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Dustin Pero

Binaural recording

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" Hard Fx and foley would not work as they need to be panned according to its location on screen by the mixer. "

I suspect we are losing sight of the objective here...

the idea is for the finished sound to enhance the story-telling of the movie;; cool as it sounds, the real sound of making a movie is not typically the sound that best tells the story.

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Two things:

Mono compatibility is still important. By definition, a summed binaural signal will have cancellation effects depending on source distance and angle. If the source is moving, the results could be strange.

And back to story telling. A lot of movies are mixed with the philosophy that the screen is a window into the characters' world. Music might surround us (but unless it's source, we already know it's not part of that world). Reverb and special effects might also surround us. But principal dialog is going to be centered, and it's kind of unusual for the complete rest of their world to surround us when the words are mostly coming from one direction.

But there's nothing wrong with experimenting...

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Jay, needless to say,n that sounds surroundings can actually be distracting as well.

Taking our focus away from the importance of what's going on, onscreen.

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It's bad enough someone convinced Gus Van Sant to do all his dialog and mix in M/S. which is completely useless, and adds nothing but headaches.

You could just use the M and not tell him... ::)

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Virtual Barber : i hear everything behind, left and right to me. Nothing in the front of me even if I reverse the headphones.

Beyer Headzone : I was amongst 50 french sound mixer in a test. It works only for one guy.

The only binaural headphones that works, close to perfection, for me is the Smith Realiser, but not with their presets just after measuring my own ears. I did the test last year.

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VM,

I'd be amazed if you heard a rear sound jump to the front when you flipped the headphones. That's not how binaural surround works.

It relies on subtle time delays at different frequencies caused by the shape of the outer ear (generalized across the population, or in some cases recorded with your own outer ears and mics that look like earplugs), along with the side-side delay caused by the width of the head. And of course it also uses the level and panning we're used to from stereo.

For more info, look up Head Related Transfer Functions or HRTF.

Since your ears are both front-facing, rear sounds are treated differently from front for -both- ears. Flipping the phones doesn't change that.

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" Technically, the dogma of monaural dialogue could only be changed (which would mean a revolution for production sound) "

why ? the stereo would be done in post, after the picture is edited.

Well, who says it can't be done on set? There are the two methods in music recording, too, for example: close micing, artificial pan in post, or authentic stereo (or surround) recording. It's a question of taste, really. And if(!) realistic listening experience is desired, then the better way to achieve this of course is on set, not in post! In my post I tried to explain that the techniques that are used for reproducing audio listening in cinemas until today are not sufficient for accurate reproduction of realistic stereo recordings done on set (and the reason why dialogue is still mixed in mono, as I wrote: sweet spot, congruence with picture etc.)

And most definitely i would not want a personal viewing device at the cinemas, as suggested by Christian

Me neither! But if realistic reproduction of non-mono sound (including dialogue) was the goal theoretically, then I think personal viewing and listening devices would be necessary. See above.

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Well, who says it can't be done on set? There are the two methods in music recording, too, for example: close micing, artificial pan in post, or authentic stereo (or surround) recording. It's a question of taste, really. And if(!) realistic listening experience is desired, then the better way to achieve this of course is on set, not in post! In my post I tried to explain that the techniques that are used for reproducing audio listening in cinemas until today are not sufficient for accurate reproduction of realistic stereo recordings done on set (and the reason why dialogue is still mixed in mono, as I wrote: sweet spot, congruence with picture etc.)

Me neither! But if realistic reproduction of non-mono sound (including dialogue) was the goal theoretically, then I think personal viewing and listening devices would be necessary. See above.

Except film isn't about realism.

And even in music, the idea of capturing a band realistically, is never a real success.

Getting something to sound realistic rarely is a case of recording it as such.

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I'd be amazed if you heard a rear sound jump to the front when you flipped the headphones.

Yes you are right.

That's not how binaural surround works.

But binaural recording is not working at all for me : I have never heard something that works with binaural recording, except when the sound was recorded and mixed on loudspeakers in a "classical" multichannel standard and then send to my headphones via a software-harware such as the Smith Realiser.

The Barber sound is a little old, maybe somebody have some recent examples that work ? Or maybe, my HTRFs are too sophisticated !...

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I'm sorry binaural isn't working for you. It's worked for me. I had a classic rig, binaural Senny mic on my own head into a IV-S, then listen on headphones.

Of course the trick is when you want it to work predictably for a lot of people... you can have predictable for one, or "wider than stereo, but I'm not sure what it is" for many... like the old Windows startup sound.

HRTFs are different for each set of ears. "Too sophisticated" doesn't count... it's a very sophisticated transfer function for everybody. The thing is, it's caused by your unique outer ear shape, and your mind learns to decode your specific formula as you develop your own hearing in the real world.

Any attempt to simulate HRTFs in a commercial plug-in will, by definition, be an approximation.

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" who says it can't be done on set? "

not me, but in making movies, telling stories, we don't typically know for certain what the spatial relationships will actually be until the movie is cut. that is, we don't know what the spatial relationships ought to be to best enhance the storytelling until the movie is cut...

In making movies, the story yeller is making what ever they want to be real, real.

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I'm sorry binaural isn't working for you. It's worked for me. I had a classic rig, binaural Senny mic on my own head into a IV-S, then listen on headphones.

Does it work for you if the sound recording with the microphones on the ears of someone else ?

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Does it work for you if the sound recording with the microphones on the ears of someone else ?

Yes, but not as well. So you start traversing the line between "realistic 3D sound" and "much wider than stereo, with just a bit of front/back differentiation".

Binaural phones (including the Sennheiser I used) frequently come with a factory-molded dummy head* that you can use for recording as well. Not as great, but still more dimensional than standard x/y stereo.

---

* As opposed to natural-born dummy heads, aka producers...?

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Hey everyone, new to this forum, and what a great group of people and resources!

Anyways, I was curious, with the new trend of films being shot in 3D (love it or hate it) to give a more "immersive" experience, would it practicle (or even possible) to record binaural production sound? Would this method even work for sound for picture? We already have great surround sound mixing, but would binaural take it to the next level, if it were feasable? With 3D the audience has to wear glasses, and with binaural audio you'd have to wear headphones as well, which could just ruin the whole experience.

Crazy idea, wondering what you guys think.

 

The future is the wave field synthesis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_field_synthesis

 

Systems such as the Dolby Atmos are a n.n systems, part of the past

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This exact idea has just been propsed to me today in a conversation with a Producer.

 

They are looking to do a test shoot this weekend where the Director hopes to capture the action in a POV and use the binaural technique for the audio.

 

I cant for the life of me get my head around how this could work, as mentioned above, the constant battle to get a clean location sound track are only going to be amplified ( theres too many un-intentional puns here ) by the use of a binaural recording. Even if I was to use the "Jecklin Disk" method as mentioned above and mount that to the front of the camera, it would be completely ruined by crew footsteps and the post-lunch heaving of the focus puller/operator.

 

I feel like i might have to be the nasty, party pooping nay sayer on this one. I can't help but feel that you post guys could do the job 1000 times better in 5.1 or the like.

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AH: " the Director hopes to capture the action in a POV and use the binaural technique for the audio. "

unreasonable expectations...

this wanna-be needs a huge box of clue.

 

BTW, I went through the same thing back in the late 80's with some genius whose name no one has ever heard of to this very day!

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We did a recent tonebenders ep with Gordon Hempton where he discussed his binaural ambient recording technique some.

 

Generally you can only use it for ambient fx, since the binaural mics capture 360 degrees.  The effect is not too far from spaced pair omnis IMO.

 

With that said, you can use bianural recordings on ambient recordings due for speaker playback.  Gordon won an emmy for his work in the PBS documentary Vanishing Dawn Chorus using this technique.

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We did a recent tonebenders ep with Gordon Hempton where he discussed his binaural ambient recording technique some.

 

Generally you can only use it for ambient fx, since the binaural mics capture 360 degrees.  The effect is not too far from spaced pair omnis IMO.

 

With that said, you can use bianural recordings on ambient recordings due for speaker playback.  Gordon won an emmy for his work in the PBS documentary Vanishing Dawn Chorus using this technique.

 

There's a film about Gordon Hempton called The Soundtracker about his philosophy, recordings and recording techniques. I just finished watching it. He's arguably a little eccentric (he'd probably agree), but watching the film was time well spent. One of the interesting segments of the film involves his pursuit of an audio portrait involving a passing train and a meadowlark.

 

The film can be purchased/downloaded for $10: http://www.soundtrackerthemovie.com/ST/Home.html

 

Hempton has a web site that hosts his sound libraries - https://quietplanet.com.

 

He has also written a book called One Square Inch of Silence: http://www.amazon.com/Square-Inch-Silence-Gordon-Hempton-ebook/dp/B001VFTZ22/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394147833&sr=8-1&keywords=hempton+One+Square+Inch+of+Silence

 

In addition, he's done a TEDx talk: 

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Just finished watching the Soundtracker doco - my ten bucks well spent. Good to know I'm not the only one obsessed with "reality" ... although both Gordon and the doco do both demonstrate faking (or, er, designing their own) reality - Gordon directing the horn blowing, and, I never heard a 722 make those clunky operating sounds before! :-)

 

And just to add although I am very happy with my OKM II recordings, I see Luhd PM01 mics as looking like more robust in the field - definitely intend to get a pair to try.

 

http://www.luhd-mics.com/store/p16/PM-01Binaural.html 

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On 7/4/2014 at 4:31 PM, miker71 said:

Just finished watching the Soundtracker doco - my ten bucks well spent. Good to know I'm not the only one obsessed with "reality" ... although both Gordon and the doco do both demonstrate faking (or, er, designing their own) reality - Gordon directing the horn blowing, and, I never heard a 722 make those clunky operating sounds before! :-)

 

And just to add although I am very happy with my OKM II recordings, I see Luhd PM01 mics as looking like more robust in the field - definitely intend to get a pair to try.

 

http://www.luhd-mics.com/store/p16/PM-01Binaural.html 

Have you got the chance to test the Luhd mics?

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