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Pretty cool "audio Illusion" ...

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Headphones required. (Shouldn't't be much of a problem on this forum...)

 

Link is: Here

 

I found this pretty gosh darned neat-o. I mean, this is exactly what stereo music does to our ears, but it is so noticeable in this track. Pretty nice for testing soundstage in a weird way too.

 

Certainly made me cringe a few times...

post #2 of 37

Welcome to the wonderful but disappointingly small world of binaural recordings :)

post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

WHY IS THIS WORLD SO SMALL? 

 

Actually, I suppose this world is all around us... No need to make ambient recordings. (actually, I must admit, I would buy an album featuring recordings like this of various locations.)

post #4 of 37

Yeah, the virtual haircut is a really nice binaural recording.

post #5 of 37

There is a binaural Pearl Jam Album ("Binaural"). Also, if you're interested, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has some binaural recordings available for purchase on their website (which are awesome - highly recommended)

post #6 of 37

There used to be a sticky full of links to Binaural stuff. Here is another one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJwUVCXH-gM

and another, a compilation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT1XuB95qMk

 

 

My favourite is the one where there is some German guy, and some lady explaining what he is doing. But I cant find it anymore, I dont remember what it was called.


Edited by MaZa - 7/15/10 at 10:45am
post #7 of 37

That second one is awesome!

 

It's great that regardless of the sound quality, the brain is able to accept and trick us as if they were real sounds.

post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 

Wow, I like the compilation! Anyone have links to where I can purchase binaural albums? Preferably A good digital recording.

post #9 of 37

Sorry if I'm a bit naive but why aren't there more recordings/albums like this? Even with lower end cans this felt almost real. It was really quite impressive stuff.

post #10 of 37

is the the biannual binaural thread?

post #11 of 37

Try the Legally Download-able Binaural recordings links thread maybe?


Edited by krmathis - 7/16/10 at 1:02am
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmK View Post

Sorry if I'm a bit naive but why aren't there more recordings/albums like this? Even with lower end cans this felt almost real. It was really quite impressive stuff.


The quick answer: Boys like playing with their toys.

 

You only really need 2 - 3 microphones to really capture a great recording for stereo. However, engineers love to fiddle with their gadgets and anything within their control. Recording natural stereo is a very passive job - not easy but very passive. With more microphones and the different placement, different levels, etc, engineers feel more involved and with more microphones comes more gear.....more toys to play with!!! More microphones and more gear means the engineers must make more decisions on the sound and thus this makes them feel like they take more part in the creative process as well. This also keeps the engineer busy allowing whoever is paying them to make them feel like they are working for their pay. In the end, everyone is happy with a multi-mono recording, except us. However, over so much time, the public at large have grown accustomed to the sound of multi-mono "stereo" recordings and most natural stereo techniques are rarely used or are completely unfamiliar techniques to some engineers. When they are used, they are used for the purpose of "ambiance" recording which later gets mixed in with the multi-mono stereo recording.

 

To some engineers, a properly recorded natural stereo recording sounds wrong and unnatural. Sad really.

 

Anything and everything I ever record, be it music or nature recordings, I always record in natural stereo. I think the most difficult thing with natural stereo recording is deciding which technique to use and finding the perfect placement for your microphones.

 

Rant over....

post #13 of 37

LFF, I would be interested to hear more about how you do a good passive stereo recording with modest equipment, and I'm sure there are other interested readers too.  Personally, I'm familiar with binaural sound to the extent that I have made my own HRTF's and learned that recordings made with someone else's weird pinna are not optimal to my ears...but the dummy heads are pretty good.  What natural stereo recording methods do you prefer?  Anything a recording newbie could manage with a decent microphone (or two)?

 

Also, to the above posters looking to find binaural recordings, there are some good binaural recordings in the wild, it just takes some searching.  For example, Also Sprach Zarathustra (link) and the Zenph recordings (Tatum link, Gould link, Rachmaninoff link) are all pretty good in terms of natural stereo effect, high fidelity sound (more or less) and good music composition.  (small disclaimer, while I own and regularly enjoy the first three, I've merely heard the Rachmaninoff in passing--Tatum is my favorite of the bunch).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post


Anything and everything I ever record, be it music or nature recordings, I always record in natural stereo. I think the most difficult thing with natural stereo recording is deciding which technique to use and finding the perfect placement for your microphones.

 

post #14 of 37


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Omega View Post
 

LFF, I would be interested to hear more about how you do a good passive stereo recording with modest equipment, and I'm sure there are other interested readers too.  Personally, I'm familiar with binaural sound to the extent that I have made my own HRTF's and learned that recordings made with someone else's weird pinna are not optimal to my ears...but the dummy heads are pretty good.  What natural stereo recording methods do you prefer?  Anything a recording newbie could manage with a decent microphone (or two)?

 


It's really not a huge science really. Passive stereo recording essentially requires no work during the recording, thus making it "passive". All the real work and critical decisions are done during warm-up and mainly requires finding the right position for your set-up followed by proper level calibration for the microphones. After that, just press record and relax.

 

As I said before, the critical decisions in recording with two microphones is 1) What method to use and 2) the placement of the microphones.

 

Adding in pinna complicates the problem unless the pinna is an "averaged" pinna since all of our pinna are different. If the pinna are not averaged, some people will hear amazingly accurate reproduction through headphones and others will be less than pleased. Moreover, the recording is only compatible with headphones.

 

While I do LOVE a proper dummy head recording, approaching a recording without using pinna, makes it headphone compatible and speaker compatible. Some recordings without pinna can sound eerily close to "being there" on headphones while remaining completely compatible with speakers. Hence, pinna-less techniques are my favorite. 

 

I have 3 microphone sets which I use the most and are my absolute favorite natural stereo recording techniques. They tend to produce accurate recordings with great dynamic range and require little or no post processing. They sound great on speakers and headphones as well.

 

1. I have a hand held holophonic microphone.

 

2. A body and head holophonic microphone.

 

3. A matched pair of holographic microphones.

 

1 & 2 are essentially the same thing with different configurations and measurements. They produce recordings which are similar to a dummy heads and remain speaker compatible. A professional holophonic microphone can range from $400 to $9,000 or more. The quality varies but you can make a DIY version for well under $100 if you get creative and do your research. Matched microphone elements are preferred but not always used.

 

Examples of holophonic recordings (numbers correspond to above mic sets):

NOTE: Both of these clips have full dynamic range so turn up your volume!!!

 

1. http://www.sendspace.com/file/65zlxf (band located to the far left with me recording about 10 feet away - raw)

 

2. http://www.sendspace.com/file/tsrqt5 (recorded in front of the band, three feet away - raw)

 

Holographic microphones are more expensive ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per microphone and you must have a matched pair. These produce amazing results on speakers. The recordings are realistic and stereo imaging is natural and precise. The result on headphones is also great but gives a slightly less "you are there" feeling, although it is still very impressive. You can DIY a pair but it's more expensive than a holophonic microphone. I have done only a few recordings using mine and all were in less than ideal conditions but the recordings are amazing. I love these microphones because they can usually record from 1Hz to 30kHz relatively flat and some can go well beyond 30kHz as well. Not that we can hear it, but it's cool to know it captures that information as well.

 

Example of holographic recording:

 

3. http://www.sendspace.com/file/scvpe3 (not done by me - with EQ and some compression)

 

As you can tell, both produce different results, although admittedly, you have to hear the same performance recorded by all microphones at the same time to really tell the difference.

 

Other favorite methods are Blumlein, Jecklin Disc, X/Y and Decca Tree methods.

 

Blumlein involves placing two figure 8 microphones at 90 degrees from each other and placing the set 45 degrees from the subject being recorded. This method produces very sharp and very accurate stereo imaging. It has been used for a number of famous recordings and tends to provide a wonderful recording on speakers and headphones. Chesky uses this method a lot for recording (even overdubs). If you are looking for some cheap but great microphones to use for this technique, try these:

 

http://www.frontendaudio.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=7489&Show=ExtInfo

 

Jecklin Disc recordings places two omnidirectional microphones, spaced about 8 inches apart, with a baffle in between the spaced microphones. The baffle acts like a human head of sorts providing a time delay of certain frequencies which in turn provides an accurate stereo image.

 

You can DIY the Jecklin disc or baffle and use these inexpensive mics:

 

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/ECM8000.aspx

 

X/Y involves using a coincident pair of cardioid microphones which are positioned so that their capsules are as close to each other as possible with an angle between the capsules of 90 and 135 degrees. The greater the angle, the wider the stereo imaging. Directional, cardioid microphones are used because they are the most sensitive to sound coming from directly in front of the capsules and are less sensitive to off-axis sound. However, I have also heard recordings done this way with omnidirectional microphones that sounded great.

 

If you want omni mics, see the above recommendation for cheap ones. If you want to use cardioid microphones, these are some good and cheap ones:

 

http://www.mxlmics.com/products/Studio_mics/603/v603.html

 

Decca Tree methods actually involves using 3 microphones but I really like this method for recording classical music. It's not really a natural stereo method so I won't go into it much but it is still considered a minimalist microphone technique. Many old RCA Living Stereo recordings and all Mercury Living Presence Stereo Recordings used only 3 microphones.

 

Hope that helps! I think natural stereo recording is really more of an art than science but it's an art we all know. Nature gave us two ears and we can hear perfectly well with two ears. Doesn't it follow logically that two microphones could do the same?


Edited by LFF - 7/16/10 at 11:14pm
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaZa View Post

My favourite is the one where there is some German guy, and some lady explaining what he is doing. But I cant find it anymore, I dont remember what it was called.


cover.jpg

 

'When A Man Loves A Woman' sounds incredible off of that CD.

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