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What is your favorite binaural recording?
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#31
16th April 2010
Old 16th April 2010
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Make a Jazz Noise Here

OK, so I stole that line (from one of my all-time favorites, Frank Zappa), but here's a short excerpt of a jazz performance. Have a listen and let me know what you think. It's binaural (made using a Neumann type KU-100 mannequin head)...so yes, headphones will best convey the spatial aspects of the performance and the venue.

One other thing: The KU-100 was positioned facing the stage, just about dead-center, and roughly 3 feet above the patrons who were seated beneath it (they were unaware). If you listen very closely to this track, right around 1:36 you can hear the server inquiring with the guests as to their drink order, and right about at the 1:40 mark you can hear the patron, who elevates his voice to be heard by the server, placing his order for a "Miller Lite".

Mark
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Last edited by Mark A. Jay; 9th May 2010 at 03:42 AM.. Reason: Added a paragraph about the patrons
#32
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
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More Binaural

Hi,
Here is a bit of binaural fun - a couple of binaural drama extracts with Richard O'Brien and a seascape. Headphones Essential

The Man from Snowy River
The Highwayman
Filey Brigg, Yorkshire, UK

Enjoy!
dallas
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File Type: mp3 Binaural Showreel mp3.mp3 (5.01 MB, 2669 views)
#33
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
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jazz noise

Knockout binaural jazz Mark! The drum kit to the right is stunning.
Keep up the good work.
dallas
#34
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas simpson View Post
Knockout binaural jazz Mark! The drum kit to the right is stunning.
Keep up the good work.
dallas
Thanks Dallas - I appreciate the kudos. It means a lot that the compliment comes from you.

Anyway, I really loved the sound of the radio drama stuff that you posted. I think it's extremely cool how binaural can paint some pretty amazing pictures and images in one's imagination, and I love what you have done to do precisely that.

As far as the jazz stuff goes, I'll dig out some more excerpts. I wasn't sure if anyone really was digging the sound of the attachment in the Make a Jazz Noise Here post, but I will look for a few more excerpts along those lines.

Last edited by Mark A. Jay; 12th August 2010 at 09:29 PM.. Reason: FTP link originally cited has been taken off line
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#35
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
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I'm listening to the jazz clip on my little earbuds while on my laptop computer. Sounds great, I'm loving the saxophone and the drums. I love how even on these little in ear headphones that this recording is "putting me in the space." Anyways, great work Mark and keep em coming.
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#36
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
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More Jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
I'm listening to the jazz clip on my little earbuds while on my laptop computer. Sounds great, I'm loving the saxophone and the drums. I love how even on these little in ear headphones that this recording is "putting me in the space." Anyways, great work Mark and keep em coming.
OK...your wish is my command - here's another Jazz excerpt recorded in the club one night. As with the previous excerpts, it's binaural. The Neumann type KU-100 was the microphone used here as well.

Grab the headphones...and (hopefully) enjoy.
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#37
25th April 2010
Old 25th April 2010
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Binaural - Commercial - How?

Just to extend things a bit here - OK we can all produce favourite recordings and there are a number of binaural CD's out there, but how do we make the binaural format more popular and more commercially viable?

Many of us know that for headphone listening binaural surround sound is the business.

And many of us know the binaural pitfalls and limitations regarding listening artefacts and lack of true speaker compatibility.

But to dismiss binaural completely as a 'mainstream' headphone surround format with so much of the listening audience using headphones / earphones these days, just because of some known issues that _can_ be accommodated and mitigated at the recording stage, seems like a major opportunity lost.

We have thousands of specialist magazines and specialist music genre radio progs, so why not format specific binaural radio and CD releases? Or at least more CD releases in the binaural format?

Perhaps its down to content? The field recordists and phonographers have been using binaural for years, but for environmental soundscapes, not specifically for music.

There is a little drama in binaural, and in the music genre there is a little jazz and classical in binaural, but very little rock or pop and related popular music genres.

In the past great binaural resources like 'The Binaural Source' have been and gone.

So what do you think? How can we finally bring binaural into mainstream listening?
#38
25th April 2010
Old 25th April 2010
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The Paradox of Binaural

Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas simpson View Post
Just to extend things a bit here - OK we can all produce favourite recordings and there are a number of binaural CD's out there, but how do we make the binaural format more popular and more commercially viable?

Many of us know that for headphone listening binaural surround sound is the business.

And many of us know the binaural pitfalls and limitations regarding listening artefacts and lack of true speaker compatibility.

But to dismiss binaural completely as a 'mainstream' headphone surround format with so much of the listening audience using headphones / earphones these days, just because of some known issues that _can_ be accommodated and mitigated at the recording stage, seems like a major opportunity lost.

We have thousands of specialist magazines and specialist music genre radio progs, so why not format specific binaural radio and CD releases? Or at least more CD releases in the binaural format?

Perhaps its down to content? The field recordists and phonographers have been using binaural for years, but for environmental soundscapes, not specifically for music.

There is a little drama in binaural, and in the music genre there is a little jazz and classical in binaural, but very little rock or pop and related popular music genres.

In the past great binaural resources like 'The Binaural Source' have been and gone.

So what do you think? How can we finally bring binaural into mainstream listening?
Dallas:

We are on the same page, as are all recording enthusiasts / engineers who are fond of the approach.

You make a great many sailent points. It's funny to stop and think how things might be different if headphones, rather than speakers had been the first to be entrenched as the 'normal' transducer for the listening / buying public.

Frankly, there is a mountain of recorded work that is 'stereo', and while there are many, many, many recordings out there that sound great (and please - to all reading this, please don't 'hate' for this), but they don't really sound natural, or rather, as natural as binaural does. There are amny factors, ranging for economic, technological, and even sociological as to why binaural didn't gain traction earlier, but the past is what it is.

Now, looking forward, there is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, now more than ever in history, many consumers experience their music via headphones. Paradoxically though, there's a whole generation of consumers who have been sold a bill of goods on poor-sounding lossy codec (i.e. 160 kbps and below) based sound, and heard over inexpensive and often poor-sounding headphones. You see this all the time in home theater forums - people who have amassed vast libraries of 96 kbps files that, when played over decent speakers, sound like a cassette that was left on the dash of one's car in the Arizona sun. It's not uncommon to read things like in home theater forums from those having just purchased a new receiver (and in some cases, a pre/pro) "is there something wrong with my receiver? I played my mp3 of (insert song title here) and the the CD and the CD sounded much better - is something wrong with the receiver ?"

I personally have been working with artists (and in some cases, venues) for whom the craft of their sound is a large part of their musical identity (Lee Harvey Osmond, Cowboy Junkies, Leigh Daniels, Sam Roberts Band, etc). The major acts would, I suspect, see binaural as anything but beneficial because a lot of what gets cranked out by top artists (because after all, the music business is a huge business) is long on over-dub, auto-tune, punch-in, and so on. I am not criticizing this per se, I'm merely saying that for some artists and engineers, in-the-ear realism isn't high on their list of sonic priorities. Mind you, it's not like binaural can't be part of a studio process (to wit Tchad Blake's use of the KU-100 on Pearl Jam's "Binaural" CD to name one), but binaural is a curious beast in a way, and I think there's a fair amount of aprehension about using it in studio versus in-situ.

I personally have been working social network sites, music / radio connections and such to keep pushing the binaural agenda. It's funny, because when people I know or meet hear binaural for the first time, there are two components to their immediate reaction (at least 95% of the time): a) They smile uncontrollably and turn their heads to see where the people or the musicians 'are' that seem to be in their heads, and b) when done listening, they say (something along the lines of) "I have never heard anything like that - how did you do that?". It's very rewarding to see people react that way, but I often feel like a lone disciple in trying to spread the 'gospel' of binaural - but that's why I try to work with asrtists for whom the sound quality and realism are paramount.

I have a few things in the works, one of which involves streaming some live concerts (binaural) for up-and-coming bands, and thankfully, organizations such as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra have moved in the binaural direction; they have concerts available via download that have been recorded with a KU-100 mannequin head (I believe that our own "Plush" is the Engineer responsible for those). We can thank Plush and otehrs like him for helping get binaural 'noticed' by those who probably would have never heard of it (or the results).

The irony is palpable in a way. I often hear people (especially fans of classical) lament how even in a very good recording (conventional), it really doesn't convey the same spatial aspects as does attending. In binaural, we have a means by which sections of a given house can all be recorded simultaneously and theoretically allow a listener to download / own a version recorded in his / her preferred space in the house. Indeed, even with all the unanswered questions of binaural (and on-going research), I truly believe that we can help create a very good facsimilie of a given performance that would otherwise not be heard as if the listener was there. Granted, a choice between conventional stereo and binaural would be welcome, but just to have binaural on peoples' radars would be a huge step - and we're not there yet.

Anyway, it is immensely frustrating. I have been told by Symphonies what amounts to "Thanks, but no thanks - we already have our own people recording in stereo". Clearly there is a lack of understanding about binaural and just what it can mean to someone who wants to hear accurate spatial attributes of the performance.

So, I will keep working the social network sites, the media connections, and all the obvious (and not so obvious) avenues that might be receptive to this approach.

Frankly, if you would like to collaborate with me on a 'bigger picture' approach (or others who are binaurally 'charged') then maybe we could start a new thread that speaks to the practical aspects, as well as share what has worked, what hasn't, and what might work in the future.

Apart from that, if you want to correspond via email about projects between you and me, I'd certainly be receptive to that as well (or as part of a bigger collective effort).

Last edited by Mark A. Jay; 25th April 2010 at 08:25 PM.. Reason: Fixed a typo here and there and added a bit of content.
#39
26th April 2010
Old 26th April 2010
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An Abundance of Binaural

Hi Mark,

I think a new topic may help, as you say bringing resources together looking at a variety of styles and approaches in binaural, what works what doesn't. Also encouraging the exploration of the range of extremes from the 'difficult' (sound art) to the 'popular' (music / jazz) binaural material.

The key here is approaching radio stations, (programme comissioners for me in the UK), with a set of binaural programmes based on themes to showcase the use of binaural - not in a 'whizz-bang' kind of way, but to illustrate how the binaural technique offers a total sense of realism, of being there and an immersive experience on headphones.

It may be possible to set up a dedicated podcast or internet broadcast?

We also need magazine coverage, but that's another area.

With regard to the limitations of low bitrate audio and poor quality replay equipment, we need to encourage listeners to maybe buy, or even borrow, a decent set of 'phones for instance, to fully access the detail of binaural.

There are also technical issues of getting higher streaming rates from radio and other websites, which is inevitable as connection speeds increase, but the timescale may be slow.

In other words we need to gather a following, solve some technical issues and promote what we have to offer.

Attached some live binaural music recordings / remixes. please join all three samples for continuous audio flow.

Video Killed The Radio Star (binaural live speaker remix), Geoff Downes & The New Dance Orchestra, Live at St Cyprians, London, from the album The Bridge (2006). Voiceprint.

Swimming, Live at Lee Rosy's from the Binaural Mini Tour, Live multispeaker / voicepipe remix, (2009).

Little Wing (Hendrix) live binaural recording, Ric Sanders Group with Rick Wakeman, from the double CD Live at Lincoln Cathedral (2002), Voiceprint

Swimming, Crash the Current, Live at Lee Rosy's from the Binaural Mini Tour, Live multispeaker / voicepipe remix (2009)

All music in this Showreel copyright the artists. For personal listening only, not for copying, broadcasting, or distribution in any form.

dallas.
#40
26th April 2010
Old 26th April 2010
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HRT F-it all?

Dallas: I thought it might be easier to copy and paste your text, and then [reply line by line / section in red font.]

Hi Mark,

I think a new topic may help, as you say bringing resources together looking at a variety of styles and approaches in binaural, what works what doesn't. Also encouraging the exploration of the range of extremes from the 'difficult' (sound art) to the 'popular' (music / jazz) binaural material.

[Mark: Agreed. I will start a thread in the next day or so about these matters. Any idea for a catchy thread title? I'm all ears (sorry, that was too easy). Let me know (and that goes for anyone reading this thread) if you can think of a catchy thread title. If I don't get a few good submissions, I'll likely just call the thread "Doing The Most With Binaural Recording Technology".]

The key here is approaching radio stations, (programme comissioners for me in the UK), with a set of binaural programmes based on themes to showcase the use of binaural - not in a 'whizz-bang' kind of way, but to illustrate how the binaural technique offers a total sense of realism, of being there and an immersive experience on headphones.

[Mark: I'm in agreement here, and have been doing precisely that (approaching radio stations). So far, the response has been mixed. I like the idea (in a way) of the practical examples that othes have posted (haircuts, at the zoo, etc) in terms of making the realism known, but the message is, in my opinion, getting lost; in some ways, some binaural files come across as 'quaint' or a form of a parlor trick.

In my opinion, we need to reach an audience for whom the experience of live sound is of great import. The most obvious exposure channel is net radio or HD radio streams in particular (not sure if HD radio is happening in Europe or to what extent). However, as we both have mentioned, protecting the bitrate from being maligned means that bandwidth will be critical if web-based.


Call me a conspiracy theorist, but frankly, I think a lot of music companies are happy with consumers having less-than-accurate headphones because this helps cover a multitude of lossy codec sins, and so very many consumers have been sold a bill of goods (especially in earlier days when broadband penetration was far less than it is today) vis-a-vis` 96 kbps music. Indeed, I can't tell you how many times I have told people who want to upgrade their mp3 players to instead upgrade their headphones (unless it's a song capacity issue). If and when they do, they often discover that much of their music library sounds quite inferior to the CD. On the other hand, the 'good' in this is helping people develop better listening skills and therefore more awareness of well-engineering recordings (be they mono, stereo, surround, binaural, or what have you).]

It may be possible to set up a dedicated podcast or internet broadcast?

[Mark: I'm working on it, but alas, the leads that I had had to date have not panned out because of two main issues - bandwidth (who controls it and my insistence in having at the very least, 192 kbps as the stream) and in other cases, licensing issues. I have had live webcasts fall through at the last minute because of the latter - not that the artists didn't embrace binaural and wish to proceed, but contractually, they could not because of the label's policies etc. In short, if it's a 'signed' band or entity, then (naturally) rights must be tended to. Thus, the most likely candidates are those acts that are presently not signed - AND who want every aspect of the performance heard. However, this is a rare individual (or act); warts-and-all performances are not the way most up-and-coming acts 'work' the system (and I can see why).

What are some other "natural" audiences for binaural? Classical / chamber / opera. However, when we consider the demographics of those genre, though there is (probably) more disposable income in those segments, there is probably less 'comfort' with technology (not to generalize, but truly, I think it's fair to say that younger folk are more comfortable with technology, but younger folk are probably less focused on Opera et al), so things like live streams that require headphones may not go over that well within the demographic.


Then, for those of us that still remember...there's the whole idea of "Please...not another "quad" format...". Indeed, the advent of 5.1 7.1 has made it easier for mixes done for 5.1 etc to be reproduced as intended, but are those 'alternative format' recordings selling on-par with downloads?

The one huge advantage that binaural has over surround (from an economic standpoint) is that all of the existing hardware in the playback chain (save for good headphones) are already owned by the consumer. So from the consumer's standpoint, their existing mp3 player is not made obsolete by a new format; it's made 'new' in a sense by allowing something specifically designed for headphone use (binaural sound) to be stored, carried about, and played on a device whose main purpose is to hold music.]


We also need magazine coverage, but that's another area.

[Mark: Indeed, but you have to ask yourself - what's newsworthy about binaural? I mean, from the magazine's standpoint? It's funny, because all of my acoustics and engineering friends all 'get' the beauty of binaural (and I have to say, all practically revel in its aural beauty), but as a percentage of the population with disposable income, me and my lot constitute a very small percentage.

It's one thing to discuss it to people like us, but it's anotehr thing to find an interest in the general public. My 'gut' tells me this (and this is the self-imposed directive I am folowing): Seek musicians, acts, and venues for whom the 'real' experience is a part of who they are (as artists) or what they are (as venues).]

With regard to the limitations of low bitrate audio and poor quality replay equipment, we need to encourage listeners to maybe buy, or even borrow, a decent set of 'phones for instance, to fully access the detail of binaural.

There are also technical issues of getting higher streaming rates from radio and other websites, which is inevitable as connection speeds increase, but the timescale may be slow.

[Mark: Agreed, and again, the web radio et al streams that are uncompressed (i.e. HD Radio) or otehrs that actually care about sound (as evidenced by a high bitrate) are probably the ones that should be approached.]

In other words we need to gather a following, solve some technical issues and promote what we have to offer.

Attached some live binaural music recordings / remixes. please join all three samples for continuous audio flow.

Video Killed The Radio Star (binaural live speaker remix), Geoff Downes & The New Dance Orchestra, Live at St Cyprians, London, from the album The Bridge (2006). Voiceprint.

Swimming, Live at Lee Rosy's from the Binaural Mini Tour, Live multispeaker / voicepipe remix, (2009).

Little Wing (Hendrix) live binaural recording, Ric Sanders Group with Rick Wakeman, from the double CD Live at Lincoln Cathedral (2002), Voiceprint

Swimming, Crash the Current, Live at Lee Rosy's from the Binaural Mini Tour, Live multispeaker / voicepipe remix (2009)

All music in this Showreel copyright the artists. For personal listening only, not for copying, broadcasting, or distribution in any form.

dallas.

Last edited by Mark A. Jay; 26th April 2010 at 06:40 PM.. Reason: Typos.
#41
27th April 2010
Old 27th April 2010
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Hi Mark,

I'll try and keep this short. New thread sounds great.

I take your point about many existing binaural samples sounding 'quaint' or a 'parlour trick', and totally agree that live sounds offer the most exciting possibilities.

I still think binaural drama has a lot to offer, but the style needs to be very different to the USA ZBS stuff for the UK market

For my part I am persuing contacts here in the UK, continuing to work with the local band Swimming - who are sold on the idea of promoting binaural. We are doing some more environmental binaural remixes in June.

The headphone only audience format - band playing in a seperate room to the audience, binaural audio and live video feeds to the listening space in the form of a 'chill-out' zone - from our binaural Mini Tour last year (2009), that we both collaborated on, is up on YouTube:


YouTube - 1of4 Swimming + Dallas Simpson// There's A Mountain (Binaural Live)// Listen with HEADPHONES ONLY
YouTube - 2of4 Swimming + Dallas Simpson// The Fireflow Trade (Binaural Live)// Listen with HEADPHONES ONLY
YouTube - 3of4 Swimming + Dallas Simpson// Crash the Current (Binaural Live)// Listen with HEADPHONES ONLY
YouTube - 4of4 Swimming + Dallas Simpson// Improv (Binaural Live)// Listen with HEADPHONES ONLY

And here is an environmental binaural music remix:
SWIMMInG// Tigershark Binaural Woods Remix (Headphone Only) on Vimeo

So it is possible to do live binaural headphone concerts. Obviously it could be done with any music genre - jazz, classical, metal, rock...

The radio broadcasting of binaural, (with the exception of London's Resonance 104.4FM), on UK National radio will be a particularly hard nut to crack!

Last edited by dallas simpson; 27th April 2010 at 11:26 AM.. Reason: typos
#42
28th April 2010
Old 28th April 2010
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All that time i Notts...and I never knew

Dallas: I checked out the Youtube stuff. Very cool concept - kudos to you and the band for the idea and technical direction. Very cool. What a small, small world indeed - all that time I spent in Nottingham, and I had no idea that other 'binaural folk' were afoot. Rest assured had I known, I would have sought you out.

Have to dash now - more later.

We really should talk more about advancing the cause; I have made a few contacts here with similar interests, and maybe (just maybe) we can pull off another binaural experiment on this side of the pond.

Again, I will try to start the new thread later this evening, or some time tomorrow.

Mark
#43
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
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Hello Dallas Simpson, I am a young french student. I'm about to finish my studies this year and find a job in movies' sound post production in Paris. I'm realy interested by the binaural recording espacialy in music. Maybe I missed something readind your thread but which microphones did you use to record the Swimming group?

Thank you
#44
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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Mark, do you have any lossless files for the CJ concert, or was that a commercial thing??

I mean.. is it available anywhere in lossless?
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#45
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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Cowboy Junkies Concert Recording - Lossless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
Mark, do you have any lossless files for the CJ concert, or was that a commercial thing??

I mean.. is it available anywhere in lossless?
The Cowboy Junkies proper have the lossless masters (in .wav format), but you can get the 320 kbps version from my FTP site. Apart from the first and last tracks, there is no fade between tracks (they are hard-edits). Let me know if you need the details to download the tracks.
#46
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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Custom modified DPA4060, for in-ear canal use.

Best wishes,
dallas simpson.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twicepab View Post
Hello Dallas Simpson, I am a young french student. I'm about to finish my studies this year and find a job in movies' sound post production in Paris. I'm realy interested by the binaural recording espacialy in music. Maybe I missed something readind your thread but which microphones did you use to record the Swimming group?

Thank you
#47
31st May 2010
Old 31st May 2010
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Thank you very much Dallas,

a last question : How did you do to custom it ?

best regards,

thanks
#48
31st May 2010
Old 31st May 2010
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Hi twicepab,

DPA4060 modification.

There are three simple parts to the modification:

1) reducing the diameter of the connecting cable by carefully cutting the 2mm coaxial cable close to the lavalier capsule and exposing 2mm of the wires of the inner core and screen. This is difficult.

2) soldering the core and screen from thinner 1mm coax cable, keeping each wire well separated, then folding the soldered joins and the thinner cable back on itself so that the thinner cable emerges from the front of the capsule and the joined soldered wires are against the side of the lavalier capsule, but not touching. A small dab of varnish will help to protect the exposed wires from shorting, or they can be left dry if they are not touching. This is very fiddly and difficult!

3) fitting a rubber / silicone sleeve or heatshrink tube over the back of the lavalier capsule, and covering the whole body of the capsule, to hold the soldered wires firm and to allow a secure, but not too tight, fit in the ear canal with the cable exiting from the front of the lavalier capsule. Note that the slight eccentricity of the sleeve / heatshrink due to the cable and soldered wires creates a small air gap in the ear canal that allows hearing, and the ear canal is not totally blocked by the microphone insertion.

The thickness of the rubber / silicone / heatshrink sleeve will need to vary according to the size of the ear canal of the user to ensure a firm, but not too tight fit.

good luck,
dallas.

Last edited by dallas simpson; 31st May 2010 at 09:08 AM.. Reason: add information
#49
31st May 2010
Old 31st May 2010
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Great sounding binaural recordings guys! Appreciate a thread sharing actual recordings along with the thoughtful discussion.

There's a common misconception about most all manufactured binaural in-ear dummy head microphones some of you own or have at times used to make binaural recordings.

Before I make comment, here is the background of discussion about this in this thread I wish to expand from source research from what I remember from doing binaural microphones patent research in the mid-late 80's.


Mark A. Jay has said:
“Anyway, you asked if this was recorded solely with the Neumann head, and as I said, I recorded more (mostly to compare the non-binaural to the binaural and see which I preferred), but yes, what you heard in those tracks is 100% binaural; none of those additional mics were incorporated into the files posted.

I do have one asterisk to add to that statement; I did have to employ some very high-Q notch filters to the final version, but only on the bottom end; the room had some horrific low-end modes (which the bass player discovered and then fought during sound check and into the night) and as it was my first time recording in the venue, I chose (mic locations) based on my best guess of the acoustics and decay times, but I did not count on the room modes at those locations - and I never, ever EQ as I record - I just don't believe in that.

So, when all was said and done, I listened and looked at a lot of spectra as well as sonograms to define the filters to have the greatest effect while remaining the least obtrusive to the timbre. Apart from the notch filters that I used to clean up the bottom end, I didn't do any further equalization - I owe a lot to the FOH engineer for his work, even if there was that gain faux pas in track 05. Apart from that, I thought he did a bang-up job.”


”Indeed, several manufacturers of test / human perception gear also make the in-ear microphones very much akin to what you have done (as have others) so that an operator (of a vehicle, agricultural equipment etc) can operate the deives and the perceived sound accurately and binaurally acquired. The only caveat in that approach is that it makes the binaural response specific to the person in whose ears the microphones were placed. So, in the test world, if and when we use this approach, we keep that in mind if we do any signal processing with the signals - it's binaural, but it's also different than would be the sound as acquired with a 'standard' head.

When I mentioned 'your' ears as being the reference, I really meant that in the sense of the bragging rights that would go to a company whose ear shape was decided as being the de-facto standard. I guess what I was saying is that despite engineers trying to do their best, budgets, pride, and reputations are often perceived as being on the line. That's what I meant by 'bragging rights'. I take no issue with you using your own (real) ears; you achieve the desired artistic and aesthetic effect, and that is what counts in recording. I'm exposed to both sides of the debate (for better or worse); working in an acoustics / signal processing lab has its benefits, but also its drawbacks.”

Now from what I’ve read, those designing in-ear dummy head products first tried developing a working product with direct microphones output, but found some inherent problems no mater what ear shape was used.

As discussed, no ones ear shape is identical, so a dummy would solely be its own prefect customer for hearing these recordings. However, more-or-less everyone else listening on phones would not be so thrilled.

So to have a practical dummy head product appealing to a wider audience special filter networks were designed into these dummy head microphones to greatly modify the output signal.

In other words, these dummy head products are not your father’s (or your own in-ear) binaural having a pure unmodified signal into the recorder. Instead these heads produce a highly modified-in-ear-semi-binaural appealing to most listeners wearing phones, and work better (if for only a short listening period) as resource special effects ‘mixed-into’ into commercial releases meant for both headphone and speaker playback.

While these made-for-general-consumption dummy heads are popular with most binaural recordists, they are a far cry from true personally worn in-ear mics both for using output network filters, AND for having completely different acoustic response.

These commercially available dummy head mics use many materials differing greatly from our own water-based-flesh-and-bone acoustic characteristics, and as such, might well be classified as ‘effects’ mics producing a baffled mic output too greatly differing from the natural HRTF response to be even considered HRTF.

Yes, they can sometimes produce nice sounding recordings, but these while sounding OK for nature sounds for which we have little reference for how they should sound, are too highly colored sounding, have quirky imaging, and generally too inconsistent for acoustic musical instrument recording purposes and not yet, or likely in the future, be considered appropriate as studio mics.

For these reasons, both from accidental discovery and intentional acoustic research, I have developed and patented (recently expired) a different method of producing recordings without modifying the mic’s output signal or changing the correct water-based-flesh human acoustic head response for true HRTF recording ability.

The DSM (dimensional stereo-surround) mics I make and use are modified physical/acoustically to be neutral (uncolored), and may be personally headworn or placed on an acoustically correct HRTF baffle (the only true HRTF one available) I also custom produce.

So while we are sharing our recordings made with our mics, suggest not being too narrowed about your own fine recordings to listen/comment to some of mine done over a 25 year period by myself and others using the not-in-ear-DSM microphone approach.

In other words, if you like binaural, and want to see this a virtual reality recording method used in more commercial stuff, consider a slightly more practical and more effective way to getting true you-are-there-audio into commercial music products.

You already have enjoyed the sounds recorded by DSM mics in many, many, many major films (like Lord of the Ring Trilogy, Sin City, and others going way back to early 90’s).

But the music professionals/industry experts have their heads stuck in other places, and are NOT going to let go of what they think they know works profitably for them until proven otherwise by a major player successfully using this old but still new technology.

So suggest we keep our passion for this type of sound, it will eventually be accepted by the music industry; maybe even in our own lifetimes!

Here’s just a quick musical sample: http://74.208.10.48/mp3/gkbjplat.mp3

Much more musical stuff at: http://www.sonicstudios.com/mp3_2slp.htm
#50
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuySonic View Post
Great sounding binaural recordings guys! Appreciate a thread sharing actual recordings along with the thoughtful discussion.

There's a common misconception about most all manufactured binaural in-ear dummy head microphones some of you own or have at times used to make binaural recordings.

Now from what I’ve read, those designing in-ear dummy head products first tried developing a working product with direct microphones output, but found some inherent problems no mater what ear shape was used.

As discussed, no ones ear shape is identical, so a dummy would solely be its own prefect customer for hearing these recordings. However, more-or-less everyone else listening on phones would not be so thrilled.

So to have a practical dummy head product appealing to a wider audience special filter networks were designed into these dummy head microphones to greatly modify the output signal.

In other words, these dummy head products are not your father’s (or your own in-ear) binaural having a pure unmodified signal into the recorder. Instead these heads produce a highly modified-in-ear-semi-binaural appealing to most listeners wearing phones, and work better (if for only a short listening period) as resource special effects ‘mixed-into’ into commercial releases meant for both headphone and speaker playback.

While these made-for-general-consumption dummy heads are popular with most binaural recordists, they are a far cry from true personally worn in-ear mics both for using output network filters, AND for having completely different acoustic response.

These commercially available dummy head mics use many materials differing greatly from our own water-based-flesh-and-bone acoustic characteristics, and as such, might well be classified as ‘effects’ mics producing a baffled mic output too greatly differing from the natural HRTF response to be even considered HRTF.

Yes, they can sometimes produce nice sounding recordings, but these while sounding OK for nature sounds for which we have little reference for how they should sound, are too highly colored sounding, have quirky imaging, and generally too inconsistent for acoustic musical instrument recording purposes and not yet, or likely in the future, be considered appropriate as studio mics.

For these reasons, both from accidental discovery and intentional acoustic research, I have developed and patented (recently expired) a different method of producing recordings without modifying the mic’s output signal or changing the correct water-based-flesh human acoustic head response for true HRTF recording ability.

The DSM (dimensional stereo-surround) mics I make and use are modified physical/acoustically to be neutral (uncolored), and may be personally headworn or placed on an acoustically correct HRTF baffle (the only true HRTF one available) I also custom produce.

So while we are sharing our recordings made with our mics, suggest not being too narrowed about your own fine recordings to listen/comment to some of mine done over a 25 year period by myself and others using the not-in-ear-DSM microphone approach.

In other words, if you like binaural, and want to see this a virtual reality recording method used in more commercial stuff, consider a slightly more practical and more effective way to getting true you-are-there-audio into commercial music products.

You already have enjoyed the sounds recorded by DSM mics in many, many, many major films (like Lord of the Ring Trilogy, Sin City, and others going way back to early 90’s).

But the music professionals/industry experts have their heads stuck in other places, and are NOT going to let go of what they think they know works profitably for them until proven otherwise by a major player successfully using this old but still new technology.

So suggest we keep our passion for this type of sound, it will eventually be accepted by the music industry; maybe even in our own lifetimes!

Here’s just a quick musical sample: http://74.208.10.48/mp3/gkbjplat.mp3

Much more musical stuff at: http://www.sonicstudios.com/mp3_2slp.htm
Well, first things first. The recordings that I heard were very, very good. Kudos to you on that and what you have accomoplished.

As far as the other issues that you raised with regard to the accuracy of the HRTFs employed in such mannequin heads as KEMAR, Head Acoustics, Neumann, Bruel & Kjaer et al, I'm not sure what to say to convince you to change your opinion. I know as a matter of fact that such heads are the standards used in research...by pretty much every university and pretty much every product development team concerned with product sound quality (whether in automotive, aviation, pedestrian signaling devices, the appliance industry et al) uses them.

All of these activities require one thing at their core - extremely-realistic recordings of sounds suitable for playback for critical listening tests and evaluations; as such extremely spatially-accurate recordings are required. This is particularly true in the automotive world where the vehicle interior acoustics are very complex (regions tending toward diffuse, regions tending towards absorptive, near field effects etc); listeners consistently judge their experience in listening to binaural mannequin head recordings made in the vehicle with what they actually hear while in the vehicle. Anyway, this level of spatial and temporal accuraye is required because juried listening tests are regularly executed using binaural recordings (made with mannequin heads), and the jurors are often asked to rate which sound is preferred (paired comparison) or to rate a specific attribute (i.e. 'how whiny-sounding, on a scale of 1 to 7, is this sound?"). Thus, in research, making the recordinga s accurate as possible and therefore, as realistic as possible, is a requirement. True...your approach could be 'more accurate' then existing binaural, but to my knowledge, I have not seen your transducers supplanting the binaural mannequins. Note: That is NOT a slam on the fidelity of your system. Serisouly, it si not. It is however a question as to the accuracy of your system vis-a-vis your claim that it is technically superior to binaural and thus, yields better spatial resolution than does the currently held de-facto standard, the binaural mannequin head.

I don't mean to call into question your research, but all that I know has come from hands-on use of various mannequin types (I have used them all, save for one), and from performing both product sound tests as well as tests against each other using controlled lab conditions as well as live recordings. I feel I have a pretty good handle on the different issues and how each manufacturer addresses them in their mannequins. I have been lucky enough to work in acoustic analysis, sound quality, and noise and vibration as well as perceptual studies over the past 20 years. I know and work / have worked with a great many psychoacousticians and have had the benefit of having one-on-one conversations about much of what you have called into question. So, from that angle, I am have been very lucky indeed.

I know that there is a lot of debate about ear shape etc. I addressed this early on in one of my posts. I do not know what the correct ear shape is, save for one's own (and indeed, this is why there is an ISO working group that is still trying to suss this issue out). I also concede there is no 'universal' ear and thus no universal HRTF. Indeed, in a 'perfect' world every person out there interested in binaural would have his / her own in-ear variant, complete with positioning gages (because changes in axial position would result in signifcant shifts in local maxima / minima in the left and right spectra, and potentially, temporal aspects as well).

As far as how the heads are equalized (I think this is what you were referring to), there are three common approaches used:

* Free-field (designed to to accurately measure sources in a free-field, normal to the ear (90 degrees). This is more important for research and not all that related to music.

* Diffuse-field (designed to produce a frequency response in a diffuse field. Unlike free-field, this taked into account sind incident upon the ear from all angles)

* Independent of Direction (Taking into account only the effects of the ears and canals - not taking into account the diffraction caused by the pinna and the head proper)

These are the three main equalization schemes that are used on pretty much all commercially-available binaural mannequins (and they produce arguably very different results).

Basically, what is required to accurate localize sound are a few things, but they can be lumped into two categories

1) those that are a function of direction (diffraction, pinnae shape etc) and the presence of the person in the sound field, and...

2) those that are independent of the person's position (such as the auricle cavity and the ear canal)

As far as development, I believe that it was around 1980 or shortly after that that saw the first binaural mannequin that could be calibrated (I'm pretty sure this was the work of Dr. Klaus Genuit of Head Acoustics) and then further refined in the late 1980's.

Anyway, it seems to me that your approach has merit based on meeting criterion #1; the person's head and ears are present in the space - but this is also valid for in-ear binaural microphone methods (those worn by a person inside of the ear canals). However, so too do binaural mannequin microphones meet this crtierion - your approach, the in-ear approach, and the mannequin microphone all satisfy the first criterion. As far as criterion #2 is concerned, that is arguably an average (as I understand it) because of the huge range of Human diversity)

So where does that leave things?

Well, I have to concede one point: I have not seen the data from your apparatus, so I can't say how yours might vary / compare when tested against a KEMAR, Aachen, B&K, Neumann, or a Cortex. However, one thing of which I am sure is that the differences could be described by the impulse response. I do think the recordings you presented sound very good though.

Another way to look at it might be via a controlled juried listening test. That is, I can see using your rig to record something (a variety of things by the end) at the same time and in (almost) the same location as a conventional mannequin head; if the space is large enough, I can see having someone wear in-ear mics positioned at the same approximate location as the mannequin / your device...though shadoing could prove problematic.

Ideally though, the best way would be to have a controlled test with your transducer placed and the source signal excited, then another transducer placed where yours was, then removed, and the next, then the next, and so on. As far as the listening test (juried test), it would pretty much have to be one wherein the jurors are asked to rate the spatial accuracy of the recordings...but how does one do this? One way would be to test againt human percpetion in an anechoic chamber

I mentioned this in another post, but there is a great little article in the March 2010 edition of Physics Today in which Hartmann (Michigan State University) and his colleagues conducted an experiment using test subjects in an anechoic chamber. Anyway, it's a great little article and if your transducer really does what you claim, then the playback should be in lock-step with the jurors' abilities to localize the sounds in the test chamber.

Again, I'm a data-driven kind of guy...and while I am not saying what you have done is not groundbreaking, I think that if you are going to make those claims, you should be open to having your transducer tested in a very controlled and structured manner with the participation of some willing university / reasearch organization. If you have accomplished all that you claim you have it would all be borne out by the experiments / listening studies. Frankly, if your approach is indeed proven to be technically more accurate than binaural, then I would imagine that your transducer could supplant every binaural mannequin head in every research institute around the globe (not to mention product development company (do you have any idea how many mannequin heads are used at companies that make cars, lawn mowers, washing machines, computer peripherals, guitars, pianos...the list is endless). As such, should your claim be proven, you're knocking on the door to a huge market in perceptual research as well as product development.

Having worked in industry for many years, I can tell you it's not at all uncommon for new test equipment to be purchased for several hundred thousand dollars (budgets are typically much bigger than what you find in many if not most recording studios), but the wares that garner such purchase orders are those that are the accepted standards / state-of-the-art. Get your product into that category, and...well...I think you get the point.

Last edited by Mark A. Jay; 1st June 2010 at 01:56 AM.. Reason: cleaned up formatting, typos, etc
#51
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
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Just time for a quick thank you for thoughtful comments and to post a reply.

My DSM mic system has indeed been placed in a few laboratories and testing facilities over the years. A few of the companies with custom provided DSM recording systems are Boeing Aircraft, Bose Laboratories, Briggs & Stratton, and a few others I cannot remember.

They seem to have found the DSM + the HRTF dummy head baffles I made for them quite effective for whatever reason or for no reason, they just seem to give them what they hoped for or expected in a recorded result.

You might consider the other dummy head systems needing 'equalization' of their output to be suspect.

My HRTF system needs NO equalization to be useful for any end purpose.

This difference alone should interest you being a technically aware and acoustics cause-and-effects reasoning individual.

Listening to the hundreds of recordings I've posted should give enough motivation to accept my claims for having developed a most universal HRTF method of recording.

DSM really has great advantages for furthering our shared desire for virtual reality audio recording to be more understood and utilized in other-than-commercial-film released products. (See: film credits page for more about this)

The musicians, composers, and music industry leaders need to open their minds and ears to a most profitable and the high esthetic potential of HRTF stereo-surround technology.

It just might succeed in gaining wide acceptance where in-ear binaural methods have more or less failed.
#52
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas simpson View Post
Custom modified DPA4060, for in-ear canal use.

Best wishes,
dallas simpson.
which is the same thing core-sounds sells/rebadges, and sells for way too much money.
#53
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
  #53
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Thanks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuySonic View Post
Just time for a quick thank you for thoughtful comments and to post a reply.

My DSM mic system has indeed been placed in a few laboratories and testing facilities over the years. A few of the companies with custom provided DSM recording systems are Boeing Aircraft, Bose Laboratories, Briggs & Stratton, and a few others I cannot remember.

They seem to have found the DSM + the HRTF dummy head baffles I made for them quite effective for whatever reason or for no reason, they just seem to give them what they hoped for or expected in a recorded result.

You might consider the other dummy head systems needing 'equalization' of their output to be suspect.

My HRTF system needs NO equalization to be useful for any end purpose.

This difference alone should interest you being a technically aware and acoustics cause-and-effects reasoning individual.

Listening to the hundreds of recordings I've posted should give enough motivation to accept my claims for having developed a most universal HRTF method of recording.

DSM really has great advantages for furthering our shared desire for virtual reality audio recording to be more understood and utilized in other-than-commercial-film released products. (See: film credits page for more about this)

The musicians, composers, and music industry leaders need to open their minds and ears to a most profitable and the high esthetic potential of HRTF stereo-surround technology.

It just might succeed in gaining wide acceptance where in-ear binaural methods have more or less failed.
I have some friends who work at some of the companies you've mentioned, so I'll drop them a line about the DSM system.

Again, I am not giving your work short-shrift. I am simply making a distinction between the aesthetic value (and I have already acknowledged the quality of that which I have heard from your system) and the perceptual accuracy as borne out through double-blind listening studies.

What you have described is a lucrative and admirable amount of market penetration - far more than I have managed to achieve, so I congratulate for that. However, you are speaking primarily to the aesthetic qualities of the system and not necessarily the spatial accuracy.

I'll say it once more to let you (or anyone else reading this think otherwise) know my position on this: I think the aesthetics of your system are very good, based on the samples that I have heard.

However, what I am asking is whether a double blind test would reveal a preference, and if for your system, the perceived aesthetic is preferred to binaural not because it is more accurate (and therefore, more representative of reality) in terms of spatial localization, equalization, temporal accuracy, and ultimately impulse response, but simply because there is an artistic effect achieved as a consequence of your signal processing techniques. In essence, is the effect achieved just that (an effect)...or is it one step closer to full spatial localization?

Simply put, the point I am trying to make is this: something may sound 'better' to a person or group of people that is not very representative of the actual event. The other side of this same, grotesque coin is that something that is more accurate (technically) is perceived as less favorable than the other approach...and that's why I suggested that if you were to conduct such double-blind listening studies in conjunction with a university, you would have to (in the interest of perception) check your system's abililty to localize against a control as well as actual human percpetion (this is why I mentioned that article about Hartmann's paper - fascinating stuff, and quite potentially, a good fit for your system to test against their hypothesis)

Again, if the results of such a test were that your approach was more accurate than any in-ear binaural approach to date, then you would have the backing of the scientific community (and thus be recognized by both the artistic and scientific communities - something that few have ever accomplished) and have an even bigger lab-based opportunity than you have had in the past. Maybe you are shifting and breaking paradigms...in the absence of data from such studies, I have to concede that.

Would you be open to having your system measured in an independent test lab against some of the commercially-available mannequin heads? Do you have a test article that could be loaned to an independent lab?

Last edited by Mark A. Jay; 1st June 2010 at 03:20 AM.. Reason: clarification
#54
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
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GuySonic / Mark Jay

Interesting dialogue! I think we should all be happy to accept different forms of 'binaural' recording as valid techniques, providing a large part of the spatial information from the original location of the recording is preserved. You have both offered great postings. Great binaural recordings / productions can be created by a variety of binaural techniques - even a combination of techniques of which binaural is a part.

GuySonic appears to be using a mic array with a particular dummy head approach, Mark appears to be using a commercial binaural dummy head.

For my part I use in-ear canal microphones on my own head. Each approach will yeild a different binaural headphone quality (ie different HRTF) and I would expect GuySonic's approach to be a more 'universally compatible' recording, in respect of speaker compatibility and requirement for no or minimal EQ, with Mark's second and mine a little distant third. Mine will be an excellent presentation on headphones with listeners who have a similar head/ear/body shape to mine, but not too good on speakers and requiring EQ...and i'm really not in the least bothered about speaker compatibility...

Vive la difference! We can all create our own variety of binaural. Please keep posting interesting extracts.

What IMHO we need is to try and find a way of bringing binaural to the general listening public and for that we need content that will appeal to a wide audience, or to a more focussed audience having a specialist popular appeal, if that's not an oxymoron. And more importantly some promotion of the binaural technique on mainstream radio and popular media.

And yes, I'm on the case (again) in the UK... but it may take a while.

dallas.
#55
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
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I'm very interested in binaural recording.

I made a dummy head with DPA planted into a head made in EPS. Probably not the best material but already interesting.
I used it in several recording for pop tracks.
Live performance in order to capture the ambiance of the show, clapping hands with the band around the head, tambourine with a good room is pretty good.
After the mix of an album, I putted wireless headphones on every band member, placed the dummy head in the middle of the room, played their album (in the headphones) and asked them to make noises and ambiances during the album. They came up with percussions, construction devices, they talked, shouted, ...
I mixed it with the album and it really create and a realism and a proximity with the band.

Because a large number of people listens to music with headphone, binaural can bring something really interesting for this audience. I know that a perfect binaural recording isn't possible because every person has a different head but I tried it with several individuals and they were all impressed because they couldn't distinguish the recording from the reality. So clearly it brings something that the average listener can perceive.
Problem is, you can't rely on the fact that a popular recording will be exclusively heard on headphones. But I'm developing a concept based on artistic series where you are able to personalize the version you want to buy. The idea behind it is to change the old model of the music industry based on the distribution of a copy of an original recording. This model was adapted to the industrial age but isn't in the digital age. So we rather distribute an original content to each buyer. The personalization is at different levels, but we do introduce different type of mixes: Normal, big system, 5.1 and … headphones. This opened the possibility to create a mix dedicated to headphones.
Our first experience was with Prodigy. We created 5,0000 different versions of Memphis Bell, and everything was sold in few hours.
You can see it here:
Prodigy - Memphis Bell

I proposed to Liam Howlett an idea for the headphone mix. In the introduction of the headphone mix, you would be in the middle of New York, then you would put your in ear and start the track. I used a binaural recording for that.
Here is the demo: Prodgy Intro
Anyway, he liked this idea but he didn't want to be funny, therefore we create a headphone mix without the binaural introduction.

We will develop this concept of personalization on a larger scale in six month, so I'm clearly interested in binaural because it can be used in order to differentiate the headphone mixes.

Hope you get it
#56
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
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Understood

Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas simpson View Post
GuySonic / Mark Jay

Interesting dialogue! I think we should all be happy to accept different forms of 'binaural' recording as valid techniques, providing a large part of the spatial information from the original location of the recording is preserved...

What IMHO we need is to try and find a way of bringing binaural to the general listening public and for that we need content that will appeal to a wide audience, or to a more focussed audience having a specialist popular appeal, if that's not an oxymoron. And more importantly some promotion of the binaural technique on mainstream radio and popular media.

And yes, I'm on the case (again) in the UK... but it may take a while.

dallas.
Dallas: As always, thanks for the input.

Maybe it's me, but in a way, I sometimes feel that the advancement of binaural might be better achieved by not referring to it as such. I know that sounds ludicrous in a way, but I truly believe that the term "binaural" should pertain only to recordings made in-ear and on a head (real or surrogate) with pinnae (real or surrogate).

I suppose that this comes from my signal processing / electrical engineering focus, and as an engineer I tend to label things explicitly. I realize that there is often a divide between the scientific and artistic worlds, but when it comes down to signal processing, as a trained engineer, I tend to fall back on the mathematical requirements, and as such, I invoke the normative terms as used in the engineering, signal processing, and research community.

Having said that, yes, I wholly agree that different approaches (for recording) that promote something very different than stereo can in fact be very, very pleasing aesthetically, and yes, all are equally valid in terms of the aesthetic. I honestly believe this, I just don't believe in referring to quasi-binural methods as binaural - again...this is a matter of definition, but since it has been defined as being based upon a mannequin head, that's whay I choose to call 'binaural'. Indeed, I have recordings where a binaural signal is part of the mix (either dynamically or statically) but once I add something to a binaural signal, I no longer refer to it as binaural...but again...maybe that's just me. I would bet that my opinion and need to label is more clearly echoed by those in the research and engineering community than those in the music / sound production community...because we come from different worlds.

Marcan had an interesting post in the "What is your favorite binaural recording" thread ( What is your favorite binaural recording?) about versions of a given performance. Indeed, this is something that I typically do as well, for instance, create an XY and or ORTF at the same time I create the binaural version - precisely for the reasons he has staed as well as the reasons you yourself (Dallas) have stated. I know that for some recordings, this just isn't possible, but for a lot of recordings, especially jazz, classical, folk / indie, acoustic music, this would be a no-brainer (to acquire in multiple formats).

Marcan's version of reality is, in my opinion, the 'right' one in terms of allowing the customer to have a choice of two-channel formats - and I think this could in fact be something that could garner some interest in the music industry; people seem to see binaural as being at odds with stereo (for the reasons we have cited), but honestly, if you were to do a live conventional (ORTF et al) recording at the same time you did a binaural, a DSM, a Jecklin Disc etc and could allow customers to choose, then people could experience music in the manner they wish - whether more realistic or more aesthetically-pleasing (though once more, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive).
#57
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
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Hi Mark,

Yes I know, but this is a gearslutz forum not the 'peer reviewed Annals of Audio Engineering Journal', so IMHO we need to take a somewhat relaxed and broader view, whilst making definitions clear if absolutely necessary - as long as insistance over the minutae of definition does not obscure or antagonise the broader overall objective of considering great (binaural) recordings and techniques for headphone surround listening.

marcan indeed raises a pertinent point, and one that I had raised years ago, namely the importance of releasing audio material in a variety of mixes including headphone surround (by whatever appropriate means).

The Live in Lincoln (Voiceprint) series, featuring live performances in Lincoln Cathedral, UK, that I personally recorded binaurally with Chris Thorpe covering the stereo and surround formats, with artists the Ric Sanders Group, Rick Wakeman, Howard Riley and Roger Eno, recorded around 2000, did just that. They were presented on double CD's containing a stereo version, binaural version, DTS speaker surround sound version and a short video clip - yes video as well.

Voiceprint Music - Release - HPVP104CD
Voiceprint Music - Release - HPVP101CD
Riley, Howard - at Lincoln Cathedral 2 x CDs (special) - Wayside Music
At Lincoln Cathedral: Live: Roger Eno: Amazon.co.uk: Music

As they say 'been there done that'!

We could do with more though - budget anyone...

dallas
#58
1st June 2010
Old 1st June 2010
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Hmmm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas simpson View Post
Hi Mark,

Yes I know, but this is a gearslutz forum not the 'peer reviewed Annals of Audio Engineering Journal', so IMHO we need to take a somewhat relaxed and broader view, whilst making definitions clear if absolutely necessary - as long as insistance over the minutae of definition does not obscure or antagonise the broader overall objective of considering great (binaural) recordings and techniques for headphone surround listening.

marcan indeed raises a pertinent point, and one that I had raised years ago, namely the importance of releasing audio material in a variety of mixes including headphone surround (by whatever appropriate means).

The Live in Lincoln (Voiceprint) series, featuring live performances in Lincoln Cathedral, UK, that I personally recorded binaurally with Chris Thorpe covering the stereo and surround formats, with artists the Ric Sanders Group, Rick Wakeman, Howard Riley and Roger Eno, recorded around 2000, did just that. They were presented on double CD's containing a stereo version, binaural version, DTS speaker surround sound version and a short video clip - yes video as well.

Voiceprint Music - Release - HPVP104CD
Voiceprint Music - Release - HPVP101CD
Riley, Howard - at Lincoln Cathedral 2 x CDs (special) - Wayside Music
At Lincoln Cathedral: Live: Roger Eno: Amazon.co.uk: Music

As they say 'been there done that'!

We could do with more though - budget anyone...

dallas
Does anyone see the irony here? That is, DVD Audio and HD audio format discs are / were capable of storing all of the data formats we're discussing here, but alas, releasing multi-format audio on DVD would mean (unless I am wrong) trouble, certainly from a marketing and distribution channel. I'm afraid that the age of downloads has ushered in a great deal of inertia headed away from pressing physical discs.

A physical medium is probably never going to survive as mainstay for multi-format. I can see allowing a customer to order a multi-format performance on suitable media (for the 'hard-core junkie' types), but given the nature of music these days, the downloadable approach seems far more likely to succeed, and probably via a suitable label that has some clout. I think the most logical inroads for this are classical, jazz, and indie / folk / acoustic because the listeners of those genre are (IMHO) more likely to embrace the sonic attributes of a headphone version (and I would guess, probably also own better headphones than do most consumers). I honestly don't see binaural as being used for much more than an effect for the pop-music machine, because that's a world built on the idea of creating a sonic landscape, and not faithfully capturing all of the spatial attributes and cues.

Indeed, I have used the phrase 'headphone version' for some of my recordings simply because I wanted to convey that is the preferred method to be used when listening to binaural tracks - as I mentioned, maybe the very name binaural does more harm than good, because sooner or later, you have to explain it.

For example, "Surround sound" works as a marketing buzzword because it conveys meaning even if you are not big into audio. "Stereo" conveys meaning as well but words like "Binaural" really don't convey the concept. Maybe "Headphone Version" or "Optimized for Headphones" (as I have also used) are better candidates - there is probably one golden buzzword out there that would better convey what binaural and near-binaural are all about...regrettably, I am not sure what that marketing buzzword happens to be.

I really don't want to alienate anyone, but I also believe that specs exist for a reason (as I have cited elsewhere), if for nothing else so that others know how the desired acoustic effect was achieved. That is, if I place my cardoid mics at 110 degrees with the diaphragms at 17 cm from one another then I will refer to that recording as ORTF stereo - because I am in compliance with the requirements of the specification. If instead I chose 60 degrees and 15 cm it's no longer ORTF Stereo, and I should refrain from calling it that - and my guess is that others who do a lot of work in ORTF would take issue with me calling my 60-degree 15 cm variant ORTF - and they would be correct for taking me to task for using that name. On the other hand, were I to say that the approach used in that instance was similar to ORTF then I don't think anyone would object. Likewise, If I place my cardiods at 30 cm and an angle of 90 degrees then I will call it NOS Stereo for the same reason, but were I to differ from the specification as stated, I would not call the finished product NOS Stereo.

However, perhaps we could agree on a term like 'headphone version' that could be the catch-all for any technique that was not recorded using conventional stereo techniques. Just as (conventional) stereo is a term that is a catch-all for any process that involves two channels of reproduction, regardless of how many microphones and over-dubs were used to create the finished product, so too could 'headphone version' be the catch-all for anything that is based on in-ear, worn-on-head, S.A.S.S., Jecklin, BS-3D et al.

I do still struggle with this; because of my background and professional associations I think that binaural means what it means in the world of research, and the term should be the same in music production. However, 'headphone version' may be a better way to go in the world of music simply because it makes the consumer wonder why / how a headphone version should / would be different than a non headphone version.

Last edited by Mark A. Jay; 1st June 2010 at 06:15 PM.. Reason: slight expansion of one concept
#59
2nd June 2010
Old 2nd June 2010
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How about, optimised for headphone use.

...or, perhaps optimised for headphone playback.
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2nd June 2010
Old 2nd June 2010
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Yeah...

That's kind of where I was going - I'm just not sure if the 'voice' should be active or passive. However, I do think something that references 'headphones' does indeed promote the idea (overt or otherwise) that there is something unusual about the 'optimised for headphone / listening' version(s).

Who knows? Maybe this might actually pique some interest whereas 'binaural' probably conjurs up 'math', and few of us really like math (some of us, though arguably few, are very fond of math...).
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