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Future Cinema – Binaural Sound Recording

Binaural Sound Recording – Research

Future Cinema – Binaural Sound Recording or 3D Stereo Sound

This our groups idea development for Future Cinema. The studios have already begun in earnest to reintroduce 3D Vision back into Film to give a more immersive experience at the Cinema but what about the sound?

Binaural Dummy Head

Binaural Dummy Head

Our idea is to investigate the technology and research into methods for the introduction of 3D Stereo Sound to Future Cinema productions by using Binaural sound recording techniques.

Binaural sound is produced by using two microphones to record live performances, nothing unusual there, but what is different is that each microphone is attached to opposite sides of a dummy human head. Ideally these microphones will be actually embedded within the ear canal of the dummy’s ears, these ears which should also be a close approximation of the human ear, in order to more closely replicate the sound that the human ear, hears.

This technique could also be applied to one of the problems with the existing sound setup in Cinema. That is when you turn your head the sound direction or source remains the same. So for example, you turn your head to the right your centre sound source is now coming from the right speaker the centre speaker now becomes your left speaker and so basically the films sound sequence has been lost. With Binaural sound this is not the case, regardless of which direction you turn your head the sound source/position does not change. This would be even more useful in a multi-screened environment, although for it to work correctly there would have to be some form of head tracking in-order to switch the sound source being received in the head phones to match the visuals on the appropriate screen.

Binaural Microphone Headset

Binaural Microphone Headset

Another aspect of our idea is that the Binaural recorded sound which is then played back through headphones would be in addition to the existing surround sound system in a Cinema. This would allow the Filmmaker to directly connect with the audience, for example a whispered sound, a personal messages or sound bite could be sent to an individual or to all of the audience but it would appear as if the sound had come directly to them from a person sitting beside them.

The whispered threats from the films serial killer seated right beside you!

The Recording setup

Fostek FR-2LE front view

Fostek FR-2LE front view

The first tests will be conducted using directional condenser microphones positioned so that they are pointing at a subjects head, one each side. The inputs will be connected to a digital recorder for example a Fostek FR-2LE field recorder with the inputs monitored using headphones. I’m hoping we actually get the effect of binaural recording in real time so that we can make adjustments as required.

Binaural Sound Recording test using 2 microphones

Binaural Sound Recording test using 2 microphones

Fostek FR-2LE top view

Fostek FR-2LE top view

Research Sources

Sony – Virtual Phones Website Accessed 07/10/2011 –
http://www.sony.net/Products/vpt/tech/index.html

Wikipedia – Binaural Recording. Website Accessed 07/10/2011 –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording

The Mind Theatre – Immersive 3D Audio. Website Accessed 07/10/2011 –
http://www.mind-theatre.com/

Future Cinema – Links to Related Blog Entries

  1. Future Cinema – Project Conclusion
  2. Future Cinema – Sound Effects
  3. Future Cinema – Digital Cinema
  4. Future Cinema – 5.1 Surround Sound
  5. Future Cinema – Binaural Sound – Digital Sound Recording
  6. Future Cinema – 360 Degree Camera Mount
  7. Future Cinema – Learning Agreement (Updated)
  8. Future Cinema – Audio / Film Script 1st Draft
  9. Future Cinema – Binaural Sound Recording
  10. Future Cinema – The Film Pitch
  11. Future Cinema – does it have one?

 

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