Ever been in the room with a musician or band when they’re performing? There’s nothing quite like it.When you’re in the room, you can hear sounds in front of you, behind you, above you, coming from all directions. You feel wrapped within the sound as if it’s breathing right beside you, as if you are in the center of it all. Unfortunately, when you listen to a band’s album on Spotify or on a CD, you’re listening in stereo, which means the sound is only being panned to the left and right. It’s not at all what it sounds like to be in the room with the group.
Cover photo courtesy of BBC
Thankfully there is a way to record music as if you WERE in the room with the group, letting you listen back on Spotify or CD and actually feeling like you’re there. It’s called binaural audio and it’s audio captured identically to the way we hear sound, in the space that we hear it. Famous musicians like Lou Reed, Can, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Art Tatum have all recorded albums in binaural. Take a listen for yourself below (with headphones on):
Binaural Audio brings you right there into the space. It brings you to the concert, even when you’re not physically there. But it can also bring you into the studio…
Into the amphitheater…
Into the Festival…
Or in the backyard…
Check out this YouTube playlist dedicated entirely to showcasing music videos in Binaural Audio
Check out this YouTube playlist dedicated entirely to showcasing live concerts in Binaural Audio
Binaural audio isn’t just for the trained musicians. It can be for everybody–bloggers, journalists, travel junkies, artists and storytellers of all kind. By using binaural audio, you can record sound in the exact spaces that you hear it, no matter where you are. You can catch the traffic outside your window if you are sitting in your house, or the birds chirping above you if you are at the park, along with the traffic bustling around you in all directions. The roll of the thunder above your head and the gravel underneath your feet. 3D audio records sound in the space that you hear in, in relation to where your ear connects with the sound. When you listen back to it, you are taken right back to that spot in time and space, transforming the world around you in sound.
Music itself is special because even in stereo, it has such an effect on people. It not only stirs emotions and thoughts inside of us, but it opens doors for creation, communication, and a sense of belonging around the world. You can connect with music no matter who you are. Music in binaural is especially extraordinary because no matter the place, you are transported right back to where it was recorded and is taking all of those emotions and effects a step further. It’s kind of like magic for music.
Take a listen to this recent tune recorded in layered binaural audio tracks:
Like we said before, binaural audio isn’t entirely new. Artists (like the aforementioned above) have been experimenting with it for years. Lou Reed released Street Hassle in 1978, which was the first commercial pop album recorded in binaural audio. It accounted for the space between the ears and made listeners feel like they were in the middle of the recording space. That’s exactly what 3D audio does–it puts you right in the middle of the space where the tune was recorded.
Binaural audio has taken a break since then, but has since made a comeback in the last few years. While you might have heard it used with virtual reality, using binaural sound with music has some great effects: you get a better connection with the music, the artists, and the space; you really feel like you are in the center of the action; and you can get a better appreciation for the storyteller behind the music for putting everything together. And that is just a short list. The possibilities for binaural audio and recording are wide open, and it’s an era that we are more than happy to be part of. We are so blessed that we get to help artists, musicians and storytellers make their sounds and visions come to life.
Binaural audio is part of a revolution of sound, and everyone wants to be part of it or should want to take part in some way. Since music is a way that people all around the world connect with each other, it’s only natural for us to want to create music in binaural.
And if you’re interested in capturing your own music in Binaural Audio, here’s some helpful videos on how to do it.
Recording music in binaural is the next step in the technological revolution. What will you create next?
Founder, CEO Hooke Audio