Binaural Video

This morning I noticed a new comment from Éric B. on a post from 2008:

Ok. After almost 14 years…. Is there a place to still access this video? It’s simply gone now. I found someone reposting your video but it’s been transcoded so the sound is not…. Really crisp anymore.
Help Ottmar! Help! ;)
Have a good time on your side of the planet and to all the crew. Much love.

Ah, the Internet Entropy. Well, I hadn’t watched that video in a long time, myself, and went looking for it. The video is 14 years old and looks like, well, the way video used to look. But it’s still great fun to see/hear when Davo walks around with the shakers or when I get up (at around 3’52”) and walk around the head. Watch the video here or go to this link, where you will also find download options.

Reminder: you will NOT properly hear the music is you listen with AirPods or similar “open” earphones. If that’s all you got, try to cover them with your hands. It’s important that your left ear does not hear anything emanating from the right speaker and vice versa. That is also why regular loudspeakers will not work at all. Old fashioned “closed” headphones, that cover all of the ear, work well. IEMs work, of course.

This links to the original post from September of 2007, which explains the video a little.

This links to a post by Stephen Duros about the binaural recording experience.

Dolby Atmos

Have any of you used it? Did you use the speaker array or headphones for either mixing or listening? The speaker array for Dolby Atmos mixing sounds insane. This is the setup at a studio called Blackbird – don’t know the studio, found it on the web. It is called a 9.1.6 setup = three speakers in front + three on either side x subwoofer x six speakers overhead. Beside a cost of $30k+ I imagine there would be serious upkeep as well as those speakers would have to be calibrated regularly.
I don’t like having to sit still in one spot in order to properly hear something. I am much more interested in doing something with, and for, headphones. Apparently that is something that became possible last year. I have listened to some Atmos mixes and was left a little underwhelmed. Would like to hear about your reaction to it.

Gave another listen to some Atmos mixes, using wired headphones plugged into my lappie, and some are really pretty impressive…

Steve left this link in the comments. Insight from an audio engineering perspective. Yikes. I imagine a lot will happen in the next few years. At this point most people probably prefer listening with headphones… plus the streaming companies will want to differentiate themselves and offer higher quality content.

This morning I listened to a few Dolby Atmos examples that I downloaded to my phone. I used the AirPods Max to see whether Bluetooth would be able to deliver the sound from the larger files… and it clearly could not. I heard more drop-outs during that walk today than I had heard during the entire time I’ve had the headphones. The bottleneck is clearly Bluetooth itself.

OL + Luna Negra binaural: the Fritz Files

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra binaural: the Fritz Files
“I find the binaural experience much more natural than 5.1 or anything like that,” says Ottmar Liebert. “By comparison those multi-speaker arrays sound very artificial — and are expensive….”
(read the whole review at Culture Court)

The album Up Close is now available in all 24bit/96kHz glory from our ListeningLounge.

(You may ask yourself, why do we sell the HD files for Up Close now? We found out that apparently does not sell outside the USA and by making Up Close available in our ListeningLounge we are making the album available in this HD version to the rest of the world.)


If you are new to this Diary I would like to point out the Binaural video we recorded last Summer. You can find the quicktime version here and a flash version here. In both cases it is very important that you listen with headphones. Old fashioned ones that cover your ears will sound better (more realistic) than little ear-buds, but if you only have little ear-buds, you can cover them in your ears with your hands – to isolate left from right side.

A binaural album called “Up Close” is available in CD-form from us and all CD stores and you can download the album from our ListeningLounge and many other download sites (iTunes, Amazon et.)


Detail from Binaural Album

Here is a detail from the CD cover for our binaural album “Up Close”. What looks like an old sticker that is already a little frayed at the edges, is actually printed on the cover and not a sticker at all.

Up Close: the Fritz Files

I added a new free track to Up Close: the Fritz Files, named “Entrance and Tuning”. It’s free and only available in the form of 128 and 192kbps files. The track showcases the surround-quality of binaural dummy-head recording very well and is deliciously creepy, because every time I listen to it and hear the footsteps, then the door opening, then more footsteps I think somebody is coming into my room – and look around… Think of it as my early Halloween present to you! Enjoy!