Originally Posted by xnor
Unless it's a binaural recording or you use some other kind of DSP it's not going to sound real on any headphone.
Right. Most people get simply accustomed to the way music music meant for reproduction on speakers sounds on headphones - and expects even live music to sound that way. Which it never does.
Binaural is very dependant on correct phase - the more extended frequency response of the entire chain, from microphone ( artificial or real head fitted with mics ) all the way finally to the headphone, the better. Hope opportunity to record some binaural in various formats Korg MR series of recorders are capable of ( from MP3 192 kbps to DSD at 5,6 MHz ) will present itself soon; some rehearsals or things of the similar kind, and will post or mail whatever will go into 25MB limit for attachments without further complications ( damn short for DSD , couple of seconds ) for those interested. When recording for real, it is exclusively DSD 5,6 MHz. Trouble is, unless you have some machine capable of DSD reproduction WITHOUT conversion to PCM, the main point is lost.
I was shocked after recording my first "binaural natural" ( mics worn on my own ears ) with the Korg MR1000 with DSD at 5,6 MHz. Accustomed to its smaller relative, the MR1 that menages "only" DSD at 2,8 MHz, I did not expect such big difference when listening to the recording made less than an hour ago and heard naturally live ( for all practical purposes , good binaural mics should not impair normal hearing significantly ). Of coiurse, no monitoring with headphones of any kind is possible with "binaural natural" - but this is THE ONLY way you actually can say you were exactly where the mics were ( for the nitpickers, within a couple of mm/cm ). It does not get any closer or better than this.
Hit the Play switch - woooOOOOW ! Everything was a notch better, what really impressed me was uncanny depth of image I never heard before on any recording. Other things were better , of course, but not so impressive as depth of 5,6 vs 2,8 - which itself is superiour to 192/24 in this regard.
Disclaimer: I can not stash some 20 or so ears of other individuals along mine ( or artificial head ) , all somehow lumped to a single pair of microphones ; I can not afford 20 pairs of microphones and 20 recorders to satisfy statistical requirements for the assesment of recording and playback impressions; and can not furnish each and every head-fier with machine capable of native DSD playback. What I CAN do is record some rehearsal ( hopefully in near future, but recording binaural is usually optional, so to speak my personal wish, if and when it does not present troubles of any kind for the main mics for speakers - time is usually at premium and additional mic positioning time is rarely approved by the musicians ) using various recording modes - and make these short samples available in their original format within constraints for attachments of normal e-mail. Those of you capable of playing back DSD directly should be able to understand instantly why I am trying to say that bandwidth above 20 kHz is important - it does not sound different like day and night, what it does offer better than any other recording I heard ( did not hear DXD directly yet ) is recreation of the acoustics of the recording venue. It simply sounds more like the real thing. PCMs are interesting to more people - the biggest jump in quality is jump from 44,1/16 to say 88,2/24 - but you have to hear it in your own system, to be able to decide just how far it makes sense to go in your case.