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Audio Reality - An Introduction to Binaural Sound and Space Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 15th April 2017
Gear Head

Prompted by the observations made by studer58, I recently updated the description on my Shapeways shop ( to be maybe a little more clear as to why ear canal replicas are necessary for a correct binaural recording. It also explains why stopping at the eardrum, without worrying about middle and inner ear elements (thank god!), makes sense from the perspective of the pressure signal being encoded in the recording.
Hope this helps.

Why anatomically accurate ear canals?

Evolution provided us with ears to be able to hear our surroundings.
Eardrums are the auditory transducers that sense air pressure and, through the middle and inner ear, provide signals to the brain.
Our brain's constant processing of left and right eardrum sensed pressure inputs is what makes us hear. These inputs vary depending on the nature of the source, but also on the source location in respect to the listener.
Our head, pinnae and ear canals play a fundamental role in shaping the pressure frequency content that reaches the eardrums, applying filters that are location dependent and known as Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs).
Their geometry literally shapes the sound wave before it hits the eardrum, so that the brain is able to interpret left and right eardrum signals correctly and recognize and locate the sounds around us.
Without ears and ear canals, localization and sound recognition are compromised.

Binaural recordings aim at encoding the pressure that our eardrums would sense if our heads where in the place of the microphone directly on the records, to be able to be retrieved by our brain during playback.

To provide the microphones with the correct sound pressure waves it is therefore essential to use anatomically accurate replicas of the pinnae and the ear canals, in a binaural microphone. This ensures that the left and right microphone sensed pressures encoded in the recording are the same ones that our eardrums would experience, for our brain to interpret them and let us enjoy the ultimate in sound accuracy and realism.
Old 15th April 2017
Lives for gear
Plush's Avatar
ATTN: Studer58

Please don't put words in my mouth. Never once did I say any of the things you complain about in the post above. Also don't lecture me about binaural--an area of practice and research for me for more than 25 years. It is the other poster who is proposing the wild ideas.
Old 15th April 2017
Gear Head

Originally Posted by Plush View Post
It is the other poster who is proposing the wild ideas.
The reasoning behind my idea is explained in my previous post.

I am open to constructive criticism and I always welcome it as a general rule, provided we can avoid calling each other laughable, childish, wild or any other names.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not implying that anyone here is not aware of what HRTFs are, in my previous post. It's just the description of my store, for anybody coming from any background to get an idea of what it is about, should they stumble upon it.
Old 16th April 2017
Lives for gear
sax512 you are correct, I should not have used those derogatory terms to illustrate my point, and I apologize to both yourself and Plush for using them, they added nothing to the points I was trying to make.
Old 16th April 2017
Gear Head

No problem. That's cool.
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