Binaural Audio – The Technology

To create binaural audio, our normal hearing has to be replicated. To do this, a few different forms of equipment can be used, these are demonstrated in the figures below.

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Figure 1 is of a Dummy head that has the microphones build into the ears. They are very costly at around £4,500 from Neumann, however they do replicate the human head and the intricacies of the ears, therefore creating a more realistic binaural audio.
Figure 2 is of in-ear microphones, these are less expensive at around £70 – £100. They are placed into your own ears and record what you would hear in the environment surround you.
Figure 3 is the 3Dio microphone, starting at around $499. Similar to the Neumann dummy, they replicate the human ears and record the audio from the microphones inside the ears.

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Although those are the different ways to record live/real-time binaural audio, the effect of binaural audio can also be replicated in post-production editing suites, by changing the volume and position of the Left and Right channels. This can easily be done in editing softwares such as Adobe Audition, which is what I will choose to test on as it is easily accessible to me, and I have prior knowledge of the software so I should be able to make something simple fairly easily.

Another way of simulating the binaural audio in an editing suite, is by mixing with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. This can be done in Adobe Audition as they have an extensive section for mixing in 5.1. Dolby 5.1 is meant to be used with 5.1 speakers, giving surround sound when watching films, using 2 speakers behind the user (left shoulder, right shoulder) and two speakers in front of the user to the left and right. However the effect 5.1 created is very similar to the effect I am wanting to re-create for binaural audio, therefore I will be testing this method to see how it sounds.

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