Binaural music – listen in stereo headphones
The term binaural is derived from two Latin words: bina – two and auras – ear. The term “binaural hearing” refers to the ability of humans and animals to determine the direction to the sound source, wherever it is: left, right, front, back, bottom or top. When listening to stereo recordings, you can also determine the direction to the sound source, but only in one horizontal plane: left or right. In 5.1 systems (e.g. home theater), the back-front sound can still be determined, but the top-bottom is already problematic.
Ideally, to accurately determine the direction to the sound source, nature should have provided for us at least 6 ears – according to the number of all directions, but we only have two. The function of the remaining 4 is performed by our brain, which determines the direction by the difference in the frequency and phase components of the oscillations of the sensitive elements of the right and left ear. Turn away from the sound source, and you will hear how the high-frequency components of the sound are cut off, because they go around obstacles worse than low-frequency waves. If the sound is heard from the side, then it will reach the left and right ears with a different phase, etc.
Thus, in order to obtain a spatial picture of sound, two ears, and, accordingly, two independent headphones, are enough, but the recording of each of the two channels should contain information about the direction of the sound source in the form of the corresponding frequency and phase spectrum. Such a recording is called “binaural” and is made using a mannequin that ideally simulates all the acoustic properties of a “living” head. Two microphones are installed in a mannequin at the location of the eardrum of a real person. In a very ideal case, the mannequin should be made from the person who is going to listen to the recording. You can also listen to binaural recordings through speakers, but we won’t hear a circular spatial picture.
In the 80s, Pink Floyd, Psychic TV, and Roger Waters used binaural recordings for the first time. Well-known recording specialist Dallas Simpson (Dallas Simpson), who experimented in this area in the 2000s with the group “Swimming”.
On these videos – Fragments of the concerts of the Swimming group with the Dallas March 2009 tour. Do not forget to wear stereo headphones!