Talk:Binaural recording

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Page title[edit]

Not sure why this page should be called "Binaural recording" since it explicitly covers playback as well. Why not "binaural audio"? - Robin726 19:05, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Links to other wiki articles[edit]

This article contains a link to the US state of Connecticut. Why are links like these included? Understanding the details of Connecticut does not enhance the understanding of Binaural recording. I find this in many wiki articles and it is distracting. Are there guidelines for this? (talk) 06:56, 10 September 2008 (UTC) (talk) 03:06, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Image caption meaning ....[edit]

Could someone please explain to me the logic behind the (dummy) image caption? I cannot for the life of me understand what is being said.

Answer: I believe the caption suffers from not explicitly explaining that in binaural recording with an artificial head the two microphones (or their elements, as in the phote) are located at the ear canals -- in the photo the second microphone is obscured by the head; its element (at its tip) is presumably located on the other side of the head at the ear.

Error - need flat response to opening NOT eardrum[edit]

"The best playback headphone for binaural recording is one that is transparent down to ear drum i.e one that can directly inject sound to the ear drum as if the sound is being played right in front of an ear drum."

This statement is surely incorrect. Since binaural recordings are made with the microphones placed at the ENTRANCE to the ear canal, then the aim must be toprovide a flat frequency response to the entrance. Only if the recording were made with microphones positioned as if at the eardrum would the above statement be true. I find this is a common error. Also, it is important to realise that stereo recordings are essentially free-field, and are adjusted using monitor loudspeakers at 30 degree off axis. The response at the entrance to the ear canal is not flat, but is attenuated at HF and so normal headphones, with side presentation, would sound much too bright if they had a flat response - in practice they are all designed to have a severe notch around 5kHz. It is this that makes them unsuitable for binaural listening. --Lindosland 10:21, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


Hi there.

A few years ago, I gathered several legitimate MP3s of binaural recordings available at various websites. A harddrive failure, however, late made those files inaccessible. I've since been able to find a good number of them online again.

But I can think of at least one that I haven't found and sure would like to have again. I have a feeling that it was recorded in the northern, and possibly the western, half of the U.S. I remember it as rather long. In front of an audience in (I think) a church, a guy gives a demonstration of one of those fancy old pipe organs, (literally) with all the bells and whistles—the kind sometimes used for silent-movie accompaniment. It includes a performance of Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever", among other things.

Anyway, does anyone have an idea of how to get this recording again?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

President Lethe 18:45, 15 July 2006 (UTC)


To make this article more complete, would it better if we can list some software that can create a binaural experience? For example, the media player Foobar2000 has a plugin available (bs2b) to create a binaural experience from a stereo source.TREX6662k5 10:45, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Approperate link added TREX6662k5 09:47, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

I added info on Monsters Inc DVD, it has a fine explanation & a thoroughly enjoyable demonstration of this technique. And whoever added the audio file, great job!

Just an arbitrary opinion[edit]

I removed your statement: "..In truth, binaural recordings are the best way to reproduce stereo with headphones. Typical stereo recordings are mixed for loudspeaker arrangements, and do not factor in natural crossfeed or sonic shaping of the head and ear, since these things happen naturally as a person listens, generating his own ITDs (interaural time differences) and ILDs (interaural level differences)..."

The truth is that nobody can say what "is the best" or "the worst". It is just an opinion. Actually surveys show that consumers enjoy more, music that was recorded without using binaural techniques. So if one was to go by the opinion of consumers then non-binaural recording is the best. Most grammy winning recordings are done with non-binaural techniques. Additionally, mixing and recording are two totally different subjects and mixing engineers do not mix for "loudspeakers" as you say, but to achieve what is, in their opinion, the best artistic effect, whether using speakers or headphones. No matter if the source audio was recorded binaurally or not it still can be can be mixed. You will find a pair of reference headphones in most recording studios. And whether an engineer uses the speaker or the headphones during mixing is just a matter of preference and this has nothing to do with binaural recording.--Mike Sorensen 19:27, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. "Best" is not a matter of opinion when it is used to describe a process of reproduction or achieving any results for that matter. The best way to view the stars is by positioning oneself away from city lights and at night. You may prefer looking at the sky during the day, still it is not the BEST way to view the stars. (talk) 06:16, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

This is beyond the point of any time relevance to the parent post, but I have to disagree with the above disagreement for posterity's sake, lest should any other edits be proposed which threaten neutrality upon this point: You claim that "'Best' is not a matter of opinion when it is used to describe a process of reproduction" yet you serve as your proof a situation that does not involve "a reproduction process" or in other words, an intermediary technology. A more appropriate example, but which doesn't support your argument, is whether a photograph of the stars using one camera technology is better than a photograph using another. That is clearly left to subjective opinion, and more easily demonstrates that "best" most certainly IS a matter of opinion when approaching reproduction. If you can't agree with the logic behind this, and prefer empirical methods, browse the forums on any prominent audiophile or photography website and you'll see *many* disagreements over which piece of technology is better at reproduction. The crux of the matter lies in what metrics are chosen as delineating "good" from "bad" (which in itself is a highly subjective matter) and whether they ultimately represent our human perception of "the best." There is no clear answer to this. Welcome to epistemology my friend, it gets a lot messier from here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:21, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Media File Not Working?[edit]

Is it me, or is the .ogg audio example not working? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:59, 8 May 2007 (UTC).

It works, but you don't want to hear it, that dude sounds like a rapist. (talk) 22:50, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Is that bit at the end there to demonstrate how binaural audio can recreate the effect of having someone whisper directly into your ear, or is the dude just being plain creepy?-- (talk) 02:46, 2 March 2010 (UTC)


Someone deleted half of the list of Binaurally Recorded music. Does anybody remember what was on it? I know there was a Pink Floyd album. Also, I suggest we add Led Zeppelin to the list, since most of their music was obviously recorded binaurally. Jiminezwaldorf 23:52, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Nothing is (almost) ever deleted entirely. See the history for the past revisions. The deletions today were basically legitimate, as anything tagged with a {{fact}} template can essentially be removed, though actually adding the reference is of course vastly preferable. (As background, see the eternally Conflicting Wikipedia philosophies. :) --Quiddity 01:36, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I deleted the uncited bits. Here's a couple of reasons, besides what it says at WP:VERIFY:
  1. Having uncited stuff in a list encourages other people to add uncited stuff, which invariably will lead to the addition of incorrect information.
  2. It is very hard to know that something is not recorded binaurally. It's really unlikely that there will be a citation out there saying "X was not recorded binaurally", so if someone claims something was recorded binaurally, but it wasn't, for how long should one search for a positive citation? How long should false information be left in the article?
By the way, I am not a vandal. Welcome to Wikipedia. Doctormatt 02:02, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge from Dummy head recording[edit]

copied from Talk:Dummy head recording

I suggest this article be merged with Binaural recording since they really cover the same thing, just with different names. -- Egil 20:55, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. (am changing tags to to/from specific) -Quiddity 18:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Disagree. Dummy head recording is one particular way of doing binaural recording (there are minor variations, mostly regarding the head, wig, dress, placement); there are many other ways of making binaural recordings. You could make a section of the binaural recording article about dummy head recording, I suppose, but at that point a link to this article (expanded, I hope) would be equally in order, and help elminate the confusion that they are two names for the same thing. htom 15:55, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Dummy head recording is indeed a subsection of Binaural recording, and a merge would make that clearer. Dummy head refers to a specific method of capturing the audio, for a binaural recording. Having them separate means that all has to be explained twice. The example audio file and image are already at Binaural.
Also, look at any featured article to see how long they generally are. Length is a good thing, it encourages collaboration at a single location.--Quiddity 06:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm replacing the merge tags that were removed, and copying this thread to Talk:Binaural recording. --Quiddity 06:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Still opposed to the merge. Stereo recording <> binaural recording <> Dummy head recording. That this article confounds dummy head with binaural is a good reason to re-write this article; it is a very bad reason to merge the two, which would only perpetuate the confusion of the two (well, many) different techniques. Binaural is perhaps more properly characterised as a goal, with dummy head as a method -- one of several -- of approaching that goal. Reducing the number of articles for the sake of reducing the number of articles while continuing a mispreception is not, or should not be, a goal of good encyclopedic editing. htom 05:54, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Nobody said anything about stereo recording. (?!)
And you seem to agree, that "Dummy head recording" refers to a specific method for obtaining a "Binaural recording". As in, that is all it's ever used for. Hence, it belongs as a subsection of Binaural recording. I've moved the merge tag and image down to make that clearer. The redirect would lead to the specific article section.
Lastly, I'm trying to increase the comprehensiveness of this article, not reduce the article count!
That make sense? --Quiddity 06:35, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Opposed to merge. Manikins used for this purpose are not only used for audio recording in the arena of recording studios and music. These manikins, such as KEMAR, are used extensively in Audiology research. I have seen many manikins wearing hearing aids to investigate the effects of hearing aid processing on speech signals. In fact, a lot of these instances are done as monaural recordings, rather than binaural. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:54, 23 January 2007 (UTC).
The above comment about mono recording with a dummy head is most likely true, and does make sense. However until some references are provided to justify this position from a scientific point of view, I would go with the merger of the two articles. The dummy head article can always be created again if needed, if strong foundation is provided--Mike Sorensen 05:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I wanted to support the merge until I read that it is also possible to create binaural recordings by sticking microphones in your own ears. I now think it is fine to develop the articles separately for a while. Let's put more effort into developing copy and citations and less into deciding how it should be organized. --Kvng (talk) 15:35, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Merge from Holophonics[edit]

As asked at Talk:Holophony, is there any real difference between holophony and binaural recording, and even if there is a difference, could it more usefully be incorporated as a subsection of this article? [over-enthusiasm struck, see below]

More so for Holophonics and Dummy head recording.

Or, from another angle, is there a practical term that covers all of these? There is a lot of overlap and redundancy between these articles (and Dummy head recording, as noted above), and it would be useful to readers and editors to have them differentiated and described in one place. --Quiddity 20:58, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, there are differences. Holophonics is a method of doing binaural recording, as are x-y microphones, dummy heads, ... all of which attempt to capture and preserve phase and timing information at the microphone location, to be accurately reproduced later. Holophony (and Ambisonic) is a method of doing "sound field recording" where multiple channels of information (more than two, usually many more than two) are captured and their phasing and timing is intentionally processed to produce a desired result. Both schemes (binaural and soundfield) attempt to present the listener a "more real" listening experience.
You could make an article about "advanced audio recording", I suppose, with links to some of the articles, but trying to put them all in one is anti-productive, it leads to more of the confusion that I, at least, am trying to eliminate. Merging them all into one article would increase the confusion. Improve the articles, merging them makes them worse, not better.
The topics are both complex and complicated, with a lot of incestuous relationships, but they are different. Why do you keep wanting to merge them? htom 23:06, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I just want them to be clearer. Merge tags are the best way I can think of at the moment, to draw attention to the problems, and bring the discussion to a single location.
I understand/agree that Holophony is unique; but Holophonics and Dummy head recordings seem to just be subtypes of Binaural recording.
I don't want this to just be about Separatism vs Mergism (though to be clear, I am a mergist, as I feel it helps focus contributors and thereby assists readers). I just see these 3 articles as being a mess, and am prodding at them with merge/cleanup tags (not the best way to improve them, I know; sorry. Sorry also for including Holophony initially, I'll remove that now). I don't understand the intricacies of the math enough to become a well-read amateur/expert, and am hence frustrated by my inability to heavily contribute here. --Quiddity 20:11, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not an expert. It seems to me that you'd have to include both Holophony and Ambisonics in a general article, as they, too, are schemes to present perfect soundstage reproductions (or some such abstraction) to the listener (and viewer; the sound manipulations are being used to provide better [sic] sound for movies and videos. Part of the problem is that it is a corner of an art where there are a huge number of variables and little solid published research. (Anyone who really comes to an understanding of it can either publish or attempt to make a fortune as a recording engineer using his understanding.) htom 04:37, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Binaural recording is necessary but not sufficient, for holophonic recording as defined by Zuccarelli in his New Scientist paper (actually, I've seen it claimed that it is not even necessary). His paper explicitly states the ear is an interferometer and this is fundamental to the theory. Whether or not the theory is correct is a more relevant question, though I personally struggle to see how the effectiveness of holophonics can be seriously doubted -- it's a lot like debating whether holographic techniques differ from stereoscopic photographic techniques. Although I understand the confusion, Zuccarelli's recordings are misreprsented in the binaural article, for the reason explained. Holon (talk) 13:20, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

I am by the opinion the term Holophony should be reserved for procedures, which restore the soundfield by Huygen_principle, likely Holography restores the visual impression by Huygens Principle. Holophonics by Binaural_recording is different and should remain clearly separated from Holophony.--Oelwiki (talk) 10:42, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion might not make much sense, because some pages have been moved since then. Currently, we have:
If there is an expert in the house, who can make things clearer/better/more accurate, please feel free to remove (or add to) any of the merge tags. Or even better, add to the discussions or articles.
The thing to keep in mind, is that the ideal end-result is one or more Featured articles (Featured article criteria). :) -- Quiddity (talk) 00:10, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
You're going to have to have several featured articles, I fear. You're trying to make clear something which is by its very nature at best a translucent art, and it's frequently opaque to outsiders. To make a "clear" merged article you'd have to throw away so much information that all you'd have left would be a stub. Kangaroo and rabbit both move by hopping, but we don't merge them. Just because you have a tool ("merge") doesn't mean that it's appropriate to use that tool. htom (talk) 20:49, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

frequency difference between ears[edit]

I have been reading about a commercial psychoacoustic device which offsets one headphone by some constant frequency (though perhaps scaling logarithmically--i.e., by pitch--makes more sense) to force the brain to adjust for the beat, which then is supposed to lead to controlled brain states. The effect is similar to strobe lights used in the EEG. Does this have a special name? apart from merely (and not even necessarily) binaural? (talk) 06:23, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe you're looking for Binaural Beats. Snottywong (talk) 20:54, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Confused - how's this binaural?[edit]

Significantly, the pairs of lacquers were labelled "Left" and "Right" respectively, rather than "A and "B" as was usually the case. It was also usually the case in 78rpm recordings that the same microphone source fed each of the two turntables. However, these labelling differences led to a couple of experiments whereby the "Left" and "Right" lacquers of two recordings were painstakingly synchronised. These experiments proved that for these sessions two separate microphones had been used, placed near each other and each leading to its own turntable, with binaural sound being the result when synchronised.

I'm confused. My reading of the article is that you need some sort of shadow like a dummy head, sound adsorbing disc or whatever to produce a binaural recording, being a key difference from ordinary stereo recording. No separation element is mentioned here, it sounds just like a very old stereo recording Nil Einne (talk) 20:44, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it is either. Sometimes a stereo micing technique where the mics are placed facing away from each other about a head's width apart is called binaural but it's not really the same thing. It's just opposed to other stuff like XY and top-down. I removed the paragraph from the article because also it looked like it was toting the CD releases. It included the catalog numbers. I assume the record label added it. I find this somewhat humorous since right now the article states that the record industry used binaural as a marketing buzzword for stereo and this appears to basically be that. Radiodef (talk) 01:20, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Article mentions Headphone design[edit]

In the section on Playback, one paragraph contains the line "....for this reason, most headphones are designed to have a notch around 5 kHz.", whilst the next starts "The fact that most headphones are actually designed to have a notch in the 5 kHz region is not widely understood...."

I am I being blind to something obvious, or is this a touch contradictory?

Theothergreenman (talk) 18:33, 24 October 2011 (UTC) theothergreenman

External links[edit]

I've removed all external links from this article. All of them looked promotional. These kinds of links are not appropriate. The article already has audio examples and there are more on Wikimedia Commons. Please do not add external links to this article unless they correctly follow Wikipedia:External links. Radiodef (talk) 23:51, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Also I only clicked through to check some of them so if a few were appropriate I don't object to them being added back in. Here they are in the revision before I removed them: [1]. However, none of them appeared to be important to the article so I thought it better to start again from a blank. If there are appropriate links to add, I favor stringency to discourage this COI-type stuff in the future. Including links to sound clips and stuff suggests that "me too" links might be OK or not get noticed. Radiodef (talk) 02:43, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

History was not historical[edit]

I removed a lot of stuff from the history section. Some of it appeared promotional and the stuff that didn't ought to belong in Category:Binaural recordings or List of binaural recordings. Radiodef (talk) 02:00, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Commonly used Binaural Microphones[edit]

SR3D binaural - Binaural microphones made in Great Britain that include Primo EM172 matched pair capsules housed in a metal case, two molded ERTF silicone ears and comes supplied with wind fluffies which are for outdoor use, or can be used to help induce ASMR tingles with brushing sounds. [1] These are currently visible on many homemade Youtube ASMR videos. Let us eat lettuce (talk) 01:07, 31 July 2017 (UTC)