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Beginners BINAURAL

Beginners BINAURAL

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Published by depo7

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Published by: depo7 on May 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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1. So Just What IS Binaural?2. Sounds like a record industry marketing ploy...3. How are binaural recordings made?4. What the heck are HRTFs?5. Does it matter if the two channels get mixed up?6. How do you listen to binaural recordings?7. Are they useless on loudspeakers?8. Is there anything different about binaural onstereo speakers?9. Why doesn't stereo on speakers approach therealism of binaural on headphones?10. What else besides headphones is needed?11. What headphones do you recommend?12. Can I plug my phones directly into my computer?13. How can I sample these special recordings?14. Is there a source for binaural recordings?15. Why are some of these CDs so expensive?Please check thoroughly both here and in our Binaural Bulletinsection to see if your question hasbeen answeredbefore sending us Email - Thanks!Return toTHE BINAURAL SOURCEhome pageGo toNext Page For a Text-Based Index to entire catalog
So Just What IS Binaural?
The Binaural Source FAQ Pagehttp://www.binaural.com/binfaq.html1 of 1407/10/2009 10:14 AM
The above double photo is probably familiar tomost persons - it's an old-fashioned 3Dstereograph. It was photographed with two lensesabout 2 1/2 inches apart, duplicating theseparation of our eyes. When the two photos of slightly different perspective are seen in astereoscope viewer that shows only the left imageto the left eye and the right image to the righteye, the brain assembles them into a virtualimage with a natural third dimension.Binaural carries out a roughly similar operation,recording music and sounds with two tinyomnidirectional mikes at the entrance to the earcanals on an artificial head replicating humanfeatures (with the ears about 6 to 8 inches apart).This includes even the fleshy ridges of the outerears which modify the frequency balance of sounds depending on the direction from whichthey originate. The two channels of sound arekept totally separate from the original recordingsite to the two drivers on the headphones worn bythe listener. Since only two channels arerequired, binaural is compatible with stereo. Justas the left eye must view the left image of thestereopticon, it is important that the signal fromthe left ear mike on the dummy head goes to theleft ear of the listener and vice versa. There is nomixing of the two channels as with stereoloudspeaker playback (and often recording too).By the way, binaural is almost as old-fashioned asthe stereopticon - the first experiments took placein 1881 on the stage of the Paris Opera usingdouble telephone lines to subscribers!
 It is important to recognize the differencebetween a stereophonic system and a binauralsystem. The former system uses loudspeakers butrequires an infinite number of channels for perfect reproduction. The latter requires only twochannels for perfect reproduction but involves theuse of a pair of head receivers [drivers] heldtightly to the ears for each listener.
 All listenerswith such a system can be given the illusion of 
The Binaural Source FAQ Pagehttp://www.binaural.com/binfaq.html2 of 1407/10/2009 10:14 AM
sitting in the best seat in the concert hall.
Harvey Fletcher in the SMPTE Journal Vol. 61,September 1953.The binaural experience is striking, and requiresno special equipment besides stereo headphonesand binaural recordings. While binaural doesn'tdepend on the highest fidelity to achieve itsamazing realism, the better the playback equipment and headphones, the better will be thesound. On the other hand, the simplest ear-budsand a portable CD player can provide plenty of binaural thrills! The listener is placed exactlywhere the performance or sound originated, withsounds localized in a 360-degree sphere aroundone. The live ambience of the hall in which amusical performance takes place is preservedmore precisely than with an expensive multi-speaker surround sound system. All modern binaural recordings are compatiblefor loudspeaker playback, but unless you turn thespeakers in and sit between them, you will losemost of the pin-point localization. However, whenplayed through a matrix surround decoder andmulti-loudspeakers, most binaural recordings willbe found to provide a more natural surroundsoundfield than specially-encoded musicsurround CDs. This is due to the very clean phase(L-R) information that they preserve betweentheir two discrete channels.
Uh huh. Sounds to me like another new record industry marketing ploy, such as New Orthopedic Sound or 34D Stereo...
Not so. In fact Binaural is really much older thanstereo and even follows the phonograph by onlyfour years! It was first used in transmission of opera from the stage of the Paris Opera House in1881. Inventor Clement Ader used pairs of carbontelephone transmitters across the stage, mixeddown to two separate telephone lines going to thehomes of subscribers. They had to have two
The Binaural Source FAQ Pagehttp://www.binaural.com/binfaq.html3 of 1407/10/2009 10:14 AM

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