Benbrick: Podcasting With Binaural Sound
A few weeks ago I was connected with Paul Carter (aka Benbrick) a multi-platinum selling songwriter currently producing & composing on George The Poet’s multi award-winning podcast. Benbrick is what I like to call “on our team” in the sense that he sees (and hears) all of the amazing ways in which binaural microphones can enhance Podcast storytelling. Originally from a songwriting background, Benbrick shifted (some) focus to Podcasting due to a desire to have more space to tell longer stories that pop music currently doesn’t allow. He saw the opportunity for autonomy and control of his art through podcasting and the leap is paying off, George The Poet took home 7 Awards including Podcast of the Year and Best New Podcast at the prestigious British Podcast Awards in 2019.
I am excited to share his story and to show you all how binaural audio is a game changer for podcasting.
What are all your social media channels?
What was the first binaural audio content you heard?
Bb: I think it was probably one of those YouTube videos that claimed to have 7d audio haha. When I was studying at University of Surrey they had one of the heads but I didn’t get a chance to use it. When I started getting into the Oculus, I realised the power of binaural.
What is the coolest sound experience you’ve ever heard and where?
The House of Terror Museum in Hungary is an incredible example of tailored audio to aid story telling. It’s a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in the building during the German and Russian occupation of Budapest. Rooms are curated with soundscapes and sound design.
For those that aren’t into audio what is the first thing you share with them to get them into sound?
For the podcast we normally sit people down and play a full episode. Recently we’ve been playing episode 3 (A Grenfell Story) about the tragedy at Grenfell Tower here in London. It’s not an easy (or short) listen, but we try to make audio experiences that reward your attention. It’s not popcorn.
What is the coolest piece of content you’ve created and why?
We started weaving binaural audio into the podcast, but also reconstructing it through reverb + panning. I just got the Hooke earphones so I’m keen to test them out for season two. I think Sanyu’s World (from the podcast) is pretty fun. It’s about an idea called #Sanyu that lives in George’s head. She has a bike that protects her, we weave the bikes voice with a tigers voice. Probably better to just drop the link here:
Name the artist of your favorite sounding album and why?
At the moment I’m listening to the Tokyo.Sora soundtrack by Yoko Kanno on repeat. I’ve actually been listening to this on and off since I discovered it years ago. I love the complex simplicity of the writing, and the wide space the productions have. It’s a lesson in how emotion can be crafted with very few instruments… mind blowing.
Tell us a bit more about you. Where are you from? What do you do? What is your dream job? What’s the coolest thing about you?
I’m a composer and producer based in London. I’ve worked on some really cool projects like writing Sakura Nagashi with Utada Hikaru which was in the movie Evangelion 3. Right now I’m really excited for this podcast – especially because we just won Podcast of the Year at the British podcast awards.
What is your favorite social media channel you follow and why?
I try not to follow social media too much. I’m regularly deleting the apps and reinstalling them.
If you could make any piece of sound hardware, that doesn’t already exist, what would it be?
This definitely isn’t an answer to your question, but I’d like to see something that can reimagine how black box royalties are collected and distributed. The whole thing is a bit of a scam right now, and no one person is taking the lead to fix it.
If you had to send one recording of anything into space what would it be?
If you haven’t yet, PLEASE check out George The Poet Podcast and make sure to listen with headphones. There are some stories that just work in binaural and this is definitely one of them. I want to thank Paul immensely for taking the time to chat with us and sharing his take on sound. The world is better sounding place because of him.
From One Ear To Another,
Founder, Hooke Audio