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post #106 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Does anyone know how binaural microphones actually work? I know the super expensive ones use a special, calibrated, EQ-ed-like dummy head, but there are a handful of binaural microphones that don't have that.

3Dio is an example. I have a pair of Sound Professional Master Series binaural microphones that I use in some of my YouTube videos.

Here's a random street performance I captured with those microphones if anyone is interested (I was using a Tascam XJ2 as the preamp since these are electret microphones): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2816447/2013-08-14_-_UVillage_Concert.flac

Yes. The technology is pretty well understood, but I'm not sure where to steer you as there is a lot of ground to cover. However, start by looking into the HRTF - everything else will sort of tie into that once you have a good grasp upon that concept.

 

I can't remember (probably gearslutz) where I wrote about the different types of mannequin heads, and the various types of equalization that they employ, but again, there are many, many ways to do this...with varying degress of realism, but if I find the thread, I'll edit this post and add it.

 

ADDED: Here's a link to one thread in which the issues surrounding mannequin head microphone types and types of equalization is addressed. My comments on the thread are really geared to the differences in binaural equalization (as well as why the 3Dio mic isn't really a binaural microphone), but this might be a good thread to check out (I've written a lot more elsewhere on gs on the subject of binaural (lots), so if you're interested, you can look through my posts (my handle is "Mark A. Jay" on gearslutz - at least for now anyway) and related posts by others on the subject). Anyway...back to the link:

 

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-location-recording/794910-binaural-microphone-inherent-boost-high-frequencies.html

 

In general, it's not really a true binaural recording unless a mannequin head microphone is involved - in principle. There are other mics out there that use a sphere with mics on either side that achieve much of a true HRTF-based recording (because they mimic - to some degree - the shadowing that a true mannequin head would, and this makes a big difference than if the mics had simply been separated by the same distance (as in the head) without the obstruction between them). The presence of the 'obstruction' (and its geometry) that is the head portion is really, really important to spatial cues in a binaural recording...but there are several factors that govern this (the realism), and this is way beyond the scope of this post.

 

Another place to learn more about this stuff is the Perceptual Audio Forum (I'm the Group's Moderator) on Linked In, so if you or anyone else is interested in joining, the posts there may be of interest because the discussions tend to be pretty heavy on binaural as well as signal processing techniques designed to emulate binaural with speakers (i.e. cross-talk cancellation schemes). Here's the link: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Perceptual-Audio-3722860/about

 

Anyway, if you're interested, just send a request to join the Group.

 

There are lots of resources out there about binaural and the technology surrounding it, but as I pointed out elsewhere (possibly in a different thread), the monograph "Binaural Technology" by Mme Rozenn Nicol (of Orange Labs) is a really invaluable text to have:

 

http://www.aes.org/blog/2010/4/aes-publishes-monograph-on-binaural-technology

 

I hope this help. I'll have to check out your link sometime...busy day today.

 

Mark


Edited by immersifi - 5/15/14 at 10:38am
post #107 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post

Hey...Thanks so much for the post about this CD. It's great that you're helping to raise awareness of binaural recording; as someone who's been doing that for a few years now, it's always nice to see knowledgeable people give the subject some attention. I don't know that binaural is for everyone per se (some seem to love it, others, not so much), but certainly for the head-fi-ers, it's right up our proverbial alley.

If you want to check out some more binaural tracks from my sessions, links are shown below; some of the work is just binaural, some is hybrid (a mix of binaural and variations on conventional stereo), and some tracks are straight up conventional stereo. Howvere, please don't stream the tracks from the soundcloud site - their player transcodes content down to 128 kbps and this wreaks havoc with the imaging. However, you can download any or all of the tracks and avoid that. Some of the material has been posted in flac format, some in 320 kbps mp3 format, and some events have been posted in both formats:

https://soundcloud.com/immersifi

You can also check out (and download) a Cowboy Junkies show I recorded back in 2009 at The Ark in Ann Arbor:

https://archive.org/details/cj2009-10-05.ku100_at37

You can also audition / download a live recording of Sam Roberts Band (from back in 2009), which was recorded at The FIllmore Detroit:

https://archive.org/details/SRB2009-11-28

So...grab those 'phones and check out the various tracks. I hope you guys and gals dig my work.

Mark

Mark,

Thank you so much for providing these very special recordings to the public, and in high quality formats as well! They are all fantastic. And I am a huge Cowboy Junkies fan so that Ann Arbor live set is very special. smily_headphones1.gif I still need to track down a copy of Acoustic Junk!

All of your links and recommendations throughout the thread have been very enjoyable listening. As a former drummer and alto/tenor saxophonist, I greatly appreciate your time, skill, and effort in creating these wonderfull recordings. smily_headphones1.gif Good on ya!

Billy B.

P.S. This Head-Fi/Chesky Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc is "The Bomb" as well! Thanks to all involved in putting this together.
Edited by bbfoto - 5/10/14 at 12:59pm
post #108 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfoto View Post


Mark,

Thank you so much for providing these very special recordings to the public, and in high quality formats as well! They are all fantastic. And I am a huge Cowboy Junkies fan so that Ann Arbor live set is very special. smily_headphones1.gif I still need to track down a copy of Acoustic Junk!

All of your links and recommendations throughout the thread have been very enjoyable listening. As a former drummer and alto/tenor saxophonist, I greatly appreciate your time, skill, and effort in creating these wonderfull recordings. smily_headphones1.gif Good on ya!

Billy B.

P.S. This Head-Fi/Chesky Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc is "The Bomb" as well! Thanks to all involved in putting this together.

Billy:

 

Many, many thanks for the high praise - it means that much more to me as you are a musician, so you're bound to see (and hear) things from a different perspective than most 'casual' listeners.

 

Interesting you mention sax...when I recorded the 75th anniversary show (three nights' worth) at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, one of the bands covered Wayne Shorter's "Footprints", and did a really nice job. I have that recording in archive - maybe someday it will end up on soundcloud or another site.

 

On a completely different note (but something I mentioned in the 'official flac download' thread, time permitting, I'll be posting some rain and thunderstorm recordings, possibly tonight. They're interesting in that they feature "Nature's Dynamic Range", and some of them (I divided one long recording into segments if memory serves) feature the proverbial calm before the storm, as well as kids ini the far distance. Unfortunately, the neighborhood in which I made these records is not all that far from a major highway, so the dynamic range is not as great as it otherwise could have been. Still, I had the gear with me, saw the foreboding clouds, and put the mannequin head out on the porch under the awning and recorded. So, if you're interested, keep an eye on that thread (official flac downloads) - they should be up on soundcloud soon.

post #109 of 189

BINAURAL THUNDERSTORM EXCERPTS (SUBURBAN DETROIT AREA)

 

OK. I found the thunderstorm files. Unfortunately I have only time to post one of the segments (too many things going on at home today) at present. This is for the link to the file in flac version. I may post the 320 kbps mp3 at some point...maybe even tonight.

 

PLEASE NOTE: This one gets LOUD right around the 2:40 mark. Please exercise caution - I put a note about that up on the soundcloud page, but you guys and gals have more awareness of these things than do the general public.

 

https://soundcloud.com/immersifi/suburban-detroit-thunderstorm-segment-5-optimized-for-headphones-flac

 

I will post additional excerpts as time permits; I put this one up tonight as I had some correspondence suggesting that uploading these would be a good thing.

 

Anyway, I hope you like it.

 

Mark

 

ADDED: Here's the link to the 320 kbps mp3 version: https://soundcloud.com/immersifi/suburban-detroit-thunderstorm-segment-5-optimized-for-headphones

 

ADDED: Here's the link to the flac version of segment 6:  https://soundcloud.com/immersifi/suburban-detroit-thunderstorm-segment-6-optimized-for-headphones-flac - and - here's the link to the 320 kbps version: https://soundcloud.com/immersifi/suburban-detroit-thunderstorm-segment-6-optimized-for-headphones


Edited by immersifi - 5/11/14 at 8:53pm
post #110 of 189

^ Thanks Mark!

post #111 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfoto View Post


Mark,

Thank you so much for providing these very special recordings to the public, and in high quality formats as well! They are all fantastic. And I am a huge Cowboy Junkies fan so that Ann Arbor live set is very special. smily_headphones1.gif I still need to track down a copy of Acoustic Junk!

All of your links and recommendations throughout the thread have been very enjoyable listening. As a former drummer and alto/tenor saxophonist, I greatly appreciate your time, skill, and effort in creating these wonderfull recordings. smily_headphones1.gif Good on ya!

Billy B.

P.S. This Head-Fi/Chesky Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc is "The Bomb" as well! Thanks to all involved in putting this together.

Billy:

 

I found an excerpt of "Footprints" (that Wayne Shorter tune that I mentioned). This is from the Baker's Keyboard Lounge sessions that I did a few years back. Pay attention to what happens in the recording right around the 1:40 mark.

 

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-location-recording/361328-what-your-favorite-binaural-recording-2.html#post5314962

 

Enjoy - it's not the whole piece, but a nice little excerpt...and you, being a former drummer / sax player, are probably going to dig this one...


Edited by immersifi - 5/13/14 at 7:54am
post #112 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post
 

Billy:

 

I found an excerpt of "Footprints" (that Wayne Shorter tune that I mentioned). This is from the Baker's Keyboard Lounge sessions that I did a few years back. Pay attention to what happens in the recording right around the 1:40 mark.

 

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-location-recording/361328-what-your-favorite-binaural-recording-2.html#post5314962

 

Enjoy - it's not the whole piece, but a nice little excerpt...and you, being a former drummer / sax player, are probably going to dig this one...

 

These are so great!  Forget for the time being about the endless arguments about Hi Res music, binaural is the coolest listening experience with any equipment.  Thanks for sharing these recordings!

post #113 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiascogarcia View Post
 

 

These are so great!  Forget for the time being about the endless arguments about Hi Res music, binaural is the coolest listening experience with any equipment.  Thanks for sharing these recordings!

Wow...very cool - and really nice of you to say. I'm always glad when people hear binaural and dig it...

 

Here's something from the other end of the spectrum. This is an excerpt of a pipe organ recording that I made several years ago. The organ is getting on in years (no, that's not a euphemism...) and as such, as the organist explained to me, it's a bit 'leaky'; in the recording, if you listen closely it sounds like it's classic random noise that you might get from a severely under-ranged A/D, but it's actually air that's going places that it shouldn't:

 

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-location-recording/486847-pipe-organ-recording-again-video.html#post5348691

 

...and here's another jazz excerpt, also from Baker's Keyboard Lounge; scroll down to the post by me called "More Jazz":

 

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-location-recording/361328-what-your-favorite-binaural-recording-2.html

post #114 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiascogarcia View Post
 

 

These are so great!  Forget for the time being about the endless arguments about Hi Res music, binaural is the coolest listening experience with any equipment.  Thanks for sharing these recordings!

BTW...you touched upon a really good point that I have belabored ad nauseum; In terms of fidelity, I maintain that microphone placement is the single-most important element of any modern recording (i.e. CD-quality or higher sample rate / precision) in conjunction with the microphone technique. It's interesting that your comments are centered upon the music and fidelity as a consequence of experiencing the event via binaural reproduction, and the emotional response that this prompted in you.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

Mark

post #115 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by immersifi View Post
 

BTW...you touched upon a really good point that I have belabored ad nauseum; In terms of fidelity, I maintain that microphone placement is the single-most important element of any modern recording (i.e. CD-quality or higher sample rate / precision) in conjunction with the microphone technique. It's interesting that your comments are centered upon the music and fidelity as a consequence of experiencing the event via binaural reproduction, and the emotional response that this prompted in you.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

Mark

Thanks Mark,  I'd never even heard of binaural until I bought some of your recordings on HDTracks.  At first, I hadn't really paid serious attention to them. I was, however, intrigued by the very heated arguments regarding whether or not Hi Res recordings were a scam because the extra frequency ranges couldn't be heard by humans. The whole High Res thing has been argued from two very divergent views, with both sides unwavering.  I know nothing about the engineering and production of recordings, but I was always of the belief, based on my ears, that many of the 96/24 recordings I listened to somehow had more clarity, body, dimension, than CD or lower quality recordings; it's hard to explain.  Having said that, I also logically understand that the actual frequencies in sound on 96/24 recordings versus, say, 44.1/16 recordings were very certainly out of any possible range of my hearing (especially me, I'm an older guy!).  So I came to my own conclusion that many 96/24 recordings were simply from better recorded masters.  Not knowing a thing about how recordings are produced, all I could ever argue was that I knew what I heard.  Your comments regarding microphone placement and technique make absolute sense to me, and I'm guessing play a part in what I'm hearing on many non-binaural Hi Res recordings. Could this be true?  Is that possibly what I'm hearing, production technique rather than improved frequency range?  

 

In any event,  suffice to say binaural recording does greatly improve my listening enjoyment whether it's high res or low res.  Ultimately, when you get to binaural recordings, all I can do is shake my head and curse that all my favorite music is not recorded binaurally!!  If it was, I'd probably be satisfied never seeing a live performance again (slight exaggeration, but you get my point!).  Thanks again for your commitment to quality music.

post #116 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiascogarcia View Post
 

Thanks Mark,  I'd never even heard of binaural until I bought some of your recordings on HDTracks.  At first, I hadn't really paid serious attention to them. I was, however, intrigued by the very heated arguments regarding whether or not Hi Res recordings were a scam because the extra frequency ranges couldn't be heard by humans. The whole High Res thing has been argued from two very divergent views, with both sides unwavering.  I know nothing about the engineering and production of recordings, but I was always of the belief, based on my ears, that many of the 96/24 recordings I listened to somehow had more clarity, body, dimension, than CD or lower quality recordings; it's hard to explain.  Having said that, I also logically understand that the actual frequencies in sound on 96/24 recordings versus, say, 44.1/16 recordings were very certainly out of any possible range of my hearing (especially me, I'm an older guy!).  So I came to my own conclusion that many 96/24 recordings were simply from better recorded masters.  Not knowing a thing about how recordings are produced, all I could ever argue was that I knew what I heard.  Your comments regarding microphone placement and technique make absolute sense to me, and I'm guessing play a part in what I'm hearing on many non-binaural Hi Res recordings. Could this be true?  Is that possibly what I'm hearing, production technique rather than improved frequency range?  

 

In any event,  suffice to say binaural recording does greatly improve my listening enjoyment whether it's high res or low res.  Ultimately, when you get to binaural recordings, all I can do is shake my head and curse that all my favorite music is not recorded binaurally!!  If it was, I'd probably be satisfied never seeing a live performance again (slight exaggeration, but you get my point!).  Thanks again for your commitment to quality music.

As I have mentioned elsewhere on the web, what I *suggest* is an experiment similar to the following:

 

1) Place the mics (someone who knows something about recording should do this).

 

2) From a separate phantom powered supply (assuming it is required), feed a low-noise distribution amplifier set for unity gain.

 

3) Feed the output from the distribution amplifier to two separate recording systems - one CD quality (44.1 / 16-bit) and whatever other format one desires.

 

4) Set the A/D levels carefully for each independent recording system, just before the onset of distortion (maybe -3 dBFS).

 

5) Conduct a double-blind controlled listening study to eliminate bias.

 

6) Perform the requisite statistical analysis of the jurors' votes; toss-out the 'unreliable' jurors' votes (those that fail simple checks like failing the method of circular triads test). Determine if the differences are statistically significant.

 

7) An alternative would be to use ABX, again, making sure that all levels are normalized.

 

Here's the thing...give me "just OK" mics, and have them placed by someone who understands physics, acoustics, signal processing, and of course, music...and have those signals feed an "average" A/D converter, properly ranged. Then...give someone who has a cursory understanding of microphones, physics, acoustics etc the BEST mics that money can buy, and if necessary, even help them properly range the A/D converters during recording.

 

I would be willing to bet that overwhelmingly so, the former case, the recordings that result from the just "OK mics" (in the hands of someone who understands all aspects of the process) will sound much better than the most expensive mics, mated to the "best" microphone preamplifiers, and the "best" A/D encoding schemes.

 

I've seen it happen, and I have heard the results. And, I maintain that if you want to make a valid comparison, THE SIGNALS from THE MICS should pass through the distribution amplifier (again, unity gain, each channel inspected for integrity) should be sent to separate independent recording systems synchronously to record the performance. That way, performance-to-performance variations are eliminated as part of the process, leaving it down to the differences in sample rate and precision. Yes, I know, some will argue that differences in channels in the distribution amplifier channels invalidates the experiment, but there are ways to determine if indeed this layer is statistically significant.

 

Mind you, these are ONLY my opinions...no more, and no less.

 

ADDED: Kraken's comments (immediately below - and thanks for having mentioned mastering) made me realize that I failed to point something out in this particular post: when I spoke above of recording simultaneously, I had envisioned (but not articulated) it being a simple two-channel recording approach. That is, a two-channel pair of mics (ORTF, OSS, Blumlien, binaural, whatever you like) that would effectively not entail any mastering process, apart from the fade-in and fade-out of the track. That way, there would be no induced difference in the final versions (i.e. both versions would be EQ'd identically (preferably no EQ), have the same dBFS value and so on) as a consequence of the mastering phase. No EQ, no limiting, no compression...nothing...just the raw signal. The next step would be to do this sort of thing for a variety of genre in differing environs to see just how audible the differences are as a function of dynamic range and so on (recording one type of music with a dynamic range of 3-6 dB isn't all that telling, but recording a variety of styles in different locations (again, each time this would be done, it would be done simultaneously, and each time, there would be no additional EQ, limiting, compression...no effects whatsoever)) might be more telling. In this way, the only real differences, if audible, would come down to the sample rate and precision of each format.


Edited by immersifi - 5/14/14 at 6:35am
post #117 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiascogarcia View Post
 

Thanks Mark,  I'd never even heard of binaural until I bought some of your recordings on HDTracks.  At first, I hadn't really paid serious attention to them. I was, however, intrigued by the very heated arguments regarding whether or not Hi Res recordings were a scam because the extra frequency ranges couldn't be heard by humans. The whole High Res thing has been argued from two very divergent views, with both sides unwavering.  I know nothing about the engineering and production of recordings, but I was always of the belief, based on my ears, that many of the 96/24 recordings I listened to somehow had more clarity, body, dimension, than CD or lower quality recordings; it's hard to explain.  Having said that, I also logically understand that the actual frequencies in sound on 96/24 recordings versus, say, 44.1/16 recordings were very certainly out of any possible range of my hearing (especially me, I'm an older guy!).  So I came to my own conclusion that many 96/24 recordings were simply from better recorded masters.  Not knowing a thing about how recordings are produced, all I could ever argue was that I knew what I heard.  Your comments regarding microphone placement and technique make absolute sense to me, and I'm guessing play a part in what I'm hearing on many non-binaural Hi Res recordings. Could this be true?  Is that possibly what I'm hearing, production technique rather than improved frequency range?  

 

In any event,  suffice to say binaural recording does greatly improve my listening enjoyment whether it's high res or low res.  Ultimately, when you get to binaural recordings, all I can do is shake my head and curse that all my favorite music is not recorded binaurally!!  If it was, I'd probably be satisfied never seeing a live performance again (slight exaggeration, but you get my point!).  Thanks again for your commitment to quality music.


What you're hearing is a better master, not a better recording.

i.e. better editing of the same original source

post #118 of 189

Greetings! Does anyone know if there is a disc version of this album?

post #119 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkbtam View Post
 

Greetings! Does anyone know if there is a disc version of this album?


With something like dbpoweramp you could get the HiRes tracks and convert it to a 16-bit WAV files and burn onto a CD. I don't think this album currently has a CD version... (?)

post #120 of 189

Damn these are great! Thanks Dr. Chesky!

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