With audio technology on the ever rise, coming across newer and improved ways of enhancing the audio experience that can blow your mind is always welcomed. One such wonder is the binaural recording or binaural audio that has become quite the topic of discussion. The binaural term goes around much in the audio industry. It goes in everything from jaw-dropping music to ASMR videos that have become a steady trend.
When talking immersive audio, binaural is taking up quite the spotlight, so we decided to bring you an article on this phenomenon and detail what binaural recording is.
Table of Contents
Binaural – What is it?
The true definition of binaural involves two ears. This word associates with the ears’ capacity of hearing and deciphering sounds. The binaural hearing is about humans and animals identifying the sound’s source location, and they can understand if it is coming from left or right.
Every human or animal has a unique ear shape, and the affiliated Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) generates a very particular signature for any sound. The head’s circumference, the clothing material one is wearing, and the sound’s distance make things around further enable us to hear properly daily.
What Is Binaural Recording?
Binaural recording pertains to capturing sound wielding a stereo binaural mic, which is configured and shaped like two ears. The binaural mic is a particular stereotype that comprises prosthetic ears and mic capsules ingrained inside both ears’ canals. A binaural mic will capture audio like your actual ears will hear the sounds. Any incoming sound waves alter by the ear-like pinna of the mic, and it is as if your ears are shaping the sound waves.
The brain comprehends these differences as directional cues. Therefore, when listening to binaural recordings with headphones, the outcome is a three-dimensional and natural sound, giving the listener the feeling of being present in the exact space where this audio was recorded. Furthermore, the listener feels the sensation of encountering the exact direction and angle the microphone was at while recording.
How It Works
Listening to a binaural recording develops a 3-D sound landscape inside the head and gives you a grand, immersive sound experience. You will hear sounds all around you, and you will quickly point out the location. This is almost like standing in the environment. This is due to the binaural recording replicating what settings sound like to us.
The connection between our head, ears, and brain is extraordinary. These three join forces and produce prompt feedback in acknowledgment of the sound. In the milliseconds that your ears hear the sound, you instantly understand its pitch, place, and what produced it.
In reality, a sound originating from the need to travel further to enter the left ear. This extra distance causes both ears to hear the sound a tad differently. For instance, it could less loud in one and more in the other.
This is possible owing to your ear’s natural spacing, your head, and, lastly, the interaural differences in intensity and time. From slight differences in the time your ear receives the sound and its volume, the brain computes the location of the origin. Such subtle discrepancies are interaural differences. The main magic happens when the brain obtains this information.
How To Record Binaural Audio
Now on to the fun part! We dive into how you can create your binaural audio, and it is not very complicated. Follow the steps below.
First, you need to find the best spot for recording binaural audio. This is key to the whole process because it will make or break the audio experiences. If you want to record it outside, grab a stable and windscreen for indoors, then turn off and unplug anything that could make an unwanted and distracting commotion.
Put two microphones and face them away while keeping them close. The objective is to have them equidistant from one sound source and at the ear level ideally, too. This will set the foundation for the recording process. Ensure that both mics are stationary, and it would be great to use a tripod.
It is important to get an app or software that will help in adjusting the stereo recording sounds. Many people suggest Logic Pro X for this. Remember, the software can make all the difference.
When you playback your recording, ensure that you place the subject right and format the audio so when listeners hear it through their headphones, one side brings out one mic, and the other brings out the second. This will guarantee listeners will hear the exact thing you are recording and get the full experience of the binaural recording.
And now begin recording. Grab whatever items you want to capture their sounds and just have fun with it.
Tips To Recording Binaural Audio Better
We would be remiss if we did not give you any helpful tips on recording binaural audio better. So here you go.
- Get a binaural dummy head for recording with an enhanced spatial sound while recording both channels simultaneously.
- You need to have a good-quality mic that can capture it all with an omnidirectional pattern.
- The closer you record the audio to the mic, the better. Recording binaural is about getting as close to what you want to record as possible. Be mindful of this while choosing your subjects.
- Record the audio, and then ask your friend to listen and give you feedback and see if it matches what you intended.
Binaural recording can be immense fun, for this phenomenon aims to mimic the way nature has our ears receiving sounds. As technology slowly but surely tries to capture the essence of nature and understand how it works, it keeps bringing better audio ways and options to enhance the way we can experience things.
Therefore, it is better to educate yourself on binaural recording for these advances to help you keep up. We hope you find this article helpful. Do attempt recording binaural audio and just have fun with it. You will dive into a whole new world and love every moment of it!
Related Post: Best Binaural Microphones Review