produced.
    Subtle actions that occur onscreen yet do not produce any tactile sensation
    Feel free to add to the huge list of examples that could be created.
    The bottom line is that you can include exactly what you want and at the appropriate level. This level of performance is what we need and is so far beyond what we are currently experiencing. Only with a discrete tactile .1 channel will we have true accurate tactile response. Further, we can explore the entire sensory system, not just limit ourselves to low bass frequency vibrotactile information. Reliance on the LFE track or playing games with the soundtrack is innacurate and crude for the production of tactile info....
    More talk:
    Obviously, if the main character is on the speeder and it as though we were that character, then the tactile would be appropriate. In any case, the point is and was that the advantages of a discrete .1 track for tactile are night and day crystal clear. How to best use that track is something that could be up for debate/artistic choice.
    Further, I disagree with crude comments I see occassionally about "shaking your butt". If you are shaking your butt, there is something wrong with the install or the install is not optimal. You need to have your entire body on the platform, whether it be the entire floor, or at the very least, the entire area you are sitting on. In my case, it is a platform, which 'covers the entire body'. The vibrotactile effect is *encompassing* as though you were *IN* that environment. If your butt is shaking, I can't explain that.
    In real life we often feel things that are almost entirely touch or vibration or motion--that do not produce sound, or produce very little sound. Life is a BLEND of auditory, touch, vibratory, and motion. The key for realism is to produce the NATURAL blend as it occurs in real life. You cannot achieve that through speakers alone. An interesting concept is also produced by www.dbox.com called the Oddessy I believe (it has been a little while since I looked into it, although I did set some guy up with (2) of those systems). They produce 3D motion and tactile however they are limited to 100 Hz (from what I remember) because the devices on all 4 corners of the platform have to do both 3D motion and vibrotactile and appear to be more hydraulic in nature with limitations to how fast they can move up and down.... The ideal device would actually be like the dbox oddessey system which was also able to provide up to at least 400/500 Hz (600 Hz is ideal which would fully cover our ability to perceive vibration and provide room for somewhat of a rolloff in a .1 channel. Any .1 channel, like the LFE channel should provide a rolloff before the brick wall filter).
    In any case, there are events in our environment that are purely auditory or purely vibratory with much in between. You cannot use speakers to induce vibrations for events that are strictly vibratory/tactile in nature. Nor could you achive the proper *blend* of auditory/motion/vibrotactile ... you simply need both devices.
    I am an audiophile first and foremost and I attest that proper installations of tactile transducers are one hell of a treat. The potential for these devices is huge and they will soon reach their full potential with a discrete .1 vibrotactile track.
    We desperately need a discrete tactile channel from 'Hollywood'. I urge people to continue to ask and push for a discrete tactile channel which will make anything and everything possible for tactile. I hope to finish a small review article on this matter sometime within the next month or two.
    Also, the range of tactile that we should consider is between 0-600 Hz. Clarke's insistence on have full range tactile trandsduction is simply wrong. The limit to tactile perception is in the range of 0-600 Hz, and that research is clear in the literature. The human body can hear 20-20,000, or thereabouts, but tactile, vibratory percetion is limited to the 0-500'ish range, 600 Hz being picked to completely cover the vibratory perception bandwidth, plus a little room for a rolloff if needed. Using the SOUNDTRACK for vibratory information is innacurate, totally not correct. We need a discrete tactile channel ASAP. Without repeating myself, I think anybody can imagine the possiblities and advantages of a discrete tactile channel. A limited bandwidth channel for tactile takes negligible bandwidth so adding a track for that purpose is not a technical issue, and could easily be added to the existing DVD format. Work is underway to make that happen but nothing is guaranteed without your vocal support. I urge those who have not done so to think about hopw drastic a change a discrete tactile channel would bring about... Night and day difference.
    Someone said:
    "Intriguing. Why doesn't "Hollywood" just put all their "tactile" information in the sub 500hz component of the LFE track, and have that act as the "tactile track". Wouldn't that accomplish the same thing? "
    There are a lot of misnomers going around about tactile transducers, simply because there is no discrete tactile channel yet available. Tactile transducers are ultimately not meant to add bass or to eliminate the need for as much subwoofer output, etc... Ultimately tactile transducers are to be used exclusively for tactile feedback, which requires a separate discrete limited bandwidth channel. You need to put only the information you want into the tactile channel. Further, in that sense, you control the EXACT level of tactile output. No exagerrated or missing effects. No stupid rumble from the LFE which is AUDIO information. Without repeating myself, I know I wrote much more in other posts, but I think anyone can easily see the night and day advantages of a discrete .1 track for tactile. Further, you can have a new level of CREATIVITY, not otherwise explored, since you can do ANYTHING without effecting the AUDIO soundtrack whatsoever. You could do such incredible uniques tactile effects and do them covering the entire range of human perepction. We need this! Again, I urge everyone to explain the need for a discrete .1 channel exclusively for tactile, and to voice your support on all the forums. You could also increase the effects to much lower frequencies as well since you are dealing with devices that can handle single digits.... The possibilities are unlimited. Do you see what I am taking about?
    By the way, .1 channel just means limited bandwidth, and for a discrete .1 tactile channel, we are talking about 0-600 Hz.
    Anything above 600 Hz bandwidth is a waste as the literature is clear. As a physician, it is also common sense. Clark is not correct in making devices that cover above 600 Hz. Nor is it desireable to produce vibrations that could induce auditory information higher than necessary. I recommend Buttkicker 2 because they are the best at covering 0-500/600 Hz at this time. I still use the original buttkickers (2) because at this time, only the LFE track is useful, and the original Buttkickers have a lower resonance frequancy and are better at 0-120 LFE frequencies IMO than the BK2. However, when a discrete track for tactile becopmes available, allowing for 0-500/600 Hz frequencies, then the BK2 will have much more linear output at 500-600 Hz than the original BK.
    Further, I want to emphasize that an additional .1 track 0-600 Hz for discrete tactile is not an issue in terms of bandwidth requirments. The amount of information (storage space and bandwidth) is neglible and could easily be implemented into the current DVD spec. Certainly DTS is having fun adding DTS discrete, etc.. The Buttkicker transducer is currently undergoing THX apporoval. The work is in progress for Hollywood to move into the tactile realm adding the sense of tactle and vibratory information to movies. Our current use of the LFE and soundtrack to feed tactile transducers is crude and does not come close to the potential of these devices. Only a discrete tactile channel will allow *Virual Reality* as well as creativity that has yet to be known.
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yeah, and we could also show the movies in Feel Around. That would really expand the reality.
    [​IMG]
    Vince
     
  3. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I see no need for a special tactile transducer until it becomes standard feature in most films and movie theaters.

    To have such a channel would require someone to mix a track which would add costs to a film that would probably not be warranted unless the standard was widely adopted. A special DVD track would cater to even a smaller amount of people, who A. Have tactile tranducers or even desire a transducer and B. Want to modify furniture etc. for proper use.

    Also, Chris, where are you getting these numbers from 0-600 hz as the usable range for a tactile transducer? I am asking out of ignorance since I have no first hand knowledge on the subject, but you are stating numbers like they are common knowledge so I would like to know your source.

    J
     
  4. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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  5. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    Justin,

    The momentum for wide acceptance of tactile transducers is well on the way. Several processor manufacturers are going t be including special outputs for tactile transducers. It is only a matter of time before we get a discrete tactile transducer channel. Tactile feedback is the next step towards a more involving experience. For a look at how easy it is to build a platform, see the pictures of the Worm Hole Theater, featuring the Black Hole Subs, and Death Star Platform. There are many ways to incorportate tactile feedback. I am 110% satsified with the Death Star Paltform and would build one again. I hope to build a two-tiered platform, and/or incorporating a D-BOX type of system when I hopefully get to build a cost no object (ok, cost no object within reason) A/V room someday.

    As far as the reason 0-600 is listed, the reasons are explained above. My credentials were listed in the above. The numbers come from basic neuroscience principles. The vibrotactile system is straighforward, there is nothing mysterious about it. Additionally, you can easily do a literature search on Pacinaina corpusles, vibrotactile system, frequency response.. The numbers come from basic (common knowledge) principles in neusroscience as well as a fair amount of research articles regarding frequency response and the human vibrotactile system (from many places all over the world, including John Hopkin's, and any other major University).
     

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