Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Binaural Sound Demonstration
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Binaural Sound Demonstration - Page 2  

post #16 of 57
Thread Starter 

It's more a matter of room acoustics. When you mike a performer, you have complete control over the sound of the room. You can mike close and get no room bounce back. Or you can mike far and get lots. Or you can mike for no room acoustic and create a custom room ambience in the mix. With binaural you're stuck with what you've got. If the room doesn't sound that good, like the group playing at the top of the page, you can't do anything about it. And if there is no room depth cues at all, like in the solo guitar piece, the whole thing flattens out.

post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

first that, then the entire face laser scanned to simulate with a software how the sound would have been if our head had been the binaural head. that would be the true endgame.

and I'm sure it's possible, at least for new albums done a certain way.

 

in photography, DXO does just that with lenses and cameras to simulate and correct the defects of our camera to an impressive extent. the game here would be to put the "defects" of our body into the signal. how grand would that be.

 

 

damn if I was rich I would recruit lots of big brains to create all that and later on pretend I invented it on my own!

Yes, that would be even better. Only it is questionable how good DSP could be used.

 

Do not forget, there is a reason WHY I am so pro DSD - and not PCM.  If and when DSD can be processed at 1 bit, this should actually be made to work well enough - so well as to be indestinguishable from the real thing. 

 

Binaural is heavily dependant on phase/timing. Here, DSD, even the DSD64 (SACD) is better than PCM. But front to back, particularly larger distances, come to life first with DSD128. Wonder how much better DSD264 does (DSD256 recorder is commercially available ) in binaural - the same goes for the upcoming DSD512. 

post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 

Binaural phase is dependent on the room acoustics and distance from the sound being recorded, not the digital format used to record it. It's all in the making of the recording itself, not the digital domain.

post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Binaural phase is dependent on the room acoustics and distance from the sound being recorded, not the digital format used to record it. It's all in the making of the recording itself, not the digital domain.

True - IF the recording medium, be it digital or analog, does not alter the signal by delaying portion of signal ( HF limiting/phase shift/pre/post ringing in PCM, the lower the sampling rate and steeper the filter, the worse the result.) 

 

I did not expect the difference between DSD64 and DSD128 to be that pronounced with binaural - and improvement lies for the most part in improved response well past the established 20000 Hz limit of human

hearing. The difference is most pronounced in retrieval of front to back / depth information; there is definitively audible difference between DSD64 and DSD128, with redbook CD one almost gets "plane between your ears" as described by you. Using the same room acoustics, the same sound being recorded with the same equipment.

 

This is the most pronounced/observable with headworn binaural miking technique; one hears the original sound and it is possible to record in various digital resolutions and later play back the results - within minutes after being recorded if necessary. It does not come closer than that - but it is not ABX-able between live original sound and whatever recording ( or monitor from the live mic feed ) - one can only ABX the recordings, as one can not wear the mikes and headphones at the same time ( at least not the top quality required, the unique combination of the headworn binaural microphone/headphones, the JVC HM-200e from mid 70's, is simply not good enough and leaves far too much to be desired; despite being in principle a sound idea, it deprives one of the original live sound reference ). Even that ABX is possible only while listening to recordings of different portions of the same music made in different resolutions- unless running two or more otherwise equal recorders in parallel, each set to record at different resolution. That would allow the true ABX - but by the time one reaches this point, it is clearly audible that this is not really required, only necessary to satisfy the ABX statistics requirements in order not to be called anecdotal evidence.

post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

It's more a matter of room acoustics. When you mike a performer, you have complete control over the sound of the room. You can mike close and get no room bounce back. Or you can mike far and get lots. Or you can mike for no room acoustic and create a custom room ambience in the mix. With binaural you're stuck with what you've got. If the room doesn't sound that good, like the group playing at the top of the page, you can't do anything about it. And if there is no room depth cues at all, like in the solo guitar piece, the whole thing flattens out.

It is true that binaural is room acoustics dependant.  The best results are obtained outdoors, like town square or similar - followed by large halls, churches, etc. The smaller the room is, the worse binaural will be. Therefore binaural is not universally applicable - in not so stellar acoustics, other techniques will usually yield better result.

 

I am surprised you say there is no depth cues in a solo guitar piece. Ortofon used a solo guitar piece ( taken from the Opus 3 catalogue ) on  their Test Record  0003  to test the dynamics - echoes of guitar off the recording "room" ( IIRC a church) walls give more than enough depth cues as well. It is my experience as well - solo guitar should not result as pancake flat zero depth recording.

post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

 

 

I did not expect the difference between DSD64 and DSD128 to be that pronounced with binaural - and improvement lies for the most part in improved response well past the established 20000 Hz limit of human

 

here we go again. I won't even go to audible differences between redbook, dsd64 and dsd128. because I don't know your system, and after all it is possible that you get a difference. if only some kind of IMD coming back into the audible range. so let's dismiss that part.

but plz try to find another justification than the past 20khz music being recorded. how many human adults can hear 20khz(not even trying to go above)? I'm 38 and have always had better results than even most youngsters when checking my ears for work. I've always been well protected, half luck(living for years in desolated places without much more that quiet old people), half care(I have used for as long as I can remember all kind of protections, I've never been a fan or nightclubs and when I went I used those protection. right now I have 3different models of foam, and some custom silicone protections. just to say I have always cared for my ears and listened to music quielty.  yet over the last years I've slowly but surely lost 19khz, then 18khz, and I'm now perceiving slightly past 17khz but only a little boosted sounds at 17khz, if I use a sweep, then it's already lost and I can only grasp 16 something. and I believe that most adults are closer to me than they are to bats.  that's one, age! but you could argue that perceiving consciously is different from our brain using it. that's true as long as we actually have enough working parts in our ears to perceive the sound. but lets keep at it.

 

to hypothetically have a handle on those ultrasounds, first we would have to listen really loud to flatten out fletcher & munson response. else we're pretty much sure that the midrange would cover the rest by being too loud. if something is much louder than the rest our brain will by himself discard most of the quiet message and focus on what's louder, so we need to listen to music real loud.

but at the same time, you don't really have a lot of margin to set the volume level, as the levels where flecther&munson gets pretty flat are close to the levels where sound starts to hurt and that's mostly true for high freqs and low freqs(and of course it's damaging for our ears if we listen a full album at those level, that put us back to age and hearing).

that's 2, loudness.

 

now we're talking about headphones for binaural, so we all agreed on this we need a special one, that at least wouldn't roll off like most headphones do. I really can't tell much about that, as all I know about headphones signature and distortions comes from FR graphs and they usually don't go high in freqs. so that's pretty much a mystery for me, but we can agree that it's usual for any driver to roll off at some point. also given that minute changes in placement can add or remove several DB in the trebles, I'm not super confident about how precise we can be in the ultrasound department.

also as most systems for measuring headphone don't care about what's past 20khz (and often less it seems), we would also need to be concerned about finding a headphone that doesn't distort too much the ultrasounds(because if as you say they are indeed important for spacial cues, then they have to be the right sounds, and not just distortion sounds). that's 3, headphones.

 

 

so if I had to make a wild guess, your horse wouldn't get my favors. because if I have no particular doubts that you perceive differences, even if again the odds aren't with you given past controlled trials. but you've seemed concerned enough about the subject to maybe get past just sighted bias and something probably really is audible. still I do have high doubts that the ultrasounds are responsible for those differences. and if they are, then I would still bet on IMD in the audible range caused by the ultrasounds instead of following you with ultrasonic cues helping for imaging positioning. maybe your 16bit version begins to rolls off around 16 or 17khz because of how the high freqs are filtered out, and that's what you're hearing? maybe your recording system induces some ringing on one or the other type of file? I really have no clue about the reason why you get a difference. but the chances of that reason being ultrasound aren't much for all the reasons I mentioned.

so your experience, I want to believe. you're conclusion as to why, I do not.

post #22 of 57
I have a handful of binaural recordings. Only one (cowboy junkies live at the ark-it's free everyone should get it) is truly 'wow', the rest are so-so. YMMV and all, but I think binaural is not well done right now and therefore I won't actively seek it out
post #23 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

True - IF the recording medium, be it digital or analog, does not alter the signal by delaying portion of signal

 

That isn't a problem with even MP3s, so it isn't an issue at all with digital audio.

post #24 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

I am surprised you say there is no depth cues in a solo guitar piece.

 

The solo guitar piece you posted.

post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post

The second track.... other than having the right binaural imaging for headphone use, i don't get it :confused_face_2: 

Quote:

Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

I am surprised you say there is no depth cues in a solo guitar piece. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

The solo guitar piece you posted.

 

 

This is why I said I was confused by the piece in my initial response. It might have been recorded in binaural, but I feel like it lacked anything interesting to justify the binaural recording technique. I suspect the end result isn't much more interesting than if the recording was done in normal stereo and was listened to via a binaural crossfeed DSP.

 

 

For example, I think the "explorations of space and time" is a much more interesting use of binaural recording (or stereo recording for that matter---the hd tracks download includes a simultaneous stereo recording for play back on a full sized stereo system).

 

Here is a sampling of the record

 

 

I like how it is apparent how the musicians are arranged around the room. Cool stuff.

 

Cheers


Edited by ab initio - 7/10/14 at 11:42am
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

here we go again. I won't even go to audible differences between redbook, dsd64 and dsd128. because I don't know your system, and after all it is possible that you get a difference. if only some kind of IMD coming back into the audible range. so let's dismiss that part.

but plz try to find another justification than the past 20khz music being recorded. how many human adults can hear 20khz(not even trying to go above)? I'm 38 and have always had better results than even most youngsters when checking my ears for work. I've always been well protected, half luck(living for years in desolated places without much more that quiet old people), half care(I have used for as long as I can remember all kind of protections, I've never been a fan or nightclubs and when I went I used those protection. right now I have 3different models of foam, and some custom silicone protections. just to say I have always cared for my ears and listened to music quielty.  yet over the last years I've slowly but surely lost 19khz, then 18khz, and I'm now perceiving slightly past 17khz but only a little boosted sounds at 17khz, if I use a sweep, then it's already lost and I can only grasp 16 something. and I believe that most adults are closer to me than they are to bats.  that's one, age! but you could argue that perceiving consciously is different from our brain using it. that's true as long as we actually have enough working parts in our ears to perceive the sound. but lets keep at it.

 

to hypothetically have a handle on those ultrasounds, first we would have to listen really loud to flatten out fletcher & munson response. else we're pretty much sure that the midrange would cover the rest by being too loud. if something is much louder than the rest our brain will by himself discard most of the quiet message and focus on what's louder, so we need to listen to music real loud.

but at the same time, you don't really have a lot of margin to set the volume level, as the levels where flecther&munson gets pretty flat are close to the levels where sound starts to hurt and that's mostly true for high freqs and low freqs(and of course it's damaging for our ears if we listen a full album at those level, that put us back to age and hearing).

that's 2, loudness.

 

now we're talking about headphones for binaural, so we all agreed on this we need a special one, that at least wouldn't roll off like most headphones do. I really can't tell much about that, as all I know about headphones signature and distortions comes from FR graphs and they usually don't go high in freqs. so that's pretty much a mystery for me, but we can agree that it's usual for any driver to roll off at some point. also given that minute changes in placement can add or remove several DB in the trebles, I'm not super confident about how precise we can be in the ultrasound department.

also as most systems for measuring headphone don't care about what's past 20khz (and often less it seems), we would also need to be concerned about finding a headphone that doesn't distort too much the ultrasounds(because if as you say they are indeed important for spacial cues, then they have to be the right sounds, and not just distortion sounds). that's 3, headphones.

 

 

so if I had to make a wild guess, your horse wouldn't get my favors. because if I have no particular doubts that you perceive differences, even if again the odds aren't with you given past controlled trials. but you've seemed concerned enough about the subject to maybe get past just sighted bias and something probably really is audible. still I do have high doubts that the ultrasounds are responsible for those differences. and if they are, then I would still bet on IMD in the audible range caused by the ultrasounds instead of following you with ultrasonic cues helping for imaging positioning. maybe your 16bit version begins to rolls off around 16 or 17khz because of how the high freqs are filtered out, and that's what you're hearing? maybe your recording system induces some ringing on one or the other type of file? I really have no clue about the reason why you get a difference. but the chances of that reason being ultrasound aren't much for all the reasons I mentioned.

so your experience, I want to believe. you're conclusion as to why, I do not.

Like I wrote previously, it is NOT the mere audibility of the sinusoidal signal up to frequency of so and so much kHz. It is the timing of overtones, particularly those that do exceed 20 kHz. In nature, there is no mechanism ( besides air that does attenuate HF content over the distance ) to disrupt this timing among fundamental and harmonics. As noted before, these levels are LOW, LOW; LOW ; nowhere near anything like 0 dB. You can observe any piece of music ( in PCM ) in foobar2000's spectrum analyzer - there is seldom 20 kHz bar gets to see any action, and when it does, it is only ocasionally peaking at something like -20 or so dB.

ANY technical means to transduce from sound to an electrical signal, to record this signal and play it back by transducing it from electrical signal back to sound involves frequency response  limitation(s) - and they add up in the end. Ideally, there should be NONE. 

 

I am 53 and hear reliably to 14 kHz - I am no BatMan and can clearly recall having (much) better hearing when younger. Yet the difference I can hear between the limited and "unlimited" frequency response remains pretty much the same. The system can be pretty much deciphered from my profile - Stax Lambda Pro and AKG K1000 are around from mid eighties/early nineties and should not be anything unknown. I do tend to use phono cartridges with the extended frequency response - some go well past 50 kHz .

 

No, any of my (also) 16 bit devices are quite linear up to 20 kHz, none is rolled off before that. That "quite" is less than +- 1dB @20 kHz in all cases.

 

With ONE exception : the Pioneer PD-6J CD/SACD player has option to use one of the latest iterrations of Legato Link , which was pioneered by Wadia IIRC. http://www.head-fi.org/t/42951/pioneer-legato-link-appreciation-thread I will not go into detail here - suffice to say, when used "normally" without Legato Link in an "average" system, PD-D6J is a decent performer; kick in Legato Link and insert it into a FAST system, you get a slightly mellower, but much more 3 D presentation. It can become heated debate - which calms down the moment the difference is heard. Sorry, can not stash it into internet and expect it to be properly demoed on the other end.

Technically, Legato Link DOES limit the linearity in the audible range to 20 kHz somewhat - but bove 20 kHz does not filter as per usual brick filtering of the redbook CD. Its use IS system dependant - it is unlikely to be used in lower quality system(s) that lack extended bandwidth well beyond 20 kHz.

 

You raise one VERY important issue : headphones'/EARSPEAKERS' capability to, firstly, offer response beyond 20 kHz, and even more important, allow for precise enough orientation of driver(s) relative to the ear in order so they can be "heard" by the pinna at least. One of the concepts that does allow for this and is with us for at least 40 years is Jecklin Float Electrostatic - it is simply large enough to cover the pinna no matter what and does have the frequency response extended "enough", limited in practice by amplifier/transformer combo or direct drive high voltage amp, not the transducer itself. It is also one of the three "headphones" that completely avoid touching or encircling the pinna - and is the pioneer of all three ( the second being AKG K1000, third Sony PFR-V1 Personal Field Speaker System , a lower priced "clone" of K1000 if you will ). I am familiar with the Jecklin and own K1000 - and they both excel on binaural, particularly the K1000. Never saw the Sony mentioned in flesh, so I can not comment. K 1000 can be made to sound pretty differently, depending how much one does open its "wings" - so this is too open to debate and can not be trully appreciated unless experienced. The response naturally does change a bit according to the openess of the "wings" - yet it can be safely said it is reasonably good/useable up to 25 kHz or so.

 

The reason why published measurements of headphones ( or any other piece of audio gear, with the exception of amplifiers ) only go to the 20 kHz is simple: any manufacturer would get godzillion questions WHY they publish such "irrelevant" information, why do they bother with it in the first place, etc - I think the thread(s) on head-fi are enough to get at least a vague idea. It also means investing in better, more costly measuring setup - only to get lambasted by 20.000,00 Hz limit crowd for trying to improve things ?!? But rest assured that above 20 kHz measurement have been and are being made by the better manufacturers - because, if nothing else, one day one of them will roll the first snowball off that "off the limits beyond 20 kHz" hill - and competition will force the others to follow. The idea is NOT to have the most extended response in absolute terms - but the most extended response WITHOUT any major abberations. That is to say, an audio device with response of say +2 - 5 dB up to 50 kHz is preferrable to one of +7 - 10 dB to 100 kHz. This usually automatically brings better sonics in 20 -20 K range as well.

 

If one goes to any musical instrument shop, tries some cymbals, violin etc - and records them with a microphone/preamp/recorder capable of response say to 50 kHz, one does get "more than zero" beyond 20 kHz. Nature does not filter it - and so should not we. It is OK to say "it is too expensive" - just as much is OK for me to say that a "Ferrari is too expensive for me" - yet it is not OK to ban the car of such performance, based on my incapability or unwillingness - as there are both people willing and roads/tracks capable of supporting this performance. 

 

Regarding loudness - the only concession to "convinience" I see that definitely does have a place in audio is remotely controlled volume. A difference of 1 dB in overall loudness can be a make or break regarding naturalness of the reproduction - and recording levels that would support the natural sound pressure level of quieter acoustical sources  (harpsichord, guitar, etc ) are not yet supported by the present technology; I mentioned harpsichord specifically, because if recorded at its proper - 20 or so dB, it would come off "dead" on the recording, particularly at redbook CD. It is better to have it recorded at higher level and reproduced at lower, in order to have as high resolution as possible. That is why a harpsichord track in a random/shuffle play can sound so LOUD - it can be louder than a rock band !

And that is why I try to match the monitor/playback level as much as possible to the real thing heard live; no other can be adjusted per ear as precisely as binaural when you are using your own head - so levels I use are normal and not loud(er) than live. Just for clarification: whenever recording, musicians/singers/conductors invariably require MORE volume than I am using for the K1000 - because they are closer to or are the source of sound and would like to match the level as heard by them. It is quite a difference if you are a conductor in front of a choir/or singer in the same choir - or a listener some distance further back in the hall. I always try to capture the sound as it would be heard by the listener in the best possible seat in any given venue.

 

I know these differences in perceived volume could be quantified by measurement(s) - I merely wanted to emphasize that I try to match the loudness between live sound and reproduction as closely as possible. 

 

Furthermore, there is one problem not many people are aware of; we perceive loudness differently over various portions of the 24 hour day. For this reason, it is difficult to reproduce some quiet music most suitable for evening/night during most busy time in the morning/early afternoon , when our surroundings are usually much louder. And vice versa - I do not see likely anyone playing say Iron Maiden "in full cry" at realistic volume - at 04:00 AM. 

post #27 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

I am 53 and hear reliably to 14 kHz - I am no BatMan and can clearly recall having (much) better hearing when younger. Yet the difference I can hear between the limited and "unlimited" frequency response remains pretty much the same.

 

That's because your expectation bias hasn't changed.

post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

The solo guitar piece you posted.

Oh, that one. It is a studio recording, relatively small one, and using TWO arificial heads. It was the first time I saw anyone using 2 heads at so small spacing.

 

Acoustical classical guitar is among the quietest sources around ( zither being even more problematic in this regard ) - and to preserve some kind of acceptable signal to noise ratio, there is no other way than to position the mics/artificial head closer than it would have been desirable provided the microphones were free from the self noise. To put it crudely - acoustic classical guitar is basically silence sporadically interrupted by some quiet music - as far as the poor microphone is concerned. The last thing desired is this silence replaced by some constant hiss . This hiss can somehow be "hidden" over loudspeakers - but has nowhere to hide in binaural over headphones.

 

I tried recording acoustic guitar in binaural a couple of times. With present mics, mission (next to) impossible. If it has (still..) acceptable signal to noise ratio, it is from too close distance to sound realistic in its acoustic space, if it does have realistic ambient cues, it is too noisy for the present day. I figured it out rather quickly that some other kind of mic will be required for the guitar;  and was not exactly pleased to learn it has been invented before - AFTER I developed mine without any information on the other seen before completion of mine.  

post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

That's because your expectation bias hasn't changed.

That "expectation bias"  was confirmed many times over by other persons - even those that can due to their age ( and hearing that goes with it ) rightfully consider me to be a kid.  And who knew very little regarding Hz or dB or bits -  musicians and concert goers. No expectation bias as such can be applied here - they did not know what they were listening to. They were simply left the freedom to choose the one that they felt was closer to real sound they are in everyday contact with.

 

No perfect hearing required to hear this difference - that is why an older seasoned listener/audiophile is likely to pass better subjective judgement than younger person with better>perfect hearing but lesser listening experience. Remember, live (or reproduced) sound is the same for all, we judge it by our own ears and proess it with our own brain - and outcome here can be greater than the sum of ( not so perfectly functioning anymore ) parts. Conductors in particular have to have great "processing" - otherwise, how on earth they could hear a single instrument playing a single note false during loud orchestral climaxes; and generally, conductors can work up to very old age, into their 80s not being that uncommon.

post #30 of 57
Thread Starter 

Double blind test or it doesn't count!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Binaural Sound Demonstration