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post #166 of 238

I am still following this with great interest...I have not had a chance to listen to some of the last few links posted, but I will. Also dwareing I am going to get to your stuff too, and will comment! Thanks everyone for posting this stuff.

 

I did however get to download the Sam Roberts Band and also the Trinity House recording. Listened through about half of each so far. Good stuff and again thank you!

 

This brings me to a question for the binaural experts. Usually while listening to all recordings, I use a very subtle amount of crossfeed. (TB Isone - without room effects, just as pure crossfeed) I find that using this plugin with the stripped down settings can get am excellent crossfeed effect without altering the tonal balance in any way. I use it for the reasons of bringing the stereo image out of my ears and a little bit towards the front. It provides a more natural and non fatiguing sensation/imaging than the extreme R/L separation you get with headphones.

 

Does using crossfeed negatively affect properly recorded binaural material? Is it a big no-no or is it generally accepted as okay? Just wondering what the thoughts are on this. Personally, I think it enhances the binaural material somewhat. For example, on the Trinity House recording, the "Serenity Road" track. (sorry going from memory here headphones are not on) On this recording, without crossfeed, it seemed the vocals were actually coming from somewhat high behind me on the right side (again just from memory, may have been left or low, ha ha). It is a wonderful effect, it puts you in a very interesting perspective but a tad unnatural, like I wanted to turn to look at the band. 

 

Then when I applied crossfeed, the image became pulled forward just enough that I still got a wonderful 3D effect, things going on all around me but the focus was more naturally towards the front. Please don't take this as a criticism of the recording, I just wanted to hear what some people think of this as I find it interesting. Finding binaural material is rare enough but finding a discussion of binaural/crossfeed is rare too! 

 

There are so many great sensations to be had in binaural recordings. I would hate to think I am messing something up by "tweaking" it. It's one thing to listen to the same recording twice, with and without crossfeed, and say to myself "okay I prefer this with crossfeed" But my concern would be to listen to new binaural recordings with crossfeed only and not realizing I am missing out on some effect because I've tweaked it. Maybe I am overthinking this! LOL. Perhaps  it just comes down to what sounds best to the individual. 

 

What a long winded question! I tend to ramble, sorry. ha ha

post #167 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrobe View Post

I am still following this with great interest...I have not had a chance to listen to some of the last few links posted, but I will. Also dwareing I am going to get to your stuff too, and will comment! Thanks everyone for posting this stuff.

 

I did however get to download the Sam Roberts Band and also the Trinity House recording. Listened through about half of each so far. Good stuff and again thank you!

 

This brings me to a question for the binaural experts. Usually while listening to all recordings, I use a very subtle amount of crossfeed. (TB Isone - without room effects, just as pure crossfeed) I find that using this plugin with the stripped down settings can get am excellent crossfeed effect without altering the tonal balance in any way. I use it for the reasons of bringing the stereo image out of my ears and a little bit towards the front. It provides a more natural and non fatiguing sensation/imaging than the extreme R/L separation you get with headphones.

 

Does using crossfeed negatively affect properly recorded binaural material? Is it a big no-no or is it generally accepted as okay? Just wondering what the thoughts are on this. Personally, I think it enhances the binaural material somewhat. For example, on the Trinity House recording, the "Serenity Road" track. (sorry going from memory here headphones are not on) On this recording, without crossfeed, it seemed the vocals were actually coming from somewhat high behind me on the right side (again just from memory, may have been left or low, ha ha). It is a wonderful effect, it puts you in a very interesting perspective but a tad unnatural, like I wanted to turn to look at the band. 

 

Then when I applied crossfeed, the image became pulled forward just enough that I still got a wonderful 3D effect, things going on all around me but the focus was more naturally towards the front. Please don't take this as a criticism of the recording, I just wanted to hear what some people think of this as I find it interesting. Finding binaural material is rare enough but finding a discussion of binaural/crossfeed is rare too! 

 

There are so many great sensations to be had in binaural recordings. I would hate to think I am messing something up by "tweaking" it. It's one thing to listen to the same recording twice, with and without crossfeed, and say to myself "okay I prefer this with crossfeed" But my concern would be to listen to new binaural recordings with crossfeed only and not realizing I am missing out on some effect because I've tweaked it. Maybe I am overthinking this! LOL. Perhaps  it just comes down to what sounds best to the individual. 

 

What a long winded question! I tend to ramble, sorry. ha ha

OK... a lot to answer, but I will try to do so. Let's start with the Trinity House Theater recordings...

 

The reason why you sense hard panning (guitarist / vocalist at far right) is because the performers were seated in a large arc in front of the microphone. Annie Capps (the singer on Serenity Road) will be at far right, perhaps your 4 O'clock position. As you listen to the tracks, that is, as the show progresses, you will hear the placement of the singers move - this is because they took turns performing songs, and they take turns doing harmony vocals. Anyway, from memory, the performers were seated left to right as Mark Iannace (percussion, accordian, harmonies), Jill Jack (guitar, vocals, harmony vocals), Jan Krist (absent most of the first set; guitar, vocals, and harmonies), Kitty Donohoe (guitar, vocals, harmonies), Annie Capps (guitar, vocals, harmonies), Rod Capps (guitar, vocal, harmonies). During the end of the first set you will hear Jan sing, and she will (should) appear to be approximately at the center. The 2nd set is very different and features more interplay between the performers. One other thing...listen for the 'rain on the roof' (you can see it in the track listings). Interesting stuff.

 

In terms of the mic (KU 100) location, I think I described it in the post (where the music resides), but in review, this was set at center stage, maybe 10-15 feet back from where Jan was seated (the 'apex' of the arc of performers) and slightly in front of a slant monitor. I'd say the elevation was about equal with the height of an audience member a row or two back). I think there were other monitors pointed towards the other performers. I tried my best to get close, but not be in the 'wash' of the monitors as I wanted as much (only) acoustical content as was possible, but there were no drapes behind the performers, and there was a hard reflective boundary there, so I still could hear some of the monitors - nothing I could do about that. Lastly, the house mains were to either side.

 

Now...about cross-feed...

 

Crossfeed. Hmmm. Well, in strict mathematical terms, crossfeed (i.e. cross-talk) is viewed as kryptonite to binaural. Binaural 'works' because headphones ensure that your right ear ONLY hears what the right ear of the mannequin ear 'heard'; likewise for the left), that is, no crosstalk. A lot of time and money has been spent developing crosstalk cancellation algorithms that allow the listener to listen to binaural content using speakers. They work to varying degrees (and generally, yield a small 'sweet spot'), but crosstalk is in fact what de-stabilizes the binaural effect. However...if you like how crosstalk sounds, for whatever reason, then it's not wrong, but it will alter the actual binaural effect. Just how pronounced this is depends upon many factors (the acoustics of the space where the music was recorded, proximity to the mic, etc) so allowing a given amount of crosstalk (i.e. x percent) for every recording is likely to yield varying degrees of an effect - just like with conventional stereo.

 

Interestingly, a colleague of mine was recently testing some headphones for something he's been working on, and he discovered that one of the headphones that he was testing exhibited signs of crosstalk. This led him to re-measure several times, and each time her got similar results. As it happens, the manufacturer of that headphone confirmed that they deliberately mix a set amount between the left and right ears...I was floored...but this is apparently true.

 

 

I digress... Trinity House and SRB...

 

Compare the Trinity House recordings with the Sam Roberts stuff. Night and day. This is because wile the SRB tracks are indeed binaural, keep in mind that nearly everything you hear (certainly everything from the band) is a result of the PA; there are no board feeds in the SRB recordings. Also, the mannequin head was flown from a lighting truss for the SRB show, and it's a huge venue by comparison. So as a consequence, there is far less hard left / right placement because while the PA was a stereo mix, the acoustics (and all other variables) make the SRB recordings sound 'less binaural' in a way (i.e. less extreme left-to-right panning).

 

I hope that helps to explain things. As to where you are localizing things, have a look on page 11 of this thread (my last post) about the importance of the visual cortex in relation to localization of sounds.

 

Mark


Edited by immersifi - 6/7/13 at 4:50pm
post #168 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post

OK... a lot to answer, but I will try to do so. Let's start with the Trinity House Theater recordings...

 

The reason why you sense hard panning (guitarist / vocalist at far right) is because the performers were seated in a large arc in front of the microphone. Annie Capps (the singer on Serenity Road) will be at far right, perhaps your 4 O'clock position. As you listen to the tracks, that is, as the show progresses, you will hear the placement of the singers move - this is because they took turns performing songs, and they take turns doing harmony vocals. Anyway, from memory, the performers were seated left to right as Mark Iannace (percussion, accordian, harmonies), Jill Jack (guitar, vocals, harmony vocals), Jan Krist (absent most of the first set; guitar, vocals, and harmonies), Kitty Donohoe (guitar, vocals, harmonies), Annie Capps (guitar, vocals, harmonies), Rod Capps (guitar, vocal, harmonies). During the end of the first set you will hear Jan sing, and she will (should) appear to be approximately at the center. The 2nd set is very different and features more interplay between the performers. One other thing...listen for the 'rain on the roof' (you can see it in the track listings). Interesting stuff.

 

In terms of the mic (KU 100) location, I think I described it in the post (where the music resides), but in review, this was set at center stage, maybe 10-15 feet back from where Jan was seated (the 'apex' of the arc of performers) and slightly in front of a slant monitor. I'd say the elevation was about equal with the height of an audience member a row or two back). I think there were other monitors pointed towards the other performers. I tried my best to get close, but not be in the 'wash' of the monitors as I wanted as much (only) acoustical content as was possible, but there were no drapes behind the performers, and there was a hard reflective boundary there, so I still could hear some of the monitors - nothing I could do about that. Lastly, the house mains were to either side.

 

Now...about cross-feed...

 

Crossfeed. Hmmm. Well, in strict mathematical terms, crossfeed (i.e. cross-talk) is viewed as kryptonite to binaural. Binaural 'works' because headphones ensure that your right ear ONLY hears what the right ear of the mannequin ear 'heard'; likewise for the left), that is, no crosstalk. A lot of time and money has been spent developing crosstalk cancellation algorithms that allow the listener to listen to binaural content using speakers. They work to varying degrees (and generally, yield a small 'sweet spot'), but crosstalk is in fact what de-stabilizes the binaural effect. However...if you like how crosstalk sounds, for whatever reason, then it's not wrong, but it will alter the actual binaural effect. Just how pronounced this is depends upon many factors (the acoustics of the space where the music was recorded, proximity to the mic, etc) so allowing a given amount of crosstalk (i.e. x percent) for every recording is likely to yield varying degrees of an effect - just like with conventional stereo.

 

Interestingly, a colleague of mine was recently testing some headphones for something he's been working on, and he discovered that one of the headphones that he was testing exhibited signs of crosstalk. This led him to re-measure several times, and each time her got similar results. As it happens, the manufacturer of that headphone confirmed that they deliberately mix a set amount between the left and right ears...I was floored...but this is apparently true.

 

 

I digress... Trinity House and SRB...

 

Compare the Trinity House recordings with the Sam Roberts stuff. Night and day. This is because wile the SRB tracks are indeed binaural, keep in mind that nearly everything you hear (certainly everything from the band) is a result of the PA; there are no board feeds in the SRB recordings. Also, the mannequin head was flown from a lighting truss for the SRB show, and it's a huge venue by comparison. So as a consequence, there is far less hard left / right placement because while the PA was a stereo mix, the acoustics (and all other variables) make the SRB recordings sound 'less binaural' in a way (i.e. less extreme left-to-right panning).

 

I hope that helps to explain things. As to where you are localizing things, have a look on page 11 of this thread (my last post) about the importance of the visual cortex in relation to localization of sounds.

 

Mark

 

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the detailed reply!

 

I think I got a definitive answer here..."crossfeed is viewed as kryptonite to binaural". And the fact that binaural works by ensuring that the left and right ears are isolated. Thank you! I was really hoping for a definite answer like this, it makes perfect sense. I will listen to all my binaural material from here on out with no crossfeed. 

 

Really, I do want to hear the music in as pure a way as possible, as it was "intended" to be heard. This is what caused me to ask the question. Especially with the extra care and specialty processes in place for binaural, I want to be sure I'm not "messing it up" with any processing.

 

The exception to my rule of wanting the most "pure" presentation of music will still be a touch of crossfeed for non-binaural music. For the reasons I mentioned before.

 

And yes, the rain effects in that recording are really cool, I meant to mention that...What a good bit of luck that the rain happened while setup to record binaural! Really interesting. 

 

I have read the post about localization but didn't check the links yet. (my forum reading/posting are usually not at the same time as listening) Still, interesting stuff and I will check out the examples linked there ASAP!

 

Thanks Mark for sharing your recordings and your knowledge!

post #169 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by loud n clear View Post

Nice. It sounds like you live in a nice area. With all these binaural recordings I find it difficult to distinguish between in front and behind. Is that the same for you people? Are you able to pinpoint a 3D location for the sounds? If not, what part of the system of recording and playback do you think is holding us back from this experience?

Front/back confusions are a common problem, there are many references to this eg.

"It doesn't do frontal imaging."  http://www.stereophile.com/content/spacethe-final-frontier-letters-2

See also:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/researchanddevelopment/2013/03/listen-up-binaural-sound.shtml

The BBC, out of all its massive output, have only owned up to broadcasting a handful in binaural. No doubt some of their famed wildlife recordists, such as Chris Watson, slip some binaural clips in, when they want.

In their latest effort,  I  hear Simon shaking the matches over the head when they are are shown in front. The acoustics then change as the Beeb gives the public 'what they need' (multi-miking), rather than what was advertised..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh4u4IKiXHU

Compare to these. more credible. binaural recordings:

http://suzybogguss.com/binaural/recordings.html

In this case the only problem I have is that the centre vocals are split front/back, with the higher frequencies in front, and the lower components behind.

 

My own recordings are now working just fine for me, The dummy head has been tweaked over time, so my samples on freesound are all recorded slightly differently over time. They probably don't work as well for other people, as I have adjusted to hearing them, and also found headphones that work for me.

I have attempted to record more difficult things  than the usual 'close haircut' eg. 'Edgar The Barber'

https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=catalogdetail&valbum_code=HD090368035561

Probably I should have stuck to the simple stuff..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmCBQZECvow

If you hear a dog barking, but cannot see it in front, you are going to look behind!

Still, it was enough for me to buy a pair of those headphones.. - David.

post #170 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post

Localization...the holy grail of recording (and not just for binaural). However, people seem to have higher expectations for binaural (as compared to conventional two-microphone stereo) in terms of its realism, and probably with good reason.

 

Binaural often gets a bad-rap because detractors of it say that front-to-back confusions destroys the realism. Others say that for it to be as realistic as possible, head tracking must be employed. However, there is another component to all of this that is often (and logically) glossed over by audio folks like us, namely, the importance of the visual cortex and the role that it plays in localization. By that I mean that when you consider the physiology of hearing and how we localize, the eyes and the ears are in constant communication. Take this simple example:

 

When you hear a sound - regardless of the direction of origin - and you are not sure where it's coming from, the first response your brain suggests is to look around you. If the source is identified (by looking around) then your brain resolves the ambiguity of where the sound is located - suddenly, everything in the sensory puzzle fits - there is no cognitive dissonance. On the other hand, if you cannot locate the source (such as in the dark or for other reasons, i.e. it is obscured from vision by something else etc) then instinctively - and especially when we can't see the source - we turn our heads. This simple act forces an arrival time difference, as well as an intensity difference, all due to the shape of the person's head, ears, the angle / elevation of their head, and so forth.

 

As a tangential example of the inter-dependence of the visual and auditory cortexes, watch this quick video (McGurk Effect):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0

 

Interesting, eh? If nothing else this is a pretty good emo of the interdependence of the visual and auditory cortexes.

 

Back to localization...so, when most people hear binaural recordings, they are audio-only recorings, absent the visual cues that would be present in a live performance. However, when you provide synchronous video coupled with the binaural audio, taken from the same position of the mannequin head microphone, the visual component helps to 'anchor' the placement of sound coming from directly in front of you.

 

Exercise #1: Here's a simple example (and yes, you need to use headphones for this). What I would like for you to do is to queue-up this link, and advance the time to around 1:50. After that, press PLAY, and then keep your eyes closed for a while (maybe a minute or so), then, open your eyes. Here is the link:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_oumi50dy0

 

As you watch the video, alternately keep your eyes open and closed.

 

What's interesting here is that the binaural was acquired at the center of the stage; the mannequin was above the crowd, facing the band. The audio that you hear is just the binaural signal (no board feeds). However, what's interesting is that apart from the main PA (directly in front of the mannequin), which constitutes an amplified and time-shifted component (think of the path time from each instrument to the mannequin mic - it is longer than the path from the PA to the mannequin head mic), you can still localize the instruments quite well - not perfectly, but still quite well. Notice how when the camer angle is direct (i.e. facing the musicians) the audio seems to make more 'sense' to your brain, because the visual perspective being presented to you is closely aligned with the auditory stimulus (the binaural component).

 

Now here's anotehr interesting element of this video. I made the point about some sound coming through the mains PA as opposed the natural, acoustic radiation of the instrument. Go back to the Sumkali video, and watch - and listen - VERY carefully right around the 3:50 mark. Watch the singer at far right. As he sings, (roughly at the 3:52 mark), he tilts his head upward, and pulls back from the microphone. When he does this, two things happen. First, the amplified portion of his voice is momentarily attenuated (by moving away from the mic). Second, by tilting his head upward, he is effectively singing directly towards the right ear of the mannequin mic, in essence, this is his acoustical radiation component (un-amplified). As you listen and watch, you will hear the apparent location of his voice momentarily move from the center, more towards the right. This happens a couple more times in the video, and once you have seen / noticed this at the 3:50 mark, it becomes easier to spot this in the rest of the video (I think this also happens to varying degrees when he is singing around the 1:25 mark).

 

If the Sumkali show had been purely acoustic (no PA whatsoever) with the musicians situated in the same arrangement (and the mannequin head located in the same place), then there would be even more natural localization of the musicians and their instruments. However, it's the PA itself that causes much of the smearing of the image (again, due to the path differences between the instruments (their acoustically radiated component) and the sound of the instruments that came through the PA.

 

What's interesting (to me anyway) is that when I just listen to the recording, the image is stable. However, when I watch the video, the image seems most realistic when the camera angle is the direct one (pointed at the stage), and when I see the video from the roving camera, then I actually experience a bit of cognitive dissonance - because the camera angle and perspective are not consistent with the auditory element.

 

It's an interesting subject...and it would be very interesting indeed to compare how well people localize recordings, made at essentially the same location, using (for example) ORT, Blumlein, binaural or oterh formats, and then asked to rate them in terms of accuracy of localization - first, based on the audio alone, and then with accompanying video. I'm really curious to see how our perceived localization is influence by the two-channel technique of choice unto itself as compared to being presented with synchronous and representative stimuli. Would realism be be perceived as 'better' for all formats? That is, would people say the localization for all types of two-channel sound are better when they are watching the video as compared to when they only hear the audio, but don't see the video? I wonder...and I wonder if any one method would be perceived as having the highest (statictically significant) realism as compared to the other formats.


Hi Mark,

I think people are right to have high expectations for binaural. The idea that if you can reproduce the movement of the eardrum that you would have got live, by means of a recording, that it would sound the same is quite compelling. This assumes that the vibrations of the eardrum are the only input to the brain  that conveys sound and its location. The direction part of the sound vector has no sound itself, so where the brain decides to locate the sound in the auditory image could  come from vision, variation of ITD with head movement, the hairs on your arms, or wishful thinking, etc.

There are many factors (cues) involved. Some may be 'ANDed' and others 'ORed'. Also there are many types of sound source types - musical notes, impulses, random phase noise, different frequency bands, etc. On top of that there are varying types, and amounts of reflections. You cannot take one set of conditions and apply your observations to another set of conditions. It is very difficult (and unwise) to reach firm conclusions.. Sound localization is a process rather than a state. Closing your eyes while listening to a sound is not the same as being blind from birth, for instance.

 

Jeff Anderson is on the vision tack at the moment. The idea is that we could all learn to use a standard pinna response (his), calibrating our auditory system by watching videos.

 

Enough already!

 

I watched and listened the videos and agree with  your observations. The distance perception is quite vague however, so you can place the sound at her lips on my screen 2ft. away, or farther away when the eyes are closed. I enjoyed the recording, as I did the first time I heard it, but for me in my livingroom the scale was quite small.

 

Many years ago I made a minidisk recording with in-ear mics, of a waterfall. When I replayed it on headphones  in a field it sounded almost credible in scale. When I played it in a room it shrank to fit the room, so I played it in a bathroom, and then in the car. It fitted each space.. I conclude there was very little actual distance information on that recording.

 

ps.

I learnt of the McGurk Effect and other such things many years ago from a very nice guy called Richard O Duda, via emails.

 

This place is a hotbed of high-end beliefs, I won't be hanging around.. Cheers - David.

post #171 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwareing View Post


Hi Mark,

I think people are right to have high expectations for binaural. The idea that if you can reproduce the movement of the eardrum that you would have got live, by means of a recording, that it would sound the same is quite compelling. This assumes that the vibrations of the eardrum are the only input to the brain  that conveys sound and its location. The direction part of the sound vector has no sound itself, so where the brain decides to locate the sound in the auditory image could  come from vision, variation of ITD with head movement, the hairs on your arms, or wishful thinking, etc.

There are many factors (cues) involved. Some may be 'ANDed' and others 'ORed'. Also there are many types of sound source types - musical notes, impulses, random phase noise, different frequency bands, etc. On top of that there are varying types, and amounts of reflections. You cannot take one set of conditions and apply your observations to another set of conditions. It is very difficult (and unwise) to reach firm conclusions.. Sound localization is a process rather than a state. Closing your eyes while listening to a sound is not the same as being blind from birth, for instance.

 

Jeff Anderson is on the vision tack at the moment. The idea is that we could all learn to use a standard pinna response (his), calibrating our auditory system by watching videos.

 

Enough already!

 

I watched and listened the videos and agree with  your observations. The distance perception is quite vague however, so you can place the sound at her lips on my screen 2ft. away, or farther away when the eyes are closed. I enjoyed the recording, as I did the first time I heard it, but for me in my livingroom the scale was quite small.

 

Many years ago I made a minidisk recording with in-ear mics, of a waterfall. When I replayed it on headphones  in a field it sounded almost credible in scale. When I played it in a room it shrank to fit the room, so I played it in a bathroom, and then in the car. It fitted each space.. I conclude there was very little actual distance information on that recording.

 

ps.

I learnt of the McGurk Effect and other such things many years ago from a very nice guy called Richard O Duda, via emails.

 

This place is a hotbed of high-end beliefs, I won't be hanging around.. Cheers - David.

David:

 

I think we're largely in agreement (on a number of issues); what happens in one set of boundary conditions isn't necessarily applicable to another set of conditions.

 

I guess what I struggle with (a lot) is that many comparisons are made wherein multiple variable are changed at the same time. As anyone who has conducted experiments will tell you, changing only one variable at a time makes the conclusions (usually) more salient and logical. Unfortunately, most of the research aimed at answering a lot of questions about binaural (or for that matter other formats like Ambisonics etc) is confined to publications by the A.E.S., A.S.A., or other technical-centric organizations, and regrettably, this puts much of the published work into the realm of 'specailized' rather than general. Thus, most people who might have an interest (and they are few...) may not at first be sure where to turn to find such controlled experiments, or could even be intimidated by dealing with publications by such organizations.

 

The videos...I had a somewhat similar impression of the distance being vague (in the Sumkali videos), but at the same time, I think I know what is going on. Again, remember that nearly all of the instruments were mic'd or taken via direct box to the FOH mixing console. I don't recall how much of each instrument was in the main mix, but... the fact that there is a PA component (close to the mannequin head, on-center) means that the natural arrival time from each instrument is going to be affected - essentially... blurred. This is due to the fact that the sound from the instruments (via the microphones) arrives before the naturally radiated acoustic power from the instruments - this has GOT to affect the phase relationship; phase is time...time is phase...and timing is a major factor in localization. Frankly, were one to piggy-back the various mic channels and compare them to the signals from the mannequin ears, one could (via signal processing) glean a great deal of insight as to the phase(s), or rather, the deltas...but this would only help explain what is going on - and not fix it. Yes, it would be grand to be able to record (as an experiment) taking a band that is primarily an acoustical band, and then alternately turn on and off the PA during the recording process, and incorporating video might make for another interesting variable (one could expand this further and think about 3-D video as well). I think it would be interesting to see how peoples' perceptions of localization change in the presence of varying degrees of PA content as compared to the acoustical content. I've seen something related in many houses of worship...counter-intuitively, often times articulation is actually made worse by a PA because the sound from the PA arrives before the naturally-radiated sound of the person speaking / the people singing, and the time delay and also reverb of the space can actually make it harder to hear when the PA is in use.Yes, much of this can be compensated for using time delays and such, but most budget installations don't allow for this.

 

Anyway...I'm rambling, Again. Let me get back to my original point (by way of exaple) with regard to the importance of natural phase.

 

A counterpoint to much of what I typically record is something that I do for select people that I know, namely, family histories. How does this differ from other things that I record?

 

Well, apart from the genre, the main difference here is that the natural arrival times (from each person's mouth to the mannequin) are preserved - unlike the case where one has the acoustic, un-amplified path, and a path augmented by the PA. In these family history sessions (basically, discussions), there are no artificial means of augmenting sound - people are simply sitting and speaking to one another. 

 

In this instance, I record binaurally in a space with which all who will likely listen (mostly the family members) are well acquainted...for instance, in a living room, a kitchen...or wherever the participants feel most natural and comfortable. Now...mind you this is just anectodal, but I will say this...when I make such recordings, when the people hear them their jaws drop, they grin uncontrollably, and look around / point to things that are in the space. A good example of this was one event where I recorded a family history in a home, and on the wall was a clock - an older, gear-driven AC-motor-powered clock that had seen better days. It was functional enough, but made a sort of low whirring / slight grinding sound. When I played the recordings for them there, immediately after the fact, using standard closed-back headphones (nothing esoteric), every person commented - as they looked toward the clock was relative to the mannequin head and gestured about how they could hear the clock - their gestures were really raised hands pointing to where the clock was situated (relative to the mannequin). 

 

For this reason (and others), this is why I always want to record family histories in the family home if at all possible. Why? Well, apart from what I wrote previously, there's a learned element. That is, if you think about it, people tend to learn, if un-conciously, the acoustics of the space(s) in which they spend a great deal of time. So, by recording on (acoustically) 'familiar turf', the recordings take on added realism...in particular...to the family members because som many crucial details of the space are pretty faithfully rendered by the binaural technique - yet, if you play the same recordings for someone who does not know the acoustics of the space, they often have a different perspective and experience. Yes, I could record them in a conference room, and yes, all would be heard, but it would not carry the same 'weight' as incorporating the known acoustics of the family home.

 

Likewise, I know of at least a few car audio system providers (who provide systems to the auto manufacturers) who run their listening tests, using binaural audio, in the vehicle. That is, they may have several variants to test, but they record them all binaurally, at the same location etc. When the systems are to be judged by the listeners, they do so in the vehicle using playback of the binaural recordings that were made previously with the mannequin head in the vehicle, situated where they would have been situated (and where they ARE situated for the listening tests). They do this because they have found that there is better agreement with what is ultimately judged to be the 'right' audio system when the headphone playback of the target systems takes place in the vehicle rather than in controlled listening space.

 

I have likewise seen this in-situ in my day-job (Sound Quality / NVH Manager for Lear Corporation). For example, when we record in a vehicle interior (binaurally) and play the sounds back in the vehicle (whether the headphones are closed or open doesn't really matter in this case), the jurors overwhelmingly judge the recordings as 'very realistic' and have no real issues localizing sounds of interest, usually with quite good precision (in the scope of the tests that we execute). However...when the jurors are played the same sounds seated elsewhere than in the vehicle, they sense them differently - not that they judge them as unrealistic, but they do tend to judge them as less realistic. Context...plays a big, big role. Often times, we record binaurally not to (necessarily) gauge localization, but to do relative comparisons about the sonic attributes of each system being tested - in this case we're looking for more information about what product sound is preferred the most when compared to the others (for some of the readers out there, this may come as a shock, but many, many products' sounds are very carefully engineered to sound a very specific way, and not necessarily just to meet an existing noise specification - drills, dishwashers, transmissions, door closures, sunroofs, power windows...all of these are scrutinized and tweaked to try and get the right sound, that is, the proper Sound Quality).

 

Mark

post #172 of 238

"Frank began by asking how long the participants thought it would be until binaural sound was commonplace. Opinions ranged from less than 12 months to more than 5 years."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2013/05/workshop-on-immersive-audio-over-headphones

They will need to pull their fingers out then!
 

post #173 of 238
Quote:

Originally Posted by immersifi View Post Unfortunately, most of the research aimed at answering a lot of questions about binaural (or for that matter other formats like Ambisonics etc) is confined to publications by the A.E.S., A.S.A., or other technical-centric organizations

 

I have likewise seen this in-situ in my day-job (Sound Quality / NVH Manager for Lear Corporation).

Ambisonics can transcode to binaural quite well. I can't remember whether I did this via a XTC 'PanAmbio' decoder of mine, or one of the 'standard' Ambisonic decoders. - A plane flying through my living room recorded with my dummy head:

For a short time only.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1un9ygyfmtt75hb/binaural%20recording%20%20clip%20of%20playback%20in%20living%20room%20of%20ambisonic%20file%20%20soundmanjohn-spitfire-tailchase-at-duxford.wav

 

Do you have any B-format tecordings of your own I could try?

 

 

You probably know BJF of Ford then..

post #174 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwareing View Post

....

Do you have any B-format tecordings of your own I could try?

 

 

You probably know BJF of Ford then..

The BJF initials don't ring a bell, but truthfully, I have met many poeople from Ford over the years, and I don't always retain their names in my memory...sadly. MC, KVB, BY, NO ... I know them but it has been years since I have been down to the AEC. I think BY was the last sound quality person with whom I had any serious discussions oin the subject. KVB was there for many years (she set up and ran many juried tests) but has moved on to a few other jobs since she was doing that at Ford. NO retired many years ago, but he made some major contributions to juried study techniques in his tenure there.

 

Downloaded the file...very cool.


Edited by immersifi - 6/11/13 at 12:14pm
post #175 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post

The BJF initials don't ring a bell, but truthfully, I have met many poeople from Ford over the years, and I don't always retain their names in my memory...sadly. MC, KVB, BY, NO ... I know them but it has been years since I have been down to the AEC. I think BY was the last sound quality person with whom I had any serious discussions oin the subject. KVB was there for many years (she set up and ran many juried tests) but has moved on to a few other jobs since she was doing that at Ford. NO retired many years ago, but he made some major contributions to juried study techniques in his tenure there.

 

 

Downloaded the file...very cool.

 

John Feng. He and JJ ( http://www.aes.org/technical/sa/ ) used to form a tag team on rec.audio.* long ago.

post #176 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwareing View Post

 

John Feng. He and JJ ( http://www.aes.org/technical/sa/ ) used to form a tag team on rec.audio.* long ago.

Ah, yes...the "B" threw me; he often went by the moniker B. John Feng, but everyone that I knew just referred to him as "John". Hard to forget him. He's at Bose now, but I probably have not spoken with him / traded emails for over 10 years - at least. I think he worked for Mueller BBM for a short period of time, but I could be mistaken.

post #177 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post

Ah, yes...the "B" threw me; he often went by the moniker B. John Feng, but everyone that I knew just referred to him as "John". Hard to forget him. He's at Bose now, but I probably have not spoken with him / traded emails for over 10 years - at least. I think he worked for Mueller BBM for a short period of time, but I could be mistaken.


More likeable than his brother in law, less likeable than Hugo..

"hugozuccarelli

WOW!!!!, just like BINAURAL!!!!!
May be in a couple of years , They will invent Holophonics Tm, that has been around for 32 years already.....LOL.
Whats next The freaking wheel ?
Do this people use all the grant money for video-games??
Even the readers noticed , and pasted Holophonics Tm sounds on the net....LOL.
For more on Holophonics Tm see www.acousticintegrity.com
or see in youtube hzuccarelli, and hzuccarelli1"

 

Did you get a chance to download any of my six mic dummy head recordings (birds), or even the previous four mic ones?

They can be dowloaded as 'packs' although I have not tried that. The built in player is mp3, but is ok apart from some losss of detail and depth, and mushing the noise texture of 'sea','windy wood' ,'rain on polycarbonate etc. The downloads are mainly flac.

http://www.freesound.org/people/dwareing/

post #178 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwareing View Post


...

Did you get a chance to download any of my six mic dummy head recordings (birds), or even the previous four mic ones?

They can be dowloaded as 'packs' although I have not tried that. The built in player is mp3, but is ok apart from some losss of detail and depth, and mushing the noise texture of 'sea','windy wood' ,'rain on polycarbonate etc. The downloads are mainly flac.

http://www.freesound.org/people/dwareing/

Not yet. I'll revisit the thread and grab them soon.

post #179 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post

Not yet. I'll revisit the thread and grab them soon.

The HRTF (where H stands for head..) based 'hypothesis' implies certain falsifiable predictions in relation to the head frame of reference and head orientations, and movements.... and several other things besides, It should at least raise an eyebrow when the predictions are not entirely consistent with observations

 

People can talk al they like about in-head localization being due to 'micro head movements', not being able to localize something in front if it can't be seen, or HRTFs being like .'fingerprints'. but unless they are willing to observe properly, rather than arm-wave, they are just speculating.

 

I am probably not going to hang around for another two months on the off chance anyone might notice anything with their ears..

-DPW

post #180 of 238
I listened to your other files there dw. With the vertical music box one does it start directly overhead, arc down to left ear, horizonally traverse to the right, then arc back to the top?
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