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Adventures in Binaural Sound....  

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

 

Neumann KU100 Head

 

As many of you might remember, I have always had a curiosity about binaural sound. Most of all, I love the DIY aspect of minimalist microphone techniques, binaural and holophonic being my favorite techniques. In the past months I have made and tested several recording microphones, ranging from simple to complex. Today, I finally succeeded in making an accurate dummy head with full three dimensional accuracy. It's not 100% perfect, but it's 90% there. It has great imaging, great height imaging and great front-to-back imaging. Why am I so excited? Well, because most dummy heads fail in regards to height imaging and front-to-back imaging. There have been some which can reproduce these imaging properties rather well, such as the Neumann KU100 pictured above but my dummy head cost me exactly $8.00 not including the electronics and microphones. Add in some cheap microphones and the total cost runs into an expensive $16.00!!!!!

 

I won't go into how to make your own....you can do that yourselves and the research and hands on approach is half the fun. My design, as far as I know, is completely unique and produces excellent results. I have tentatively named my dummy head - "D-1". I put together D-1 in about 20 minutes. Here is what he can record:

 

The typical shaker test..Left(up/down), Right (up/down), Walking from left to right, Over the head left to right, Over the head, front to back:

 

http://www.sendspace.com/file/f800wh

 

Outside, mid-day recording near where I live. You can hear the traffic, the kid in the pool and air conditioning equipment as well as some birds and other people:

 

http://www.sendspace.com/file/szjb8m

 

Not perfect but almost there! Then again, for something that cost me less than $20.00 USD, it's not bad at all. The only negative aspect of D-1 is that he is strictly headphone compatible. While the results are great on headphones, the results are average on speakers. However, this is a problem ALL dummy heads have. The compromise would be a slightly directional holophonic microphone but that is a whole 'nother topic.

 

So...if I'm not teaching you how to make one or what the unique aspect of the design is...why I am posting this?? Well...I hope that some of you guys and gals will see that recording on the cheap is possible and that you don't need a lot of money to make your own binaural recordings.

 

Hopefully, I can create a windscreen for D-1 and take him along to record some nature sounds soon. Stay tuned......

 

EDIT...For those who are curious...Recording chain was D-1 Dummy Head -> Griffin iTalk -> iPod


Edited by LFF - 7/25/10 at 8:49pm
post #2 of 3

Cool post. The track could use a bit more action, but was interesting to hear nonetheless.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Cool post. The track could use a bit more action, but was interesting to hear nonetheless.


Thanks. I know it's lacking in action but it really was only a test...a test I have done probably 8 or 9 dozen times just this past month.

 

I have finally settled on a preliminary design with all of my design elements and requirements. I have tested it tonight and it sounds very, very promising. I'll be doing more test recording with it soon, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

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