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Binaural Recording (latest thinking from tapers?)

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--- Quote from: vanark on July 29, 2020, 10:38:08 AM ---
--- Quote from: heathen on July 29, 2020, 10:30:57 AM ---Hopefully Moke will chime in

--- End quote ---

Not likely. He deleted his account.

--- End quote ---

Really?  That's a bummer.

RobBain, you could search for some of his old posts (though I don't know if they'd still show up?) if you want to see a proper binaural rig in action.  I seem to recall that rocksuitcase may have used a proper binaural rig for some Grateful Dead shows in the 80s, but I could be way off there.  My memory isn't the greatest.

This is recorded with Sennheiser Ambeo headphone/microphones, using my head as the real "dummy" head.
Good, but not ideal. The position is good for shooting video, but too far to sound. The worst part of this, is that you cannot make any noise, difficult when you want to clear your throat to prevent coughing.
Binaural recording is one of the best stereo miking to my experience. The logic is simple, omni microphones are best for sonic performance, but a pair of omni must be spaced to create stereo image. With dummy head, the omni pair can be very close together similar to ORTF, NOS that minimized phasing issue. Here is an example of a binaural dummy head recording:

Since you want to do quiet ambient recordings, you will need to be aware of microphone and preamplifier self noise. Typically that means spending more.

Best thing to do is experiment yourself and listen to samples to determine what you want. Who will be listening to your recordings? Will they be using headphones or speakers?


--- Quote from: heva on July 29, 2020, 10:26:12 AM ---Have a look here:

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He's got them on order.  ;)

Most concert tapers using omnidirectional mics mounted on their person place them on either side of the head somewhere on the temple between the ear and corner of the eye.  That method is generally referred to as HRTF around, which stands for Head Related Transfer Function with one's the head acting as a baffle.  Its not strictly binaural because it does not include the filtering imposed by the outer ear that happens with microphones placed at or inside the ear canals, but it is similar.  That makes it a generally more universal recording method which works well for playback over both speakers and headphones and isn't overly specific to any one particular "set of ears".

Some tapers occasionally use dummy heads instead of their own head, but its not especially common.  Most are "generic heads" with simplified ears.

True binaural recording sampling at the ear-drum (using tiny flexible tubes) is useful in hall acoustics research because it is the only way to reproduce the sound as it was experienced by a listener seated in a specific location in a particular hall.  This requires carefully applied methods to remove binaural response data specific to the individual who's head and ears were used to make the recording, and apply corrections specific to the listener's own binaural response through the specific headphones being used.  David Greisinger uses and writes about this approach extensively.  I believe some of this can be useful to tapers- primarily the corrections applied on the reproduction end for headphone listening more so than the recording techniques.

It is interesting that binaural techniques can provide a form of truly accurate perceptual reproduction, but for music tapers and location recordists the goal is believably and listening enjoyment.  In general binaural recordings give you a "you are there" type listening experience, be that good or bad.  Using 'open rig' recording techniques we can make recordings that can sound better and be more enjoyable than it actually sounded during the performance from that spot.

Two different approaches.

--- Quote from: RobBain on July 29, 2020, 09:56:31 AM ---I'm put off by low-end products (I don't want to use my iPhone).  If I'm going to do this I want a 3.5mm connector.  I don't want to spend $$$s (no heads!).  Is there a sweet spot currently in the market?  I'm a quiet, ambient recordist (not a rock taper).
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The DPA d:vice connects directly to Iphone (unfortunately not Andrioid compatible) for use with their microphones.  It represents one of the most top quality (and very compact) setups currently available, applicable but not limited to HTRF type recording.


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