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Perceptually Ergonomic 3-Dimensional Sound for Headphones.
Headphones are required for the effect.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Far Cry - Encore

I can't help but post the vivacious encore from A Far Cry's (15 member unconducted string group) encore at St. Paul's Church.

(Use Headphones for All Recordings)
A Far Cry - St. Pauls Live - Encore by BinauralAirwaves
Binaural Recording Info:
Microphone Setup: Ultra Hi-Fi Binaural Manikin Head
Master Recording Format: 5.6MHz/1bit Direct Stream Digital
Streaming Format: mp3 LAME 3.97 variable bit rate ~240 kbps 44.1kHz

If you liked this: check out my other binaural recordings of them playing Dvorak's Serenade for Strings here.

By the way, notice how close the violins on the left sound. Compare this to the violas on the right that are the same distance away. This difference is because the violins have a lot of lead lines and their instruments' strongest acoustical projecting side is pointed at the binaural manikin head. Instruments are directional like headlights on a car (for an exaggerated example). They're really bright when you stand in front of them but if you're in back of the car, you might only see the reflected light of the headlights illuminating objects rather than the direct light. This is analogous to the directionality of both instruments, speaker drivers, and other acoustic radiators.

For the specific case of violins (as well as the rest of the classical bowed string instruments: violas, cellos, and double bass which all have similar acoustic design) the "f-hole" (technical term, not a dirty word) on the violin is the most dominant directional source. The f-hole is similar in function to the open circular hole in an acoustic guitar and when it is pointed at a set of mics and another similar instrument is pointed away, much more of the facing instrument's sound reaches the mic and it therefore sounds more present and close, just like in this recording. To tie in my previous analogy, imagine a car headlight coming through the f-hole on the violin and the light being acoustic energy AKA sound. Now imagine how much more bright/loud/present it will be at the binaural manikin/your ears due to the violins facing you, compared to the violas facing away from you. It's pretty amazing how directional sound can be.



Alex M. said...

Aaron--Just wanted to follow up on our chat at the Tape Op booth in NY. Would love to do some work together. Any interest in heading up to VT with myself and my friend Marc for a couple days next week? We'll be experimenting at Verdant Studio ( on the 21st & 22nd (Wed/Thus). Also, check out Florencia Gonzalez: Her stuff is phenomenal, I'm trying to woo her into recording with me, and I think you'd bring a great element to the picture. Be in touch...